Key Elements of OSHA's Cranes & Derricks Standard
The employer must ensure that, prior to operating any equipment covered by the standard, the person is qualified or certified to operate the equipment.
- By Larry Kime
- Aug 01, 2011
The new cranes and derricks construction standard, OSHA's 29 CFR 1926.1400-1442, was released on Aug. 9, 2010, for the construction industry with most provisions becoming effective Nov. 8, 2010. It incorporates many changes that affect employer responsibilities.
The new regulations on crane inspections now requires that mobile and tower cranes require daily, monthly and annual inspections. Each shift, a competent Person must visually inspect the crane. Monthly, a competent person must visually inspect the crane and the inspection must be documented. Annually, the equipment must be inspected and documented by a qualified person, which is a more stringent requirement than a competent person. Similarly, any equipment that has been modified or repaired and all equipment post-assembly must be inspected by a qualified person.
In an effort to assist organizations, employers, and supervisors, following is a brief list of some of the major requirements:
- Employers: They are required to provide the qualification or certification training to employees so that qualified persons, such as signal persons, riggers, and crane operators, can become qualified or certified as applicable at no cost to those employees.
- Operator Qualification and Certification: The employer must ensure that, prior to operating any equipment covered by the standard, the person is qualified or certified to operate the equipment under the regulation. Operators have until Nov. 8, 2014, to become qualified or certified. From Nov. 8, 2010, to Nov. 10, 2014, employers must ensure that all operators are competent to operate the equipment safely and are trained and evaluated on that training before they operate the equipment.
- Signal Person: The employer of the signal person must ensure that each signal person meets the qualification requirements prior to giving any signal. In order to demonstrate that he or she meets the requirement of the new crane standard, the employee must pass an oral or written test and a thorough practical test. Signal persons have until Nov. 8, 2010, to become qualified.
- Rigging: Qualified riggers must be used for any hooking, unhooking, guiding a load, assembly or disassembly of equipment, and other tasks. Riggers also have until Nov. 8, 2010, to become qualified.
- Maintenance and Repair Personnel: The employer must ensure these personnel have been trained and evaluated prior to operating equipment in the performance of their assigned duties.
- Assembly/Disassembly of Lattice Boom or Tower Cranes: These tasks must be directed by a person who meets the criteria for both a competent person and a qualified person, or by a competent person who is assisted by one or more qualified persons.
Refresher Training and Work Around Power Lines
Refresher training must be provided by the employer on relevant topics for each employee when, based on the employee's conduct, there is an indication that retraining is necessary.
Before beginning multi-crane/derrick operation, in which the operation will be provided by one or more cranes/derricks, the operation must be planned and directed by a person who meets the criteria for both a competent person and a qualified person, or by a competent person who is assisted by one or more qualified persons (lift director).
Working around power lines requires that the employer evaluate each employee to confirm he or she understands the information provided in the training. In addition, dedicated spotters who are trained in accordance with safe crane operations around power lines are required in general as spotters when operating near power lines.
Covered or Not Covered?
OSHA's small entity compliance guide for the cranes and derricks standard (www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/small_entity.html) offers guidance about each section of the standard, including some information in Q&A format. The guide lists the types of equipment that is covered and not covered by the standard:
The types of cranes and derricks that are most commonly used in construction are covered, including:
- Mobile cranes, including crawler mounted, wheel-mounted, rough terrain, all-terrain, commercial truck-mounted, and boom truck cranes
- Tower cranes, including those with a fixed jib (i.e., "hammerhead boom") those with a luffing boom, and self-erecting tower cranes
- Articulating cranes, such as knuckle-boom cranes
- All derricks, except for gin poles used for the erection of communication towers. (Note that, despite their name, "digger derricks" are not "derricks" under the standard. The standard applies to "digger derricks" unless they are used for certain work.)
The rule also applies to these more specialized types of equipment when used in construction:
- Floating cranes
- Cranes on barges
- Locomotive cranes
- Multi-purpose machines when configured to hoist and lower (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load
- Industrial cranes (such as carry-deck cranes)
- Dedicated pile drivers
- Service/mechanic trucks with a hoisting device
- Monorail mounted cranes
- Pedestal cranes
- Portal cranes
- Overhead and gantry cranes (except that such cranes that are permanently installed in a facility are subject to OSHA's general industry standard, 29 CFR 1910.179, even when used for construction work)
- Straddle cranes
- Sideboom cranes
- Digger derricks (except when used for augering holes for poles carrying electric and telecommunication lines, placing and removing the poles, and for handling associated materials to be installed on or removed from the poles)
- Equipment that is covered under the standard continues to be covered when used with crane-attached or crane-suspended attachments. Such attachments include, but are not limited to: hooks, magnets, grapples, clamshell buckets, orange peel buckets, concrete buckets, drag lines, personnel platforms, augers or drills, and pile driving equipment.
These types of equipment are specifically excluded from coverage:
- Equipment that would otherwise be covered while it has been converted or adapted for a non-hoisting/lifting use (such conversions/adaptations include, but are not limited to, power shovels, excavators, and concrete pumps)
- Power shovels, excavators, wheel loaders, backhoes, loader backhoes, and track loaders, which are also excluded when used with chains, slings, or other rigging to lift suspended loads
- Automotive wreckers and tow trucks when used to clear wrecks and haul vehicles
- Digger derricks when used for augering holes for poles carrying electric and telecommunication lines, placing and removing the poles, and for handling associated materials to be installed on or removed from the poles (digger derricks used in such pole work must comply with either 29 CFR 1910.269 [electric lines] or 29 CFR 1910.268 [telecommunication lines])
- Machinery originally designed as vehicle-mounted aerial devices (for lifting personnel) and self-propelled elevating work platforms
- Telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems
- Stacker cranes
- Powered industrial trucks (forklifts), except when configured to hoist and lower (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load
- Mechanic's truck with a hoisting device when used in activities related to equipment maintenance and repair
- Machinery that hoists by using a come-a-long or chainfall
- Dedicated drilling rigs
- Gin poles when used for the erection of communication towers
- Tree trimming and tree removal work
- Anchor handling or dredge-related operations with a vessel or barge using an affixed A-frame
- Helicopter cranes
This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.