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Proposed Rule

Cranes and Derricks in Construction

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

OSHA is proposing a rule to protect employees from the hazards associated with hoisting equipment when used to perform construction activities. Under this proposed rule, employers would first determine whether the ground is sufficient to support the anticipated weight of hoisting equipment and associated loads. The employer then would be required to assess hazards within the work zone that would affect the safe operation of hoisting equipment, such as those of power lines and objects or personnel that would be within the work zone or swing radius of the hoisting equipment. Finally, the employer would be required to ensure that the equipment is in safe operating condition via required inspections and employees in the work zone are trained to recognize hazards associated with the use of the equipment and any related duties that they are assigned to perform.

DATES:

Submit comments (including comments to the information-collection (paperwork) determination described under the section titled “Supplementary Information” of this document), hearing requests, and other information by December 8, 2008. All submissions must bear a postmark or provide other evidence of the submission date. (See the following section titled ADDRESSES for methods you can use in making submissions.)

ADDRESSES:

Comments and hearing requests may be submitted as follows:

  • Electronic. Comments may be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.
  • Facsimile: OSHA allows facsimile transmission of comments and hearing requests that are 10 pages or fewer in length (including attachments). Send these documents to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648; hard copies of these documents are not required. Instead of transmitting facsimile copies of attachments that supplement these documents (e.g., studies, journal articles), commenters may submit these attachments, in triplicate hard copy, to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210. These attachments must clearly identify the sender's name, date, subject, and Docket ID (i.e., OSHA-2007-0066) so that the Agency can attach them to the appropriate document.
  • Regular mail, express delivery, hand (courier) delivery, and messenger service: Submit three copies of comments and any additional material (e.g., studies, journal articles) to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket ID OSHA-2007-0066 or RIN No. 1218-AC01, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, OSHA, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627.) Please contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning delivery of materials by express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
  • Instructions. All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA Docket ID (i.e., OSHA-2007-0066). Comments and other material, including any personal information, are placed in the public docket without revision, and will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements they do not want made available to the public, or submitting comments that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) such as social security numbers, birth dates, and medical data.
  • Docket. To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. Documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

General information and press inquiries. Contact Ms. Jennifer Ashley, Director, Office of Communications, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999 or fax (202) 693-1634.

  • Technical inquiries. Contact Mr. Garvin Branch, Directorate of Construction, Room N-3468, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2020 or fax (202) 693-1689.
  • Copies of this Federal Register notice. Available from the OSHA Office of Publications, Room N-3101, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1888.
  • Electronic copies of this notice. Go to OSHA's Web site (http://www.osha.gov), and select “Federal Register,” “Date of Publication,” and then “2008.”
  • Additional information for submitting documents. See section V.I. (“Public Participation”) of this notice.
End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General

A. Table of Contents

The following Table of Contents identifies the major preamble sections in this notice and the order in which they are presented:

I. General

A. Table of Contents

B. Hearing

II. Background

A. History

B. The Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC)

C. Hazards Associated with Cranes and Derricks in Construction Work

III. The SBREFA Process

IV. Summary and Explanation of the Proposed Standard

V. Procedural Determinations

A. Legal Authority

B. Preliminary Economic Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

C. OMB Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

D. Federalism

E. State-Plan States

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

G. Applicability of Existing Consensus Standards

H. Review of the Proposed Standard by the Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH)

I. Public Participation—Comments and Hearings

B. Hearing

Requests for a hearing should be submitted to the Agency as set forth above under DATES and ADDRESSES.

II. Background

A. History

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1590, 29 U.S.C. Start Printed Page 59715651-678) (the OSH Act) authorizes the Secretary of Labor to adopt safety and health standards to reduce injuries and illnesses in American workplaces. Pursuant to that authority, the Secretary has adopted, among others, a set of safety and health standards applicable to the construction industry, 29 CFR Part 1926. Initially, standards for the construction industry were adopted under the Construction Safety Act, 40 U.S.C. 333. Under the Construction Safety Act, those standards were limited to employers engaged in federally-financed or federally-assisted construction projects. The Secretary subsequently adopted them as OSHA standards pursuant to Section 6(a) of the OSH Act, 29 U.S.C. 655(a), which authorized the Secretary to adopt established federal standards as OSH Act standards within the first two years the OSH Act was effective (36 FR 25232, Dec. 30, 1971). Subpart N of 29 CFR part 1926, entitled “Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors,” was originally adopted through this process.

The section of subpart N of 29 CFR part 1926 that applies to cranes and derricks is § 1926.550. That section relies heavily on national consensus standards that were in effect in 1971, in some cases incorporating the consensus standards by reference. For example, § 1926.550(b)(2) requires crawler, truck, and locomotive cranes to meet applicable requirements for design, inspection, construction, testing, maintenance, and operation prescribed in ANSI B30.5-1968, “Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes.” Similarly, § 1926.550(e) requires derricks to meet applicable requirements for design, construction, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and operation prescribed in ANSI B30.6-1969, “Derricks.” Since 1971, § 1926.550 has been amended substantively only twice. In 1988, a new paragraph (g) was added to establish clearly the conditions under which employees on personnel platforms may be hoisted by cranes and derricks. 53 FR 29116 (Aug. 2, 1988). In 1993, a new paragraph § 1926.550(a)(19) was added to require that all employees be kept clear of lifted and suspended loads.

There have been considerable technological changes since the 1971 OSHA standard was issued. For example, hydraulic cranes were rare at that time but are now prevalent. Although the OSHA standard remains largely unchanged, the construction industry has updated the consensus standards on which the OSHA standard is based. For example, the industry consensus standard for derricks was most recently updated in 2003, and that for crawler, locomotive and truck cranes in 2004.

In recent years, a number of industry stakeholders asked the Agency to update Subpart N's cranes and derrick requirements. They were concerned that accidents involving cranes and derricks continued to be a significant cause of fatal and other serious injuries on construction sites and believed that an updated standard was needed to address the causes of these accidents and to reduce their numbers. They emphasized that the considerable changes in both work processes and technology have made much of Subpart N obsolete.

In response to these requests, in 1998 OSHA's Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) established a workgroup to develop recommended changes to the Subpart N requirements for cranes and derricks. The workgroup developed recommendations on some issues and submitted them to the full committee in a draft workgroup report. (OSHA-2007-0066-0020). In December 1999, ACCSH recommended to OSHA that the agency consider using a negotiated rulemaking process as the mechanism to update Subpart N (ACCSH 1999-4, Ex. 100x, p. 112).

B. The Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC)

In July 2002, OSHA announced its intent to use negotiated rulemaking under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA), 5 U.S.C. 561 et seq., to revise the cranes and derricks standard. The Agency made this decision in light of the stakeholder interest in updating Subpart N, the constructive discussions and work of the ACCSH workgroup, ACCSH's recommendation, a positive assessment of the criteria listed in the NRA (5 U.S.C. 563(a)) for the use of negotiated rulemaking, and the Department of Labor's policy on negotiated rulemaking (See “Notice of Policy on Use of Negotiated Rulemaking Procedures by Agencies of the Department of Labor,” 57 FR 61925 (Dec. 29, 1992)). The Agency issued a notice of intent to use negotiated rulemaking for this project and establish the Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (“C-DAC” or “the Committee”) (67 FR 46612, July 16, 2002).

Negotiated rulemaking is a process by which a proposed rule is developed by a committee comprised of members who represent the interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. Section 562 of the NRA defines “interest” as follows:

“[I]nterest” means, with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.

By bringing different viewpoints to the table and sharing views, the members of the negotiated rulemaking committee learn the reasons for different positions on the issues as well as the practical effect of various approaches. Each member of the committee participates in resolving the interests and concerns of other members. Negotiation allows interested parties, including members who represent the interests of employers who will be subject to the rule and the employees who stand to benefit from the safer workplaces the rule will produce, to become involved at an earlier stage of the rulemaking process. As a result, the rule that OSHA proposes will have already received close scrutiny by affected parties at the pre-proposal stage.

The goal of the negotiated rulemaking process is to develop a proposed rule that represents a consensus of all the interests. The NRA defines consensus as unanimous concurrence among the interests represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee unless the committee itself unanimously agrees to use a different definition of consensus. As discussed below, C-DAC agreed by unanimous vote to a different definition: a consensus was reached on an issue when not more than two non-federal members dissented on that issue.

In the July 2002 notice of intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee referred to above, the Agency listed key issues that OSHA expected the negotiations to address and the interests that OSHA had tentatively identified as being significantly affected by the rulemaking. Those interests were:

—Crane and derrick manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors.

—Companies that repair and maintain cranes and derricks.

—Crane and derrick leasing companies.

—Owners of cranes and derricks.

—Construction companies that use cranes and derricks.

—General contractors.

—Labor organizations representing construction employees who operate cranes and derricks.

