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.

One Reply to “The Twenty Year Rule”

  1. When I hear those kinds of comments, I share something we used to say when I was in the US Navy. It was a common statement for us to say, “we might be doing it wrong, but we’ve been doing it that way for over 200 years”. That comment is usually a great segway for me to get the customer to reflect on their safety record, repair costs, etc. and lead them along the road toward “doing it right” for the future.

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