Steel Erection » Cranes


Hoisting and Rigging [29 CFR 1926.753]

Rigging and hoisting of steel members and materials are essential parts of the steel erection process. However, in addition to the dangers usually associated with cranes and derricks, steel erection also presents specialized hazards, such as the use of cranes to hoist employees, suspend loads over certain employees, and perform multiple lifts. Because of the specialized nature of these hazards, the provisions below are intended to supplement, rather than displace, the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.550, the OSHA standard covering cranes and derricks in general construction.

  • In addition to paragraphs 29 CFR 1926.753(c) through 29 CFR 1926.753(e), all the provisions of 29 CFR 1926.550 apply to hoisting and rigging with the exception of 29 CFR 1926.550(g)(2), 29 CFR 1926.753(a), and 29 CFR 1926.753(b).
  • The crane operators must be responsible for operations under their direct control. Whenever there is any doubt as to safety, the operator must have the authority to:
  • Cranes or derricks may be used to hoist employees on a personnel platform when steel erection is being conducted, provided that all provisions of 29 CFR 1926.550 (except for 29 CFR 1926.1501(g)(2)) are met. [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(4)]
  • The headache ball, hook or load must not be used to transport personnel except as provided in paragraph 29 CFR 1926.753(c)(4) of this section. [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(3)]
  • Safety latches on hooks must not be deactivated or made inoperable except [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(5)]:
    • When a qualified rigger has determined that the hoisting and placing of purlins and single joists can be performed more safely by doing so. [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(5)(i)]
    • When equivalent protection is provided in a site-specific erection plan. [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(5)(ii)]

Before each shift, cranes being used in steel erection activities must be visually inspected by a competent person. The inspection must include observation for deficiencies during operation, including, at a minimum [29 CFR 1926.753(c)(1)(i)]:

Suspended Load

Commercially manufactured lifting equipment designed to lift and position a load of known weight to a location at some known elevation and horizontal distance from the equipment’s center of rotation.

A "come-a-long" (a mechanical device usually consisting of a chain or cable attached at each end, that is used to facilitate movement of materials through leverage) is not considered "hoisting equipment."



Headache Ball




Multiple Lift Rigging


Multi-Lift Rigging Procedure (MLRP)