—Labor organizations representing construction employees who work in conjunction with cranes and derricks.

—Owners of electric power distribution lines.

—Civil, structural and architectural engineering firms and engineering consultants involved with the use of cranes and derricks in construction. Start Printed Page 59716

—Training organizations.

—Crane and derrick operator testing organizations.

—Insurance and safety organizations, and public interest groups.

—Trade associations.

—Government entities involved with construction safety and with construction operations involving cranes and derricks.

OSHA asked for public comment on whether interests other than those listed would be significantly affected by a new rule. It also solicited requests for membership on the committee. OSHA urged interested parties to communicate with others who shared similar interests and to begin organizing coalitions to support those interests in order to identify individuals for nomination to the committee.

The Agency noted that the need to limit the committee's membership to a number that could conduct effective negotiations might mean that not all interests could be represented on the committee itself. However, OSHA further noted that interested persons had means other than committee membership available to participate in the committee's deliberations, including attending committee meetings and addressing the committee, providing written comments to the committee, and participating in committee workgroups. 67 FR at 46615.

In response to its request for public input, the Agency received broad support for using negotiated rulemaking and 55 nominations for committee membership. To keep membership to a reasonable size, OSHA tentatively listed 20 potential committee members and asked for public comment on that proposed list. 68 FR 9036 (Feb. 27, 2003). In response to the comments, OSHA added three members to the committee—individuals from the mobile crane manufacturing industry, the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, and the outdoor advertising industry. 68 FR 39879 (July 3, 2003).

The members of the Committee, the organizations and interests they represent, and a summary of their qualifications at the time the Committee was formed are in Table 1 as follows:

Table 1—The Qualifications of C-DAC Panel Members

Stephen Brown, International Union of Operating Engineers (labor).
TitleDirector of Construction Training, International Union of Operating Engineers.
Organizations/Interests representedOrganized construction employees who operate cranes and derricks, and work with such equipment.
ExperienceWorked in numerous positions in the construction industry over 28 years, including Equipment Operator, Mechanic, and Training Director.
Michael Brunet, Manitowoc Cranes, Inc. (manufacturers and suppliers).
TitleDirector of Product Support for Manitowoc Cranes.
Organizations/Interests representedCrane manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors.
ExperienceExtensive engineering experience in crane engineering; participated in development of SAE and ISO standards for cranes.
Stephen P. Charman, Viacom Outdoor, Inc. (employer users).
TitleVice President (New York) of Viacom Outdoor Group.
Organizations/Interests representedBillboard construction.
ExperienceOver 43 years' experience with the construction industry, including specialized rigging.
Joseph Collins, Zachry Construction Corporation (employer users).
TitleCrane Fleet Manager.
Organizations/Interests representedHighway/Railroad Construction.
ExperienceOver 30 years' experience with the construction industry in a variety of positions including crane operator, mechanic, and rigger.
Noah Connell, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (government).
TitleDirector, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance.
Organization/Interests representedGovernment.
Experience22 years' experience with government programs.
Peter Juhren, Morrow Equipment Company, L.L.C. (manufacturers and suppliers).
TitleNational Service Manager.
Organization/Interests representedTower crane distributor/manufacturer.
Experience22 years' experience with Morrow Equipment Company, L.L.C.
Bernie McGrew, Link-Belt Construction Equipment Corp. (manufacturers and suppliers).
TitleManager for Crane Testing, Product Safety, Metal Labs and Technical Computing.
Organization/Interests representedMobile crane manufacturers.
ExperienceExtensive engineering experience in crane engineering.
Larry Means, Wire Rope Technical Board (manufacturers and suppliers).
TitleRope Engineer.
Organization/Interests representedWire rope manufacturing industry.
Experience36 years' wire rope engineering experience.
Frank Migliaccio, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (labor organization).
TitleExecutive Director for Safety and Health.
Organization/Interests RepresentedOrganized construction employees who operate cranes and derricks, and work with such equipment.
Experience31 years' experience in the ironworking industry, including ten years as Director of Safety and Health Training for the Ironworker's National Fund.
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Brian Murphy, Sundt Corporation (employer users).
TitleVice President and Safety Director.
Organization/Interests RepresentedGeneral contractors/crane owners/users.
ExperienceOver 35 years' experience in the construction industry, most of them with Sundt.
George R. “Chip” Pocock, C.P. Buckner Steel Erection (employer users).
TitleSafety and Risk Manager.
Organization/Interests RepresentedSteel Erection crane user/employers.
ExperienceOver 22 years' experience in the construction/steel erection industry.
David Ritchie, St. Paul Companies (trainer and operator testing).
TitleCrane and Rigging Specialist.
Organization/Interests RepresentedEmployee Training/Evaluation.
ExperienceOver 31 years' experience in the construction industry.
Emmett Russell, International Union of Operating Engineers (labor).
TitleDirector of Safety and Health.
Organization/Interests RepresentedOrganized construction employees who operate cranes and derricks, and work with such equipment.
ExperienceOver 32 years' experience in the crane/construction industry, including ten years in the field as well as over 20 years with IUOE.
Dale Shoemaker, Carpenters International Training Center (labor).
Organization/Interests RepresentedLabor organizations representing construction employees who operate cranes and derricks and who work in conjunction with cranes and derricks.
ExperienceBecame a crane operator in 1973; served as a rigging trainer for labor organizations since 1986.
William Smith, Maxim Crane Works (lessors/maintenance).
TitleCorporate Safety/Labor Relations Manager.
Organization/Interests RepresentedCrane/Derrick repair and maintenance companies.
Experience24 years' experience in the crane, rigging, and construction industry, both public and private sectors.
Craig Steele, Schuck & Sons Construction Company, Inc. (employer users).
TitlePresident and CEO.
Organization/Interests RepresentedEmployers/users engaged in residential construction.
Experience30 years' experience in the construction industry with Schuck & Sons Construction Company, Inc.
Darlaine Taylor, Century Steel Erectors, Inc. (employer users).
TitleVice President.
Organization/Interests RepresentedSteel Erection/Leased Crane Users.
Experience19 years with Century Steel Erectors, over 12 years in the construction safety field.
Wallace Vega III, Entergy Corp. (power line owners).
Organization/Interests RepresentedPower line owners.
Experience35 years' experience in the power line industry.
William J. “Doc” Weaver, National Electrical Contractors Association (employer users).
Organization/Interests RepresentedElectrical contractors engaged in power line construction.
ExperienceOver 53 years' electrical construction experience, 37 of which is spent in management positions.
Robert Weiss, Cranes, Inc. and A.J. McNulty & Company, Inc. (employer users).
TitleVice President and Project Manager for Safety (respectively).
Organization/Interests RepresentedEmployers/users engaged in precast concrete erection.
Experience20 years' experience in the precast and steel erection industry.
Doug Williams, C.P. Buckner Steel Erection (employer users).
TitlePresident.
Organization/Interests RepresentedBuckner Heavy Lift Cranes.
Experience32 years' experience in the construction industry.
Stephen Wiltshire, Sports and Public Assembly Group, Turner Construction Corp. (employer users).
TitleNational Safety Director.
Organization/Interests RepresentedEmployer/users of owned and leased cranes.
Experience28 years' experience in construction safety.
Charles Yorio, Acordia (Wells Fargo) (insurance).
TitleAssistant Vice President.
Organization/Interests RepresentedInsurance.
Experience17 years' experience in loss prevention and regulatory compliance.

C-DAC was chaired by a facilitator, Susan L. Podziba of Susan Podziba & Associates, a firm engaged in public policy mediation and consensus building. Ms. Podziba's role was to facilitate the negotiations by: Start Printed Page 59718

(1) Chairing the Committee's meetings in an impartial manner;

(2) impartially assisting the members of the committee in conducting discussions and negotiations; and

(3) supervising the taking of minutes and keeping of records and other relevant responsibilities, including the drafting of meeting summaries after each meeting to be reviewed and approved by C-DAC members.

C-DAC first met from July 30 to August 1, 2003. Before addressing substantive issues, the Committee developed ground rules (formally approved on September 26, 2003) that would guide its deliberations. (OSHA-S030-2006-0663-0373). In addition to procedural matters, the ground rules addressed the nature and consequences of the Committee's decision-making. C-DAC agreed that it would make every effort to reach unanimous agreement on all issues. However, if the facilitator determined that unanimous consent could not be achieved, the Committee would consider consensus to be reached when not more than two non-federal members (i.e., members other than the OSHA member) dissented. Under this definition, if OSHA dissented, there would be no consensus.

This definition of consensus reflects the non-federal members' view that Agency support of the Committee's work was essential. The non-federal members believed that, if OSHA dissented, there would be little likelihood that the Committee's work product would eventually be reflected in the final rule. These members wanted to ensure that concerns of the Agency that would prompt it to dissent were instead resolved in the negotiating process.

