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Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1918.66(f)(1); 1918.66(f)(1)(ii)
• Status: Archived

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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.

October 14, 1975

Mr. C. E. Poe
Port Engineer
Galveston Wharves
P.O. Box 328
Galveston, Texas 77550

Dear Mr. Poe:

This is in response to your letter dated September 3, 1975, concerning your previous request for variance from Section 1918.74(a)(9)(ii) Cranes and Derricks Other Than Vessel's Gear, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

In our letter to you dated May 29, 1973, it was pointed out that only an employer or class of employers may obtain a variance. Since you lease the subject cranes to various stevedores, you, as a lessor, are ineligible to apply. This requirement is delineated in 29 CFR 1905.11(a). (copy enclosed)

Section [1918.66(f)(1)] requires, in part, that all cranes used to load or discharge cargo into or out of a vessel shall be fitted with a load indicating or alternative device. The accuracy of the load indicating device, weight-moment device, or overload protection device shall be such that any indicated load (or limit), including the sum of actual weight hoisted and additional equipment or "add ons" such as slings, sensors, blocks, etc., is within the range from no less than 95 percent of the actual true total load (5 percent overload) to 110 percent of the actual true total load (10 percent underload). Such accuracy shall be required over the range of the daily operating variables to be expected under the conditions of use.

You have stated that the crane in question, is limited to a maximum lift of 35 tons whether load is applied to either hook or both. The crane is supplied with a controlled torque coupling which prevents the hoist from lifting an overload. This device provides accuracy within +/- ten percent of the load setting. This deviates from the requirement of +5 to -10 percent. It does meet all other requirements of Section 1918.74.

You further state that the crane manufacturer has stated that the additional 5 percent overload is within the safe working limits of the designed allowable loads. In addition, bridge type cranes such as yours, are subject to a periodic 25 percent overload for quadrennial recertification.

After reviewing your application it appears that a variance will not be necessary in this instance. The Office of Standards Development plans to modify this standard to permit a plus or minus 10 percent factor on cranes of this type. A Program Directive has recently been issued to provide guidance to the OSHA field offices concerning the use of de minimis notices. A de minimis notice may be issued in a situation where there is not strict compliance with a standard, but where the intent of the standard is being complied with and the deviation from strict compliance does not affect safety and health in this specific instance. A de minimis notice carries no penalty and requires no abatement.

It would appear after studying your application and discussion with our Houston Area Office that your situation would meet the criteria for de minimis notice. Therefore, no further action will be taken on your request for variance from Section [1918.66(f)(1)(ii)].

Any questions you may have regarding this may be addressed to our Houston Area Office, [507 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Suite 400, Houston, Texas 77060, Telephone: (281) 591-2438].


Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary for Regional Programs


[Corrected 05/28/2004]

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents

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