Work Area Control
OSHA 1926.1424 is designed to protect employees who work near a crane from being struck or crushed by the crane's rotating superstructure. To prevent employees from entering an area where
they could be struck/crushed, you must:
- Train each employee assigned to work on or near the equipment in how to recognize struck-by and pinch/crush hazard areas posed by the rotating superstructure.
- Erect and maintain control lines, warning lines, railings, or similar barriers to mark the boundaries of the hazard areas.
- Exception:When you can demonstrate that it is neither feasible to erect such barriers on the ground nor on the equipment, the hazard areas must be clearly marked by a
combination of warning signs (such as "Danger – Swing/Crush Zone") and high visibility markings on the equipment that identify the hazard areas. In addition, you must train each employee to
understand what these markings signify.
Before an employee goes to a location in the hazard area that is out of view of the operator, the employee (or someone instructed by the employee) must ensure that the operator is informed that
he/she is going to that location.
Where the operator knows that an employee went to such a location, the operator must not rotate the superstructure until the operator is informed in accord with
a pre-arranged system of communication that the employee is in a safe position.
Keeping Clear of the Load
Should these employees be within the fall zone?
Section 1425 seeks to protect employees against being struck by a moving or falling load.
Safe Hoisting Routes
Where available, hoisting routes that minimize the exposure of employees to hoisted loads must be used, to the extent consistent with public safety.
Stationary Suspended Load
While the operator is not moving a suspended load, no employee may be within the fall zone, except for employees:
- engaged in hooking, unhooking, or guiding the load;
- engaged in the initial attachment of the load to a component or structure; or
- operating a concrete hopper or concrete bucket.
Hooking, Unhooking, or Guiding the Load
When employees in the fall zone are engaged in hooking, unhooking, or guiding the load, or are connecting a load to a component or structure, all of the following criteria must be met:
- The materials being hoisted must be rigged to prevent unintentional displacement.
- Hooks with self-closing latches or their equivalent must be used. Exception: "J" hooks may be used for setting wooden trusses so that a worker need not go onto the truss to open the hook.
- The materials must be rigged by a qualified rigger.
Receiving a Load
Only employees needed to receive a load are permitted to be within the fall zone when a load is being landed.
Tilt-up or Tilt-down Operation
During a tilt-up or tilt-down operation:
- No employee may be directly under the load.
- Only employees essential to the operation are permitted in the fall zone (but not directly under the load). Such employees include those who must be in the fall zone to course the load, monitor
the load's movement, or attach and/or detach the load.
Free Fall Generally Prohibited
In the two situations where the equipment may have a live boom, should you use the equipment when an employee is in the fall zone of the boom or load?
Some older cranes are designed with a "live boom," where the rate of lowering the boom can only be controlled by a brake. Failure of the brake can lead to free fall of the boom and a risk of death or
serious injury to workers near the crane. This standard prohibits the use of equipment with a live boom unless:
- the equipment was manufactured before October 31, 1984, or
- the equipment is a floating crane/derrick or a land crane/derrick on a vessel/flotation device.
Free Fall Specifically Prohibited
Even in the two situations where the equipment may have a live boom, the equipment must not be used in the following circumstances:
- An employee is in the fall zone of the boom or load.
- An employee is being hoisted.
- The load or boom is directly over a power line, or over any part of the area extending the
Table A of OSHA Standard 1926.1408 clearance distance to each side of the power line; or any part of the area
extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the power line is within the radius of vertical travel of the boom or the load.
- The load is over a shaft, except where there are no employees in the shaft.
- The load is over a cofferdam, except where there are no employees in the fall zone of the boom or the load.
- Lifting operations are taking place in a refinery or tank farm.
In the situations listed above where the use of equipment with a live boom is prohibited, the boom hoist must have a secondary mechanism or device designed to prevent the boom from
falling in the event the primary system used to hold or regulate the boom hoist fails, as follows:
- Friction drums must have:
- a friction clutch and, in addition, a braking device to allow for controlled boom lowering
- a secondary braking or locking device, which is manually or automatically engaged, to backup the primary brake while the boom is held (such as a secondary friction brake or a ratchet and pawl
- Hydraulic drums must have an integrally mounted holding device or internal static brake to prevent boom hoist movement in the event of hydraulic failure.
- Neither clutches nor hydraulic motors may be considered as brake or locking devices for purposes of this subpart.
- Hydraulic boom cylinders must have an integrally mounted holding device.
Preventing Uncontrolled Retraction
Why does a hydraulic telescoping boom need an integrally mounted holding device?
Hydraulic telescoping booms must have an integrally mounted holding device to prevent the boom from retracting in the event of hydraulic failure.
Free Fall of the Load Line is Prohibited
In each of the following circumstances, controlled load lowering is required and free fall of the load line hoist is prohibited:
- An employee is directly under the load.
- An employee is being hoisted.
- The load is directly over a power line, or over any part of the area extending the Table A of OSHA Standard
1926.1408 clearance distance to each side of the power line; or any part of the area extending the
Table A of Standard 1926.1408 clearance distance to each side of the power line is within the radius of vertical travel of the load.
- The load is over a shaft.
- The load is over a cofferdam, except where there are no employees in the fall zone of the load.
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