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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Marine Arm Lifting Devices

April 4, 1990




  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs


  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support


  • Safety Hazard Information Bulletin on Marine Arm Lifting Devices

The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Bulletins (HIB) as needed to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood safety and health hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, and engineering controls. HIB's are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. Information is complied based on a comprehensive evaluation of available facts, literature, and in coordination with appropriate parties. HIB's do not necessarily reflect an OSHA policy.

The Dallas Regional Office has brought to our attention a potentially serious hazard existing with the use of counterweighted marine arm lifting devices.

During a recent fatality investigation by the Baton Rouge Area Office, a Chiksan manually-operated rotary counterweighted marine arm was installed and placed in use without the Crosby "Fist Grip" clips on the counterweight cable being properly torqued. The cable pulled out of the clips causing the arm to swing freely and strike an employee.

The marine arm, model RCMA, was manufactured by the FMC Corporation of Houston, Texas. According to FMC, the company has since initiated field inspections of installed cable clips on recently purchased Chiksan arms to insure that the clips are properly torqued. Moreover, FMC has inspected older arms to verify proper installation.

Other installed marine arms in use throughout the country may have the same problem which can easily be checked and corrected. Attached is a copy of a "Fist Grip" specification sheet for wire rope clips listing recommended torque values for various diameter ropes.

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

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