Figure 1: Portal Crane with idle slings on hook
Figure 1: Portal Crane with idle slings on hook.

Material handling equipment (such as cranes and derricks) and rigging gear (slings, shackles, and hooks) must be used correctly and safely to prevent accidents and serious injuries.

Note: Confined space entry is one of the leading hazards associated with barge cleaning. Review the Shipbreaking: Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres chapter for information on how to protect workers from this hazard.

Figure 2: Skip being rigged with four sling legs.

Potential Hazard

Worker injuries can be caused by falling loads due to rope, chain, or sling failure during the lifting of items due to overloading, worn or defective equipment or improper use and connection of the lifting components.

Figure 3: Signal man used to assist crane operator

Requirements and Example Solutions

Attaching and moving loads

  • Loads must be safely rigged before they are hoisted. [29 CFR 1915.116(b)]
  • When eye-bolts are used, spreaders may be required to reduce the side pull on the eye-bolt. [29 CFR 1915.116(e)]
  • Skips must be rigged with a minimum of a three-legged bridle. When open-end skips are used, means must be taken to prevent the contents from falling. [29 CFR 1915.116(g)] See Figure 2.
  • Loads (tools, equipment or other materials) must not be swung or be suspended over the heads of workers [29 CFR 1915.116(j) and 29 CFR 1915.74(a)(12)]
  • Figure 4: Wire slings around load points, properly secured with shackles
    When the hoist operator can not see the load, a person to signal the operator is required. [29 CFR 1915.116(l) and 29 CFR 1915.117(b)] See Figure 3.
  • Pallets must be able to support the loads. [29 CFR 1915.116(m)]
  • Sufficient advance warning must be given before loads or lifting gear are moved. [29 CFR 1915.116(p)]
  • When ship's gear is used to hoist, a competent person (not the Shipyard Competent Person), must determine that the gear is properly rigged. [29 CFR 1915.117(a)]
  • Shock loading is prohibited. [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(11)]
Figure 5: Prohibited practice - Worker riding crane hook

Working with slings

Figure 7: Load properly attached to crane using chain and wire rope slings, connected by shackles

Worker protection

  • Workers must not ride the hook or the load [29 CFR 1915.116(i)] See Figure 5.
  • Workers must not be in between a swinging load and a fixed object [29 CFR 1915.116(q)]
  • Workers must keep clear of suspended loads and of loads about to be lifted. [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(9)] See Figure 6.
  • Hands or fingers must not be placed between the sling and its load while the sling is being tightened around the load. [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(10)]
  • In shipbreaking, hatches are typically removed. However, if the hatches are in place the following is required:
    • Hatches, through which materials are moved, must be completely open and hatch covers must be secured. [29 CFR 1915.116(n)]
    • Hatch covers must not be opened or closed while workers are below the hatch [29 CFR 1915.116(o)]
Figure 8: Dual lift requires one designated person to coordinate the lift

Using crawler, locomotive, and truck cranes

  • The hoist rope shall not be wrapped around the load. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(2)(i)]
  • The load shall be attached to the hook by means of slings or other approved devices. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(2)(ii)] See Figure 7.
  • Side loading of booms shall be limited to freely suspended loads. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(3)(iv)]
  • Cranes must not be used for dragging loads sideways. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(3)(iv)]
  • Neither the load nor the boom shall be lowered below the point where less than two full wraps of rope remain on their respective drums. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(3)(x)]
  • When two or more cranes are used to lift one load, one designated person shall be responsible for the operation. He shall be required to analyze the operation and instruct all personnel involved in the proper positioning, rigging of the load, and the movements to be made. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(3)(xii)]
  • Operators must not be permitted to leave their positions at the controls while the load is suspended. [29 CFR 1910.180(h)(4)(i)]