OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reopening its recently promulgated standards on longshoring and marine terminals to consider whether to permit "piggybacking," the practice of lifting two empty containers together.
OSHA will hold an informal public meeting on Jan. 27, 1998, to discuss safety concerns and risks associated with piggybacking and technological and economic feasibility issues of this practice.
When the agency was updating its longshoring and marine terminals standard, there was not enough information in the record to determine how to regulate the practice of lifting two empty containers vertically hooked together by semi-automatic twist locks and corner castings. Therefore, the agency is seeking to develop information on this practice to determine how to address this issue.
Piggybacking is not prohibited by current standards; however, OSHA has cautioned those who lift containers with this system to inspect containers for visible defects, verify that both containers are empty, assure that containers are properly marked, make certain that twist locks operate in the same manner, check to see that the load does not exceed the capacity of the crane, make certain that the top container is vertically lifted, maintain documents that show the capacities of the twist locks and corner castings and direct employees to stay clear of the lifting area.
OSHA is seeking comments about how common piggybacking is; what cost savings are associated with it; whether there have been problems with twist locks related to damage, weather or age; and whether there have been incidents where piggybacked containers have fallen and injured or nearly missed workers.
Written comments and notices of intention to appear at the informal public meeting must be postmarked by Dec. 8, 1997. Those who request more than 10 minutes for their presentations at the informal public meeting and those who plan to submit documentary evidence must submit the full text of their testimony and all evidence postmarked no later than Jan. 13, 1998.
Written comments should be submitted in quadruplicate or with one hard copy and one disk in WordPerfect or ASCII to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket S-025A, Room N2625, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of 10 pages or less may be faxed to the Docket Office at (202) 219-5046, if followed by a hard copy.
Notice of the limited re-opening of longshoring and marine terminals standards is scheduled to appear in the October 9, 1997, Federal Register.
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