The most important thing to consider, when using a hoist in a factory or warehouse, is safety of employees and products. It is important to engage in rigorous pre-operational safety inspections: both visually and functionally. Different equipment requires different standards of inspection. Despite the varied amount of chains-hoists on the market, there are still standards that apply to all hoists. The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) sets safety and inspection standards for the industry.
Part of the purpose of the organization is to create easy access to inspection standards and design specifications for the hoist and rigging industry. The organization is not affiliated with the government, and it is made up of retired and working industry experts. The difference between OSHA and ASME is that a law set by OSHA is legally enforced, where as ASME rules are just strong suggestions.
According to ASME, there are two main standards of inspection to be aware of. The first is ASME B30.16. This standard is meant for any hoist that is underhung powered (electric or air) and for chainfalls. The standard discusses training, inspection, marking, and construction.
The second standard is ASME B 30.21. This standard is used for lever hoists, which include chain hoists, wire rope hoist, and strap hoists. Again, in this standard you will find information on inspection, training, and the like.