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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

March 16, 1988

  Regional Administrator
SUBJECT: Christmas Treeing, Steel Erection

Enclosed is documentation from the manuals of the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association, FMC Corporation, Construction Safety Association of Ontario and the Structural Manual V, Volume I for Ironworkers. This information was forwarded to this office by the Area Director of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania office and is currently being used in Region III to support 5(a)(1) citations for the practice of hoisting multiple loads (Christmas Treeing) by cranes.

Effective immediately, Supervisors and CSHOs are advised that the practice of lifting multiple loads with a crane are citable under Section 5(a)(1) of the Act and that the attached information can be used to show that the hazard is recognized in the industry.

Particular attention, however, needs to be taken to thoroughly document the hazards to employees who man tag lines, work under the hoisted loads, methods of rigging the load, weather conditions, etc. so as to support the issuance of a 5(a)(1) citation. Photographs taken of employees under the suspended loads will also help in substantiating violations.

For your future reference, Region III considers Tom Doherty of the Harrisburg Area Office to be an expert in the hazards of multiple load hoisting. Tom has 21 years experience as a crane operator in the construction industry.