OSHA requires rated load tests for new and altered cranes as stated in OSHA’s letter of interpretation dated March 4, 1991.

OSHA’s standard at 29 CFR 1910.179(b) states:

(2) New and existing equipment. All new overhead and gantry cranes constructed and installed on or after August 31, 1971, shall meet the design specifications of the American National Standard Safety Code for Overhead and Gantry Cranes, ANSI B30.2.0-1967, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6.

(3) Modifications. Cranes may be modified and re-rated provided such modifications and the supporting structure are checked thoroughly for the new rated load by a qualified engineer or the equipment manufacturer. The crane shall be tested in accordance with paragraph (k)(2) of this section. New rated load shall be displayed in accordance with subparagraph (5) of this paragraph.

Additionally, OSHA’s standard at 29 CFR 1910.179(k) states:

(1) Operational tests.
(i) Prior to initial use all new and altered cranes shall be tested to insure compliance with this section including the following functions:
(a) Hoisting and lowering.
(b) Trolley travel.
(c) Bridge travel.
(d) Limit switches, locking and safety devices.
(ii) The trip setting of hoist limit switches shall be determined by tests with an empty hook traveling in increasing speeds up to the maximum speed. The actuating mechanism of the limit switch shall be located so that it will trip the switch, under all conditions, in sufficient time to prevent contact of the hook or hook block with any part of the trolley.

(2) Rated load test. Test loads shall not be more than 125 percent of the rated load unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. The test reports shall be placed on file where readily available to appointed personnel.

Per this interpretation, OSHA requires rated load testing for new and altered cranes prior to their initial use to ensure that any significant problems or errors made during the repair or installation process would be revealed prior to placing the crane in operation. OSHA does not consider the provisions regarding rated load testing in the most recent version of ANSI B30.2, ANSI B30.2-2005, to be as protective as the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.179(k). Therefore, an employer must comply with the OSHA standard and cannot utilize the ANSI standard as a basis for a de minimus condition.

Load Ratings Should not be more than 80% of the maximum test load: Test loads should not exceed 125% of the rated load unless recommended by the manufacturer

As adopted by OSHA in 1971, the 29 CFR 1910.179(k)(2) regulation states:
“Rated Load Test. Prior to initial use all new, extensively repaired, and altered cranes should be tested by or under the direction of an appointed or authorized person, confirming the load rating of the crane. The load rating should not be more than 80 percent of the maximum load sustained during the test. Test loads shall not be more than 125 percent of the rated load unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. The test reports shall be placed on file where readily available to appointed personnel”