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.
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.
OSHA is granting a three year extension for crane operators to become certified. The new deadline is November 10, 2017. The same three year extension was given for the employer’s duty. This means for the next three years, employers have the responsibility to make sure their crane operators are competent to safely operate cranes. The rule will be effective November 9, 2014.
Although OSHA has extended the deadline for operator certification and employer duty; some states, cities or employers may still require certification.
Cranes have always been used to get construction personnel into hard to reach places.
Before OSHA, a worker riding the crane’s hook was common, this is still true in some places today. Until the mid-1980’s, hoisting personnel with a crane was one of the main causes of crane-related deaths. With new regulations in place, there are fewer fatalities. Lifting personnel with a crane should be a last resort, after exhausting all other safer possibilities. In fact, in an effort to discourage hoisting personnel with a crane, OSHA has made the requirements time consuming and costly.
The currently approved methods of lifting personnel are hook suspended baskets, boom tip attached baskets, boatswain (bosun’s chairs), and marine transfer units (Billy Pughs).
Killed – two workers in California when their personnel basket fell nearly 80 feet.
OSHA has strict requirements regarding hoisting personnel. If these requirements are followed, such accidents should cease to happen. The actual cause of this particular accident is still unknown to the public as the OSHA report will take time to surface. Early speculation is that the hook failed or the basket came off the hook.
Hooks used in personnel hoisting operations “must be capable of supporting, without failure, at least five times the maximum intended load applied” according to OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1431(g)(3). In simple terms the hook will withstand a 500% overload before it will fail at which point it will bend, not break. On a crane as large as the one used in the operation, the weight of the heaviest personnel basket and its contents should not come close to the yield point of the hook.
This begs the other question, how could the master link for the bridle supporting the basket come off the hook?
OSHA requires hooks used for hoisting personnel “must be of a type that can be closed and locked” (1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A)). Closing the hook’s throat would prevent the basket from coming off the hook. Now let’s assume the hook was not equipped with a latch or the latch was defective.
- The weight of the basket should keep the master link in place in the bowl of the hook.
- For the basket to come off, an upward force would have to be placed on the master link. This could cause the master link to slip over the hook tip.
- An upward force could be generated by hitting an object with the personnel basket.
Purchase Mobile Cranes and Rigging handbook set by Jim Headely and read...
Crane Institute Announces Plans for New Programs
August 4, 2014 (Sanford, Fla.) — More than 15 Training Specialists for Crane Institute of America recently met at Crane Institute’s headquarters for Annual In-Service Training in order to provide the best possible customer experience. All Training Specialists are certified and qualified through Crane Institute of America. The training session includes refreshers on the latest equipment and changes to regulations.
The training meeting included a conference call with Crane Institute Certification’s (CIC) Executive Director, Debbie Dickinson, to learn more about OSHA’s proposed delay of crane operator certification requirements. CIC submitted viable solutions to OSHA with the intent to satisfy the agency’s concerns over employer responsibility to qualify workers. Subsequently, an industry coalition, including CIC, was formed to represent the interests of the crane industry.
In other news, Dickinson reported three states have or will adopt language requiring certification or licensing by crane type and size. These include California, Washington, and New York. Finally, she announced the launch of two new CIC certifications; Service Mechanics Truck and Lift Director.
New Programs and Resources
Crane Institute of America announced to its Training Specialists new programs currently in development. Two new training courses for people involved in crane management are set to be released in Fall 2014. The new Lift Director and Lift Planner courses are designed to prepare students for the CIC Lift Director Certification Exams. In addition, look for a course for Assembly/Disassembly Director in 2015.
Also new is a metric version of the handbook, Rigging, available for purchase on Crane Institute’s online store this September.
Crane Institute now has a public LinkedIn group, called Crane and Rigging, for those in the industry with related questions. Crane Institute Training Specialists offer a credible source...
OSHA announces the release of a new training tool to help identify workplace hazards for small businesses.
This virtual environment covers both manufacturing and construction industries and allows the user to play the role of business owner or employee. The tool was created to not only teach users how to identify hazards by also hazard abatement and control.
“Hazard identification is a critical part of creating an injury and illness prevention program that will keep workers safe and health on the job,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on the job. ” This new tool not only educates employers about how to take control of their workplace and protect workers, it also demonstrates that following well-established safety practices is also good for the bottom lime.”
OSHA is Campaigning to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers
Heat Illness can affect anyone working outside. This includes crane operators, riggers, signalpersons, inspectors, and supervisors. You do not have to exert much energy to become dehydrated, but the more you work in the heat, the more likely you are to be affected by heat illness such as, mild heat rash to the more severe heat stroke.
To prevent heat illness:
• Keep water in your tool belt, drinking every 15 minutes even if you don’t feel thirsty.
• Avoid sports drinks, which contrary to popular thinking, will dehydrate you.
• Try to rest in shaded areas to cool down
• Keep your neck cool by wearing a hard hat neck shade
• Wear hats, sunglasses, and light-colored clothes
• Be aware of heat illness warning signs
• Keep an eye on co-workers
• Ease into working in heat until your body gets used to it.
Learn more about Heat Illness and this Campaign from OSHA.
On July 3, 2014, Crane Institute of America Certification (CIC) announced their most recent accreditation. CIC is not only accredited through National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), but they are now American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited in the following crane operator categories:
- Small Telescoping Boom Crane, Under 21 Tons
- Medium Telescoping Boom Crane, 21-75 Tons
- Large Telescoping Boom Crane, Over 75 Tons
- Lattice Boom Crawler/Truck Crane, 1-300 Tons
CIC is one of the few Mobile Crane Operator Certification accredited testing agencies in the nation, and is continuing to be a cut above the rest. This recognition will continue to validate CIC testing to the crane and rigging industry.Click here to read CIC’s press release.