Federal Registers - Table of Contents|
| 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.|
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor.
[FR Doc.73-6326 Filed 4-2-73; 8:45 am]
|Federal Registers - Table of Contents|
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