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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 https://www.osha.gov.
January 7, 2022
Patrick F. McAtarian
613 West Palmer Street
Saint Marys, Kansas 66536
Dear Mr. McAtarian:
Thank you for your June 8, 2019 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requesting clarification of OSHA standards at 29 CFR § 1910.180, specifically moving a load using crawler locomotives and truck cranes. This letter constitutes OSHA' s interpretation only of the requirements herein, and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated in your original correspondence. Your paraphrased question and our response follow.
Question 1: Would an employer be in compliance with 29 CFR § 1910.180(h)(3)(i)(b) if a flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) is utilized as a lifting device or as a means to move an electric utility transformer by way of a truck-mounted crane or hoist?
Response: 29 CFR § 1910.180(h)(3)(i)(b) requires that a "load is well secured and properly balanced in the sling or lifting device before it is lifted more than a few inches." Further, OSHA standard at 29 CFR § 1910.180(h)(2)(ii) requires that a load be attached to the hook by means of slings or other approved devices. 29 CFR § 1910.180 does not define the term "approved." However, the American National Standard Safety Code for Crawler, Locomotive, and Truck Cranes, ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference as specified in 29 CFR § 1910.6, provides a definition of "approved." According to ANSI B30.5-1968, 5-0.2.2.4, approved is defined as, "accepted as satisfactory by a duly constituted administrative or regulatory authority." ANSI B30.5-1968 5-0.2.2.2 defines an "administrative or regulatory authority" as a, "governmental agency or the employer in the absence of governmental jurisdiction." OSHA is not aware of any governmental agency that approves lifting devices, therefore it would be employer's responsibility to determine whether the FIBC in question can be used in the manner described above. In order to do so, the employer may have to contact the crane/hoist and FIBC manufacturers.
While OSHA does not have a specific standard addressing the use of FIBCs in this manner, employee exposure to hazards related to using an FIBC to move an electric utility transformer by way of a truck-mounted crane or hoist may be covered under Section 5(a)(l) of the OSH Act, commonly referred to as the General Duty Clause. The General Duty Clause states:
"Each employer -- shall furnish to each of his 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..."
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 https://www.osha.gov. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2100.
Kimberly Stille, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs