Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

CRANE Power Mast There is some confusion in the industry regarding crane configurations and the application of OSHA regulations. In a recent article in Industrial Lift & Hoist Magazine, Tom Reardon, one of Columbus McKinnon’s training managers, discusses the issue and provides clarification for crane users.

OSHA 1910.179(a)(1) states that “A ‘crane’ is a machine for lifting and lowering a load or moving it horizontally…” As most overhead cranes can fit into this description, they tend to get grouped together and are assumed to be subject to OSHA’s regulations. This is not the case.

OSHA 1910.179(b)(1) defines the types of cranes that fall under its regulations –these regulations do not apply to underhung cranes, overhead hoists or monorails, which are covered by ANSI B30.11 and ANSI B30.16.  As a general rule, if both the crane bridge and trolley hoist travel on top of a rail or equivalent, the crane is subject to OSHA 1910.179 regulations. If any load-bearing member of a crane or monorail travels on an internal or external lower flange or equivalent, it is not subject to OSHA regulations.

Even though these types of cranes are not regulated by OSHA 1910.179, ASME and ANSI both have standards regarding the construction, installation, maintenance, inspection and safety of these cranes. OSHA may use the standards set forth by organizations like ANSI and ASME to regulate these cranes under its general duty clause. OSHA will issue a General Duty Citation for serious circumstances where employees are exposed to hazards that present a substantial probability of death or serious injury.

Therefore, when using cranes, it is important to understand the regulations your specific crane falls under and the steps you need to take to ensure your employees are safe and your crane is in proper working order. To read Tom’s full article regarding this topic, visit ILH online.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

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5 Replies to “Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?”

  1. I have taken and passed Tom Reardon’s inspection training course (with a 100% on the test if I may be so bold). Although OSHA doesn’t specifically cover any crane other than top running double girder bridges with top running hoists, the general duty clause or “catch all” will be cited for other cranes for obvious violations. And while ANSI/ASME/NEC/CMAA may not be technically “the law” on certain criteria, OSHA Inspectors will cite those standards and issue a general duty clause violation in my experience. In my 30yrs of working on overhead cranes it is always best to err on the side of personnel safety regardless if it adversely affects production or makes tasks more cumbersome. The intent is much more important than the “letter of the law”.

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