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• Publication Date: 04/03/1973
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 38:8545-8548
• Standard Number: 1926.552
• Title: RUST ENGINEERING CO. ET AL Notice of Application for Variance From Construction Safety Standards
• Abstract: Variance granted to Graver Tank & Manufacturing Co., Inc. (formerly Rust Engineering Co., then Union Boiler Co.; revoked FR Vol. 73, No. 237, 12/9/2008), Pullman Power Products Corporation (formerly M. W. Kellogg Co.) and Hamon Custodis (formerly Custodis Construction Co., Inc, then Custodis Cuttrell, Inc.) from the standards prescribed in 29 CFR 1926.552(c), concerning personnel hoists and, 29 CFR 1926.451(l) (4) and (5), (now moot), concerning boatswain's chairs. Effective on April 3, 1973, and it shall remain in effect until modified or revoked.

I. Background.

On August 26, 1971, Rust Engineering Co. jointly with Continental-Heine Chimney Co., Inc., Custodis Construction Co., Inc., and the M. W. Kellogg Co., made application pursuant to section 6(d) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1596) and 29 CFR Part 1905 for a variance, and for an Interim order pending a decision on the application for a variance from the construction safety standards prescribed in 29 CFR 1518.552(c), concerning personnel hoists, and 29 CFR, 1518.451(1) (4) and (5), concerning boatswain's chairs, which were made occupational safety and health standards by 29 CPR 1910.12 (Part 1518 has since been redesignated Part 1926). Notice of the application for variance made by Rust Engineering Co. et al. and of the granting of an interim order pending a decision on the application, was published In the Federal Register on January 25, 1972 (37 PR 1146). The notice invited interested persons, including affected employers and employees, to submit written data, views, and arguments regarding the grant or denial of the variance requested.

In addition, affected employers and employees were permitted to request a hearing on the application for a variance. No written comments and no request for a hearing have been received.

II. Facts.

The applicants are engaged in chimney construction and maintenance work and state that all construction projects are under the direct supervision of their principal offices even though the projects themselves are spread throughout the country. The addresses of the principal offices that are affected by the application are as follows:

    The Rust Engineering Co., 930 Port Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, and 1130 South 22nd Street, Birmingham AL 35201.
    Continental-Heine Chimney Co. Inc., 127 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60602.
    Custodis Construction Co., 120 South Riverside Plaza. Chicago, IL, 60606, and Box 363. Bound Brook, NJ 08805.
    The M. W. Kellog Co., Chimney Department, P.O. Box 1007, Williamsport, PA. 17701.

Applicants state that in constructing a chimney, the elevated working platform or scaffolding is moved upward with the construction. In order for employees to reach such a platform, an access ladder or equivalent safe means of access must be provided as required by 29 CFR 1926.451(a) (13). Applicants state that as the height of the construction increases to 400 feet, or more. It becomes impractical to use an access ladder and another safe means of access must be provided.

Section 1926.552(c) sets forth the requirements for the construction of hoist towers when used as personnel, hoists both inside and outside of a structure. The primary purpose of the standard is to protect the safety of employees being mechanically transported from one elevation to another.

Applicants state that there is insufficient room to construct a hoist tower on small chimneys. Applicants contend that the hoist would interfere with the design and construction of proper scaffolding. Since the hoist tower must be kept higher than the chimney construction, the frequent extension of the hoist tower involves many difficulties in erection, bracing, and guying. Applicants state that an outside hoist tower would not provide access to the movable working platform or jack scaffold used in constructing a brick lining, Thus, it is argued that the mechanics of tower extension are hazardous because employees must frequently work in high winds when extending the hoist tower above the chimney construction. The use of intermittent work schedules for the separate work crews engaged in extending the hoist tower and erecting the chimney is another practical difficulty involved in the construction of a hoist tower outside a chimney.

Applicants would have to take extra precautions to obtain substantial bracing if a hoist tower is constructed, since both the chimney and the hoist tower would be exposed to wind loads. Also, the bracing of the tower would be interferred with when a brick lining is being constructed. Applicants argue that there is no substitute bracing for the hoist tower which is entirely acceptable.

Applicants contend that in order for a hoisting tower to operate properly, it must be maintained in a plumb position. Thus, applicants state it is difficult to provide safe access from an outside tower to the chimney over the increasing distances because of the tapering of the chimney toward the top. It is further contended that a hoisting tower may be inoperable unless rigidity is maintained and that it is generally impractical to guy a hoist tower 600 to 1,000 feet, or more, in height.

Accordingly, in lieu of constructing a hoist tower as specified in 29 CFR 1926.552(c), applicants use a special workmen's hoist with a hoist machine, safety cage, and safety cables, to transport employees to and from the elevated work platform. Some of the safety features of the special workmen's hoist include safety devices that will grip the safety cables in the event of any failure of the hoisting cable and limit switches that will prevent overrun of the cage at both the top and bottom of the chimney. The applicants use the safety cage only for hoisting and lowering workmen. The safety cage and safety cables are pulled aside on the foundation when not in use and the hoisting hook is transferred to the bucket for hoisting materials.

In addition, applicants state that in constructing a chimney or chimney lining of small diameter, or when working from a bracket scaffold on the outside of a chimney, it is not practical to use even their own safety cage to transport employees to and from the elevated scaffold. When it is not feasible to use the safety cage, the applicants raise and lower employees, one at a time, on a boatswain's chair. The boatswain's chair is attached to the hoisting cable of the material hoist. The material bucket would be temporarily disconnected from the hoisting cable. To further insure the safety of the employee in the boatswain's chair, the employee's safety belt is attached to a suitable safety clamp riding a separate lifeline securely attached to the rigging at the top and to a weight at the bottom.

Section 1926.451(1) (5) requires the use of a tackle with a boatswain's chair. The primary purpose of the standard is to provide employees with a method of controlling their ascent while being transported in the boatswain's chair.

Applicants state that on high chimneys the use of the block and falls with the boatswain's chair for transporting an employee to and from an elevation of several hundred feet is impractical. For this reason, applicants substitute a material hoist for the block and falls when transporting employees in the boatswain's chair.

The applicants base their variance application on many years of past experience in using safe practices in chimney construction. Further, the applicants state that their procedure, using the special workmen's hoist and safety cage, has been approved and accepted for chimney construction work in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and the Province of Ontario, which all have strict codes covering the use of personnel hoists.

Applicants have attached to their application a recent decision of the Board of Standards and Appeals of the New York State Department of Labor, granting a variation which allows the applicants to use their special workmen's hoist and safety cage for transporting employees. The variation granted by the Board of Standards and Appeals allows the applicants to use their procedure which would otherwise be prohibited in the State of New York. Also, applicants have submitted detailed safety specifications for the use of the special workmen's hoist and safety cage, which insure the protection of the safety of employees being transported in the safety cage. In further support of their applications, the applicants have submitted a diagram of the safety clamps that would be attached to the safety cable of the employee, a diagram of the portable man hoist that would be used to elevate employees to the working platform, and supporting data on the safety features and use of each of the two types of equipment.

III. Decision.

It appears from the application and supporting data that there are special circumstances involved in transporting employees to and from the elevated work platforms and scaffolds in the chimney construction industry. It is found that there are many difficulties and hazards involved in the construction of a hoist tower and in providing a safe means of access from the hoist tower to the elevated work platforms and scaffolds. The construction of a hoist tower as required by 29 CFR 1926.552(c) is not a feasible method for transporting employees because it is not easily adaptable to chimney construction work.

For these reasons, applicants use a special workmen's hoist and safety cage to transport employees to and from the elevated work platform and scaffold. Applicants have submitted safety specifications, for the special workmen's hoist and safety cage, which insure the protection of safety of employees. The safety specifications for the use of the hoist and safety cage have been incorporated in the final order granted below. The specifications include safety features which require limit switches to prevent overrun of the cage at the top and bottom of the chimney and safety devices which will grip the safety cables in the event of failure of the basic hoisting facility.

The applicants have had many years of experience using the special workmen's hoist and safety cage for transporting employees in several States and in Canada. Also, the applicants have been granted a variation by the Board of Standards and Appeals of the New York State Department of Labor, approving the use of their hoist and safety cage for transporting employees in chimney construction work.

During certain stages in the construction of chimneys, it is not always feasible for applicants to use even their own safety cage to raise and lower employees. For example, when employees perform work from a bracket scaffold on the outside of a chimney, it is not feasible to use the safety cage to transport employees to and from the elevated scaffold. In these instances, applicants raise and lower employees, one at a time, in a boatswain's chair. During this procedure, the employee's safety belt is attached to a safety clamp riding a separate lifeline as an additional safety measure. The boatswain's chair is used only for transporting employees. The material bucket, which is used for transporting materials, is removed when the boatswain's chair is used to transport an employee. This procedure is reversed when the transporting of materials is again required.

The block and falls required by 29 CFR 1926.451(L) (5) when using the boatswain's chair, is normally used to ascend heights of up to about 200 feet. Since the employees have to be elevated to heights of several hundred feet or more. the applicants substitute a material hoist for the block and falls required by the standard.

It appears from the application and supporting data that the procedures used by the applicants for transporting employees are more suited and adapted to the chimney construction industry than the procedures required by the standards. Applicants have furnished information which shows that the special workmen's hoist and safety cage and the boatswain's chair provide employees with a safe means of access to and from the elevated work platforms and scaffolds.

Based on the record in this proceeding, Rust Engineering Co., Continental-Heine Chimney Co., Inc., Custodis Construction Co., Inc., and the M. W. Kellogg Co. have demonstrated with information, diagrams, and supporting data, which are uncontroverted and credible, that their practices and methods for transporting employees will provide employment and places of employment which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if the applicants were to comply with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.552(c) and 29 CFR 1926.451(L) (4) and (5). Therefore:

IV. Order

Pursuant to authority in section 6(d) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, section 105 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety. Standards Act, as amended, 29 CFR Part 1905, 29 CFR 1926.2, as amended, and in Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR. 8754), it is ordered that Rust Engineering Co., Continental-Heine Chimney Co., Inc., Custodis Construction Co., Inc., and the M. W. Kellogg Co. be, and they are hereby authorized, (1) to transport personnel to and from the elevated platform, during construction work on chimneys, utilizing a special workmen's hoist, including the hoist machine, safety cage with safety cables on opposite sides, safety devices that will grip the safety cables in the event of any failure of the hoisting cable and limit switches to prevent overrun of the cage at both top and bottom of the chimney, in lieu at complying with 29 CFR 1926.552(c); and (2) to transport personnel one at a time to and from the elevated scaffold during construction work on chimneys or chimney linings of a small diameter or from a bracket scaffold on the outside of a chimney, by utilizing a boatswain's chair attached to the hoisting cable of a material hoist from which the material bucket shall be temporarily disconnected, with the safety belt of the personnel being transported in the boatswain's chair attached to a safety clamp riding a separate lifeline of a 3/8-inch-diameter wire rope securely attached to the rigging at the top and to a weight at the bottom, and to substitute a material hoist for the block and falls when transporting personnel in a boatswain's chair, in lieu of complying with 29 CFR 1926.451(L) (4) and (5); in accordance with the following additional conditions:

    (a) Hoist machine.
      (1) The hoist machine shall be a type designated as a portable man hoist.
      (2) The hoist machine than be powered both in the up and down direction and shall be located far enough from the footblock to obtain correct fleet angle or proper spooling on the hoist drum.
      (3) The hoist machine shall be powered by an internal combustion engine equipped with a torque converter or equivalent and forward-reverse transmission or by an electric motor with controls to provide for comparable operation. In either case, the hoist machine shall be equipped with the following safety provisions:
        (i) A "deadman" control switch in top of operating lever or in conventional foot-type location which shall stop the hoist immediately if released.
        (ii) A winding drum not less than 30 times diameter of rope used, and flange diameter approximately 1 times the drum diameter, with rope not to be spooled closer than 2 inches to edge of flange.
        (iii) A line-speed indicator maintained in good working order.
      (4) The hoist machine shall be equipped with two (2) independently operated brakes, each capable of holding the load, as follows:
        (i) An externally contracting band-type brake mounted directly on the hoist drum. A foot pedal shall be located near the operator's seat for sit-down control.
        (ii) An electromagnetic braking device, capable of holding 150 percent of the rated load, which shall be automatically applied upon cessation of power. The electromagnetic brake shall be properly located in the drive between the power source and the drum.
      (5) Hoist machine frame shall be a self-supporting, rigid, welded steel frame with skid base. Holding brackets for anchor lines shall be located at corners, as well as legs for anchor bolts.
      (6) Hoist machine wiring shall be equipped with terminal blocks for connections with limit switches that are placed at upper and lower end of travel to prevent the bottom of the cage from being taken above the platform level of the top scaffold or below the bottom loading platform. The hoist shall stop automatically if limit switch contact is opened.
      (7) All electrical equipment shall be waterproof.
      (8) Single lever control for both speed and direction shall be used.
    (b) Operating control.
      (l) The operator of the hoist shall be an experienced operator.
      (2) The hoist shall not be operated in excess of 250 ft./min. when carrying personnel.
      (3) Signals shall consist of two-way radio or wired intercom between hoist operator, the lower 1anding, and the upper landing.
    (c) Hoist rope.
      (1) The hoisting rope shall be improved plow steel or equivalent quality of nonrotating type or regular lay rope with proper swivel and shall be not less that one-half inch diameter. It shall be attached to the cage by a closed hook or hook with 1ocking swivel safety latch.
      (2) Where clip fastening is used, there shall be at least three at each fastening and they shall be installed with "U" of clip on dead end of rope. Spacing, clip-to-clip, shall be six times the diameter of the rope.
    (d) Footblock:
      (1) The footblock shall be of construction type of solid single piece bail.
      (2) The line diameter of the footblock shall be not less than 24 times the rope diameter.
      (3) The change in directions of hoist rope at the footblock shall be approximately 90.
    (e) Cathead.
      (1) The overhead sheave supports shall be securely fastened together by bolts to prevent spreading. The sheaves shall be installed between the supporting members and shall rotate on a fixed shaft or the shaft shall revolve in pillow block bearings.
      (2) The sheaves used on cathead shall have a minimum diameter equal to 24 times diameter of rope when travel of rope on the sheaves is approximately 90. When using inch-diameter rope, the corresponding minimum sheave diameter shall be 12 inches.
    (f) Safety cables.
      (1) There shall be two steel safety cables suitable for use with safety clamps, as described in paragraph (g) (6), (7), and (8), or equivalent.
      (1) One end shall be fastened to overhead support and the bottom end attached to a 100-pound weight with cable grips for adjusting. Safety cables shall be 3/8-inch diameter when used with two-man cage or -inch diameter when used with four-man cage.
      (2) Clamping device used for fastening to weight must be of type that will not damage the ropes and will not require acute bending of the rope.
      (3) Where the cage passes through the platform at top of project, adequate beveled cone shape guard shall be provided at the underside of the working platform.
    (g) Cage.
      (1) The cage shall be of welded construction, of two-man, or four-man capacity.
      (2) The framework of the cage shall be covered with aluminum expand-X or equivalent covering.
      (3) The floor shall be of plywood securely fastened in place, three-fourths of an inch thick, for two-man cage or 1 inch thick for four-man cage.
      (4) The roof shall be two thicknesses of -inch plywood or in case of a steeply sloped roof shall be of 1/8 inch aluminum sheet.
      (5) The entrance to the cage shall have a hinged gate equipped with a mechanical locking device.
      (6) Safety clamps shall be at a type that are portable and can be attached or detached from the lifeline. The clamps shall be fabricated 100 percent of stainless steel, have instant holding action, and a solid self-locking pin, spring loaded, for locking the two parts together.
      (7) The safety clamps attached on opposite sides of the cage shall grip the safety cables in case of emergency.
      (8) The safety clamps shall operate on the broken rope principle.
    (h) Capacity. The maximum for the two-man cage shall be 2 men or 400 pounds and for the four-man cage, four men or 800 pounds. A sign stating capacity shall be posted in the cage.

    (i) Emergency escape. An emergency escape device with accommodations for each man in the cage with a minimum 5/16-inch braided nylon rope or better, long enough to reach the bottom landing from the highest escape point below the upper landing shall be securely attached to the inside of the cage. Not more than one man shall use the escape means at a time.

    (j) Welding. All welding shall be done by welders in accordance with § 1926.556(b) (5).

    (k) When the safety cage is not being used to transport personnel, the safety cage and safety cables shall be pulled aside on the foundation and the hoisting hook transferred to the "bucket" for hoisting materials. The procedure shall be reversed when transporting of workmen is again required.

    (l) The applicants, Rust Engineering Co., Continental-Heine Chimney Co., Inc., Custodis Construction Co., Inc., and the M. W. Kellogg Co., shall give notice to affected employees of the terms of this variance by the same means required to be used to inform them of the application for the variance.

Effective date. This order shall become effective on April 3. 1973, and shall remain in effect until modified or revoked in accordance with section 6(d) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Signed at Washington, D.C., this 28th day of March 1973.

CHAIN ROBBINS,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc.73-6326 Filed 4-2-73; 8:45 am]




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