Tag: OSHA

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

chain grades
Chain has been around for over a thousand years. It is one of the most versatile and reliable ways to lift, tension and tie down materials in a variety of applications. In the past, people would use any type of chain to lift something, tie down a load or tow a vehicle. Proper inspection, safety procedures and general standards of practice for chain were lacking.

In recent years, due to safety concerns and regulations, the industry has begun to differentiate between various materials and grades of chain and the specific applications they should be used for. ASTM (American Society of Testing & Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) began to publish safety standards and regulations for the manufacturing, testing, use, inspection and repair of chain.

Chain Grades

One of the safety measures implemented was to place chain in Grades based on the ultimate breaking strength of that chain. This number is what we see today G30, G43, G70, G80 & G100 and the common chain grades. The number after each letter is N/mm2. For example, G80 means that the maximum stress on the chain at ultimate strength is 800 newtons per millimeter squared.

Working Load Limit (WLL) of Chain

The other safety measure was identifying which types of chain are appropriate and strong enough for overhead lifting. Anytime we move or lift a load it is dangerous. Moving a load along the ground has the advantage that the ground is supporting the load. We have to overcome the coefficient of friction to move the load. The chain’s working load limit does not have to match the weight of the load. It needs to be able to handle the tension applied, which is based on the surface that it is being moved over plus some fraction of the weight of the load. This can be calculated using formulas.

If we lift that same load off the ground, we now have to overcome gravity. The chain’s working load limit will have to be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the load plus any additional forces imposed by angles and hitch type(s) used.

Which Chain Grade Should Be Used for Which Type of Application?

Alloy Chain Grade 80 or Grade 100 should be used for overhead lifting. ASTM states that alloy chain shall be able to elongate a minimum of 20% before fracture (7.3.5). To ensure that alloy chain consistently meets this requirement, ASTM requires the use of certain alloying elements in the manufacturing of the steel for alloy steel chain. These alloys can vary from company to company, but some key requirements are specified by ASTM. The alloy properties also improve the wear and tear that the chain will experience.  Note that when chain is in use, no amount of stretch is allowed.

Carbon Grade 70 chain is a “heat treated” carbon steel chain that has no alloying elements added to the steel. This chain will elongate before breaking but does not have the properties needed for overhead lifting; therefore, Grade 70 chain is not intended for overhead lifting. This chain is designed for use as a tie down chain or lashing for transportation. Grade 70 chain has a gold chromate finish to help resist corrosion from continuous exposure to the elements and the rigors of highway use, such as road salts in the winter.

When any type of overhead lifting is required, use only alloy chain slings unless specified by the manufacturer.

The preferred chain for load securement is Grade 70, but any grade of chain can be used for tie downs or tensioning. You have to know your tensions in order to select the proper chain. Refer to load securement safety standards FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance), WSTDA (Web Sling Tie down Association) or the state regulations for more information.

Training is key in knowing how to properly size and use any type of chain for any application. Learn more about Columbus McKinnon training programs.

Watch our Safety Webinar on Load Securement.

OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article originally posted in 2011. This article continues to be one of our most visited, and we feel it our duty to keep this very important safety information up to date.

sling regulationssling regulationsThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for slings:

  • 1910.184 (general industry)
  • 1915.122
  • 1915.113
  • 1915.118 (for shipyard employment)
  • 1926.251 (construction)

Effective June 8, 2011, all slings, chain, synthetic & wire rope, are required to have identification tags/labels permanently attached to them. This sling regulation applies to slings sold and used in the United States.

Historically, companies did not require wire rope slings to have permanently affixed identification tags/labels on them; it was not required per OSHA 1910.184. This has since changed. Tags/labels are now required.

Also, original load capacity tables found in the OSHA standards were based on information found in ASME B30.9 dating back to 1971.  New tables reflect the current industry standards for working load limits for slings, chain, and synthetic or wire rope.

Changes include:

  • All load charts for slings have been updated to current industry standards.
  • All slings, regardless if made of chain, wire rope or synthetic, must be marked with a tag/label. Now only properly tagged/labeled slings can be used.
  • Slings with detached tags/labels must be removed from service until new tags/labels can be permanently reattached.

To view the OSHA changes made in 2011 in its entirety or to download a copy click here.

For information on rigging training, please click here

Does your Overhead Crane Meet OSHA Regulations?

Does your Overhead Crane Meet OSHA Regulations?

Jason, an Assistant Manager with one of our Channel Partners, asks:

“I received a call from a customer for whom I had conducted an inspection. The customer stated they received an OSHA reprimand for not having monthly inspections on their cranes. They have 2 top-running bridge underhung trolley-type cranes. OSHA referenced 1910.179 J2IV and 1910.179 B1 as the violations.

In the book I have, 1910.179 B1 states that ‘this section applies to overhead and gantry cranes, including semi gantry, cantilever gantry, wall cranes, storage bridge cranes, and the others having the same fundamental characteristics. These cranes are grouped together because they all have trolleys and similar travel characteristics.’

Are the references for the reprimand accurate?”

Tom answers:

Some confusion exists among crane and hoist owners, users and service providers regarding crane configurations and the application of Federal OSHA 1910.179 regulations. Some of this confusion may be caused by the first definition in 1910.179 – (a)(1):A “crane” is a machine for lifting and lowering a load and moving it horizontally…”  Because all overhead crane configurations fit this definition to one degree or another, we tend to lump them together and assume that all are subject to these regulations.  This is not the case. I wrote an article on the subject entitled “Does OSHA 1910.179 apply?” To read the full article, go here.

A second resource I want to share with you consists of two OSHA interpretations:

Interpretation #1: Click here
Interpretation #2: Click here

Each interpretation makes it quite clear that OSHA 1910.179 does not apply to the crane types you describe. For OSHA to prevail on a General Duty Clause, which they have not cited, they would have to prove or establish risk of serious injury or death. If the operators are doing proper daily pre-operational inspections, or even inspections once per month, they are covered. These “Frequent Inspections” do not have to be documented. (ASME B30.17 & B30.16.)

ASME B30.16 covers the underhung hoist and the “hoist chains” cited in 1910.179(j)(iv). In short, OSHA doesn’t apply.

Below are some additional resources related to this topic:

Disclaimer:
This blog post is Tom Reardon’s opinion of the interpretation of the relevant sections of OSHA. The reader should seek a legal opinion.

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.

ICHC Presenter to Answer Audience Questions

ICHC Presenter to Answer Audience Questions

TomReardon_rev1 MCM Events welcomes another speaker at the jointly held Crane & Rigging Conference and Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference at the Hampton Inn Hotel & Suites New Orleans-Convention Center, New Orleans, La. The conferences will take place May 23-24, 2012. Tom Reardon, Training Manager, Hoists and Cranes, for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, will provide an overview of OSHA 1910.179, as well as explore crane configurations, regulations, and standards for the industry.
“Many of us have experienced the concern prompted by crane inspection reports listing discrepancies as OSHA violations. Not all of these reports are accurate,” says Reardon. “Some confusion exists among crane and hoist owners, users, and service providers regarding crane configurations and the application of OSHA 1910.179 regulations.”

Reardon is inviting industry stakeholders to submit questions regarding standards and regulations, to which he will source answers from ASME/ANSI, OSHA, CMAA, etc., and share them with delegates at the end of his presentation.

Do you have a question you would like answered? Take part in this survey.

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Should a Warning Device be Continuously on When the Bridge Crane is Traveling?

Should a Warning Device be Continuously on When the Bridge Crane is Traveling?

warning deviceGene, a CMCO distributor salesperson, writes:

“I am not seeing eye to eye with my customer on a bridge crane alarm issue. His claim is that the warning device must be an alarm (sound) and that it should be continuously on when the bridge is traveling.  The standard he is referencing is ANSI B30.2 (1967) with the claim that it is incorporated by reference into law.

I have found numerous references myself to other standards regarding the requirement for a warning device. Where is the standard that permits a strobe? Where do you find the statement that makes ASME as the controlling entity? Thanks for your help!”

Tom Reardon, CMCO technical instructor, replies:

For the short answer, please skip to the bottom of the page.
For the long, detailed answer, please read on:

To start out let’s determine if the crane in question is top running or underhung.   If any load-bearing member of a crane or monorail travels on an internal or external lower flange or equivalent it does not fall within the purview of OSHA 1910.179.  The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued several interpretations stating as much.  One such interpretation was issued to Mr. Thomas Hagerty, on March 4, 1991 in response to his question: Does this standard apply to under-hung cranes, hoists, and monorails?  OSHA’s reply was, “This standard does not apply to under-hung cranes, overhead hoists, or monorails.  Under-hung cranes and monorails are covered in ANSI B30.11-1980, a National Consensus Standard.”

ASME B30.11 states the requirement for a warning device but does not specify what type or how it should be used.
ASME B30.11 SECTION 11-1.11 WARNING DEVICES: “On cab- and remote-operated cranes or carriers, an audible or visual warning means shall be provided.”
ASME B30.11 is a consensus standard. It does not have the power of law.  It may be used by OSHA to support a General Duty Clause violation, (5)(a)(1) to “demonstrate that a hazard and abatement options are recognized by industry.”

OSHA 1910.179 applies only if both the crane bridge and trolley are top running.
Paragraph 1910.179(b)(2) states, “All new overhead and gantry cranes constructed and installed on or after August 31, 1971 shall meet the design specifications of ANSI B30.2 (1967).”  OSHA became law on August 31, 1971, for overhead and gantry cranes.  Your distributor is correct in that OSHA 1910.179 “incorporates by reference”  in CFR 29 1910.6,  the B30.2 – 1967 standard.

OSHA 1910.179 does address the requirement for a warning device.  This requirement is vague at best.  “1910.179(i) Warning device; except for floor-operated cranes a gong or other effective warning signal shall be provided for each crane equipped with a power traveling mechanism.”  (Note: Floor Operated Cranes are defined as Pendant Operated)

While I do not have access to the 1967 version of ASME / ANSI B30.2 1967, it is highly unlikely the standards have become less restrictive or less protective since 1967.  The current ASME B30.2 – 2005 states the following requirements:

SECTION 2-1.15: WARNING DEVICES OR MEANS FOR A CRANE WITH A POWER TRAVELING MECHANISM

2-1.15.1 Cab- and Remote-Operated Cranes
(a) A warning device shall be provided.
(b) Refer to para. 2-3.1.7(e) for operation of the device.

2-1.15.2 Floor-Operated Cranes
(a) A warning device should be provided for installations where the ability of the operator to warn persons in the  path of the load is impaired.

2-1.15.3 Types of Devices
One or more of the following devices shall be provided when required:
(a) manually operated gong
(b) power-operated bell, siren, or horn
(c)  rotating beacon
(d) strobe

2-3.1.7 Conduct of Operators
(e) The operator shall activate the warning device on cab- and remote-operated cranes and, when provided, on floor-operated cranes
(1) before starting the bridge or trolley motion of the crane,
(2) intermittently during travel of the crane when approaching persons in the path of the load.

So… after a very long summary of the supporting standards and documentation, the answers to your questions are:

Question 1 – The allowance for the strobe is covered in ASME B30.2-1.15.3(d) above.

Question 2 – ASME is not law. ASME has no enforcement authority.  BUT  if the crane is not a top running bridge and top running trolley, only ASME B30.11 or 17  is applicable.

In closing:  (A) The alarm does not need to run continuously and has been proven to be less effective if it does.  (B) It also does not have to be a siren or audible device.

Wrap-up from the Recent WSTDA Meeting

Wrap-up from the Recent WSTDA Meeting

wstda-logo1 I recently attended the spring meeting of the WSTDA, (Web Sling Tie Down Association) in Fort Myers, FL. The meeting was comprised of web sling & tie down manufacturers, distributors & end users, a typical cross-section of its membership. Here are some of the highlights:

WSTDA Performs its Own Testing

One of the interesting things about the WSTDA is they will conduct their own testing. Samples are anonymously supplied to the testing committee, marked X, Y, Z & set up for testing. The results are shared by the committee with the membership at these meetings. The important thing about the results is that they guide the committees in formulating an industry recommendation. These recommendations are very important because the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) can use them to potentially sideline a truck for improper tie downs or OSHA can use them to cite a company for improper use of a sling. There are currently a number of these types of tests taking place; we anticipate that the results will be distributed at a future meeting.

Role of the WSTDA Committee

Over the years materials and the way things are done have changed. Therefore, some of the previous recommendations that WSTDA has made need to be updated. This is another issue that the various committees take on –  the updating of WSTDA’s recommendations.

Synthetic slings are being used more & more and are being asked to lift ever-increasing capacities. This is why this organization is so very important. The WSTDA, based on their testing results, will print recommendations that other organizations, such as ASME, CVSA & FMCSA will reference.

Newly-Developed Load Binders Used With Chain Tie Downs Standard Released

The WSTDA is pleased to announce the recent publication of its newly-developed Recommended Standard Specification for Load Binders Used With Chain Tie Downs. The standard applies to load binders designed to accommodate chain tie downs for the purpose of securing cargo. This standard recommends construction as well as identification and marking of these load binders. In addition, it gives important practical advice on use, maintenance and inspection of these binders.

The WSTDA is a non-profit, technical association dedicated to the development and promotion of voluntary recommended standards and associated reference materials. Members of the WSTDA include manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic web slings and tie downs, polyester roundslings, synthetic webbing, fibers, thread and related components.

For more information, contact WSTDA at (443) 640-1070 or www.wstda.com

The Latest ASME Updates

The Latest ASME Updates

ASME updates

Below are a few ASME updates that we thought you might find helpful:

  • On Jan 18, 2011, ASME B30.9-2010  Slings became available for the public to purchase.  The latest revision covers safe care along with the use and inspection of alloy chains, synthetic slings, wire rope and metal mesh slings.
  • Past and current revisions of any B30 standards are now making training mandatory.  ASME B30.9-2010 made training mandatory in their 2006 edition, well before OSHA mandated rigging training for construction. This is also stated in ASME B30.26-2015 Rigging Hardware which was released on October 7, 2015.
  • ASME B30.11- 2010  Monorails and Underhung Cranes released last April 2010 added Chapter 11-4 Maintenance Training.  Anyone that makes adjustments or repairs to this equipment must be trained.
  • It is important to keep current with the latest standards.  On May 31, 2011,  ASME issued the latest revision of B30.2-2011 Overhead and Gantry Cranes .

Should you have any questions about any of the above changes, feel free to leave us comments.  Our CMCO training group can help your company become familiar with and up-to-date on the latest standards.

The Twenty Year Rule

The Twenty Year Rule

Safety-first While conducting our overhead lifting safety training it never fails that we get a comment to the effect of,

We’ve been doing it this way for over twenty years. We never had an accident.  And, now you are telling me it’s wrong?”

Just because you have been lifting a certain way for the past twenty years and never had an accident only means that you have been lucky. When performing safety training we emphasize all the safety standards and regulations that are applicable. They all serve a purpose.

ANSI/ASME B30 Safety Standards for overhead lifting began in 1916 as an eight page safety code – now 94 years old. Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) began as Electric Overhead Crane Institute (EOCI) in 1927 and published their first standard in 1948 –  62 years old. ANSI/NFPA 70, otherwise known as the National Electric Code began in 1897 – 113 years old. Article 610 of the NEC is specifically written for overhead cranes and hoists. For our friends north of the border, the CSA standard B167.08 began in 1964  – 46 years old. Finally, let us not forget OSHA, which began in 1970, making it 40 years old.  OSHA enforces two federal regulations for overhead lifting:  CFR 1910.179 for cranes and 1910.184 for slings. Between all these organizations and safety standards there is a total of 355 years of experience. 355 years trumps your 20 every time.

These organizations were not put together to make your life miserable.  You can’t take short cuts the way you have been doing the past twenty years.  These organizations include people that are involved in all facets of overhead lifting, including riggers and production and construction personnel that perform overhead lifting as part of their job.  They want you to be safe in your work habits and environment so that you can go home at the end of your shift or work day to your family.

This blog post was written by Larry Lynn, former Product Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Accident Investigation

Accident Investigation

Precast Inc. Magazine  had a good article in their March/April 2010  issue entitled “Accident Investigation” by Joan Shirikian-Hesselton. When the unthinkable happens action must be taken to ensure the unfortunate event doesn’t happen again.

  • It is essential that investigations be conducted as fact finding not fault finding. What happened?  Don’t look for blame in an investigation – just the facts.
  • Have an established well-developed Investigation Plan. This should be a preplanned process.  The person conducting the investigation should have authority and training. Documentation and good methodology will lead to correct identification of root causes and proper corrective action.  After the investigation there should be follow-ups and reviews of the actions about to be taken and the actions that were taken to eliminate future accidents.

Some OSHA Websites have on-line accident investigation programs and training. OSHAcademy offers a free program program called Effective Accident Investigation.