- Standard Number:1926.550(a)(9)
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 http://www.osha.gov.
September 20, 1991
Ms. Carliss A. Rust
Taylor Bros., Inc.
Post Office Box 5165
Evansville, Indiana 47715
Dear Ms. Rust:
This is in response to your letter dated September 13, concerning your request for a variance from Section 1926.550(a)(9) Cranes and Derricks, of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations for Construction.
You are requesting a variance from the guarding requirements within the swing radius areas of the superstructure of the crane. You have stated that in lieu of barricading the areas within the swing radius of the crane, you will install a swing alarm and yellow flashing lights mounted on both sides of the crane's counterweight.
Your installation of an audible warning device and flashing yellow light is commendable and appears to offer an improved working environment. However, the intent of this standard is to provide a physical barrier to warn and keep employees from entering the danger area where they can be struck or crushed by the crane. Moreover, unlike the barricades that are readily distinguishable, the audible warning device may not be heard or registered if the employee is deaf, distracted by noises, or concentrating on their own activity.
Additionally, neither the direction the crane is turning would be clearly indicated, nor is it clear that it would operate sufficiently in advance of the rotational movement for an employee, perhaps performing a functional job of machine maintenance, to clear himself should the rotation of the superstructure be toward the point he is occupying.
The requirements of 29 CFR 1905.11(b)(4) are that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used would provide employment and places of employment to employees which are as safe and healthful as those required by the standard from which a variance is sought.
It appears that you are requesting an exemption from the standard rather than meeting the requirements for a variance. This is not permitted. Your request for a variance from Section 1926.550(a)(9) is denied without prejudice to the filing of another application.
Affected employees and their authorized representatives shall be notified of the denial of your application in the same manner they were informed of your request for a variance.
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please contact me at (202) 523-7197.
James J. Concannon
Office of Variance Determination