- Standard Number:
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.
January 12, 2007
Mr. Chris Overman
Nebraska Public Power District
900 4th Avenue
Kearney, NE 68847
Re: Whether §1926.550(g) applies to boom-attached personnel lifting platforms and, if not, whether OSHA requires proof testing of such platforms; what is the meaning of "at each new job site" in ASME B30.23; and what standards apply to derrick mounted buckets on small electric line trucks?
Dear Mr. Overman:
This is in response to your e-mail dated March 9, 2006, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You ask about requirements that apply to boom-attached personnel lifting platforms.
We have paraphrased your questions as follows:
Question (1): As Safety Specialist of the Nebraska Public Power District (a subdivision of Nebraska that has chosen to structure its safety programs in compliance with OSHA requirements), I am drafting a response to a question from our transmission lines operation group regarding the field testing of personnel lifting platforms mounted on the booms of cranes and derricks used in construction. As such, please advise me whether 29 CFR 1926.550(g) applies to such personnel lifting platforms?
Answer: Section 1926.550 provides in part:
(g) Crane or derrick personnel platforms — (1) Scope, application and definitions. — (i) Scope and application. This standard applies to the design, construction, testing, use and maintenance of personnel platforms and the hoisting of personnel platforms on the load lines of derricks of cranes or derricks. [Emphasis added]
Further, at 53 Federal Register. 29117 (August 2, 1988), the Preamble for paragraph (g) notes:
. . . OSHA has determined that hoisting with crane or derrick suspended personnel platforms constitutes a significant hazard to hoisted employees . . . . OSHA has determined that compliance with the provisions of this standard will provide the best available protection for hoisted personnel . . . . [Emphasis added].
29 CFR 1926.550(g) applies only to suspended personnel lifting platforms.1 This is evidenced by both the terms of the provision itself, and by the text of the preamble for that paragraph that indicates that the requirement's purpose is to address hazards associated with suspended personnel platforms.
Question (2): If 29 CFR 1926.550(g) does not apply to boom-attached personnel lifting platforms, does OSHA require proof testing of these mounted personnel lifting platforms used in construction?
Answer: Section 1926.550(a) General requirements states:
(1) The employer shall comply with the manufacturer's specifications and limitations applicable to the operation of any and all cranes and derricks. Where manufacturer's specifications and limitations are not available, the limitations assigned to the equipment shall be based on the determinations of a qualified engineer competent in this field and such determinations will be appropriately documented and recorded.
As indicated, Part 1926 Subpart N does not have a provision specifically addressing the proof testing of personnel lifting platforms directly mounted on the booms of cranes and derricks used in construction. However, under Section 1926.550(a)(1), an employer must comply with a manufacturer's operational specifications for cranes and derricks. This includes a manufacturer's operational specifications relating to the proof testing of boom-attached personnel lifting platforms.2
Further, where the manufacturer's operational specifications relative to the proof testing of boom-attached personnel lifting platforms are not available,3 the employer must comply with operational specifications regarding the attachment (including the propriety of using such an attachment and proof testing requirements) established by a qualified engineer, as also specified in section 1926.550(a)(1).
Question (3): ASME B30.23-2.2.1(b)(1) Proof Testing (1998) provides in part, "At each new job site, prior to hoisting people in the personnel platform, the platform and rigging shall be proof tested to 125% of the platform's rating." [Emphasis added] What is the meaning of the phrase, "At each new job site" in that provision?
Answer: Your question is in regards to a provision in a voluntary consensus standard that has not been incorporated into an OSHA standard. Since it is not an OSHA requirement, we suggest that you contact ANSI directly.
Question (4): Does ASME B30.23 or any similar standard apply to personnel lifting platforms mounted on the booms of derricks on "smaller line trucks"?
Answer: As indicated above, OSHA has not incorporated ASME B30.23 into its standards. In addition, the ANSI standards incorporated by reference into Subpart N (B30.5 - 1968; B30.2-1967; and B30.6-1969) do not address the use of this attachment. Since OSHA has not adopted a standard that addresses the use of this attachment (on any vehicle), we again suggest that you contact ANSI directly.
if you need additional information, please 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.
Steven F. Witt, Director
Directorate of Construction
1 Similarly, in a letter to Mr. Dennis Robertson, dated February 17, 1993, the Agency indicated that only personnel platforms suspended from the load line and used in construction are covered by 29 CFR 1926.550(g). Note: this letter supersedes the Robertson letter with regard to the OSHA standard that governs boom-mounted personnel platforms. [ back to text ]
2 It should be emphasized that, as indicated in a letter to Mr. Robert Weaver, dated September 21, 2001, if an employer were to use personnel lifting platforms on cranes and derricks where the manufacturer of the crane or derrick prohibits such use, the employer would be in violation of Section 1926.550(a)(1). [ back to text ]
3 Unavailability of manufacturer's specifications would include instances where the manufacturer's specifications are silent relative to the use of such platforms and/or their proof testing and the manufacturer is unavailable or, upon request, declines to review or initiate the review of the technical merits of such use, including proof testing. [ back to text ]