OSHA Guide – Cranes and Derricks in Construction
- Employer Responsibilities
- Section 1400 – Scope
- Section 1401 – Definitions
- Section 1402 – Ground Conditions
- Sections 1403-1406 – Assembly and Disassembly
- Sections 1407-1411 – Power Lines
- Section 1412 – Inspections (with Section 1435(f)-Tower Crane Inspections) and Section 1436(p)-Derricks Inspections)
- Section 1413 – Wire Rope Inspection
- Section 1414 – Wire Rope – Selection and Installation Criteria
- Sections 1415 Safety Devices & 1416 Operational Aids
- Section 1417 – Operation
- Section 1418 – Authority to Stop Operation
- Section 1419-1422 – Signals
- Section 1423 – Fall Protection
- Section 1424 – Work Area Control
- Section 1425 – Keeping Clear of the Load
- Section 1426 – Free Fall and Controlled Load Lowering
- Section 1427 – Operator Qualification and Certification
- Section 1428 – Signal Person Qualifications
- Section 1429 – Qualifications of Maintenance & Repair Employees
- Section 1430 – Training
- Section 1431 – Hoisting Personnel
- Section 1432 – Multiple-Crane/Derrick Lifts
- Section 1433 – Design, Construction and Testing
- Section 1434 – Equipment Modifications
- Section 1435 – Tower Cranes
- Section 1436 – Derricks
- Section 1437 – Floating Cranes/Derricks and Land Cranes/Derricks on Barges
- Section 1438 – Overhead & Gantry Cranes
- Section 1439 – Dedicated Pile Drivers
- Section 1440 – Sideboom Cranes
- Section 1441 – Equipment with a Rated Hoisting/Lifting Capacity of 2,000 Pounds or Less
- Directory of States with Approved Occupational Safety and Health Programs
- Workers’ Rights
- OSHA Assistance, Services and Programs
- OSHA Regional Offices
- NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program
Section 1402 – Ground Conditions
Importance of Ground Conditions
Adequate ground conditions are essential for safe crane operations because the crane’s capacity and stability depend on such conditions being present. If, for example, the ground is muddy or otherwise unstable, a crane could overturn even if operated within the load limits specified by the manufacturer.
You must not assemble or use a crane unless ground conditions are firm, drained, and graded to a sufficient extent so that, in conjunction (if necessary) with the use of supporting materials (such as blocking, mats, cribbing, or marsh buggies (in marshes/wetlands), the equipment manufacturer’s specifications for adequate support and degree of level of the equipment are met. The requirement for the ground to be drained does not apply to marshes/wetlands.
Responsibilities of Controlling Entity
A contractor operating a crane on a construction site may not have the ability or authority to provide for adequate ground conditions at the site. The standard therefore places the responsibility for ensuring that the ground conditions are adequate on the “controlling entity” at the site, that is the prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager, or other legal entity with overall responsibility for the project’s planning, quality, and completion.
The controlling entity must also inform the user and operator of the equipment of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) in the possession of the controlling entity (whether at the site or off-site) and of any other hazards known to the controlling entity.
If there is no controlling entity for the project, the responsibility for providing adequate ground conditions rests on the employer that has authority at the site to make or arrange for ground preparations.
Responsibility of Company Operating Crane
Although the controlling entity is responsible for providing adequate ground conditions, the company operating the crane will often be better able than the controlling entity to determine whether those conditions are adequate. If you are operating a crane and decide that ground conditions are inadequate, you must discuss the problem with the controlling entity and see that the problem is corrected before beginning or continuing operations.