OSHA Crane and Derrick Compliance Directives

OSHA Crane and Derrick Compliance Directives

Crane & Derrick OSHA Compliance Directives

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the nationally accredited and internationally recognized organization authorized to create and amend regulations for the safe work conditions for workers. They provide training, education, and outreach to aid in the dissemination of information. OSHA compliance announcements are always being made in order to keep up with the advancements in equipment.

For the construction industry, of which cranes and derricks are a part, OSHA has created several regulations, guidelines, and protocols all coalesced into a compliance directive. In this article, we review some of the OSHA crane updates published on February 11, 2022.

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What is the purpose of OSHA Guidelines?

OSHA guidelines are put in place to achieve several objectives, with a baseline goal of making the workplace safe. They include:

  • Educating employees on the proper use of tools and machinery
  • Identify and communicate unsafe conditions and potential hazards
  • Emphasize important information, such as keeping emergency exits clear and accessible
  • Instill a sense of awareness of the workplace surroundings, like machines in operation on site, also including staying alert to warning signals
  • Safety equipment that should be worn when doing different types of work, from earplugs to Nomex body suits.
  • Following safety guidelines when responding to emergencies or unexpected events, such as machine malfunction or compromised closed spaces.

Common OSHA Violations

Key Points of the Compliance Inspection

OSHA has several requirements when it comes to crane inspection at the work site. An abbreviated checklist for inspection contains:

  • Determining the adequacy of ground conditions the crane will move over.
  • Checking the crane’s components for any visible indications of repair.
  • Gathering information on any live overhead lines in the vicinity of the workplace, with work zones being demarcated and any encroachment steps in place.
  • Verification of the signal person’s documentation and qualification.
  • Ensure that lift plans (if any) are being followed.
  • Inspection of all rigging equipment to be used by workers
  • Verify that load charts and manuals are correct, available, and understood by the crane’s operator
  • Determine the number and frequency of workers entering and around the crane’s operation area.

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Inspection Information and Citation Policies

This section of the compliance directive covers recommended subject matter for interviews of individuals working in the construction industry and with heavy equipment.

  1. Employee/Employer Interviews – this supplements any information shared in the Field Operations Manual from interviews with individuals at the site.
  2. Qualified Individuals – Workers tasked with certain duties must meet the definition of qualified or competent persons, (with interviews documenting these credentials) for them to safely use their assigned equipment.
  3. Tasks required of an Individual – these are provisions given that specify the scope of duties for an individual in a designated role, e.g., signal persons

To learn more about what exactly goes into a crane inspection, see Total Equipment Training’s OSHA-compliant annual inspection here.

Scope: Under § 1926.1400

These are OSHA regulations that apply to any power-operated equipment that can hoist, lower, and horizontally move suspended loads when used in the construction industry. The scope covers most types of cranes and derricks, unless OSHA has established regulations specific to the type of machine. Exclusions from this include power shovels, excavators, concrete pumps, automotive wreckers, and most loaders.

Ground Conditions Under § 1926.1402

‘Ground Conditions’ means the ability of the ground to support the crane. The crane should not be deployed for duty until ground conditions have been assessed (for possible slip, loose surface, obstructions) by a qualified person.

Assembly/Disassembly Under §§ 1926.1403-.1406

This section describes the safe and proper conditions to be aware of when taking apart the crane. They include supervision while disassembling, knowledge of procedures and crew safety procedures during disassembly/assembly.

Power Line Safety: Under § 1926.1407-.1411

This power line safety section refers to safety protocols when assembling, disassembling, or working at or near power lines. The focus is mainly on preventing electrocution, as well as getting closer to (encroaching) the electrocution hazard. Some essential measures include:

  • De-energizing and grounding the lines
  • Establishing a 20-foot (approx. 6 meters) distance from the power lines

Use non-conductive tag lines

Inspections Required Under § 1926.1412

OSHA’s required inspections by a qualified person as covered in the compliance directive include:

  1. Post-Assembly – Inspection carried out after the crane has been assembled, according to the manufacturer’s criteria.
    Repaired or Adjusted Equipment – This is inspection done after any components of the crane have been altered or repaired. A load test may be required.
  2. Each Shift – Inspection carried out before the crane is put into operation.
  3. Monthly – A required inspection carried out every month
  4. Annual/Comprehensive – The crane goes through a thorough inspection (being disassembled if necessary) every 12 months.
  5. Severe Service – This inspection is unique in that it is not done in regular frequency, but rather after when the crane has been operating in extreme conditions.
  6. Equipment not in regular use – Cranes that have been idle for more than 3 months are subjected to this inspection to assess their capacity to resume operation.

Contact Total Equipment Training for your OSHA compliance

Wire Rope Inspections Under § 1926.1413

This is the inspection of wire ropes (running and standing) that are likely to be in use, verifying proper working capacity. These inspections are also carried out by a qualified person. They include:

  1. Shift Inspection – Inspecting the wires before every shift
  2. Monthly Inspection – A mandatory inspection after every 30 days.
  3. Annual/Comprehensive – Carried out every 12 months

A man inspecting crane equipment

Wire Rope Selection and Installation Criteria: Under § 1926.1414

This section highlights the selection and installation of wire rope equipment. It gives breakdowns on the types of wire ropes to be used, their proper use, wire rope requirements for certain operations, and criteria for compliance by qualified persons.

Safety Devices: Under § 1926.1415

This covers all safety devices in cranes. These devices include a Crane Level Indicator’ (which tells the driver the degree of incline of the ground that the crane is on) and a horn. Proper operation is required for all the devices mentioned in this section.

Operational Aids Under § 1926.1416

The section outlines the proper use of operational aids according to their categories. Also contained are the requirements for the devices themselves to be used during crane operations, such as their application in utilities manufactured after a certain year. Some of these devices include:

Category 1

  • Boom Hoist Limiting Device
  • Luffing Jib Limiting Device
  • Anti-two-Blocking Device

Category 2

  • Boom Angle/Radius Indicator
  • Jib Angle Indicator (if equipment has luffing jib)
  • Boom Length Indicator (if equipment has a telescopic boom)
  • Load-Weighing Devices

Operation: Under § 1926.1417

OSHA requires that the employer complies with all manufacturer procedures given for the equipment, including its use with compatible attachments. This section focuses on compliance with operational procedures, such as their creation (and by whom), proper utility (designation of roles), absence of operator policies, and limitations to carrying out operations.

Authority to Stop: Under § 1926.1418

The authority to stop operation is given to the operator after realizing a potential hazard. They may choose to use this authority until a qualified person has determined that safety has been assured.

Signals and General Requirements Under §1926.1419

This section of the compliance directive outlines situations for which signals are required, the types of signals to be used, and where a signal person is required for efficient communication.

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Radio, Telephone, or other Electronic Transmission of Signals: Under § 1926.1420

These are safety regulations concerning the use of radio as a communication medium between the crane operator and the signal person, or any other relevant party. This includes the setup of the communication network (device inspection) and its utility (multiple users, e.g., 3 operators, one signal person for coordinated projects). Learn more about OSHA electronic signal transmissions.

Voice Signals – Additional Requirements: Under §1926.1421

This section provides guidelines on the setting up of voice signals between the operator and the signal person. It is aimed at providing a clear basis for the type of signals to be used and the structure for the signals themselves (having the key elements of function, direction, distance, speed, another function, and the stop command). Learn more about the OSHA voice signals between operators and signal persons.

Signals – Hand Signal Chart: Under §1926.1422

OSHA has created several universally applicable hand signals for use at the work site. These signals should constantly be within the operator’s field of vision (without causing obstruction to sight) for their reference.

Total Equipment Training, a nationally recognized, OSHA-compliant authority provides training and certification for signal persons and a diverse menu of subjects that will help improve safety and maximize efficiency at the work site.

Fall Protection Under §1926.1423

Fall protection is the mitigation of risk from falls by workers performing duties at elevation. This section of the compliance directive guides on safety measures to have in place (guardrails, harnesses) for different conditions when working with cranes. Total Equipment Training’s documentation on fall protection provides a breakdown on what to look out for, and how to improve safety around work involving fall hazards.

Getting ready for crane inspection

Work Area Control: Under § 1926.1424

The section discusses crane operation hazards (such as a swinging load striking a worker), and the safety measures in place to protect workers in and around the area of operation (training workers to identify pinch/crush hazards).

Keeping Clear of the Load: Under § 1926.1425

These are specific regulations governing the conditions for the safety of a load’s hoisting route and fall zone. It outlines the workers permitted in fall zones (riggers) and the safety requirements they must meet when working within a load’s fall zone.

Boom Free Fall and Controlled Load Lowering Under § 1926.1426

This section touches on OSHA conditions for safe load lifting. It covers prohibitions on boom-free falls, how to prevent boom free falls, and covering components that could cause a free fall of the load.

Total Equipment Training: OSHA Compliance Updates

OSHA Compliance Directives (CPLs) for Cranes and Derricks is a very comprehensive document, delving into detail the full battery of procedures, protocols, and measures to follow in order to safely use cranes and derricks on site. Breaking down this information for absorption and retention may be a challenge for an individual or group!

That is why Total Equipment Training provides experienced trainers who can clearly break down this information to be site-specific and fit the specific needs of your company and employees. Contact TET to gain a better understanding of crane and derrick operation and realize improvements in both site safety, and work efficiency.

Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.