Under this ground rule, if C-DAC reached a final consensus agreement on some or all issues, OSHA would use the consensus-based language on those issues for which agreement was reached as its proposed standard, and C-DAC members would refrain from providing formal written negative comment on those issues in response to the proposed rule.

The ground rules provide that OSHA may only depart from this aspect of the agreement by either reopening the negotiated rulemaking process or providing to the C-DAC members a detailed statement of the reasons for altering the consensus-based language sufficiently far in advance of publication that the C-DAC members could express their concerns to OSHA. The Committee members could also provide negative or positive public comment in response to those changes. (OSHA-S030-2006-0663-0373).

A tentative list of issues for the Committee to address was published along with the final list of Committee members (68 FR at 39879-90). At its initial meeting, the Committee reviewed and revised the issue list, adding several issues. (OSHA-S030-2006-0663-0372). The Committee met 11 times between July 30, 2003 and July 9, 2004. As the meetings progressed, the Committee reached consensus agreement on various issues and, at the final meeting, reached consensus agreement on all outstanding issues. The Committee's work product, which is the Committee's recommended regulatory text for the proposed rule, is referred to here as the C-DAC Consensus Document. (OSHA-S030-2006-0663-0639). On October 12, 2006, ACCSH adopted a resolution supporting the C-DAC Consensus Document and recommending that OSHA use it as the basis for a proposed standard. (ACCSH 2006-1, Ex. 101x, pp. 248-49).

As noted earlier, OSHA's assent was needed for C-DAC to reach consensus agreement on an issue. Thus, the fact that the Committee reached consensus agreement on all issues means that this proposal reflects OSHA's agreement with the Consensus Document. In the discussion of the various sections of the proposal below, when the Committee's views or conclusions are stated, OSHA agrees with those views or conclusions unless otherwise noted.

In reviewing the Consensus Document to draft this proposed rule, OSHA identified certain problems in the Consensus Document. These range from misnumbering and other typographical/technical errors to provisions that appear to be inconsistent with the Committee's intent or that are worded in a manner that requires clarification. This proposed rule deviates from the Consensus Document where changes were clearly needed to reflect the Committee's intent, or to correct typographical/technical errors. With respect to substantive changes, the Agency has identified and explained them in the portions of this preamble that address the affected provisions.

There are instances where it appears to the Agency that other changes may be needed for several reasons: To conform to the Committee's intent; where the precise form of a change needed to conform to that intent is not clear; or where an aspect of a significant issue appears not to have been considered by C-DAC. In each such instance OSHA has retained the regulatory language used in the Consensus Document but asks for public comment on them.

Numerous Committee members had vast and varied experience in cranes and derricks in construction, which gave them a wealth of knowledge in the causes of accidents and safety issues involving such equipment. In addition, other members had substantial knowledge and experience in other types of subject areas that also related to crane and derrick safety. This is reflected in the summary of their qualifications (see list above).

The members used this knowledge to identify issues that required particular attention and to devise regulatory language that would address the causes of such accidents. Their extensive practical experience in the construction industry and the other industries represented on the Committee helped them to design improvements to the current Subpart N requirements that would be practical and workable. This preamble describes the proposed standard and the Committee's reasons for resolving the various issues in the manner it did.

In examining the causes of crane accidents and devising ways to reduce them, the Committee concluded that incorrect operation was a factor in many accidents. Operating a crane is a complex job requiring skill and knowledge. To operate a crane safely requires a thorough knowledge of the equipment and controls and a complete understanding of the factors that can affect the safety of its operation. The Committee believed that it was essential to address the issue of operator qualification so that accidents resulting from incorrect operation would be reduced.

C-DAC spent considerable time and effort determining how the proposed rule could best ensure that equipment operators are well qualified. C-DAC decided that it was necessary for crane operators to be certified or qualified through a formal process to ensure that they possessed the degree of knowledge necessary to operate their equipment safely. The Committee's reasoning and the details of the qualification/certification process are discussed below in connection with § 1926.1427, Operator Qualification and Certification.

Another cause of numerous fatal and serious accidents that C-DAC addressed was equipment making electrical contact with power lines. Although Subpart N currently addresses this issue by requiring equipment to maintain a minimum distance from power lines that depends on the voltage of the line, the Committee identified reasons why the current standard was not preventing the many accidents that continue to occur. The Committee concluded that simply requiring a minimum clearance Start Printed Page 59719distance was not sufficient to eliminate the human error that led to most instances of power line contact and that additional requirements that would help employers identify potential power line hazards and systematic procedures to protect against those hazards were needed to prevent power line contact. See the discussion below under §§ 1926.1407-1411, which deal with the various aspects of power line safety.

As noted above, OSHA's current standard on cranes and derricks, 29 CFR 1926.550, incorporates numerous national consensus standards by reference. The Committee reviewed the most recent versions of these consensus standards. For some issues, the Committee determined that a different approach was warranted (such as in the case of protections against power lines and operator qualification/certification). In many other instances the Committee determined that concepts in the consensus standards were appropriate but that different wording was needed to improve clarity and enforceability, or to be more readable within the structure of the proposed rule.

Where the Committee incorporated consensus standards by reference, it agreed with the concepts, found the structure and wording appropriate, and determined that the incorporation of the provisions would not detract from its goal of producing a readable document. In addition, to avoid encumbering the text with too much length and technical detail that would hinder readability, C-DAC decided to incorporate by reference certain requirements from consensus standards where those requirements addressed highly technical topics, such as welding criteria.

C-DAC also determined that some categories of equipment needed to be addressed differently than others. The proposed standard contains general requirements in §§ 1926.1402-1434 that are appropriate for most types of equipment and workplaces but which contain certain specific exclusions. Sections 1926.1435-1441 each address a specific type of equipment, such as § 1926.1435, Tower cranes. Those sections tailor the requirements of the proposed standard to accommodate the unique characteristics of that equipment. They state which of the general provisions in §§ 1926.1402-1434 apply to that type of equipment and which do not. They also include requirements specific to that type of equipment either (as specified) as a substitute for, or in addition to, the general provisions in §§ 1926.1402-1434. In this way, C-DAC ensured that each type of equipment would be subject to requirements appropriate for that equipment.

In drafting some of the provisions in this proposal, the Committee recognized that OSHA would be requiring cranes and derricks to be equipped with operational aids that have not been mandatory in the past. For some types of these aids, the Committee believed it would be impractical to require that cranes and derricks be retrofitted with the devices. In determining whether to propose that such requirements be prospective only, the Committee considered the degree of importance of the device to safety, whether the devices are required under industry consensus standards and, if so, the date they were first required under such standards. Recognizing that manufacturers generally follow industry consensus standards, C-DAC drafted these provisions to require equipment manufactured after the date an operational aid was required by an industry consensus standard to be equipped with the device.

In situations where no industry consensus standard required that cranes or derricks be equipped with a certain operational aid or fall protection device, the Committee decided to allow sufficient lead time for manufacturers to install the aids and devices. The Committee proposed to require some aids and devices on equipment manufactured one year after the effective date of this standard. In other cases, the Committee specified that the aids and devices would be required on equipment manufactured after January 1, 2008.

It is now evident that the standard will not be finalized by that date and that keying requirements to that date will not afford employers the lead time intended by the Committee. To conform this proposed standard to the Committee's intent, and to ensure that industry has sufficient lead time to equip cranes and derricks with the required aids and devices, OSHA is substituting “more than one year after the effective date of this standard” for “January 1, 2008” wherever that date appears in the Committee's draft.

C. Hazards Associated With Cranes and Derricks in Construction Work

OSHA estimates that 89 crane-related fatalities occur per year in construction work. The causes of crane-related fatalities were recently analyzed by Beavers, et al. J.E. Beavers, J.R. Moore, R. Rinehart, and W.R. Schriver, “Crane-Related Fatalities in the Construction Industry,” 132 Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 901 (Sept. 2006) (OSHA-2007-0066-0012). The authors searched OSHA's Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) database for all fatal accidents for 1997-2003 investigated by OSHA involving cranes in the construction industry. By searching the database for cases using the key words “crane,” “derrick,” or “boom,” they identified 381 IMIS files for the covered years in the federal program states, which include states with about 57% of all workers throughout the country. The authors requested the case files from OSHA so that they could confirm that a crane or derrick was involved in the fatality. Of the 335 case files that OSHA provided, the authors identified 125 (involving 127 fatalities) as being crane or derrick related. From these files, they determined that the percentages of fatalities caused by various types of incident are in Table 2 as follows:

Table 2—The Causes of Fatalities during the Performance of Hoisting Activities

Percent
Struck by load (other than failure of boom/cable)32
Electrocution27
Crushed during assembly/disassembly21
Failure of boom/cable12
Crane tip-over11
Struck by cab/counterweight3
Falls2

A study by Suruda et al. examined the causes of crane-related deaths for the 1984-1994 period. A. Suruda, M. Egger, & D. Liu, “Crane-Related Deaths in the U.S. Construction Industry, 1984-94,” The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (Oct. 1997) (OSHA-2007-0066-0013). The authors examined OSHA IMIS data to identify the number of fatal accidents involving cranes and determine their causes. For the years in question, they found 479 accidents involving 502 fatalities. In the worst year, 1990, 70 deaths occurred.

