Falls from dangerous heights can occur when employees work on boom sections during assembly/ disassembly, when employees are gaining access to and from their workstations, or at other times when employees are working at elevations, as on tower crane walkways. The provisions of this section are designed to protect employees who work on elevated parts of equipment from falling.
OSHA’s general fall protection standard for construction work, 29 CFR 1926 subpart M, only applies to work on cranes when this section explicitly refers to a provision in that subpart.
When lattice boom cranes are assembled and disassembled, it is sometimes necessary for employees to walk and work on the boom sections to install and remove pins or for other purposes. To provide them with a safer surface on which to walk and work, certain booms manufactured after November 8, 2011 must have built-in walkways. The booms that must be equipped with walkways are those more than six feet from cord centerline to cord centerline. The walkways must be at least 12 inches wide and need not be protected by guardrails, railings, or other permanent fall protection attachments.
Steps, Handholds, Ladders, Grabrails, Guardrails and Railings
If the equipment was originally equipped with these devices, you must maintain them in good condition. However, the standard does not require existing equipment to be retrofitted with these devices.
Equipment manufactured after November 8, 2011 must be equipped to provide safe access and egress between the ground and the operator workstation(s), including the forward and rear positions, by the provision of these types of devices. Walking/stepping surfaces, except for crawler treads, must have slip- resistant features/properties (such as diamond plate metal, strategically placed grip tape, expanded metal, or slip-resistant paint).
Fall Protection During Non-Assembly/Disassembly Work
As the employer, you must provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/ working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 6 feet above a lower level as follows:
- When moving point-to-point:
- On non-lattice booms (whether horizontal or not horizontal)
- On lattice booms that are not horizontal
- On horizontal lattice booms where the fall distance is 15 feet or more
- While at a workstation on any part of the equipment (including any type of boom), except when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck.
Fall Protection During Assembly/Disassembly Work
You must provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level, except when the employee is at or near draw-works when the equipment is running in the cab, or on the deck.
Fall protection must be anchored to an apparently substantial part of the equipment that would meet the criteria in 29 CFR 1926 subpart M.
- A personal fall arrest system may be anchored to the crane/derrick’s hook (or other part of the load line) where all of the following requirements are met:
- A qualified person has determined that the set-up and rated capacity of the crane/derrick (including the hook, load line, and rigging) meets or exceeds the requirements in 29 CFR 1926 subpart M.
- The equipment operator must be at the work site and informed that the equipment is being used for this purpose.
- No load is suspended from the load line when the personal fall arrest system is anchored to the crane/derrick’s hook (or any other part of the load line).