• Standard Number:

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.

February 18, 1992

Mr. Eugene Davis
300 Lacuna Drive
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340

Dear Mr. Davis:

This is in response to your December 29, 1991, letter requesting an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards addressing the use of crane or derrick suspended personnel platforms. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

As noted in your letter, any use of a crane to hoist employees on a personnel platform is prohibited, except when the erection, use, and dismantling of conventional means of reaching the worksite, such as a personnel hoist, ladder, stairway, aerial lift, elevating work platform or scaffold, would be more hazardous, or is not possible because of structural design or worksite conditions.

In regard to whether 29 CFR 1926.550(g) applies to and therefore addresses a crane suspended personnel platform used as a work platform, please be advised that this section applies whenever personnel are suspended by a crane or derrick. The fact that this provision applies while working at a fixed position as well as when used for employee transportation was stated in the preamble to the final rule (53 FR 29120). "Where conventional means of access would not be considered safer, personnel hoisting operations which comply with the terms of this standard would be authorized, only to the limited extent that the dangers of using conventional means would justify them or to the extent that it is not possible to transport or position employees (emphasis added) using conventional means." Thus, the standard (29 CFR 1926.550(g)(1)(ii)(B)) defines "hoist" as including not only lowering and lifting but also "suspending a personnel platform." In addition, many of the requirements listed in this section (i.e. standard handrail and fall protection) are derived from various work platform standards.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact Mr. Roy Gurnham or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff in the office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Assistance at (202) 523- 8136.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs