Overhead and Gantry Cranes

Overhead and Gantry Cranes

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is an overhead crane?

An overhead crane is a crane with a movable bridge carrying a movable or fixed hoisting mechanism and traveling on an overhead fixed runway structure.

What is a gantry crane?

A gantry crane is a crane similar to an overhead crane except that the bridge for carrying the trolley or trolleys is rigidly supported on two or more legs running on fixed rails or other runway.

What are the hazards associated with overhead and gantry cranes?

Failure to use cranes within their specifications can cause the inadvertent release of a load, leading to employees being struck by or crushed by loads. Depending upon the size and weight of the load, this can result in serious injury or death.




What can I do to protect myself and others?

Do not walk or work under a suspended load and stay clear of the path of travel of a suspended load. If you are the operator, never allow your attention to be diverted while moving a load. Do not lift, lower, or transport a load with the crane or hoist until all personnel are clear of the load and the load’s path. Do not allow personnel to be lifted, lowered, or transported by means of the crane, hoist, trolley, hoist hook, or load.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Training and Outreach Services

The materials handling presentation for general industry is available for workplaces to assist in training their staff. The presentation should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.

Further, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

More information related to overhead and gantry cranes can be found on the materials handling and storage A-Z topics page. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.




Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to overhead and gantry cranes in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry



Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876