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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

July 22, 1996

Mr. James E. Vaughan
Today's Resources, Incorporated
1021 East Street - Rear Building
Columbus, Ohio 43205

Dear Mr. Vaughan:

This is in response to your letter of October 16, 1995, concerning the use of boatswains' chairs attached to a load line of a crane. I apologize for the delay in our response.

As discussed in a July 2 telephone conversation, the practice described in your letter (employees hoisted on the secondary line of a telescoping crane while a load was hoisted on the main load line) is prohibited by §1926.550(g)(6)(viii). OSHA stated clearly in the preamble to the final rule for Crane or Derrick Suspended Personnel Platforms (53 FR 29136, August 2, 1988) that cranes may not be used to hoist personnel while other loads are being hoisted. The use of other lines would endanger the hoisted personnel due to the risk of entanglement.

Compliance with §1926.550(g)(6)(viii) could be achieved by using two cranes, one to lift and hold the load and the other to lift and position the personnel in the platform. However, if you feel that the circumstances at a particular worksite would not permit the use of two cranes and that alternative procedures using a single crane could be implemented that would provide equivalent protection for affected employees, an application for a permanent variance would be appropriate. Information on variance procedures can be obtained from the Office of Variance Determination in the Directorate of Technical Support at (202) 219-7193.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact Ted Twardowski, of my staff. Mr. Twardowski can be reached at (202) 219-7207 Ext. 129.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.


Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction