U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
This guide is intended to help small businesses comply with OSHA's standard for Cranes and Derricks in Construction. It is designed to address the most common compliance issues that employers will face and to provide sufficient detail to serve as a useful compliance guide. It does not, however, describe all provisions of the standard or alter the compliance responsibilities set forth in the standard, which is published at 29 CFR 1926.1400 - 1442. The reader must refer to the standard itself, which is available on OSHA's website and in the Federal Register and will be published in the Code of Federal Regulations, to determine all of the steps that must be taken to comply with the standard.
In addition to this guide, other information that will be helpful in complying with the standard can be found on OSHA's website.
If you are seeking advice about complying with the standard, OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies and universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and help establish safety and health management systems. To find the OSHA On-site Consultation Program office nearest you, go to: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult_directory.html.
In 21 states and one territory, occupational safety and health standards are enforced by the state agency responsible for the OSHA-approved state plan. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. New York, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and the Virgin Islands also operate OSHA-approved state plans limited in scope to state and local government employees.
States operating OSHA-approved state plans must adopt and enforce standards that are either identical to or at least as effective as federal standards. Therefore, these states must adopt a standard for cranes and derricks in construction that is at least as effective as OSHA's standard and must extend that protection to state and local government employees. If you are operating a small business in one of the above-listed states or territories, you must determine whether requirements in addition to those in the OSHA standard apply. For example, the OSHA standard requires that crane operators be qualified or certified by November 10, 2014, but states may require such qualification or certification by an earlier date. In addition, state or local licensing requirements may apply. (A list of phone numbers and addresses for the state programs is included in Appendix A).
Who must comply with the standard?
Employers who use cranes and derricks in construction work must comply with the standard. In addition, other employers on construction sites where cranes and derricks are used are responsible for violations that expose their employees to hazards and, therefore, need to know the requirements of the standard that may affect their employees. Crane lessors who provide operators and/or maintenance personnel with the equipment also have duties under the standard. See the section of this guide entitled "Employer Responsibilities" for additional information on the compliance responsibilities of different employers.
Who should read this guide?
Employers who have compliance responsibilities under the standard should read this guide. In addition, crane operators and other workers who work with or near cranes on construction sites can find information in this guide that will make them aware of the hazards that cranes present to them and their co-workers and the steps that employers must take to protect against those hazards.
How do I use this guide?
This guide is divided into chapters that correspond to the sections of the standard. The guide focuses on the standard's provisions that address the most serious hazards and the compliance issues that employers will face most frequently. Some issues that arise less frequently are addressed briefly or not at all. In some places, the guide refers the reader to sections of the standard for more detailed information about particular topics.
When this guide uses the word "you," it is referring to an employer who operates a crane on a construction site unless the context indicates otherwise. However, as noted above, other employers may also have responsibilities under the standard.
How does the new standard differ from the old standard it replaces?
Most requirements of the prior OSHA standard for cranes and derricks used in construction work (29 CFR 1926.550) incorporated requirements of certain pre-1970 national consensus standards. This standard sets forth most of its requirements in the text of the standard and incorporates national consensus standards by reference in only a few locations. In addition, this new standard includes a number of new provisions designed to improve safety. Several significant changes are:
Employers who operate cranes on a construction site are responsible for complying with all aspects of the standard, but other employers whose personnel work at the site have responsibilities as well. These employer duties are consistent with OSHA's multi-employer policy, which recognizes that the Occupational Safety and Health Act imposes compliance duties on (1) employers who create or control hazards, (2) employers whose employees are exposed to hazards, and (3) employers with general supervisory authority over a worksite.
The following Questions and Answers explain the compliance duties of different employers under various common situations.
Question 1: I own and operate a crane on a construction site. The crane operator is my employee. What are my responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 1: You must comply with all requirements of the standard, as you control all hazards the crane may create.
Question 2: I operate a leased crane on a construction site. The crane's lessor has informed me that the crane meets OSHA's standard. Can I rely on the lessor's word and assume that the crane complies with the standard?
Answer 2: No. As the employer operating the crane you are responsible for complying with all requirements of the standard. Even if the lessor states that the crane meets the standard, you must take steps to verify that claim. One way to verify their claim is to ask the lessor for the most recent monthly and annual inspections reports, which will identify any problems found by the inspectors that either needed to be fixed or that need to be checked in future inspections. These documents must be made available to all persons who conduct inspections under the standard, including the shift inspections you must conduct while operating the crane. See Sections 1412(k) and 1413(e). If the lessor cannot produce the required inspection documents, you will need to conduct an annual inspection and document the results of that inspection before operating the crane. See Section 1412 for a description of the inspections required by the standard.
Question 3: I lease a crane to a construction contractor and provide an operator for the crane. While on the site, the operator is supervised exclusively by the lessee's foreman. Do I have any responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 3: Yes. You must comply with all requirements of the standard because your employee, the operator, would be exposed to any hazards resulting from the crane's operation. Moreover, you are responsible for any violations caused by the crane operator because you are the operator's employer and the lessee is relying on the operator's knowledge and skills to ensure that operations are conducted safely. See section 1427(a) (Operator qualification and certification).
Question 4: I lease a crane to a construction contractor. I do not provide an operator with the crane. However, when the lessee tells me that the crane requires maintenance or repair, I send my mechanic to do the necessary work. Do I have any responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 4: Yes. Because the mechanic is your employee, you must comply with section 1429 (Qualifications of maintenance and repair workers), and you are responsible for any hazards that result from the actions of your mechanic that expose other workers on the site to hazards. In addition, you are responsible for any violations to which your mechanic is exposed while he/she is working on the crane.
Question 5: I lease a crane to a construction contractor. I do not provide an operator for the crane, nor do I have anyone inspect or repair the crane while it is on the site. Do I have any responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 5: No. An employer who leases (or sells) a crane but does not send any employees to the worksite where the crane is used is not subject to the standard. However, as noted in Answer 2, the lessee is responsible for the condition of the crane and may ask you to produce written records of past crane inspections or to provide other information about the crane.
Question 6: I am a contractor on a construction site. Another contractor is using a crane on the site. None of my work involves the crane. Do I have any responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 6: Yes, because your employees may be exposed to hazards caused by the crane's operation. For example, if a crane collapses due to being overloaded, employees working elsewhere on the site can be killed or injured. And if, for example, a crane makes electrical contact with a power line, any employee touching or even near the crane can be electrocuted.
Even though you are not operating the crane, you must be aware of potential crane hazards and are responsible for protecting your employees against hazards you can reasonably foresee. You must take reasonable steps to protect your employees. For example, if you are concerned with a crane's stability due to potential overloading, unstable ground conditions, or high winds, you must satisfy yourself that the crane is stable before allowing your employees to work where they would be in danger if the crane collapses. One way is to ask the company operating the crane or the controlling contractor on the site whether all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the crane's stability. Also, you have a duty to train your employees in the hazards associated with their work, including those that might arise from working near a crane.
Question 7: What training must I provide to my employees?
Answer 7: Training that must be provided under the standard to equipment operators, signal persons, competent and qualified persons, maintenance and repair workers, and workers who work near the equipment is referenced primarily in Section 1430. Additional training requirements are specified in other provisions of the standard. In addition, 1926.21(b)(2) requires employers to train construction workers how to recognize and avoid the hazards associated with their work and, depending on the circumstances, may require training in topics not listed in the cranes and derricks standard.
Question 8: I operate a lumberyard and deliver sheet goods (such as drywall or plywood) or packaged goods (such as roofing shingles, bags of cement, or rolls of roofing felt) to a construction site using a flatbed truck equipped with an articulating crane. At the site, I use the crane to place the material either onto the ground or onto the structure being erected. Must I comply with the standard?
Answer 8: If you only place materials on the ground without arranging the materials in a particular order for hoisting, you are not engaged in construction work and have no duties under the standard. If you place materials onto the structure, you are engaged in construction work, and the standard applies to your work. However, if you deliver only building supply sheet goods or building supply packaged materials onto the structure and your articulating/knuckleboom truck crane is equipped with a properly functioning automatic overload prevention device, you have no further duties under the standard. Otherwise, you must comply with the entire standard when using the crane to place material onto the structure.
Question 9: I deliver prefabricated roof trusses and wall panels to a construction site using a flatbed truck equipped with an articulating crane. At the site, I use the crane to place the material either onto the ground or onto the structure being erected. Must I comply with the standard?
Answer 9: You must comply with the standard if you unload the material onto the structure. You need not comply with the standard if you unload the material onto the ground without arranging the materials in a particular order for hoisting because that activity is not construction work.
Question 10: I am the general contractor on a homebuilding project. The framing subcontractor informs me that he will be bringing a crane onto the site to lift roof trusses onto the structure. Do I have any responsibilities under the standard?
