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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 http://www.osha.gov.
March 27, 2006
Gregory R. Teslia
Crane Safety & Inspections, Inc.
P.O. Box 670934
Coral Springs, Florida 33067
Re: Construction requirements for personnel hoists; applicability of ANSI A10.4-2004.
Dear Mr. Teslia:
This is in response to your June 28, 2005, letter to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Area Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter was forwarded to OSHA's Directorate of Construction for response. Your inquiry concerns personnel hoists used in construction.
We have paraphrased your questions below:
Question (1): Do any of OSHA's construction standards (29 CFR Part 1926) incorporate by reference the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A10.4-2004, "Safety Requirements for Personnel Hoists and Employee Elevators — American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Operations"?
Answer: No, the ANSI A10.4-2004 industry consensus standard has not been incorporated by reference into any OSHA construction standard. However, §1926.552(c)(16) does incorporate by reference a much earlier version, ANSI A10.4-1963, "Safety Requirements for Workmen's Hoists." Section 1926.552(c)(16) states:
All personnel hoists used by employees shall be constructed of materials and components which meet the specifications for materials, construction, safety devices, assembly, and structural integrity as stated in the American National Standard A10.4-1963, Safety Requirements for Workmen's Hoists. The requirements of this paragraph (c)(16) do not apply to cantilever type personnel hoists.
Question (2): Are construction employers required by OSHA to comply with the ANSI A10.4-2004 standards?
Answer: As stated above regarding Question (1), none of the OSHA construction standards incorporate the ANSI A10.4-2004 consensus standards. Note, though, that Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the "General Duty Clause") requires an employer to furnish to its employees:
employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees...
Under the General Duty Clause, employers are responsible for taking feasible steps to prevent/correct a recognized serious hazard. ANSI or other industry consensus standards can be evidence that the industry recognizes a serious hazard associated with a particular area or work procedure and that there are feasible means of preventing/correcting it.
To the extent that ANSI A10.4-2004 addresses hazards that are not addressed in the regulatory text of Part 1926 Subpart N or in ANSI A10.4-1963, it would be evidence that the industry now recognizes such additional hazards and that there are feasible means of preventing/correcting them. If that were the case, it would indicate that the employer would have an obligation under the General Duty Clause to protect its employees from such hazards.
Question (3): In accordance with ANSI A10.4-2004-26.1.2, can the hoist equipment owner be classified as a "qualified third-party inspector" (as that term is used in the ANSI standard) if the owner did not erect or operate the equipment?
Answer: Your question is in regards to a provision in an industry voluntary consensus standard that has not been incorporated into an OSHA standard. Since it is not an OSHA requirement, we cannot provide you with an answer to your question.
Question (4): Where a contractor rents a personnel hoist from an equipment rental company, what are the contractor's (employer's) responsibilities regarding the OSHA standards in Part 1926 Subpart N that pertain to the personnel hoist?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) states:
Sec. 5(a) Each employer —
* * *
(2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
The contractor (employer) who rents personnel hoists for use in construction activities would be required to comply with all applicable OSHA requirements, including those in 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart N that pertain to personnel hoists.
If you need any further clarification on this subject, please contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor — OSHA, Directorate of Construction, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance 202-693-1689. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.
Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction