Moving large, heavy loads is crucial to today's manufacturing and construction industries. Much technology has been developed for these operations, including careful training and extensive workplace precautions. There are significant safety issues to be considered, both for the operators of the diverse "lifting" devices, and for workers in proximity to them. This course is a starting point for finding information about these devices and their operation.
OSHA’s standard applies to power-operated equipment used in construction work that can hoist, lower and horizontally move a suspended load, unless such equipment is specifically excluded from coverage.
The types of cranes and derricks in the next few tabs are the most commonly used in construction and covered by OSHA’s crane standard.
Mobile cranes:These cranes use a lifting devices incorporating a cable suspended latticed boom or hydraulic telescopic boom designed to be moved between operating locations by transport over the road. Mobile cranes include crawler mounted, wheel-mounted, rough terrain, all-terrain, commercial truck-mounted, and boom truck cranes.
Tower cranes: Lifting structures which utilize a vertical mast or tower to support a working boom (jib) in an elevated position. Loads are suspended from the working boom. While the working boom may be of the fixed type (horizontal or angled) or have luffing capability, it can always rotate to swing loads, either by rotating on the top of the tower (top slewing) or by the rotation of the tower (bottom slewing). The tower base may be fixed in one location or ballasted and moveable between locations. Tower cranes include those with a fixed jib (hammerhead boom), those with a luffing boom, and self-erecting tower cranes.
Articulating cranes: Also known as knuckle-boom cranes and loader cranes. These are cranes whose boom consists of a series of folding, pin-connected structural members, typically manipulated to extend or retract by power from hydraulic cylinders. (See the next tab for rules that apply when such cranes are used to deliver material to a construction site.)
All derricks (except for gin poles used for the erection of communication towers): This crane is composed of a tower that doesn’t actually bend but instead pivots at the base. The tower is usually made up of crisscrossing steel pipes and braces. This gives the crane a great deal of strength using very little structure. Four lines are connected to the tower; the crane tower can move in every direction because the lines are independent of one another. Hanging over the end of the tower is a single fifth line that has a hook or other attachment on the end. This fifth line moves up and down and attaches to loads. Note: despite their name, "digger derricks" are not "derricks" under the OSHA standard.
The rule also applies to the following more specialized types of equipment when used in construction
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
It is common for material to be delivered to and unloaded on a construction site using a truck on which is mounted an articulating/knuckle-boom crane. Such equipment is covered by the standard when used in construction work.
When such equipment delivers materials by placing them on the ground without arranging them in a particular sequence for hoisting, the activity is not considered construction work and is not covered under the standard. This exclusion applies regardless of the type of material being delivered.
However, when the delivery equipment is used to transfer the materials onto a structure, the activity is considered construction work. Nevertheless, the activity is excluded from the standard if all of the following conditions are met:
This exception, as noted, is limited to delivery of sheet goods and packaged goods. It does not apply to delivery of prefabricated components or building sections, such as roof trusses and wall panels. It also does not apply to delivery of structural steel members or components of a systems-engineered metal building.
The following types of equipment are specifically excluded from coverage:
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