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.

Mr. Martin Moore
760 West End Ave., #9D
New York, NY 10025

Dear Mr. Moore:

Thank you for your e-mail received on December 9, 2010 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with your Information Quality Correction Request (IQCR). Since you referenced a construction standard, it has been forwarded to the Directorate of Construction for a response. We apologize for the delay.

Your IQCR addresses OSHA's Overhead hoists standard with respect to hoisting overhead loads above people in the entertainment industry. The specific standard you referenced is 29 CFR 1926.554(a)(2) which states:

The supporting structure to which a hoist is attached shall have a safe working load equal to that of the hoist.

Your concerns are paraphrased with our response below:

You propose to modify OSHA standard 1926.554(a)(2) because you believe the safe working load of a supporting structure to which a hoist is attached should always be greater than that of the hoist to account for dynamic loading e.g. regular stops and emergency stops. You specifically refer to hoisting overhead loads above people in the entertainment industry. You suggested that the supporting structure should be at least 150 percent of the safe working load of the hoist.

Response: In determining the safe working load of a supporting structure for a hoist, the design already takes into consideration all of the expected impact forces that would be imposed on it including dynamic loading due to regular and emergency stops. The safe working load is established after giving due consideration to all static and dynamic loads to the hoist and the supporting structure. In addition, the design of the supporting structure also includes a factor of safety in accordance with applicable codes. No further modification of the safe working load is required.

For more information we suggest that you reference the manufacturer's manual as required by OSHA construction standard 29 CFR 1926.554(a)(6) which states:

All overhead hoists in use shall meet the applicable requirements for construction, design, installation, testing, inspection, maintenance, and operation, as prescribed by the manufacturer.

We also suggest you reference ASME B30.16-2007, Overhead Hoist (Underhung).

If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may submit an administrative appeal to OSHA. The appeal must be filed within either forty-five (45) days of the date that the agency notified you on how the complaint was handled, or one hundred and five (105) days from the date on which the agency first received the complaint, whichever is later. The appeal request should contain the same contact and descriptive information that was provided in the original complaint and the specific reasons why the initial agency response was not satisfactory. Once an appeal decision has been rendered, OSHA will notify you. You may mail your appeal to Jens Svenson, Acting Director, OSHA Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, 200 Constitution AV, NW; Washington, DC 20210. Or you may communicate directly with Ms. Svenson via telephone at 202-693-2400.

Thank you for your Information Quality Correction Request. If you have any questions related to our response, please call Mohammad Ayub, Director, Office of Engineering Services in the Directorate of Construction at 202 693-2020.


James G. Maddux, Director
Directorate of Construction