The thought of an OSHA Compliance Office visiting a construction site may make some cringe.
OSHA released a ‘directive for enforcing requirements of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.’ The purpose of the directive is to give OSHA personnel a basis on how to conduct their inspections at construction sites when equipment covered by Subpart CC are present.
The items outlined below are just the minimum a Compliance Office follows during their inspection. The officer can include items in the inspection from other applicable requirements if the reason for the inspection is a fatality, compliant/referral inspection, or if a hazardous condition is present.
- Are ground conditions adequate, including support/foundation, matting, cribbing, blocking, etc?
- Is there visibly apparent need for repairs of equipment?
- Are nearby power lines energized; what is the voltage; what is the crane’s working area; and what are the encroachment prevention procedures?
- Is a signal person used and do they have documentation of qualification, electronic or physical?
- Is the qualified signal person the one communicating with the operator?
- Are lift plans being followed, if used?
- If hoisting personnel, who determined it was necessary?
- Are meetings being conducting for working near power lines, A/D work or hoisting?
- Is all available rigging equipment compliant?
- Are load charts and OEM manual’s available for the specific equipment used?
- Is the operator qualified, trained and competent?
- Are equipment and wire rope inspections being conducted; by whom; and are they qualified?
- Are safety devices and operational aids functioning?
- Are there any visual deficiencies of hoisting equipment, components and load line?
- How is weight of load determined?
- Are qualified riggers being used for A/D work and when in the fall zone?
- Who is the A/D Director and are they present?
- Are oilers and mechanics qualified; are they communicating with the operator; and are...
A question posed to the Crane and Hoist Professionals group on LinkedIn asked if “Lugs” were required on underhung cranes. Most group members responded, “Yes,” because the ASME B30.11 or MH 27-1 requires it. This is not surprising because the text of many standards make them sound like they set requirements and well intended readers believe it. Let’s get technically correct:
• In the U.S., OSHA enforces the Code of Federal Regulations, for Safety and Health, with fines for non-compliance.
• In order for something to be “required” for safety and health, OSHA has to require it.
• ASME, ANSI, NFPA, NEC and other voluntary standards are only required to be followed if OSHA incorporates it.
• OSHA currently has no regulation covering underhung cranes.
• 29 CFR 1910.179 covers only top running bridge and gantry cranes.
• ASME B30.2, which is incorporated in part, covers top running cranes.
• Cranes only have to meet requirements that existed at the time of manufacture, grandfathering.
• Grandfathering and technical correctness exists until an accident.
• After an accident, OSHA can use the B30.11 lug requirement via the “general duty clause”.
• Lawyers have no rules.
• Lugs are not required on new or existing underhung cranes and employers cannot be required to install them.
• Employers must maintain a safe and healthful working environment.
• Employers can be held liable for not complying with “voluntary” standards.
Visit our online store to purchase the current ASME B30 standards.
Does it Come with a Parachute?
Ruthmann, a German-based company, brags they manufacture the world’s highest reach Aerial Lift with a distance of 328 feet. The Steiger TTS1000 is a Vehicle Mounted (trailer) Aerial Lift that is used to get personnel on tall things like wind turbines.
Reaching these kinds of elevations is possible by utilizing several features found on Telescoping Boom Cranes. The base is a telescoping boom with a telescoping luffing jib. There is a personnel basket attached to a short fixed length luffing jib. The telescoping luffing jib can be positioned in line with the telescoping boom for maximum reach. The short luffing jib can luff 180º to better position the personnel basket .
Genie and JLG are competing for the world’s highest reach Extensible (telescoping) Boom Aerial Lift at 185 feet so far. The big difference in height has to do with how the aerial lifts function. The Steiger is setup level on outriggers with a long span giving it a lot of resistance from turning over. In comparison, the Genie and JLG Industries have far less resistance to turning over because they are expected to travel around the job site and they are setup on tires.
Video Source: Ruthmann Steiger
Read more about the Steiger TTS1000 on enr.construction.com.
Hoisting submerged objects is always difficult, but when it’s a priceless Civil War relic that has been submerged for 136 years, difficult doesn’t begin to describe the process needed to make this lift!
The H. L. Hunley, a Confederate-made submarine, sank several vessels during the Civil War before it too sank in 1863 near Charleston, SC. In August 2000, it was raised using a 600 ton lattice boom crane mounted upon the jack barge Karlissa B.
The rigging was by far the most difficult part of the task. First, a steel frame was fabricated to encompass the length and breadth of the Hunley. Thirty-two nylon, web straps were hung from the frame running under the keel to support the full length of the submarine. Each strap was equipped with a bag filled with liquid foam which hardened it take the shape of the keel. All thirty-two straps had a dynamometer attached so as to measure and adjust the tension.
Hoisting the Hunley and frame without damaging it was no easy task either. With the barge secured to the sea floor by its jacks, providing a stable platform for the crane to operate, the Hunley was hoisted. The process was slow as it could only be hoisted a few inches at a time so its movement through the water would not crush it. Finally, the frame was laid softly and safely on the transport vessel that was being tossed by waves.
It was a very delicate process, but in the end, the Hunley made out safely and was taken to the LASH Conservation Center in the Old Charleston Navy Base where it was submerged during the archeological survey & excavation for twelve years. It is now located at Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, SC....