Answer 10: You are responsible for seeing that the ground on which the crane will operate is sufficiently firm and level to enable the crane to operate safely. See Section 1402 (Ground conditions). In addition, you must inform the framing contractor of the location of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, or soil analyses) that are in your possession or the hazards are otherwise known to you. If there is more than one crane on the site and the working radii of the cranes overlap, you must establish a system to control their operations. See Section 1424(b). In addition to these specific duties under the standard, as the controlling contractor on the site you have the same responsibility under this standard as you have under other OSHA standards: you must exercise reasonable care to prevent and detect violations on the site. See OSHA Instruction CPL 2-0.124, "Multi-Employer Citation Policy," (Dec. 10, 1999), section X.E (available on OSHA's website).
Question 11: I notice that certain provisions of the standard direct my employees, such as my crane operator, to take certain steps. Do I have any responsibilities under such provisions?
Answer 11: Yes. Where provisions of this standard direct an operator, crewmember, or other employee to take certain actions, Section 1400(f) requires you to establish, effectively communicate to the relevant persons, and enforce work rules to ensure compliance with such provisions.
COVERED AND EXCLUDED EQUIPMENT: The rule applies to power-operated equipment used in construction work that can hoist, lower and horizontally move a suspended load, unless such equipment is specifically excluded from coverage.
Section 1400 lists specific types of equipment that are covered and specific types that are excluded from coverage.
COVERED EQUIPMENT: The types of cranes and derricks that are most commonly used in construction are covered, including:
The rule also applies to the following more specialized types of equipment when used in construction:
ATTACHMENTS: Equipment that is covered under the standard continues to be covered when used with crane-attached or crane-suspended attachments. Such attachments include, but are not limited to: hooks, magnets, grapples, clamshell buckets, orange peel buckets, concrete buckets, drag lines, personnel platforms, augurs or drills, and pile driving equipment.
EXCLUDED EQUIPMENT: The following types of equipment are specifically excluded from coverage:
SPECIAL RULES FOR ARTICULATING/KNUCKLE BOOM CRANES USED TO DELIVER MATERIAL TO A CONSTRUCTION SITE:
It is common for material to be delivered to and unloaded on a construction site using a truck on which is mounted an articulating/knuckle-boom crane. Such equipment is covered by the standard when used in construction work.
When such equipment delivers materials by placing them on the ground without arranging them in a particular sequence for hoisting, the activity is not considered construction work and is not covered under the standard. This exclusion applies regardless of the type of material being delivered.
However, when the delivery equipment is used to transfer the materials onto a structure, the activity is considered construction work. Nevertheless, the activity is excluded from the standard if all of the following conditions are met:
This exception, as noted, is limited to delivery of sheet goods and packaged goods. It does not apply to delivery of prefabricated components or building sections, such as roof trusses and wall panels. It also does not apply to delivery of structural steel members or components of a systems-engineered metal building.
Section 1401 defines numerous terms that are used in the standard. The terms discussed below are of general interest and deserve particular attention. The definitions are in bold, and following each definition is an explanation of its significance
A/D director (Assembly/Disassembly director) means an individual who meets this subpart's requirements for an A/D director, irrespective of the person's formal job title or whether the person is non-management or management personnel.
All assembly and disassembly operations must be carried out under the direction of an A/D director. The A/D director must be both a "competent person" and a "qualified person," or must be a "competent person" assisted by one or more "qualified persons." "Competent person" and "qualified person" are defined below.
Assembly/Disassembly means the assembly and/or disassembly of equipment covered under this standard. With regard to tower cranes, "erecting and climbing" replaces the term "assembly," and "dismantling" replaces the term "disassembly." Regardless of whether the crane is initially erected to its full height or is climbed in stages, the process of increasing the height of the crane is an erection process.
All assembly and disassembly operations must comply with either the procedures specified by the manufacturer or procedures developed by the employer that meet the criteria listed in Section 1406. Under either alternative, procedures must comply with all manufacturer prohibitions.
Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
A competent person must conduct shift and monthly inspections of all equipment. The A/D director must meet the test for a competent person (as well as a qualified person – see below). In addition, duties under the sections of this standard governing Operations, Hoisting Personnel, Multiple Crane/Derrick Lifts, Derricks, and Floating Cranes must be carried out by competent persons. In general, a qualified crane operator who has the authority to take corrective measures will be a competent person under this definition.
Controlling entity means an employer that is a prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager or any other legal entity which has the overall responsibility for the construction of the project – its planning, quality and completion.
The controlling entity is responsible for seeing that the ground conditions are adequate to support the equipment. The controlling entity must also inform the user and the operator of the equipment of the location of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) in the possession of the controlling entity (whether at the site or off-site) or of any other hazards known to the controlling entity. See section 1402(c). The controlling entity must also establish a system to coordinate the operations of two cranes that operate within each other's working radius. See Section 1424(b).
Dedicated spotter (power lines): To be considered a dedicated spotter, the requirements of § 1926.1428 (Signal person qualifications) must be met and his/her sole responsibility is to watch the separation between the power line and the equipment, load line and load (including rigging and lifting accessories), and ensure through communication with the operator that the applicable minimum approach distance is not breached.
The use of a dedicated spotter is one of the safeguards used to prevent a crane, as well as its load and load line, from breaching the applicable minimum distance from a power line, and thereby prevent death by electrocution and electric shock and burn injuries. The minimum distances that must be maintained, and the safeguards that must be used, are addressed in sections 1407 – 1411.
Electrical contact occurs when a person, object, or equipment makes contact or comes in close proximity with an energized conductor or equipment that allows the passage of current.
Equipment (including the load and load line) coming into electrical contact with power lines is the leading cause of crane-related fatalities. Note that the equipment does not need to actually touch the power line to make electrical contact, as electricity can arc from a power line to nearby equipment. It is therefore critical to maintain a safe minimum distance and not merely prevent physical contact.
Fall protection equipment means guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or fall restraint systems.
This standard contains fall protection requirements for cranes. The only provisions of OSHA's general fall protection requirements for construction (found in 29 CFR 1926 subpart M) that apply to cranes are specifically referenced in this standard. The listed types of fall protection equipment are further defined in the standard.
Qualified person means a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.
Numerous duties under the standard must be carried out by a person who meets this definition. These include conducting annual/comprehensive inspections of all equipment as well as inspections of modified equipment. The A/D director (see definition above) must be a qualified person as well as a competent person. A qualified person also is responsible for duties under various provisions of the standard, including those dealing with developing assembly/disassembly procedures, wire rope safety, fall protection, maintenance and repair, hoisting personnel, multiple crane/derrick lifts, equipment modifications, tower cranes, derricks, and floating cranes/derricks.
Rated capacity means the maximum working load permitted by the manufacturer under specified working conditions. Such working conditions typically include a specific combination of factors such as equipment configuration, radii, boom length, and other parameters of use.
Workers have been killed and injured when cranes have collapsed because their rated capacity was exceeded. Compliance with the rated capacity is therefore one of the most critical protective measures required by the standard.
IMPORTANCE OF GROUND CONDITIONS: Adequate ground conditions are essential for safe crane operations because the crane's capacity and stability depend on such conditions being present. If, for example, the ground is muddy or otherwise unstable, a crane could overturn even if operated with the load limits specified by the manufacturer.
BASIC RULE: You must not assemble or use a crane unless ground conditions are firm, drained, and graded to a sufficient extent so that, in conjunction (if necessary) with the use of supporting materials (such as blocking, mats, cribbing, or marsh buggies (in marshes/wetlands)), the equipment manufacturer's specifications for adequate support and degree of level of the equipment are met. The requirement for the ground to be drained does not apply to marshes/wetlands.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONTROLLING ENTITY: A contractor operating a crane on a construction site may not have the ability or authority to provide for adequate ground conditions at the site. The standard therefore places the responsibility for ensuring that the ground conditions are adequate on the "controlling entity" at the site, that is the prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager, or other legal entity with overall responsibility for the project's planning, quality, and completion.
The controlling entity must also inform the user and operator of the equipment of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) in the possession of the controlling entity (whether at the site or off-site) and of any other hazards known to the controlling entity.
If there is no controlling entity for the project, the responsibility for providing adequate ground conditions rests on the employer that has authority at the site to make or arrange for ground preparations.
RESPONSIBILITY OF COMPANY OPERATING CRANE:Although the controlling entity is responsible for providing adequate ground conditions, the company operating the crane will often be better able than the controlling entity to determine whether those conditions are adequate. If you are operating a crane and decide that ground conditions are inadequate, you must discuss the problem with the controlling entity and see that the problem is corrected before beginning or continuing operations.
Accidents during assembly and disassembly of lattice boom and tower cranes are one of the major causes of crane-related fatalities. These sections are designed to prevent such accidents by requiring safe assembly/disassembly procedures for lattice boom and tower cranes. Hydraulic-boom cranes are not generally assembled on-site, but these sections contain some provisions, such as the requirement (section 1404(q)) for proper setting of outriggers and stabilizers, that apply to cranes with hydraulic booms.
REQUIRED PROCEDURES: When assembling or disassembling a crane, you must comply with either:
Regardless of which of these options you choose, you must follow any manufacturer prohibitions that apply to the assembly/disassembly operation.
THE A/D DIRECTOR: All assembly/disassembly operations must be directed by an individual who meets the criteria for both a competent person and a qualified person, or by a competent person who is assisted by one or more qualified persons. The A/D director must understand the applicable assembly/disassembly procedures. The A/D director must take the following precautions to protect against potential hazards associated with the operation, including:
THE CREW: Before the operation begins, the A/D director must ensure that the crew members understand all of the following:
Before a crew member goes to a location that is out of view of the operator and is either in, on, or under the equipment, or near the equipment (or load) where the crew member could be injured by movement of the equipment (or load), the crew member must inform the operator that he/she is going to that location. Whenever the operator knows that a crew member is in such a potentially dangerous position, the operator must not move any part of the equipment (or load) until the operator is informed in accord with a pre-arranged system of communication that the crew member is in a safe position.
THE RIGGER: When rigging is used for assembly/disassembly, the employer must ensure that the rigging work is done by a qualified rigger, i.e., a rigger who meets the definition of a qualified person.
WORKING UNDER THE BOOM, JIB OR OTHER COMPONENTS: When pins (or similar devices) are being removed, employees must not be under the boom, jib, or other components, unless site constraints require one or more employees to be in such a position. In such a case, the A/D director must implement procedures that minimize the risk of unintended dangerous movement and minimize the duration and extent of exposure under the boom.
SYNTHETIC SLINGS: When using synthetic slings during assembly or disassembly, you must follow the synthetic sling manufacturer's instructions, limitations, specifications and recommendations. Synthetic slings must be protected from abrasive, sharp or acute edges, and configurations that could cause a reduction of the sling's rated capacity, such as distortion or localized compression.
OUTRIGGERS AND STABILIZERS. When the load to be handled and the operating radius require the use of outriggers or stabilizers, or at any time when outriggers or stabilizers are used:
DISMANTLING BOOMS AND JIBS: The following precautions must be taken to prevent dangerous movement of boom and jib sections that are being dismantled.
FALL PROTECTION: During assembly/disassembly work, fall protection is generally required when a worker is more than 15 feet above an unprotected side or edge. See section 1423.
DANGER – HIGH VOLTAGE: Electrocutions caused by a crane, load, or load line contacting a power line have caused numerous fatalities. To prevent such accidents in the future, the standard contains detailed, systematic procedures that employers must follow when operating cranes near power lines. These procedures are designed to 1) prevent equipment from making electrical contact with power lines; and 2) protect workers in the event that such contact occurs.
NOTE: Special rules apply to work covered by 29 CFR, Subpart V, Power Transmission and Distribution. This Guide does not cover Subpart V work.
THE FIRST STEP – COULD THE CRANE GET CLOSER THAN 20 FEET TO A POWER LINE? Keeping a safe distance from power lines is the key to preventing power line accidents. Therefore, the first step you must take when planning to operate a crane on a site where a power line is present is to identify the crane's work zone and use that work zone to determine how close it could come to the power line. If you determine that no part of the crane, load, or load line could get closer than 20 feet to a power line, no further precautions are required. If the initial plan for the crane's use changes during the project, you must reevaluate whether the equipment could get closer than 20 feet to the power line. [Note: If the line's voltage is over 350,000 volts, a 50-foot, rather than 20-foot, minimum clearance must be maintained. This Guide assumes that the voltage is less than 350,000 volts and uses the 20-foot clearance distance.]
There are two ways to identify the work zone and use it to determine whether the equipment could get closer than 20 feet to the power line. First, if the equipment (crane, load, load line, or rigging) could not get closer than 20 feet to the line even if the crane is operated at its maximum working radius, the 20-foot requirement is satisfied. Alternatively, you may establish a work zone by establishing boundaries (using flags or a device such as a range limit device or range control warning device) that are more than 20 feet from the power line and prohibiting the operator from operating the equipment past those boundaries.
ALTERNATIVE TO 20-FOOT CLEARANCE (TABLE A): If you know the line's voltage, you may use the minimum clearance distance in Table A in lieu of 20 feet. Table A provides:
|Table A - Minimum Clearance Distances|
|Voltage (nominal, kV, alternating current)||Minimum clearance distance (feet)|
|up to 50||10|
|over 50 to 200||15|
|over 200 to 350||20|
|over 350 to 500||25|
|over 500 to 750||35|
|over 750 to 1,000||45|
|over 1,000||(as established by the utility owner/ operator or registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution)|
|Note: The value that follows "to" is up to and includes that value. For example, over 50 to 200 means up to and including 200kV.|
One way to determine the line's voltage is to ask the line's owner or operator. The utility must respond to such a voltage inquiry within two working days.
If you use Table A to determine the minimum clearance distance, you must determine whether any part of the crane, load, or load line could get closer than the Table A distance to a power line if the equipment is operated up to its maximum working radius in the work zone.
If you determine that part of the crane, load, or load line could come closer to the power line than the required minimum clearance distance (either 20 feet or the Table A clearance), you must either deenergize and ground the line or take specified steps to maintain the required minimum clearance distance. These options will now be discussed.
DEENERGIZE AND GROUND: Deenergizing and visibly grounding the line will protect against electrocution and avoid the need for additional precautions. However, the employer must rely on the power line's owner or operator to take these steps, and utilities are generally unwilling to deenergize their lines because doing so will cut off service to their customers. As a result, this precaution will usually not be available. You must assume that all power lines are energized unless the utility owner/operator confirms that the power line has been and continues to be deenergized and the line is visibly grounded at the worksite.
STEPS YOU MUST TAKE TO MAINTAIN THE REQUIRED MINIMUM CLEARANCE DISTANCE: You must take all of the following steps.
In addition, you must use at least one of the following precautions:
If you use a dedicated spotter, the dedicated spotter must be able to judge the distance between the equipment and the line and inform the operator if the equipment is getting too close to the line. Therefore, the spotter must:
OPERATION BELOW POWER LINES GENERALLY PROHIBITED: No part of the equipment, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) is allowed below a power line unless:
EMPLOYEE TRAINING: If the equipment contacts a power line, death or injury may be avoided if the workers in and on the crane know and understand the steps they can take to protect themselves. In general, the crane operator and any other person on the crane will be safe as long as they remain on the crane. The greatest danger is faced by a person who simultaneously touches both the crane and the ground, but a person who is near, but not touching, the crane can also suffer electric shock. To ensure that employees have the information they need to protect themselves, you must train each operator and crew member assigned to work with the equipment on how to avoid electrocution in the event the equipment contacts a power line. Such training must include:
ASSEMBLING A CRANE NEAR A POWER LINE: The precautions described above for crane operations must also be taken when assembling or disassembling a crane near a power line. Under no circumstances may a crane be assembled or disassembled beneath an energized power line.
PRECAUTIONS FOR MOVING EQUIPMENT: A crane traveling with a load must comply with the minimum clearance distance and associated precautions listed above. If the crane is traveling with no load, the following clearance distances must be maintained.
|Table T – Minimum Clearance Distances While Traveling With No Load|
|Voltage (nominal, kV, alternating current)||While Traveling – Minimum clearance distance (feet)|
|up to 0.75||4|
|over .75 to 50||6|
|over 50 to 345||10|
|over 345 to 750||16|
|over 750 to 1,000||20|
|over 1,000||(as established by the utility owner/operator or registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution)|
In determining whether the equipment will maintain the required clearance distance, you must take into account the effects of speed and terrain on the equipment's movement (including movement of the boom/mast). In addition, if any part of the equipment can get closer than 20 feet to the line, you must use a dedicated spotter to observe the clearance and signal the operator in order to keep the required minimum clearance.
LIMITED EXCEPTION TO
MANDATORY MINIMUM CLEARANCE
In some circumstances, it is impossible to perform a required lift while staying the required minimum distance from a power line. The standard provides a limited exception for such circumstances that allows operations closer than the minimum distance. However, it requires additional precautions due to the extreme danger of operating so close to a power line.
