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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

April 15, 1992

Mr. John P. Rice, Jr. Secretary
The American Crane Corporation
202 Raleigh Street
P.O. Box 9012
Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-9012

Dear Mr. Rice:

Your February 12 letter to Mr. David Lashgari requesting an interpretation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards addressing the use of cranes has been referred to the Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Assistance for response. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

In regard to what replacement parts can be used on a crane without the approval of the crane manufacturer, please be advised that an employer can use replacement components without the approval of the crane manufacturer if the new components are equivalent in strength and durability and do not affect the rated capacity or the safe operations of the crane. If a modification or a replacement part (i.e. boom, shaft, gear, etc.) will affect the rated capacity or safe operation, then the modification or part can only be made with the written approval of the crane manufacturer and all affected instruction plates, load charts, and other related printed information must be revised accordingly. It is important to note that, placing a crane in operation without revising the load chart to reflect such a modification or part change, would constitute a violation of §1926.550(a)(16). Moreover, when the manufacturer has specified that unapproved replacement parts are not to be used, OSHA may presume an adverse effect on safety if this limitation is not followed. See 1926.550(a)(1).

In regard to what OSHA penalties may result from a citation issued for violations of these provisions, please be advised that, like all citations issued by OSHA, penalties are assessed based on the circumstances (including violation history of employer, seriousness of hazard, number of workers exposed, and other related factors) of each case.

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