A wooden girder bridge crane that could have been manufactured around the turn of the last century was spotted by a CIA instructor while on vacation. Shelburne Farms VT, a model for sustainable farming, once had horse drawn carriages that were used to transport guests to their inn. When these carriages needed repair the body was lifted off the undercarriage using a wooden girder, top running, and dual drum, manually powered and operated bridge crane. Ropes were reeved over two large wooden sheaves, one controlled bridge travel and the other controlled hoisting. The large diameter sheaves provided the leverage required to lift and move the carriages. Two wooden hoist drums, one on each side of the carriage, were used to lift the carriage body; the holding brake or dog manually engaged one of the sheave spokes preventing it from turning. It is not known who designed and manufactured the crane. VT was home to many early inventors including the Fairbanks Brothers and Frank Strong who invented scales for weighing large objects. This crane would be typical of other engineered products they would have made with available technologies of the time.
If reliability is a key factor and the crane does not have to operate often or quickly nothing is more reliable than manually operated. The pump room crane in the City of St Petersburg water treatment plant is probably 100 years old and the ultimate in reliability. It has manual bridge and trolley travel where the operator pulls the chain in the direction they want the crane to travel. It has a 2 speed manually operated wire rope hoist. By pulling the chain on a large sprocket the hoist moves fast and by pulling the chain on a small sprocket the hoist moves slowly.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is in the process of completely overhauling its consensus standards for aerial lift platforms. Currently there are individual standard for Vehicle-Mounted, Manually-Propelled, Boom Supported, and Self-Propelled aerial lifts on inspection and maintenance. The proposed overhaul will consolidate these four separate standards into one. In addition, they are reorganizing the standard into three sections: design; operations and training; inspection and maintenance. It would appear that the A92.2 Vehicle-Mounted aerial lift standard will continue to stand alone.
Why is any of this important? Consensus standards are produced by committees of experts and are guidelines or recommended practices for aerial lift owners and users. However there are two ways they can become mandatory requirements.
1. OSHA incorporates them into their regulations making them enforceable like an OSHA Regulation.
2. OSHA invokes the General Duty Clause after an aerial lift accident to form the basis for a citation.
Currently, OSHA only has a regulation for Vehicle–Mounted aerial lifts and the ANSI A92.2 (1969) design and construction sections are incorporated into it.
To learn more, CIA offers courses in operation and inspection of all types of aerial lifts.
Read more about ANSI’s makeover.
Eyebolts can make a rigging job easier, but easier doesn’t mean safer.
An untrained rigger may incorrectly believe he can connect to an eyebolt by any means that work, but it is never that simple.
Eyebolts like all rigging gear, have requirements for safe use. Always follow manufacturer procedures when available, and remember these safety tips.
- When used for lifting, eyebolts must be made from forged alloy steel, not cast iron
- To connect to a load, eyebolts must be strong enough to withstand forces applied
- The shoulder of an eyebolt must be flush with mounting surface
- Shouldered eyebolts must be used when pulling at an angle
- Angular pull must be in the plane of the eye
- Eyebolts must have sufficient capacity; greatest when loaded in the vertical and reduced if pulled at an angle
It is no coincidence that Rough Terrain Forklifts or Telehandlers turn over sideways when they fail. Untrained or poorly trained users do not realize that the Telehandler has many of the same characteristics found in cranes. A standard forklift has forks or other attachments on a carriage that is lifted up a mast. They have a fixed capacity as long as the load is within the fork load center. A Telehandler on the other hand has a telescoping boom and when it extends, increasing the radius, its capacity is reduced. It has a Capacity Chart like a crane showing what the capacity is as the radius increases. When the boom is extended it also must be setup level, on tires or stabilizers, like a crane when operated. Some Telehandlers have an oscillating axel that allows them to travel on rough terrain but it must be locked in position using a hydraulic cylinder when setup and extending the boom. The specific cause of the accident is not known at this time, but the pictures show that they turned over sideways. There are several things that would cause this type of turnover. Either the Telehandler was not setup level or the stabilizers were not set or the axil was not locked, any of which would cause it to turn over sideways.
A pole designed to support a large billboard sign was being erected in Central Florida in May, using a telescoping boom crane, when somehow it fell. Bramblett was in the basket of a Vehicle-Mounted aerial lift. Despite being told not to, he tied the basket to the pole. When the pole started to fall Bramblett tried to cut the basket free of the pole which was temporarily being held up by the aerial lift. The weight of the pole was too much for the aerial lift and the basket was ripped from the boom sending it and Keith Bramblett 40 feet to the ground.
What made the billboard pole fall?
The crane didn’t overturn, so the pole must have been rigged improperly. Lifting a large pole from horizontal to vertical and aligning with the base mounting bolts is no easy trick, though the technique is well known. Rigging a large pole can be difficult if there are no weldments to attach to. Using a basket or choker hitch around the pole would not have been adequate rigging to lift it to a vertical position. If the rigging had been done improperly, the pole could have slip out of the slings.
Why was the man basket tied to the billboard pole?
Workers are required to connect their fall protection harness to a proper anchor in the basket. They’re required to only tie off the basket if they are going to get out of it at elevation, which obviously isn’t the case here. The OSHA investigation will determine why the load fell but we may never know why Bramblett tied...
Self-erecting tower cranes run the risk of tipping much like mobile cranes.
In some cases, self-erecting tower cranes are replacing mobile cranes because of their efficiency in travel and set-up. Self-erector set-up is similar to mobile crane set-up. Both require firm, level ground with extended outriggers or stabilizers. Counterweights must be installed per the manufacturer’s specification like most modern mobile cranes.
Unlike traditional tower cranes, which experience structural failure if overloaded, self-erectors are more likely to tip over. However, like mobile cranes, self-erectors are difficult to turn over because of their large structural design factors and required load chart safety margins.
Our Tower Crane Operator & Inspector covers hammerhead, luffing, and self-erecting tower cranes.
See also Flat Top Luffing Tower Crane.