Before using this exception, you must determine that specific work required to complete the project cannot be performed while maintaining the Table A clearance. In making this determination, you must consider whether an alternative method of performing the lift, such as repositioning the crane or the load, will enable you to maintain the required minimum distance. If you have decided that it is absolutely necessary to operate closer than the required minimum distance, you must consult the utility that owns or operates the line to determine whether it is feasible to deenergize and ground or relocate the line. Only if deenergizing/grounding or relocation is not feasible may you operate closer than the Table A distance to an energized line. In such a case, you must take the following precautions to protect workers:
FIRST: DETERMINE AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM CLEARANCE. You must have the power line owner/operator or a registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution determine the minimum clearance distance that must be maintained to prevent electrical contact in light of the on-site conditions. The factors that must be considered in making this determination include, but are not limited to: conditions affecting atmospheric conductivity; time necessary to bring the equipment, load line, and load (including rigging and lifting accessories) to a complete stop; wind conditions; degree of sway in the power line; lighting conditions; and other conditions affecting the ability to prevent electrical contact.
SECOND: HOLD A PLANNING MEETING. You must hold a planning meeting with the utility owner/operator (or registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution) to determine the procedures that will be followed to prevent electrical contact and electrocution.
THIRD: USE PROTECTIVE PROCEDURES. The procedures required by the standard and any additional procedures developed at the planning meeting must be followed. The following procedures are required by the standard and must be followed without exception:
FOURTH: APPOINT A PROJECT DIRECTOR. You, along with the utility owner/operator (or registered professional engineer) and all other employers involved in the work, must identify one person who will direct the implementation of the procedures. That person must have the authority to stop work at any time to ensure safety.
FIFTH: RECONSIDER YOUR PLAN IF A PROBLEM ARISES. The danger of operating a crane close to a power line cannot be overemphasized. Procedures that may appear adequate at the beginning of a job may not be adequate in practice. For example, if electricity arcs from the line to the equipment, whatever precautions are being taken are not sufficient. Therefore, if there is any indication that the procedures being followed are inadequate to protect workers, you must safely stop operations and either develop new, more protective procedures or have the utility owner/operator deenergize and visibly ground or relocate the power line before resuming work.
To ensure that equipment is in a safe condition, the standard requires a variety of inspections. The following inspections are required of all equipment:
In addition, the following special inspections are required in particular circumstances:
As described below, certain inspections must be conducted by a competent person and others by a qualified person. See Section 1401 (Definitions) for an explanation of these terms.
SHIFT INSPECTIONS: A competent person must visually inspect the equipment each shift the equipment is used. Taking apart equipment components and booming down is not required as part of this inspection unless the results of the visual inspection or trial operation indicate that further investigation necessitating taking apart equipment components or booming down is needed. At a minimum the inspection must include all of the following:
If the inspection shows that a safety device (see section 1415 for a list of required safety devices) is not working properly, the equipment must not be used. If it shows that an operational aid (see section 1416 for a list of required operational aids) is not working properly, the equipment may be used for a limited period of time (7 or 30 calendar days depending on the type of operational aid) as long as specified temporary alternative precautions are taken. For the other items covered by the inspection, if the inspector finds any deficiency in an item, he/she must determine if the deficiency is serious enough to be a safety hazard. If so, the equipment must not be used until the deficiency is corrected. Shift inspections need not be documented.
MONTHLY INSPECTIONS: The monthly inspection is the same as a shift inspection for most equipment. For tower cranes, the following additional items must be included (section 1435(f)(4)):
Documentation of monthly inspection: The following information must be documented and maintained for a minimum of three months by the employer that conducts the inspection:
ANNUAL/COMPREHENSIVE INSPECTIONS: The annual inspection must be conducted by a qualified person and is far more thorough than a shift or monthly inspection. In addition to those items that must be checked during a shift inspection, the annual inspection must include:
If necessary, disassembly is required to complete the annual inspection. Also, the inspection must include functional testing to determine that the equipment as configured in the inspection is functioning properly.
Corrective action: If the qualified person who conducts the inspection identifies any deficiency in any of the items inspected and determines that the deficiency constitutes a safety hazard, the equipment must be taken out of service until the deficiency is corrected. (See the discussion above under shift inspections for the corrective action required if an operational aid is not working properly). If the qualified person determines that, though not presently a safety hazard, the deficiency needs to be monitored, the employer must ensure that the deficiency is checked in the monthly inspections.
Documentation of annual/comprehensive inspection. The following information must be documented, maintained, and retained for a minimum of 12 months, by the employer that conducts the inspection:
POST-ASSEMBLY INSPECTIONS: Before the equipment can be used, it must be inspected by a qualified person to ensure that it is configured in accord with manufacturer equipment criteria. This qualified person may be the A/D director. Where manufacturer equipment criteria are unavailable, a qualified person must:
PRE- AND POST-ERECTION INSPECTION OF TOWER CRANES (section 1435(f)): Tower crane components must be inspected by a qualified person before being erected for damage or excessive wear. The qualified person must pay particular attention to components that will be difficult to inspect thoroughly during shift inspections.
If the qualified person determines that a component is damaged or worn to the extent that it would create a safety hazard if used on the crane, that component must not be erected on the crane unless it is repaired and, upon reinspection by the qualified person, found to no longer create a safety hazard. If the qualified person determines that, though not presently a safety hazard, the component needs to be monitored, the employer must ensure that the component is checked in the monthly inspections. Any such determination must be documented, and the documentation must be available to any individual who conducts a monthly inspection.
In addition to the other requirements listed above for post-assembly inspections, the following requirements must be met:
SEVERE SERVICE INSPECTIONS: Where the severity of use/conditions is such that there is a reasonable probability of damage or excessive wear (such as loading that may have exceeded rated capacity, shock loading that may have exceeded rated capacity, or prolonged exposure to a corrosive atmosphere), the employer must stop using the equipment and a qualified person must:
INSPECTION OF EQUIPMENT NOT IN REGULAR USE: Equipment that has been idle for 3 months or more must be inspected by a qualified person in accord with the requirements for monthly inspections before being used.
INSPECTION OF MODIFIED EQUIPMENT: Equipment that has had modifications or additions which affect the safe operation of the equipment (such as modifications or additions involving a safety device or operational aid, critical part of a control system, power plant, braking system, load-sustaining structural components, load hook, or in-use operating mechanism) or capacity must be inspected by a qualified person after such modifications/additions have been completed, prior to initial use. Note that, under section 1434, any such modification/addition must be approved by either the manufacturer or a registered professional engineer. The inspection must assure that the modifications or additions have been made in accord with that approval and must include functional testing of the equipment.
INSPECTION OF REPAIRED/ADJUSTED EQUIPMENT: Equipment that has had a repair or adjustment that relates to safe operation (such as a repair or adjustment to a safety device or operator aid, or to a critical part of a control system, power plant, braking system, load-sustaining structural components, load hook, or in-use operating mechanism) must be inspected by a qualified person after such a repair or adjustment has been completed, prior to initial use. The qualified person must determine if the repair/adjustment meets manufacturer equipment criteria (where applicable and available). Where manufacturer equipment criteria are unavailable or inapplicable, the qualified person must determine if a registered professional engineer (RPE) is needed to develop criteria for the repair/adjustment. If an RPE is not needed, the employer must ensure that the criteria are developed by the qualified person. If an RPE is needed, the employer must ensure that the criteria are developed by the RPE. The inspection must determine if the repair/adjustment meets the criteria developed by the RPE or qualified person and must include functional testing.
Wire rope must be inspected as part of the shift, monthly, and annual inspections required by section 1412. The shift and monthly inspections must evaluate all rope that is visible during the shift in which the inspection is conducted. The annual inspection must include the entire length of the rope.
The shift and monthly inspections must pay particular attention to the following:
In addition to these items, the annual inspection must include:
You must take certain action if an inspection reveals a defect in the rope. Some defects require either that the rope be removed from service or the damaged section be severed. For others, the inspector must evaluate whether the defect constitutes a safety hazard, with the corrective action depending on the outcome of the evaluation. Note that, if a wire rope must be repaired or replaced, either the equipment (as a whole) or the hoist with that wire rope must be tagged-out during the repair/replacement process.
SEVERING WIRE ROPE: Where severing the rope is permitted, the section that is damaged must be discarded. Two undamaged sections may not be spliced to make a longer rope. If the undamaged part that remains is too short for the drum to have two full wraps of rope when the load and/or boom is in its lowest position, the rope cannot be used and must be replaced.
ELECTRICAL CONTACT WITH POWER LINE: Wire rope that has made electrical contact with a power line (either by the rope, the equipment, or the load contacting the line) must be immediately removed from service even if no damage is visible. The rope may have suffered internal damage that cannot be repaired.
DEFECTS THAT REQUIRE REMOVAL FROM SERVICE OR SEVERING: The following defects require that the rope either be removed from service or the defective part severed.
Exception: If the wire rope manufacturer has approved different criteria for visible broken wires or diameter reduction, you may follow those criteria instead of those above.
