March 30, 2010
Mr. Bill Schroeder
2308 Pahounui Drive
Honolulu, HI. 96819
Dear Mr. Schroeder:
Thank you for your May 8, 2009, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Your letter has been referred to DEP's Office of General Industry Enforcement for an answer regarding OSHA's Crane Standard §1910.179. Your question has been restated below for clarity.
Question 1: Does OSHA consider a visual rotating beacon or strobe light an acceptable warning signal on a radio operated crane?
Response: Title 29 CFR 1910.179(i), warning devices, states: [e]xcept for floor operated cranes a gong or other effective warning signal shall be provided for each crane equipped with a power traveling mechanism. Although the source of 29 CFR 1910.179 did not provide specific examples of an "effective warning signal," ANSI standard B30.2-1967, Overhead and Gantry Cranes, a subsequent revision of this standard, ASME B30.2-2005, Overhead and Gantry Cranes 2-1.15.3 Types of Devices, states that [one]ne or more of the following devices shall be provided when require:
- Manually operated gong
- Power-operated bell, siren, or horn
- Rotating beacon
- Strobe light
Under OSHA's de minimis policy, which allows employers to comply with updated versions of a source standard if the newer standard provides equal or greater employee protection, no citation would be issued. De minimis conditions are those which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health. Because ASME 30.2-2005 considers a rotating beacon or a strobe light to be an "effective warning signal," OSHA would consider the use of such signals under the circumstances you describe as a de minimis violation.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. OUr interpretation letters explain the 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. In addition, 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. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.
Richard E. Fairfax
Directorate of Enforcement Programs