Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

January 11, 1985

Mr. Carlos A. Alvarado
Chief, Engineering and Planning Section
Locks Division
Panama Canal Commission
APO Miami 34011

Dear Mr. Alvarado:

This letter will confirm the telephone conversation between Mr. Bigham of my staff and Mr. Shields of your staff on January 3, 1985. You had requested a telephone response for clarification of OSHA Instruction STD 11-11.2B as it pertains to the lifting of personnel with a jib crane during your planned maintenance of canal locks which is scheduled to begin on January 18, 1985.

STD 1-11.2B, Work Platforms Suspended from Latice or Hydraulic Crane Booms, is applicable to crawler, locomotive and truck cranes and would not apply to jib cranes such as the one you described in your letter, your engineering drawings and your photos. However, since the lifting of personnel on work platforms is by its very nature inherently hazardous, job cranes utilized in systems to lift personnel must undergo job analysis for the protection of employees. This you appear to have done in your specifications for the manufacture, installation and operation of jib cranes and platforms which you intend to use.

The system you described appears to have a safety factor of 5. Properly installed, tested and monitored, it should meet OSHA requirements for your unique work situation and should result in the least hazardous exposure of employees.

Your interest in OSHA and your active effort in planning for the safety of employees is appreciated.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations