News Release USDL: 97-355
Thursday, October 9, 1997
Contact: Susan Fleming (202)219-8151
OSHA TO RECONSIDER CONTAINER-LIFTING REQUIREMENTS
FOR LONGSHORING AND MARINE TERMINALS STANDARDS
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
is reopening its recently promulgated standards on
longshoring and marine terminals to consider whether
to permit "piggybacking," the practice of lifting
two empty containers together.
OSHA will hold an informal public meeting on Jan.
27, 1998, to discuss safety concerns and risks
associated with piggybacking and technological and
economic feasibility issues of this practice.
When the agency was updating its longshoring and
marine terminals standard, there was not enough
information in the record to determine how to
regulate the practice of lifting two empty containers
vertically hooked together by semi-automatic twist
locks and corner castings. Therefore, the agency
is seeking to develop information on this practice
to determine how to address this issue.
Piggybacking is not prohibited by current
standards; however, OSHA has cautioned those
who lift containers with this system to inspect
containers for visible defects, verify that both
containers are empty, assure that containers are
properly marked, make certain that twist locks
operate in the same manner, check to see that the
load does not exceed the capacity of the crane,
make certain that the top container is vertically
lifted, maintain documents that show the capacities
of the twist locks and corner castings and direct
employees to stay clear of the lifting area.
OSHA is seeking comments about how common
piggybacking is; what cost savings are associated
with it; whether there have been problems with twist
locks related to damage, weather or age; and whether
there have been incidents where piggybacked containers
have fallen and injured or nearly missed workers.
Written comments and notices of intention to appear
at the informal public meeting must be postmarked by
Dec. 8, 1997. Those who request more than 10 minutes
for their presentations at the informal public meeting
and those who plan to submit documentary evidence must
submit the full text of their testimony and all evidence
postmarked no later than Jan. 13, 1998.
Written comments should be submitted in quadruplicate
or with one hard copy and one disk in WordPerfect or
ASCII to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket S-025A, Room
N2625, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.
20210. Comments of 10 pages or less may be faxed to
the Docket Office at (202) 219-5046, if followed by
a hard copy.
Notice of the limited re-opening of longshoring
and marine terminals standards is scheduled to
appear in the October 9, 1997, Federal Register.