US Overhead Alliance to launch four-part webinar series

4 October 2021

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The Overhead Alliance of MHI will hold the annual Overhead Lifting Safety Webinar Series October through November. The Overhead Alliance represents the members of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA).

Here in the final of three video series with the MHI hoisting and lifting associations, we talk to Karen Norheim, president CMAA where she tells us more about the event and what it will entail.

The webinars are designed for safety, operations and plant maintenance personal whose management include overhead lifting cranes, hoists, and monorails.



The four-part webinar series 1-hour long webinars including audience Q&A will be held on the following dates from 2:00 – 3:00 EST and topics include:

October 28
Dangers From Above: Integrating Overhead Lifting into a Resilient Safety Strategy 
Your safety program’s goal is to ensure employees know how to perform their jobs safely and without injury so they can go home to their families each night. Panelists will share their company’s safety strategy and best practices for integrating with overhead lifting. Our safety program session will include presentations on safety program examples including overhead lifting from top-performing companies, followed by a roundtable discussion on topics related to implementing and fine-tuning a safety program with special considerations for addressing overhead lifting.

November 4
OSHA Overhead Lifting Safety Review and Presentation of Upcoming Initiatives

Using crane, hoist and monorail systems for overhead lifting in general industry is not only crucial, but also can be the heartbeat of an operation! Even with prevention programs in place, hazards are going to always be present in any industry. Assessing past performance has long been a way of identifying potential hazards and mitigating risk. With that said, what are the most cited OSHA standards for overhead lifting operation in general industry? What is the total overhead lift injuries reported to OSHA each year? How many families were affected by a workplace fatality involving overhead lifting operations? What resources does OSHA have to assist employers and employees in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses? Prevention saves lives, prevents injuries, and even helps businesses save money. That’s why prevention has to be everyone’s goal.

November 11
Overhead Lifting Safety Innovations and Panel Discussion

Technology is available to help overhead crane and hoist operators, maintenance personnel, owners, safety professionals, purchasers and specifiers address the challenges inherent to overhead lifting. These challenges include avoiding obstacles in the path of crane and/or hoist movement, safely operating multiple cranes on a common runway, preventing load sway, and ensuring the load is positioned properly beneath the hoist for safe lifting. Solutions are available at the time of equipment purchase or as an aftermarket modernization to protect the people, product and property associated with these overhead lifting challenges. Our panel of solutions experts will introduce “no-fly” zones (restricted area access), off-center pick detection and prevention, auto-centering above the load, sway control, automated positioning, auto-dispatch, collision avoidance, and crane/hoist monitoring and answer the most frequently asked questions about this technology.

November 18
Best Practices for Safe Operation of Below-the-Hook Lifting Equipment

Below the Hook Lifting Equipment is designed to improve the safety and efficiency of material handling, however, user training on the proper operation and care of this equipment is often overlooked. This session will provide an in-depth review of best practices for the proper use of Below the Hook Lifting Equipment, and will also include discussion on topics related to maintenance and inspection of this equipment to ensure maximum safety and service life. Attendees will gain insight on how to address areas of concern related to equipment owner/operator skills and knowledge, and will gain awareness on the resources that are available to assist them.

Norheim explains CMAA, HMI and MMA were recently appointed ambassadors to a federal program geared toward the safety of hoists, cranes and monorails, gaining ambassador status with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance (CHM).

The three groups will promote cooperative programs with the federal agency, raising awareness of OSHA’s initiatives, outreach, communication, training and education, and providing information, guidance and access to training resources that help protect the health and safety of workers using hoists, cranes and monorails.

“We are grateful to work together with OSHA to ensure the safe operation of our equipment,” said Norheim. “This industry government partnership helps to promote awareness on best practices and training as well as OSHA initiatives and outreach. Together we amplify the efforts for the safe operation of overhead lifting solutions.”

The CHM Alliance is also working with OSHA to develop the Overhead Lifting Best Practices Guide, to be used by the lifting industry.

The guide, which will supplement the fact and tip sheets the Alliance already provides, is designed to address topics not covered by existing OSHA regulations, as well as common questions about complex regulations that need clarification.

For example, two frequently questions are: When are load tests required? How often should they be completed? In the best practices guide, it will define what a load test is and the requirements based on multiple industry standards—OSHA, CMAA, ASME, ANSI. Publication is due later this year.

"The CMAA’s mission is to deliver technical specifications and resources that promote safety in the design, operation and maintenance of overhead cranes,” said Norheim. “Our vision is to be the most trusted knowledge resource for overhead cranes.”

CMAA is working to complete its review and update of the group’s specifications publication, conducted every five years, said Bob Kotel, chief design engineer at MHI member G.W. Becker Inc. and CMAA’s vice president—engineering.

“There are quite a few changes to Specification No. 70 for multiple girder cranes and Specification No. 74 for single girder cranes, specifically in the mechanical, structural and electrical sections,” Kotel said. “The revisions keep the specifications in sync with the ASME B30 standards for crane safety, the National Electrical Code and other standards dealing with overhead material handling.”

In addition, CMAA is currently developing two new specs due to the changing requirements within the industry, he said. The first is Specification No. 80—Below-the-Hook Lifting Device Operator’s Manual. The PDF version is available now on the CMAA website, and the group is now reviewing the hard copy to have copies available for sale. The second new spec is Specification 76, which will be for jib cranes and is planned for release in 2021.

To learn more about the Overhead Alliance, visit