DEFECTS THAT REQUIRE EVALUATION: The following defects must be evaluated by the inspector to determine whether they constitute a safety hazard:
If these defects are found to be hazardous: The rope must be removed from service or the defective part severed.
If they are not found to be an immediate hazard: You may continue to use the rope. However, if such a defect is identified during an annual inspection, you must check it during each monthly inspection. Note that this may require a more complete monthly inspection than would otherwise be required because the annual inspection must cover the entire rope and may reveal a defect in a part of the rope that would not normally be visible during a shift or monthly inspection.
This section requires that wire rope be used in accord with the recommendations of the wire rope manufacturer, the equipment manufacturer, or a qualified person. It establishes a classification system for rotation resistant rope and specifies design factors for the different classes of such rope.
ROPE CLASSIFICATION:Wire rope is classified as either "standard rope" or "rotation resistant rope." Rotation resistant rope, in turn, can be constructed in various ways, and the standard lists three different "Types" that vary in their construction.
For all three types, rotation resistant rope's internal design resists twisting better than standard rope. Rotation resistant rope therefore enables better control of the load because it tends to keep the load from rotating while it is being hoisted or suspended. However, the design of rotation resistant rope makes it more susceptible to internal damage than standard rope and such internal damage can be hard to detect. Because of the chance of hidden damage, this section restricts the use of rotation resistant rope for boom hoist reeving and duty cycle/repetitive lifts.
Boom hoist reeving:Rotation resistant rope may only be used for boom hoist reeving when load hoists are used as boom hoists for attachments such as luffing attachments or boom and mast attachment systems. When you use rotation resistant rope for such a purpose, you must comply with six conditions specified in section 1414(e)(4)(ii).
Duty cycle/repetitive lifts: You must meet certain criteria when using rotation resistant rope for duty cycle and repetitive lifts. These are defined as follows:
Duty Cycle: A type of crane service in which bulk material is transferred from one point to another by rapidly lifting, swinging, booming, and placing the material. Typical types of duty cycle service are dragline, clamshell, grapple, and magnet. This type of service is differentiated from standard crane "lift service" in that cycle times are very short and continuous, often less than 1 minute per load, and loads are lifted and placed in general areas rather than precise positions to permit such rapid cycles.
Repetitive lifts: A continuous operation with loads that may vary in size and weight.
The requirements for using rotation resistant rope for duty cycle and repetitive lifts vary with the type of rotation resistant rope being used and the operating design factor of the rope. If you are using rotation resistant rope for one of these purposes, check the standard for the criteria that apply to the type of rope you are using.
Section 1414 also contains the following requirements:
These sections require that cranes/derricks be equipped with certain types of safety equipment. Some types are called safety devices, while others are called operational aids. Safety devices must be in proper working order for the equipment to be permitted to operate. If an operational aid is not working properly, the equipment may still be operated for a limited time as long as certain alternative precautions are taken.
Note that section 1412 requires that safety devices and operational aids must be checked for proper operation during all shift inspections.
Safety devices and operational aids must not be used as a substitute for the exercise of professional judgment by the operator.
SAFETY DEVICES: The following safety devices are required on all equipment unless otherwise specified:
OPERATIONAL AIDS: These are divided into two categories that differ in the amount of time the equipment may operate before they are repaired. While an operational aid is not working properly, the temporary alternative measures specified in the standard must be taken. Category I aids must be repaired within 7 calendar days after a deficiency occurs, while equipment may operate for 30 calendar days before a Category II aid is repaired. In both cases, additional time is permitted if a necessary part is ordered in a timely manner but is not received within the 7- or 30-day period.
Certain operational aids are only required on equipment manufactured after a specified date. In some cases, these are past dates that reflect when these devices began to be installed on equipment. In other cases, they are future dates that are intended to give manufacturers time to install the devices on new equipment.
CATEGORY I OPERATIONAL AIDS:
Note: Two-block protection is not required for lattice boom equipment used for dragline, clamshell (grapple), magnet, drop ball, container handling, concrete bucket, marine operations that do not involve hoisting personnel, and pile driving work.
CATEGORY II OPERATIONAL AIDS:
NOTE: Articulating cranes need not be equipped with boom angle or radius indicators, jib angle indicators, or boom length indicators.
This section contains a number of requirements that are designed to prevent dangerous conditions during crane operations.
COMPLIANCE WITH RATED CAPACITY: One of the most serious hazards that cranes present is collapse of the equipment caused by exceeding the crane's rated capacity. The term "rated capacity" is defined in section 1401, and that definition reads:
Rated capacity means the maximum working load permitted by the manufacturer under specified working conditions. Such working conditions typically include a specific combination of factors such as equipment configuration, radii, boom length, and other parameters of use.
The combination of factors that enter into rated capacity is set forth in a load chart that must be on the equipment. In general, the load chart states the weight of the load that the crane can lift at different boom radii. The longer the radius at which the lift occurs, the smaller amount of weight the crane can lift.
You must not operate a crane in excess of its rated capacity. Some crane users believe they can safely exceed the rated capacity because the manufacturer includes a safety factor in the load chart. However, any safety factor included by the manufacturer is not intended to be treated as excess capacity. It is included because a variety of variable worksite conditions, such as swinging of the load caused by wind or other factors, can reduce the capacity of the crane from that which exists under ideal conditions.
To comply with the rated capacity, the weight of the load must be known. Before beginning a lift, you must determine the load weight by a reliable means.
OTHER MANUFACTURER PROCEDURES: In addition to complying with the rated capacity, you must comply with all other manufacturer procedures applicable to the operation of the equipment. If the manufacturer's procedures are unavailable, you must comply with procedures that you develop. Procedures for the operational controls must be developed by a qualified person. Procedures related to the capacity of the equipment must be developed and signed by a registered professional engineer familiar with the equipment.
All procedures applicable to the operation of the equipment, including rated capacities (load charts), recommended operating speeds, special hazard warnings, instructions, and operator's manual, must be readily available in the cab at all times for use by the operator.
OPERATOR ATTENTION: The operator must not engage in any practice or activity that diverts his/her attention while actually engaged in operating the equipment, such as the use of a cell phone (except when used for signal communications).
OPERATOR USUALLY MUST REMAIN AT CONTROLS WHILE THE LOAD IS SUSPENDED: An exception is provided for working gear (such as slings, spreader bars, ladders, and welding machines) when the weight of the working gear is negligible compared to the capacity of the equipment and the working gear is not over an entrance or exit. Another exception applies when the load is to be held suspended for a period of time exceeding that of normal lifting operations. See section 1417(e) for the conditions that must be met for this exception to apply.
TAGGING OUT OF SERVICE EQUIPMENT AND FUNCTIONS. When the equipment is out of service, a tag must be placed in the cab stating that the equipment is out of service and is not to be used. Where a function is out of service, a tag must be placed in a conspicuous position stating that the function is out of service and is not to be used. The equipment or function may not be used until the tag is removed by an authorized person.
PRECAUTIONS DURING STARTUP: Before starting the engine, the operator must verify that all controls are in the proper starting position and that all personnel are in the clear.
BAD WEATHER PRECAUTIONS: When a local storm warning has been issued, the competent person must determine whether it is necessary to implement manufacturer recommendations for securing the equipment. The competent person must adjust the equipment and/or operations to address the effect of wind, ice, and snow on equipment stability and rated capacity.
SIDELOADING PROHIBITED: The equipment must not be used to drag or pull loads sideways.
BRAKE TEST: The operator must test the brakes each time a load that is 90% or more of the maximum line pull is handled by lifting the load a few inches and applying the brakes. In duty cycle and repetitive lifts where each lift is 90% or more of the maximum line pull, this requirement applies to the first lift but not to successive lifts.
PROTECTION AGAINST ROPE DETACHMENT: To prevent rope from becoming detached from a drum, neither the load nor the boom must be lowered below the point where less than two full wraps of rope remain on their respective drums.
TRAVELING WITH A LOAD: Traveling with a load is prohibited if the practice is prohibited by the manufacturer. Where it is not prohibited, you must take precautions to prevent hazardous movement of the load and avoid excessive movement of the load that could overload the crane.
This section provides that, whenever there is a concern about safety, the operator must have the authority to stop and refuse to handle loads until a qualified person has determined that safety has been assured.
A crane operator often needs a second set of eyes, in the form of a signal person, to be able to operate safely. These sections state when a signal person must be provided and the types of signals that are allowed. The qualifications the signal person must possess are specified in section 1428 (Signal person qualifications).
WHEN A SIGNAL PERSON IS NEEDED: In each of the following situations, a signal person must be provided:
During operations requiring signals, the ability to transmit signals between the operator and signal person must be maintained. If that ability is interrupted at any time, the operator must safely stop operations until signal transmission is reestablished and a proper signal is given and understood.
Only one person may give signals to a crane/derrick at a time, except that any person may give an emergency stop signal.
TYPES OF SIGNALS: Hand, voice, audible, or new signals are allowed. The type of signals used and means of transmitting the signals to the operator (such as direct line of sight, video, radio, etc.), must be appropriate for the site conditions. All directions given to the operator by the signal person must be given from the operator's perspective.
HAND SIGNALS: When using hand signals, the Standard Method must be used. Exception: Where an operation or use of an attachment is not covered in the Standard Method or the use of the Standard Method is otherwise infeasible, non-standard hand signals may be used. When using non-standard hand signals, the signal person, operator, and lift director (where there is one) must contact each other prior to the operation and agree on the non-standard hand signals that will be used. Hand signal charts must be either posted on the equipment or conspicuously posted in the vicinity of the hoisting operation.
VOICE SIGNALS: These are signals given by oral communication, with or without amplification or electronic transmission. If this type of signal is used, the operator, signal person, and lift director (if there is one) must, before beginning operations, contact each other and agree on the voice signals that will be used. In most cases where voice signals are given, some type of electronic transmission and reception will be used. When this is the case:
AUDIBLE SIGNALS: These are signals made by a distinct sound or series of sounds, such as sounds made by a bell, horn, or whistle. As with other types of signals, the signal person and operator must clearly understand the meaning of the signals being used.
NEW SIGNALS: The standard allows room for development of new signal technology by permitting signals other than hand, voice, or audible signals to be used where the employer demonstrates that:
Falls from dangerous heights can occur when employees work on boom sections during assembly/disassembly, when employees are gaining access to and from their work stations, or at other times when employees are working at elevations, as on tower crane walkways. The provisions of this section are designed to protect employees who work on elevated parts of equipment from falling.
OSHA's general fall protection standard for construction work, 29 CFR 1926 subpart M, only applies to work on cranes when this section explicitly refers to a provision in that subpart.
BOOM WALKWAYS: When lattice boom cranes are assembled and disassembled, it is sometimes necessary for employees to walk and work on the boom sections to install and remove pins or for other purposes. To provide them with a safer surface on which to walk and work, certain booms manufactured after November 8, 2011 must have built-in walkways. The booms that must be equipped with walkways are those more than six feet from cord centerline to cord centerline. The walkways must be at least 12 inches wide and need not be protected by guardrails, railings, or other permanent fall protection attachments.
STEPS, HANDHOLDS, LADDERS, GRABRAILS, GUARDRAILS AND RAILINGS: If the equipment was originally equipped with these devices, you must maintain them in good condition. However, the standard does not require existing equipment to be retrofitted with these devices.
Equipment manufactured after November 8, 2011 must be equipped to provide safe access and egress between the ground and the operator work station(s), including the forward and rear positions, by the provision of these types of devices. Walking/stepping surfaces, except for crawler treads, must have slip-resistant features/properties (such as diamond plate metal, strategically placed grip tape, expanded metal, or slip-resistant paint).
FALL PROTECTION DURING NON-ASSEMBLY/DISASSEMBLY WORK: As the employer, you must provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 6 feet above a lower level as follows:
FALL PROTECTION DURING ASSEMBLY/DISASSEMBLY WORK: You must provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level, except when the employee is at or near draw-works when the equipment is running, in the cab, or on the deck.
ANCHORAGE: Fall protection must be anchored to an apparently substantial part of the equipment that would meet the criteria in 29 CFR 1926 subpart M. A personal fall arrest system may be anchored to the crane/derrick's hook (or other part of the load line) where all of the following requirements are met:
This section is designed to protect employees who work near a crane from being struck or crushed by the crane's rotating superstructure. To prevent employees from entering an area where they could be struck/crushed, you must:
Before an employee goes to a location in the hazard area that is out of view of the operator, the employee (or someone instructed by the employee) must ensure that the operator is informed that he/she is going to that location. Where the operator knows that an employee went to such a location, the operator must not rotate the superstructure until the operator is informed in accord with a pre-arranged system of communication that the employee is in a safe position.
This section seeks to protect employees against being struck by a moving or falling load.
SAFE HOISTING ROUTES: Where available, hoisting routes that minimize the exposure of employees to hoisted loads must be used, to the extent consistent with public safety.
STATIONARY SUSPENDED LOADS: While the operator is not moving a suspended load, no employee may be within the fall zone, except for employees:
HOOKING, UNHOOKING, OR GUIDING THE LOAD: When employees in the fall zone are engaged in hooking, unhooking, or guiding the load, or are connecting a load to a component or structure, all of the following criteria must be met:
RECEIVING A LOAD: Only employees needed to receive a load are permitted to be within the fall zone when a load is being landed.
TILT-UP OR TILT-DOWN OPERATION: During a tilt-up or tilt-down operation:
FREE FALL GENERALLY PROHIBITED: Some older cranes are designed with a "live boom," where the rate of lowering the boom can only be controlled by a brake. Failure of the brake can lead to free fall of the boom and a risk of death or serious injury to workers near the crane. This standard prohibits the use of equipment with a live boom unless:
FREE FALL SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED: Even in the two situations where the equipment may have a live boom, the equipment may not be used in the following circumstances:
BACKUP PROTECTION: In the situations listed above where the use of equipment with a live boom is prohibited, the boom hoist must have a secondary mechanism or device designed to prevent the boom from falling in the event the primary system used to hold or regulate the boom hoist fails, as follows:
PREVENTING UNCONTROLLED RETRACTION: Hydraulic telescoping booms must have an integrally mounted holding device to prevent the boom from retracting in the event of hydraulic failure.
LOAD LINE FREE FALL PROHIBITED. In each of the following circumstances, controlled load lowering is required and free fall of the load line hoist is prohibited:
IMPORTANT: On September 26, 2014, OSHA published a final rule that extends the deadline for crane operator certification in the cranes standard at 29 CFR 1926.1427 for 3 years, to November 10, 2017 (published in the Federal Register). The proposed changes also extend the employer's duty to ensure that operators are competent to operate the crane safely for the same three year period. During this extension, OSHA will consider addressing operator qualification through additional rulemaking. OSHA will provide updated information about the crane operator certification and qualification requirements as it becomes available on OSHA's Cranes & Derricks in Construction page.
QUESTION 1: What must employers do before the operator certification requirements go into effect to ensure the competency of their operators?
ANSWER 1: Employers must ensure that equipment operators are competent through training and experience to operate the equipment safely (see 29 CFR 1926.1427(k)(2)). If an employee assigned to operate a crane does not have the required knowledge or ability to operate the equipment safely, the employer must train that employee before allowing him or her to operate the equipment and must evaluate the operator to confirm that he/she understands the information provided in the training (see 29 CFR 1926.1427(f) training requirements).
QUESTION 2: Does OSHA require operators to be certified under existing state, county, or city licensing programs?
ANSWER 2: The answer depends on whether the licensing criteria meets the minimum requirements ("federal floor") in 29 CFR 1926.1427(e)(2) and (j). If a state or local jurisdiction has a licensing program that meets the federal floor, OSHA requires the employer to ensure that all operators operating within that jurisdiction are licensed by that state or local jurisdiction, unless they are qualified by the U.S. Military (see §1926.1427(a)(1)). This requirement went into effect in November 2010. Note, however, that the crane standard’s operator certification requirements do not supersede state or local licensing laws. If the licensing program does not meet the federal floor, OSHA does not require operators to be licensed in accordance with that program, although the operator may still be subject to action by the state or local authority for failure to comply with its requirements.
QUESTION 3: Who will determine if a state or local operator certification process meets the "Federal floor" requirements in new 29 CFR 1926.1427?
ANSWER 3: Initially, states or local governments are responsible for determining if a state or local operator certification program meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.1427(e)(2)(i-ii) (see §1926.1427(e)(2)(iii)). OSHA does not require compliance with a state or local licensing requirement unless the state or local authority that oversees the licensing department/office assesses that program and determines that it meets the minimum requirements in §1926.1427(e)(2)(i) and (ii), including satisfying the substantive testing criteria of §1926.1427(j) through written and practical tests and providing testing procedures for re-licensing. OSHA does not intend to require compliance with a state or local licensing requirement absent a public statement by the authority with oversight responsibility for the licensing office that the licensing program meets OSHA's minimum requirements and the reason for that determination. However, OSHA has the final authority in determining that the program meets minimum OSHA requirements.
QUESTION 4: Is the option for qualification by the U.S. Military available to employees of private contractors working under contract to the Department of Defense?
ANSWER 4: No. This option is only available to civilian and uniformed employees of the Department of Defense. When the operator certification requirements are in effect, private contractors must use one of the other options for operator certification/qualification available under 29 CFR 1926.1427.
Each signal person must meet the following qualification requirements:
The employer of the signal person must ensure that the signal person meets these Qualification Requirements through one of the following qualification options:
Option (1) – Third party qualified evaluator. The signal person has documentation from a third party qualified evaluator (see section 1401 for definition of "Qualified Evaluator (third party)") showing that the signal person meets the qualification requirements.
Option (2) – Employer's qualified evaluator. The employer's qualified evaluator (see section 1401 for definition of "Qualified Evaluator (not a third party)") and determines that the individual meets the qualification requirements.
The employer must make the documentation for whichever option is used available at the site while the signal person is employed by the employer. Such documentation is considered "available" when it is physically present on the site or retrievable via an on-site computer. The documentation must specify each type of signaling (e.g., hand signals, radio signals, etc.) for which the signal person meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section.
If subsequent actions by the signal person indicate that the individual does not meet the qualification requirements, the employer must not allow the individual to continue working as a signal person until retraining is provided and a reassessment is made under one of the two options that confirms that the individual meets the qualification requirements.
Improper crane maintenance and repair can lead to dangerous equipment failure. To ensure that maintenance and repair employees are qualified to perform their assigned tasks, this section requires maintenance and repair personnel to meet the definition of a qualified person with respect to the equipment and maintenance/repair tasks they perform. The definition of "qualified person" is found in section 1401.
Some maintenance and repair tasks may require the maintenance and repair personnel to operate the equipment to diagnose a problem or check its operation. Such personnel need not be qualified or certified under section 1427 to operate the equipment as long as the following requirements are met:
Other sections of this standard require training in specific topics. This section lists the training requirements found in other sections and includes additional training requirements not found elsewhere.
TRAINING REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED ELSEWHERE:
ADDITIONAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS:
TRAINING ADMINISTRATION: You have the following responsibilities with respect to each employee who must be trained under this standard:
HOISTING PERSONNEL IS GENERALLY PROHIBITED: Cranes and derricks may not be used to hoist employees except where the employer demonstrates that the erection, use, and dismantling of conventional means of reaching the work area, such as a personnel hoist, ladder, stairway, aerial lift, elevating work platform, or scaffold, would be more hazardous, or is not possible because of the project's structural design or worksite conditions.
This section contains stringent criteria to assure the safety of personnel who must be hoisted by a crane or derrick. These criteria are fundamentally the same as those in the prior standard.
USE OF PERSONNEL PLATFORM: A personnel platform must be used when hoisting employees except when hoisting them:
Where these exceptions apply, the employee may be hoisted in either a personnel platform or a boatswain's chair. See the standard for rules applicable to these special types of lifts.
PERSONNEL PLATFORM CRITERIA: The personnel platform must conform to the following:
HOISTING EQUIPMENT: The hoisting equipment must meet the following criteria when hoisting personnel:
TRIAL LIFT AND INSPECTION: A trial lift with the unoccupied personnel platform loaded at least to the anticipated liftweight must be made from ground level, or any other location where employees will enter the platform, to each location at which the platform is to be hoisted and positioned. Where there is more than one location to be reached from a single set-up position, either individual trial lifts for each location, or a single trial lift, in which the platform is moved sequentially to each location, must be performed; the method selected must be the same as the method that will be used to hoist the personnel.
Immediately after the trial lift, a competent person must visually inspect the equipment, base support or ground, and personnel platform, to determine whether the trial lift has exposed any defect or problem or produced any adverse effect. Any condition found during the trial lift and subsequent inspection that fails to meet a requirement of this standard or otherwise creates a safety hazard must be corrected before hoisting personnel.
PROOF TESTING: Prior to hoisting employees on the personnel platform, and after any repair or modification, the platform and rigging must be proof tested to 125 percent of the platform's rated capacity. The proof test may be done concurrently with the trial lift. Personnel hoisting must not be conducted until a competent person determines that the platform and rigging have successfully passed the proof test.
WORK PRACTICES: The following practices must be used:
PRE-LIFT MEETING: A pre-lift meeting must be held before the trial lift to review the applicable requirements of this section and the procedures that will be followed. The meeting must be attended by the equipment operator, signal person (if used for the lift), employees to be hoisted, and the person responsible for the task to be performed.
HOISTING PERSONNEL NEAR POWER LINES: Hoisting personnel within 20 feet of a power line that is up to 350 kV, and hoisting personnel within 50 feet of a power line that is over 350 kV, is prohibited (except for power transmission and distribution work).
Lifts in which more than one crane or derrick is used require careful planning and precise coordination. It is particularly important to determine how the weight of the load will be distributed among the multiple pieces of equipment during all phases of the operation to ensure that all are operated within their rated capacities. Accordingly, when more than one crane/derrick is used to support the load, a plan must be developed and implemented. The plan must be developed by a qualified person and be designed to ensure that all requirements of this standard are met. Where the qualified person determines that engineering expertise is needed for the planning, the employer must ensure that it is provided.
The multiple-crane/derrick lift must be directed by a lift director who meets the criteria for both a competent person and a qualified person, or by a competent person who is assisted by one or more qualified persons. The lift director must review the plan in a meeting with all workers who will be involved with the operation.
For equipment to be used safely, it must be built with appropriate safety features and maintained in a safe condition. Although manufacturers are not directly subject to this standard, crane users rely on manufacturers to see that the equipment is built and tested so that it is safe when it leaves the manufacturer. Therefore, with the exceptions discussed below, the crane user's obligations under this section are met where the employer can refer to documentation from the manufacturer showing that the equipment has been designed, constructed and tested in accord with this section and the equipment has not changed since it was manufactured (except in accord with Section 1434 – Equipment Modifications).
You cannot rely on manufacturer documentation to comply with the following requirements:
RATED CAPACITY AND RELATED INFORMATION: The following information must be available in the cab:
This section applies to modifications that affect the capacity or safe operation of the equipment. Its provisions safeguard against unsafe equipment modifications and provide that the modifications are reflected in the equipment's instructions and specifications so that the modified equipment can be used safely.
MANUFACTURER REVIEW AND APPROVAL: The equipment's manufacturer is uniquely qualified to evaluate any proposed modifications to the equipment. If the manufacturer is available and is willing to evaluate the proposed modifications, any modifications or additions that affect the capacity or safe operation of the equipment are only permitted where:
MANUFACTURER REVIEW UNAVAILABLE: In the event the manufacturer is unavailable, is unwilling to review the proposed modification/addition or to reject it in writing, fails to initiate the review or acknowledge the request within 30 days, or fails to complete the review within 120 days, the modification/addition may be made if a registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to the equipment involved:
Under this option as well as that involving manufacturer approval, the original safety factor of the equipment may not be reduced.
Tower cranes present unique issues that are addressed in this section. In general, all provisions of the standard apply to tower cranes unless this section specifies different or additional requirements.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ERECTING, CLIMBING, AND DISMANTLING: To reflect industry terminology, "erecting, climbing, and dismantling" are used instead of "assembly/disassembly" when referring to tower cranes. The following requirements apply in addition to those specified in sections 1403-1406:
PARTICULAR CAUTION REQUIRED WHEN USING SYNTHETIC SLINGS: This requirement appears in section 1404(r) but bears repeating here: when using synthetic slings during erecting, climbing, and dismantling, you must follow the synthetic sling manufacturer's instructions, limitations, specifications and recommendations. Synthetic slings must be protected from abrasive, sharp or acute edges, and configurations that could cause a reduction of the sling's rated capacity, such as distortion or localized compression.
SAFETY DEVICES: Different safety devices than those specified in section 1415 are required on tower cranes. Those required on tower cranes are:
Proper operation of these safety devices is required before operations can begin.
OPERATIONAL AIDS: Different operational aids than those specified in section 1416 are required for tower cranes. Those required on tower cranes are:
As with operational aids on other equipment, tower cranes may be operated for limited amounts of time with malfunctioning aids as long as the temporary alternative measures specified in the standard are taken.
INSPECTIONS: Additional inspection requirements for tower cranes are discussed under section 1412 (Inspections).
OPERATOR QUALIFICATIONS: Derrick operators need not meet the operator qualification/certification requirement of section 1427. However, you must train each derrick operator on how to operate the equipment safely.
LOAD CHARTS: For permanently installed derricks with fixed lengths of boom, guy, and mast, a load chart must be posted where it is visible to personnel responsible for the operation of the equipment. For derricks that are not permanently installed, the load chart must be readily available at the job site to personnel responsible for operating the equipment. Load charts must contain at least the following information:
CONSTRUCTION: Derricks must be constructed to meet all stresses imposed on members and components when installed and operated in accord with the manufacturer's/ builder's procedures and within its rated capacity. Load anchoring data developed by the manufacturer or a qualified person must be used.
Specific additional construction requirements are specified for:
SWINGERS AND HOISTS: The boom, swinger mechanisms, and hoists must be suitable for the derrick work intended and must be anchored to prevent displacement from the imposed loads.