The authors noted some limitations in the data they examined: Data for California, Michigan, and Washington state were not available for 1984-1989; the proportion of fatal accidents that OSHA and the states that enforce their own state plans investigate is unknown; and some of the investigation reports were not sufficiently detailed to allow the cause of the accident or the type of crane involved to be determined.

The Suruda study determined that the number and the percentage of fatalities from various causes are in Table 3 as follows: Start Printed Page 59720

Table 3—The Causes of Crane Incidents

Electrocution198 (39%)
Crane assembly/disassembly58 (12%)
Boom buckling/collapse41 (8%)
Crane upset/overturn37 (7%)
Rigging failure36 (7%)
Overloading22 (4%)
Struck by moving load22 (4%)
Accidents related to manlifts21 (4%)
Working within swing radius of counterweight17 (3%)
Two-blocking11 (2%)
Hoist limitations7 (1%)
Other causes32 (6%)

The proposed standard addresses the major causes of the equipment related fatalities identified in the Beavers and Suruda studies. The following is a brief synopsis of the sections in this proposed standard that address them; each proposed section is explained in detail later in this preamble.

The electrocution hazard is addressed by proposed §§ 1926.1407-1411, which deal with various aspects of power line safety. These sections contain requirements designed to prevent equipment from contacting energized power lines. The proposed rule delineates systematic, reliable procedures and methods that must be used to prevent a safe clearance distance from being breached. If maintaining the safe clearance distance is infeasible, additional protections would be required, including grounding the equipment, covering the line with an insulating sleeve, and using insulating links and nonconductive tag lines.

These procedures and methods are supplemented by requirements for training the operator and crew in power line safety and the requirement for operator qualification and certification in proposed § 1926.1427. C-DAC concluded that compliance with these training and certification requirements will not only reduce the frequency of power line contact but will give the workers the knowledge they need to help avoid injury in the event such contact does occur.

Fatalities that involve employees being struck or crushed during assembly/disassembly are addressed in proposed §§ 1926.1403-1406. These sections require certain specific safe practice procedures to be followed and for the employer to address a list of specific hazards. Also, assembly/disassembly must be supervised by an individual who is well qualified to see that these requirements are properly implemented.

As the studies show and the Committee's experience confirms, many disassembly accidents occur when sections of lattice booms unexpectedly move and strike or crush an employee who is disassembling the boom. The proposal addresses this scenario in proposed § 1926.1404(f) by prohibiting employees from being under the boom when pins are removed unless special precautions are taken to protect against boom movement.

Accidents resulting from boom or cable failure are addressed in a number of provisions. For example, the proposed standard includes requirements for: Proper assembly procedures (proposed § 1926.1403); boom stops to prevent booms from being raised too far and toppling over backwards (proposed § 1926.1415, Safety devices); a boom hoist limiting device to prevent excessive boom travel, and an anti-two-block device, which prevents overloading the boom from two-blocking (proposed § 1926.1416, Operational aids). Also, the inspection requirements (proposed § 1926.1412) are designed so that a structural deficiency in a boom will be detected and addressed before an accident occurs. Cable failure will be avoided by compliance with proposed sections such as § 1926.1413, Wire rope—inspection, § 1926.1414, Wire rope—selection and installation criteria, and the provision in proposed § 1926.1416 requiring two-block protection.

Crane tip-over is caused by factors such as overloading, improper use of outriggers and insufficient ground conditions. Proposed § 1926.1417, Operations, includes provisions designed to prevent overloading. That section prohibits the equipment from being operated in excess of its rated capacity and includes procedures for ensuring that the weight of the load is reliably determined and within the equipment's rated capacity. Proposed § 1926.1404(q) has requirements for outrigger use designed to ensure that outriggers are properly set when they are needed to provide stability when a load is lifted. Proposed § 1926.1402 has requirements designed to ensure sufficient ground conditions.

