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OSHA / ANSI / ASME Crane Regulations

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Crane Warning Systems Atlanta Inc. Copyright 2001

(Sections 1926.1415 and 1926.1416)

Brian Considine

Brian Considine, president of Skyazul Equipment Solutions in Maryland, serves on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the ISO TC/96 Crane Technical Committee and the SAE Crane Technical Subcommittee for Cranes and Lifting Devices.

Safety Devices: The new regulation specifically reinforces the rule that safety devices are essential, are required to be present, and in good working order. Previously there wasn’t a clear definition of what safety devices had to exist or a clear differentiation between safety devices and operational aids. These required safety devices include a crane level indicator, boom stops, jib stops, locks for foot pedal brakes, an integral holding device/check valve for hydraulic outrigger jacks and an operator controlled horn. The rule requires that if any device listed is not in proper working order, the equipment must be taken out of service and operations must not resume until the device is working properly. Alternative measures are not to be used.

Operational Aids: The new regulation defines operational aids as devices that assist the operator in the safe operation of the crane by providing information or automatically taking control of a crane function. The new regulation states that operations must not begin unless the listed operational aids are in proper working order, except where an operational aid is being repaired. In that case, the employer uses the specified temporary alternative measures.

The regulation identifies two categories of operational aids, and defines a period of time permitted for repairing defective operational aids. The regulation then lists specific alternative methods to utilize, if those aids are not functioning. Category 1 aids comprises the boom hoist limiting device; luffing jib limiting device; and an anti-two block device, all of which must be repaired within seven days. Category 2 aids are a boom angle or radius indicator; luffing jib angle indicator; boom length indicator for telescopic cranes; and load weighing or similar devices. These must be repaired within 30 days.

The new regulation specifically requires that any telescopic crane manufactured since Feb. 28, 1992, must be equipped with an anti-two block device that automatically prevents damage from contact between a load block, overhead ball, or similar component, and the boom tip. Lattice boom cranes manufactured since Feb. 28, 1992, must have an anti-two block warning device and beginning in 2012 lattice boom cranes must be equipped with an anti-two block device that automatically prevents damage.

Equipment manufactured after March 29, 2003, with a rated capacity over 6,000 pounds must have at least one of the following: load weighing device, load moment (or rated capacity) indicator, or load moment (or rated capacity) limiter.

In all cases, if a listed operational aid stops working properly, the operator must stop operations until temporary alternative measures are implemented or the device is again working properly. The new regulation defines what alternative measures can be used if an operational aid is not working properly. For example, for a non-functioning load weighing device, the weight of the load must be determined by a source recognized by the industry, such as the load’s manufacturer, or by industry-recognized calculation methods such as density and volume. The lift supervisor must verify what the load weighs, and make sure the operator has that information prior to the lift.

The previous standard didn’t address these issues. It required an anti-two block device when lifting personnel, but it didn’t clearly define what to do when an operational aid wasn’t working. Operational aid technology and their uses have evolved significantly since the previous regulation was written. This rule now provides the industry with a clear guidance for their use in safe and efficient crane operations.

The regulation now clearly states that a competent person must perform a visual inspection and verify proper operation of safety devices and operational aids on a daily and monthly basis. It also states that an annual comprehensive inspection by a qualified person is required to confirm the accuracies of the operational aids.

In the past, the practice has been to simply address the non-working systems and components during the scheduled crane maintenance. Now, if there is an operational aid failure during a job, the employer will be required to shut the machine down or implement alternative measures. This will encourage crane owners to take preventive measures to ensure systems remain operational, just as they would with other key components of the crane.

While this regulation will likely add an immediate burden on some smaller companies and contractors, a majority of crane professionals are already using practices similar to those outlined in the regulation. The end result will most certainly be a safer workplace.

This article was published by Crane Hotline staff and reorganized by ITI. To download the full article click here – Crane Industry Implements New Rules.

You may also recover this article at Crane Hotline’s website, here.