US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Superman and Xtraman portable Hoists

October 16, 1989




  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs


  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support


  • Safety Hazard Information Bulletin on Superman and Xtraman portable Hoists

The Atlanta Regional Office has brought to our attention potential hazards involved with the use of a portable hoist marketed variously as the "Xtraman" or "Superman" device. The hoist has an adjustable fulcrum and relies on the operator himself as the counterweight. (See attached "Superman" brochure). A fatality occurred with the use of an "Xtraman" unit when it tipped upward at the edge of a roof and made contact with a power line.

No OSHA or consensus standards apply specifically to a device of this type. Even though the manufacturer advises caution in determining boom length for given operator and load masses, it is evident that a change in either without proper adjustment of the boom length could be catastrophic. Since the hoist must be assembled for each task, there is a higher than usual risk of human error. Potential unsafe conditions include improper positioning of the fulcrum, failure to assure that all components are properly locked in place, and failure to block or lock the wheels to prevent movement. Moreover, using the device on an inclined surface requires additional precautions to assure worker safety.

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States and Consultation Projects.

Back to Top

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor’s Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.