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 1417 – Operation
This section contains a number of requirements that are designed to prevent dangerous conditions during crane operations.
Compliance with Rated Capacity
One of the most serious hazards that cranes present is collapse of the equipment caused by exceeding the crane’s rated capacity. The term “rated capacity” is defined in section 1401, and that definition reads:
Rated capacity means the maximum working load permitted by the manufacturer under specified working conditions. Such working conditions typically include a specific combination of factors such as equipment configuration, radii, boom length, and other parameters of use.
The combination of factors that enter into rated capacity is set forth in a load chart that must be on the equipment. In general, the load chart states the weight of the load that the crane can lift at different boom radii. The longer the radius at which the lift occurs, the smaller amount of weight the crane can lift.
You must not operate a crane in excess of its rated capacity. Some crane users believe they can safely exceed the rated capacity because the manufacturer includes a safety factor in the load chart. However, any safety factor included by the manufacturer is not intended to be treated as excess capacity. It is included because a variety of variable work site conditions, such as swinging of the load caused by wind or other factors, can reduce the capacity of the crane from that which exists under ideal conditions.
To comply with the rated capacity, the weight of the load must be known. Before beginning a lift, you must determine the load weight by a reliable means.
Other Manufacturer Procedures
In addition to complying with the rated capacity, you must comply with all other manufacturer procedures applicable to the operation of the equipment. If the manufacturer’s procedures are unavailable, you must comply with procedures that you develop. Procedures for the operational controls must be developed by a qualified person. Procedures related to the capacity of the equipment must be developed and signed by a registered professional engineer familiar with the equipment.
All procedures applicable to the operation of the equipment, including rated capacities (load charts), recommended operating speeds, special hazard warnings, instructions, and operator’s manual, must be readily available in the cab at all times for use by the operator.
The operator must not engage in any practice or activity that diverts his/her attention while actually engaged in operating the equipment, such as the use of a cell phone (except when used for signal communications).
Operator Usually Must Remain at Controls While the Load is Suspended
An exception is provided for working gear (such as slings, spreader bars, ladders, and welding machines) when the weight of the working gear is negligible compared to the capacity of the equipment and the working gear is not over an entrance or exit. Another exception applies when the load is to be held suspended for a period of time exceeding that of normal lifting operations. See section 1417(e) for the conditions that must be met for this exception to apply.
Tagging Out of Service Equipment and Functions
When the equipment is out of service, a tag must be placed in the cab stating that the equipment is out of service and is not to be used. Where a function is out of service, a tag must be placed in a conspicuous position stating that the function is out of service and is not to be used. The equipment or function may not be used until the tag is removed by an authorized person.
Precautions During Startup
Before starting the engine, the operator must verify that all controls are in the proper starting position and that all personnel are in the clear.
Bad Weather Precautions
When a local storm warning has been issued, the competent person must determine whether it is necessary to implement manufacturer recommendations for securing the equipment. The competent person must adjust the equipment and/or operations to address the effect of wind, ice, and snow on equipment stability and rated capacity.
The equipment must not be used to drag or pull loads sideways.
The operator must test the brakes each time a load that is 90% or more of the maximum line pull is handled by lifting the load a few inches and applying the brakes. In duty cycle and repetitive lifts where each lift is 90% or more of the maximum line pull, this requirement applies to the first lift but not to successive lifts.
Protection Against Rope Detachment
To prevent rope from becoming detached from a drum, neither the load nor the boom must be lowered below the point where less than two full wraps of rope remain on their respective drums.
Traveling with Load
Traveling with a load is prohibited if the practice is prohibited by the manufacturer. Where it is not prohibited, you must take precautions to prevent hazardous movement of the load and avoid excessive movement of the load that could overload the crane.