- Standard Number:1926.550(b)(2)
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.
August 16, 2001
Mr. Maurice D. Jones
500 South 16th Street
P.O. Box 66
Manitowoc, WI 54221-0066
Re: OSHA's construction crane standard does not make a distinction between production and non-production cranes.
Dear Mr. Jones:
This is in response to your letter dated April 3, 2000 regarding your company's concern that some foreign crane manufacturers are not meeting the requirements in ANSI/ASME B30.5 for load testing of production model cranes. You point out that foreign manufacturers are marketing and selling production cranes as special design (non-production models) in order to use the less stringent testing requirements for ANSI B30.5-1996, Section 5-1.10 non-production cranes. Lastly, you suggest that OSHA has failed to enforce its regulations regarding load testing requirements, thereby creating a disadvantage for United States crane manufacturers. We apologize for the length of time it took to get this response to you.
First, §1926.550(b)(2) states that: "All crawler, truck, or locomotive cranes in use shall meet the applicable requirements for design, inspection, construction, testing, maintenance and operation as prescribed in the ANSI B30.5-1968, Safety Code for Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes." The 1968 version of ANSI B30.5-Section 5-1.9.1 e, states: "Booms shall meet the performance requirements of Crane Structures-Method of Test-SAE J987." The ANSI/SAE J987 referenced here is the May 1967 version.
The J987-1967 version does not make a distinction between production and non-production cranes. Instead, it provides specific procedures for applying resistance-type electric strain gages and appropriate stress levels based upon specified loading conditions for all Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes. In contrast, the version you refer to in your letter, which is a 1996 version, does make such a distinction. Under Section 5-1.10 Structural Performance, the J987-1996 version states that:
(a) Prototype booms, jilts, gantries, masts, outriggers, carrier frames, and upper frames, of production models of rope-supported lattice boom cranes shall meet the performance requirements of ANSI/SAE J987. On special designs (not production models) or specific lift situations, calculations that verify the equipment's ability to meet the performance requirements of ANSI/SAE J987, done by the crane manufacturer or a qualified person, are acceptable.
(b) Prototype booms, jilts, gantries, masts, outriggers, carrier frames, and upper frames, of production models of telescopic cantilever boom cranes shall meet the performance requirements of ANSI/SAE J987, done by the crane manufacturer or a qualified person, are acceptable. On special designs (not production models) or specific lift situations, calculations that verify the equipment's ability to meet the performance requirements of ANSI/SAE J987, done by the crane manufacturer or a qualified person, are acceptable.
Since §1926.550(b)(2) incorporates ANSI B30.5-1968 by reference, employers are required to comply with SAE J987 (May 1967). Therefore, for purposes of OSHA requirements, there is no distinction between production and non-production cranes — all must be tested in accordance with the May 1967 ANSI/SAEversion. Also, there are no exceptions in the standard for foreign-built cranes.
Your primary concern is that foreign-built cranes have not been subjected to the stringent testing requirements imposed on U.S. crane manufacturers, thereby placing U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage due to the resources needed to conduct the tests. Although most countries, including the United States, are members of ISO, each country's cranes are manufactured in accordance with the locally applicable national codes. For example, cranes built to the standards applicable in Germany would use the German DIN Standards. The DIN load test procedures essentially deal with stability and not with strength. Therefore, the May, 1967 ANSI/ASME load test requirements are more stringent. Note, though, that we have not established that use of this less stringent type of testing was a contributing factor in any accident case that we have investigated.
As you know, OSHA does not have the authority to inspect and/or reject equipment entering the United States. However, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) of 1970, OSHA has the authority to enforce requirements regarding the duty of employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. Under §1926.550(b)(2), an employer that uses a foreign-built crane must ensure that the crane meets the requirements in ANSI B30.5-1968 and SAE J987 (May 1967). Under those provisions, employers must use cranes that meet the testing requirements in the May 1967 ANSI/SAE standard.
Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction