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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

October 31, 2003

Mr. B. M. Blackadar:
Geocon Atlantic
40 Fielding Avenue
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Canada B3B 1E4

Re: If a competent person, as required by §1926.550(a)(6), does an annual crane inspection in Canada, would that inspection be valid for the use of the crane in the United States?

Dear Mr. Blackadar:

This is in response to your letter dated March 11, 2003, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You ask for clarification of the crane standard §1926.550, Cranes Derricks, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors. We apologize for the delay in responding.

We have paraphrased your question as follows:

Question: Section 1926.550(a)(6) requires an annual crane inspection. If that inspection were done by a competent person in Canada, would the inspection be valid for the use of the crane in the United States?


29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6) requires an annual inspection to be completed before a crane may be operated in the United States; it states:

  • (6) A thorough, annual inspection of the hoisting machinery shall be made by a competent person, or by a government or private agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The employer shall maintain a record of the dates and the results of inspections for each hoisting machine and piece of equipment.

The standard does not specify where a competent person must do the annual inspection on the crane. As long as the individual conducting the inspection meets the requirements for being considered a "competent person,"1 the inspection need not take place within the United States.

If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Directorate of Construction, [Office of Construction Standards and Guidance], fax # 202-693-1689. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.



Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction

[Corrected 11/11/03]

1 A competent person, as defined in 29 CFR 1926.32(f), is "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them." [ back to text ]