Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?


by  on February 11, 2014

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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Christie Lagowski Christie Lagowski July 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate the additional information.

Safe Crane Operator Training in Brisbane July 15, 2014 at 1:51 am

Nice Post! For the safety point of view, it is necessary to standardize the cranes by OSHA. Every construction or Mining industry must follow the rules & regulations of OSHA.

Christie Lagowski Christie Lagowski February 19, 2014 at 9:05 am

We really appreciate the feedback Randy! Glad you found the article useful. Let us know if there are other topics you would like to us to write about.

Randy McVay February 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

this is some good information and put together very well. thank you and continue putting forth the information.

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