OSEA Safety Blog

Crane Safety

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Gregory Santo

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.

Crane, derrick, and hoist safety hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for the general industry, marine terminals, longshoring, gear certification, and the construction industry.

  1. The use of cranes in construction was extensively updated in 2010, with a gradual implementation of safety standards, most notably requiring operator certification. Because of the complexity of that requirement, OSHA has delayed that until November of 2017.
  2. OSHA also has extensive standards governing crane assembly and disassembly, riggers, signal persons, responsibilities for building owners on ground conditions, new requirements for approaching overhead power lines and many more. The standard is called subpart CC in 29 CFR 1926, and is codified as 29 CFR 1926.1400 through 1442.
  3. Overhead cranes are used in many industries to move heavy and oversized objects that other material handling methods cannot. These cranes have a railed support structure, also known as a bridge, and a wheeled trolley that travels across the bridge horizontally. Several varieties of overhead cranes exist including gantry, semi-gantry, cantilever gantry, storage bridge and wall cranes.
  4. General requirements for general industry
    1. All overhead cranes installed after August 31, 1971, must meet the specifications of the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) / American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Safety Code for Overhead and Gantry Cranes, ANSI B30.2
    2. Cranes can be modified and load capacity re-rated as long as the modifications and associated structure is thoroughly checked for the new rated load by a qualified engineer or the equipment manufacturer.
    3. The rated load of the crane shall be plainly marked on each side of the crane. If more than one hoist is present, each hoist will have its rating shown.
    4. Clearance must be maintained above and to the side of cranes. Walkways cannot be placed in a crane operating zone that would compromise employee safety when the crane is in operation. Parallel cranes must have adequate clearance between the two bridges if no walls or structures are between them.
    5. Only trained and designated personnel will be permitted to operate a crane.
    6. Certification for cranes used in general industry is not required.
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