Cranes, Hoists and Rigging Safety

overhead crane
Overhead crane in Aerospace And Engineering Research Building

The UW Crane, Hoist, and Rigging Safety Program establishes the key requirements to ensure the safety of personnel and prevent personal injury or illness that could result during the use of overhead cranes and hoists and the rigging of loads. 

Roles and responsibilities

What you can do to stay safe

The most common causes of failures with the operations of overhead cranes and hoists are related to overloading and improper rigging. Serious injuries including fatalities and property damage are a potential consequence if loads or lifting equipment falls to the ground.

University units and departments using overhead cranes and hoists are required to do the following:

1. The equipment is required to be inspected according to the UW Crane, Hoist and Rigging Safety Program Manual.

2. Ensure the equipment is maintained properly according to the UW Crane, Hoist and Rigging Safety Program Manual and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Operators are required to be trained on the safe operation of cranes and hoists, and safe rigging of loads.

4. Ensure safe operating procedures are followed.

Inspections, maintenance and testing

Units are responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and testing the cranes, hoist and rigging equipment. Cranes and hoists that are part of the building infrastructure and maintenance program are the responsibility of facility management.


Monthly (frequent) inspections of cranes and hoists are required to be completed by authorized crane/hoist operators. These inspections are required to be documented.

Annual (periodic) inspections are required for cranes and hoists, conducted by a qualified person or company (third-party), and documented. 

Use of the Overhead Cranes/Hoists Inspection Checklist is required prior to each use and to document frequent and periodic inspections.

New and reinstalled cranes/hoists require initial operational and load testing. Extensively repaired, and altered cranes and monorails are required to be load tested. Tests may be limited to the functions affected by the alteration, repair, or modification, as determined by a qualified person. 


Monthly (frequent) inspections of rigging equipment are required to be completed by authorized crane/hoist operators.

Annual rigging inspections are required to be documented.

Use of the Rigging Equipment Inspection Checklist is required prior to each use and to document annual inspections.


Units are required to keep all documented inspection, maintenance, and testing records.

Approved vendors

The companies below are approved UW vendors for cranes, hoists and rigging services:

Emergency response and reporting

Report workplace incidents, injuries, near-miss events, and work-related illnesses within 24 hours. Some incidents require immediate notification.

Visit the Incident Reporting webpage for more information.

More information

About the UW Crane, Hoist and Rigging Safety Program

The requirements of this program meet the requirements of Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Section 296-24-235 Overhead and gantry cranes, Section 296-24-237 Construction, operation, and maintenance—Chain and electric hoists, Section 296-24-238 Air Hoists, and Section 296-24-294 Rigging.  

This program applies to all University personnel, researchers, and students who are designated to operate cranes, hoists, and rigging equipment for the purpose of work or research at all University owned and operated locations, including field locations.


There are many types of cranes and hoists used for materials handling in research, academics, and facilities. The scope of the UW program covers the following overhead cranes and hoists; bridge, gantry and jib cranes, and hoists on monorails or single anchors. This program applies to overhead and gantry cranes, hoists, and rigging requirements for material handling operations.

Equipment notices and safety alerts

Information is added to this section following notifications from manufacturers.

Frequently asked questions