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.
In most cases, shortcuts are unsafe and not any more efficient. Shortcuts are more about not selecting the right equipment or improperly using the right equipment than they are about efficiency. Tools and equipment are designed for specific purpose, and equipment used for anything other than its intended purpose becomes dangerous.
Scissor lifts are intended to provide a safe platform for workers at a higher elevation. Standing on the mid-rail or the top rail, or working from a ladder stationed on a scaffolding platform is never safe.
A properly planned job will select a scissors lift with enough reach to do the job. Wood planked putlogs can safely be used to create a work platform deck for scaffolding, a walkway, or to bridge sections of scaffolding. Putlog end connections are curved to fit over the platform to secure it to a horizontal scaffolding tube, unlike the picture provided.
For more information on scaffolding and fall protection safety, check out our Scaffolding Safety Field Guide.