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.
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.
Crawler-Mounted Latticework Boom Crane Click to Enlarge
Latticework Boom Crane Click to Enlarge
Hydraulic Boom Crane Click to Enlarge
Cranes Types (Continued)
Tower cranes have lifting structures that use 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 (raising or lowering the boom) 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:
Hammerhead Tower Cranes - those with a fixed jib (hammerhead boom). They are the most common type used.
Self-Climbing Tower Cranes - as a building outgrows the fixed crane tower, a new piece of tower slides upwards through the center of the tower and adds itself to the top of the crane. The crane will continue to grow vertically.
Derrick Tower Cranes - those designed to operate atop roofs or fit into small spaces. They are commonly found on ships or at docking facilities.
Luffing Tower Cranes - those with a luffing boom that can be recognized by its diagonal arm coming out of the tower. If they are more than 100 meters high, they must be tied (tethered) to a building structure.
Self-erecting Tower Cranes - those with towers that erect autonomously. The use of self-erecting tower cranes is limited to a height of 100 meters above ground level.
Tower Crane-Hammerhead Click to Enlarge
Tower Crane-Luffing Boom Click to Enlarge
Cranes Types (Continued)
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 have towers that don't actually bend but instead pivot 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 considered "derricks" under the OSHA standard.
Articulating Boom Click to Enlarge
Derrick Crane Click to Enlarge
Crane on a barge
OSHA 1926.1400 also applies to the following more specialized types of equipment when used in construction
cranes on barges;
multi-purpose machines when configured to hoist, 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;
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);
sideboom cranes; and
digger derricks (except when used for auguring 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).
Orange Peel Bucket
Covered Equipment Attachments
OSHA 1926.1400 applies to equipment when used with attachments. Attachments are useful because they expand the range of tasks that can be done by the crane. Whether crane-attached or suspended attachments include:
orange peel buckets,
augurs or drills, and
pile driving equipment.
Equipment Used to Deliver Material
Placing materials may or may not be considered construction work.
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. This equipment may be covered by the standard when used in construction work. First let's discuss when delivery is not covered.
When Equipment is Covered
When equipment delivers materials by placing them onto a structure, the activity is considered construction work and the delivery activity is covered by the OSHA standard.
Materials covered by the standard include:
prefabricated components or building sections, such as roof trusses and wall panels; and
structural steel members or components of a systems-engineered metal building.
When Equipment is Not Covered
Equipment is not covered by the standard when it delivers materials, regardless of the type, by placing them on the ground without arranging them for hoisting.
Equipment is not covered when it delivers materials by placing them onto a structure if all four of the following conditions are met:
the materials are sheet goods (such as sheet rock, plywood, or sheets of roofing shingles) or packaged goods (such as roofing shingles, bags of cement, or rolls of roofing felt);
the equipment uses a fork/cradle at the end of the boom to deliver the materials;
the equipment is not used to hold, support, or stabilize the material to facilitate a construction activity, such as holding material in place while it is attached to the structure; and
the equipment is equipped with a properly functioning automatic overload prevention device.
OSHA 1926.1400 also covers the types of equipment are specifically excluded from coverage. Below is a partial list of excluded items:
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 (this machinery is 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 auguring 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;
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;
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