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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

March 1, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR:      Regional Administrators


THROUGH:             Harvey E. Harris, Director
                     Office of Training and Education

FROM:                Zigmas Sadauskas, Director
                     OSHA Training Institute

SUBJECT:             OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.550(g) Cranes and
                     Derricks Suspended Personnel Platforms

Following the October 3, 1988, effective date of OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.550(g) (Cranes and Derricks Suspended Personnel Platforms), former OSHA Training Institute students have requested clarification regarding OSHA's policy on when and how it it permissible for employees to be hoisted on the load lines of cranes and derricks.

This is to advise you that the following guidelines relating to this topic are being provided at the Institute:

  1. Employees may be hoisted on the load lines of cranes, on construction sites, only if it is more hazardous or infeasible to reach the worksite by conventional means.
  2. Employees are not permitted to "ride the ball" under any circumstances. Employees may only ride in a personnel platform that complies with the requirements set forth in OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.550(g).
  3. All cranes that are used to hoist employees are required to be fitted with anti-two blocking devices.

If members of your staff have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Mr. Henry H. Hale, Chief of the Occupational Safety Training Branch, on FTS 352-2500.