Hoists must meet the following requirements:
OPERATIONAL AIDS: The operational aids requirements listed in section 1416 apply to derricks except 1) a boom hoist limiting device (required by section 1416 for other equipment) is not required for derricks, and 2) alternative requirements to those in section 1416 are specified for the following two operational aids:
Boom angle or radius indicator: Such a device is not required, but if the derrick is not equipped with a functioning one, the employer must ensure that either:
Load weight/capacity device. Derricks manufactured after November 8, 2011 with a maximum rated capacity over 6,000 pounds must have at least one of the following: load weighing device, load moment indicator, rated capacity indicator, or rated capacity limiter.
POST-ASSEMBLY APPROVAL AND TESTING: The following requirements apply to new or reinstalled derricks:
LOAD TESTING REPAIRED OR MODIFIED DERRICKS: Derricks that have had repairs, modifications, or additions affecting the derrick's capacity or safe operation must be evaluated by a qualified person to determine if a load test is necessary. If it is, load testing must be conducted and documented.
POWER FAILURE PROCEDURES: If power fails during operations, the derrick operator must safely stop operations. This must include setting all brakes or locking devices and moving all clutch and other power controls to the off position.
JUMPING: The process of jumping a derrick must be supervised by the Assembly/Disassembly (A/D) director.
This section contains requirements for floating cranes and derricks that supplement the other requirements of the standard. Because this equipment is highly specialized and is not used by most construction employers, this Guide will only address a few of the areas where additional or different requirements are specified for this type of equipment.
INSPECTIONS: Additional items must be inspected during the shift, monthly, and annual inspections. In addition, every four years, a marine engineer, marine architect, licensed surveyor, or other qualified person who has expertise with respect to vessels/flotation devices must survey the internal portion of the barge, pontoons, vessel, or other means of flotation.
SAFETY DEVICES: The following additional safety devices are required: barge, pontoon, vessel, or other means of flotation list and trim device; positive equipment house lock; wind speed and direction indicator (if a competent person determines that wind is a factor that needs to be considered).
WORKING WITH A DIVER: When a crane/derrick is used to lift a diver or divers into and out of the water, it must not be used for any other purpose until all the divers are back on board.
LAND CRANES/DERRICKS ON FLOTATION DEVICES: The rated capacity must be reduced to take into account the additional sources of instability (list, trim, wave action, and wind) resulting from operating on water. Alternative means of physical attachment and an exception to the requirement for physical attachment are specified.
EQUIPMENT DESIGNED FOR USE ON FLOTATION DEVICES: Requirements for maximum list, trim, and wind speed are specified. Additional rules to ensure the structural integrity and stability of the equipment apply to employer-made (as opposed to manufacturer-made) equipment.
Most overhead and gantry cranes are used in general industry rather than construction work. In some cases, overhead and gantry cranes that are usually used in general industry may engage in construction work when they are used to renovate the facility in which they are installed. To prevent the same crane from being subject to general industry and construction standards at different times, this section provides that OSHA's General Industry standard (29 CFR 1910.179) applies to an overhead or gantry crane that is permanently installed in a facility.
For overhead and gantry cranes that are not permanently installed in a facility, this section lists the provisions of this standard that apply. These are:
In addition, certain provisions of 29 CFR 1910.179 and certain provisions of ASME B30.2-2005 (Overhead and Gantry Cranes) apply to overhead and gantry cranes not permanently installed in a facility. These provisions are listed in section 1438.
Most provisions of this standard apply to dedicated pile drivers. The only exceptions are:
Most provisions of this standard apply to sideboom cranes. The exceptions are:
In addition, instead of the provision on boom free fall found in section 1426, sideboom cranes in which the boom is designed to free fall (live boom) are permitted only if manufactured prior to November 8, 2010. This section also specifies that sideboom cranes mounted on wheel or crawler tractors must meet certain listed requirements of ASME B30.14-2004 ("Side Boom Tractors").
Although equipment with a capacity of 2,000 pounds or less does not require all of the precautions required for heavier equipment, its operation still presents significant hazards that can cause death or injury. For example, operation near energized power lines requires the same precautions as heavier equipment because the potential for electrocution is the same.
This section lists the provisions of the standard that apply to equipment with a capacity of 2,000 pounds or less and those for which modified requirements apply. The most significant differences are:
Under OSHA law, workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. To help assure a safe and healthful workplace, the law provides workers with the right to:
For more information, visit OSHA's Workers' Rights page at http://www.osha.gov/workers/index.html.
OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under OSHA law. Several OSHA programs and services can help employers identify and correct job hazards, as well as improve their injury and illness prevention program.
Establishing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program
The key to a safe and healthful work environment is a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program.
Injury and illness prevention programs are systems that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses, while reducing costs to employers. Thousands of employers across the United States already manage safety using injury and illness prevention programs, and OSHA believes that all employers can and should do the same. Thirty-four states have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs. Most successful injury and illness prevention programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement. Visit OSHA's illness and injury prevention program web page at www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth for more information.
Compliance Assistance Specialists
OSHA has compliance assistance specialists throughout the nation located in most OSHA offices. Compliance assistance specialists can provide information to employers and workers about OSHA standards, short educational programs on specific hazards or OSHA rights and responsibilities, and information on additional compliance assistance resources. Formore details, visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/ compliance_assistance/cas.html or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) to contact your local OSHA office.
Free On-site Safety and Health Consultation Services for Small Business
OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Each year, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their safety and health management programs, OSHA's On-site Consultation Programconducts over 29,000 visits to small business worksites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation.
On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management programs.
For more information, to find the local On-site Consultation office in your state, or to request a brochure on Consultation Services, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html, or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the consultation program, certain exemplary employers may request participation in OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Eligibility for participation includes, but is not limited to, receiving a full-service, comprehensive consultation visit, correcting all identified hazards and developing an effective safety and health management program.Worksites that receive SHARP recognition are exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid.
OSHA offers cooperative programs under which businesses, labor groups and other organizations can work cooperatively with OSHA. To find out more about any of the following programs, visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/index_programs.html.
Strategic Partnerships and Alliances
The OSHA Strategic Partnerships (OSP) provide the opportunity for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and/or other interested stakeholders. OSHA Partnerships are formalized through unique agreements designed to encourage, assist, and recognize partner efforts to eliminate serious hazards and achieve model workplace safety and health practices. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses by developing compliance assistance tools and resources to share with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)
The VPP recognize employers and workers in private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and healthmanagement programs and maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their respective industries. In VPP,management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a systemfocused on: hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, andmanagement commitment and worker involvement.
Occupational Safety and Health Training
The OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, Illinois, provides basic and advanced training and education in safety and health for federal and state compliance officers, state consultants, other federal agency personnel and private sector employers, workers, and their representatives. In addition, 27 OSHA Training Institute Education Centers at 42 locations throughout the United States deliver courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health issues to thousands of students a year. For more information on training, contact the OSHA Directorate of Training and Education, 2020 Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005; call 1-847-297-4810; or visit www.osha.gov/dte/edcenters/.
OSHA Educational Materials
OSHA has many types of educational materials in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages available in print or online. These include:
To view materials available online or for a listing of free publications, visit www.osha.gov/publications. You can also call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) to order publications.
OSHA's web site also has a variety of eTools. These include utilities such as expert advisors, electronic compliance assistance, videos and other information for employers and workers. To learn more about OSHA's safety and health tools online, visit www.osha.gov.
Getting Help with Health Hazards
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a federal agency that conducts scientific and medical research on workers' safety and health. At no cost to employers or workers, NIOSH can help identify health hazards and recommend ways to reduce or eliminate those hazards in the workplace through its Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program.
Workers, union representatives and employers can request a NIOSH HHE. An HHE is often requested when there is a higher than expected rate of a disease or injury in a group of workers. These situations may be the result of an unknown cause, a new hazard, or a mixture of sources. To request a NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/request.html. To find out more about the Health Hazard Evaluation Program:
*These states and territories operate their own OSHA-approved job safety and health plans and cover state and local government employees as well as private sector employees. The Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Virgin Islands programs cover public employees only. (Private sector workers in these states are covered by Federal OSHA). States with approved programs must have standards that are identical to, or at least as effective as, the Federal OSHA standards.
Note: To get contact information for OSHA area offices, OSHA-approved state plans and OSHA consultation projects, please visit us online at www.osha.gov or call us at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
For questions or to get information or advice, to report an emergency, report a fatality or catastrophe, order publications, sign up for OSHA's e-newsletter QuickTakes, or to file a confidential complaint, contact your nearest OSHA office, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.
For assistance, contact us.
We are OSHA.We can help.
* On September 26, 2014, OSHA published a final rule extending the deadline for crane operator certification by 3 years, to November 10, 2017.Back to Top
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