- 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.
Stephen C. Hendrickson, M.S.
Ames/McCrossan Joint Venture
2000 Ames Drive
Burnsville, MN 55306
Dear Mr. Hendrickson:
Thank you for your June 28, 2012, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Directorate of Construction. You have a specific question regarding the type of hook that is permitted when a crane is used to hoist personnel during underground construction work. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of only the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated in your original correspondence.
Question: May an open-throat hook with a locked latch be used when a crane is used to hoist personnel during underground construction work?
Response: Yes. The portion of OSHA's Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard that addresses the type of hook used when a crane is used to hoist personnel is 29 CFR § 1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A), which allows the use of hooks to hoist personnel platforms as long as the hook throat opening can be closed and the means of closure is locked. Section 1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A) provides:
(g) Attachments and rigging.
(1) Hooks and other detachable devices.
(i) Hooks used in the connection between the hoist line and the personnel platform (including hooks on overhaul ball assemblies, lower load blocks, bridle legs, or other attachment assemblies or components) must be:
(A) Of a type that can be closed and locked, eliminating the throat opening.
Your letter asks whether another standard applicable to underground construction, 29 CFR § 1926.800(t)(1)(vii), is consistent with section 1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A). Section 1926.800(t)(1)(vii) provides:
(t) Hoisting unique to underground construction.
(1) General requirements for cranes and hoists.
* * *
(vii) Cage, skip, and load connections to the hoist rope shall be made so that the force of the hoist pull, vibration, misalignment, release of lift force, or impact will not disengage the connection. Moused or latched open-throat hooks do not meet this requirement. (Emphasis added).
The standards are consistent because the type of locking latch hook required by section 1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A) will also satisfy section 1926.800(t)(1)(vii). Both standards require a secure connection between the hoist rope and the load so that the load cannot become disengaged under any foreseeable scenario. A locked latch provides such a secure connection.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when the Agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 693-2020.
James G. Maddux, Director
Directorate of Construction