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Upgrading Existing Hoists/Bridge Cranes with Spark-Resistant Component

Upgrading Existing Hoists/Bridge Cranes with Spark-Resistant Component

Upgrading Existing Hoists/Bridge Cranes with Spark-Resistant Component

We have a 7.5-ton air-driven hoist installed in a building which is a classified location (Class I,Group D, Division 2). This hoist was installed at the same time the building was constructed in the mid-1960's. Recently a local crane service company performed a routine inspection and the inspector stated that he thought certain steel components (wheels, pulleys, hook) should be upgraded to equivalent non-sparking parts.

I've been talking to various companies and engineers in the industry about requirements (if any) to upgrade the hoist. In general, what I am hearing is that there are no specific code requirements (NEC/CEC, OSHA/CAL-OSHA, UFC/CFC, DOT (49 CFR)) for spark-resistant mechanical components in this application, but it is good industry practice to require them for new hoist/bridge crane installations.  Note that there is widespread agreement that electrical components are covered by Article 500 of NEC/CEC but that non-electrical components are outside of its scope.  

We're trying to decide whether we should spend money ($10,000 for parts, plus an estimated $2,000 for installation) to upgrade this hoist if we are not required to do so.  My questions:

(1) Does anyone know of any specific code requirements that might apply?  

(2) Has anyone dealt with or become aware of retrofitting existing hoists with non-sparking components?  

(3) Since I can't get a copy quickly, can anyone with a copy of CMAA Spec 70 or 78 tell me whether these docs address this issue?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Jerry Myers, P.E.

RE: Upgrading Existing Hoists/Bridge Cranes with Spark-Resistant Component

I'm new to this forum but in case you still are in need . . . .

1. I would talk to the OEM. Normally it is a plant by plant issue and your insurance company may have an opinion too.
2. Normally this is addressed when the initial purchase was made, but I hate to assume. Div 2 locations . . . . mechanical spark-resistant components are not often supplied.
3. CMAA only recommends that this be worked out between the OEM and the user. Otherwise, they offer nothing.

RE: Upgrading Existing Hoists/Bridge Cranes with Spark-Resistant Component

Thanks for responding.  Ultimately, the crane inspection service did not include any mention of this issue in their report.  

We talked with the OEM and it turned out the cost to upgrade this equipment it would take about $13,000 plus labor due to the obsolescence of the equipment.  Most everyone I talked to also said it was the owner's responsibility to request spark resistance when specifying or purchasing this equipment.  I even talked to a CalOSHA crane expert and he concurred with the OEMs.  

We decided to not take any action for this site and are developing a company-wide policy to address new and existing situations so we'll know what action is required in the future.  Thanks for your input and the info on CMAA.

Jerry Myers, P.E.

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