The provisions on training and operator qualification and certification will also prevent this type of accident by ensuring that the operator is sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to recognize situations when the crane may be overloaded and to either require that the situation be corrected or refuse to proceed in accordance with proposed § 1926.1418, Authority to stop operation.

Fatalities that result from workers being struck by the cab or counterweights will be avoided by compliance with proposed § 1926.1424, Work area control. That section would require that employees who must work near equipment with a rotating superstructure be trained in the hazards involved, that employers mark or barricade the area within the area covered by the rotating superstructure, and that the operator be alerted whenever an employee must enter that area and not rotate the superstructure until the area is clear. Protection against being struck by a counterweight during assembly/disassembly is provided by proposed § 1926.1404(h)(9), which would require the assembly/disassembly supervisor to address this hazard and take steps when necessary to protect workers against that danger.

The proposal addresses a number of types of equipment failure that can result in the load striking a worker. Such accidents are directly addressed by proposed § 1926.1425, Keeping clear of the load, and § 1926.1426, Free fall/controlled load lowering. In addition, improved requirements in proposed §§ 1926.1419-1422 for signaling will help avoid load struck-by accidents caused by miscommunication.

Improper operation, including, for example, the failure to understand and compensate for the effects of factors such as dynamic loading, can also cause employees to be struck by a load. Such incidents will be reduced by compliance with proposed § 1926.1427, Operator qualification and certification and proposed § 1926.1430, Training. Other provisions, such as those for safety devices and operational aids (proposed § 1926.1415 and § 1926.1416), and the requirement for periodic inspections in proposed § 1926.1412, will also reduce the number of this type of accident.

Protection against falling from equipment is addressed by proposed § 1926.1423, Fall protection. That section would require new equipment to provide safe access to the operator work station by the use of devices such as steps, handholds, and grabrails. Certain new lattice boom equipment would have to be equipped with boom walkways. There are also fall protection provisions tailored to assembly and disassembly work and to other work. Proposed § 1926.1431, Hoisting personnel, addresses fall protection when employees are being hoisted.

OSHA has investigated numerous equipment accidents that have resulted in fatalities from the causes listed in the Beavers and Suruda studies. Below is a discussion of examples from OSHA's IMIS accident investigation reports from recent years that illustrate some of the types of accidents that occur when using the types of equipment covered by Start Printed Page 59721this proposed standard and the ways that this proposed standard would prevent such incidents. These examples illustrate the limitations of the current standard and highlight the need for a revised standard that will address the causes of the equipment accidents that continue to kill and injure construction workers.

1. February 16, 2004: 4 fatalities, 4 injuries. A launching gantry collapsed and fatally injured 4 workers and sent 4 other workers to the hospital. The launching gantry was being used to erect pre-cast concrete segments span by span. The manufacturer required that the rear legs and front legs be properly anchored to resist longitudinal and lateral forces that act on the launching gantry. The legs of the launching gantry were not properly anchored. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017).

OSHA believes that this type of accident would be prevented by compliance with the provisions of this proposed standard for assembling equipment. Proposed § 1403 requires that equipment be assembled in compliance with manufacturer procedures or with alternative employer procedures (see proposed § 1406) designed, among other things, to prevent the equipment from collapsing. In addition, under proposed § 1404, assembly must be conducted under the supervision of a person who understands the hazards associated with an improperly assembled crane and is well-qualified to understand and comply with the proper assembly procedures.

2. January 30, 2006. 1 fatality. An employee was crushed by the lower end section of the lattice boom on a truck mounted crane while working from a position underneath the boom to remove the 2nd lower pin. When the 2nd lower pin was removed the unsecured/uncribbed boom fell on the employee. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.1)

Proposed § 1926.1404(f) would prevent this type of accident by generally prohibiting employees from being under the boom when pins are removed. In situations where site constraints require an employee to be under the boom when pins are removed, the employer must implement other procedures, such as ensuring that the boom sections are adequately supported, to prevent the sections from falling onto the employee.

3. July 23, 2001: 1 fatality. Employee failed to extend the outriggers before he extended the boom of a service truck crane to lift up some pipes. As he extended his boom, the crane tipped over on its side and an employee was struck on the head by the hook block as he stood near the rear of the truck. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.10)

This type of accident would be prevented by compliance with proposed § 1926.1404(q), which contains several provisions designed to ensure that outriggers are deployed properly before lifting a load. In addition, the operator qualification and certification requirement of proposed § 1926.1427, which is intended to ensure that operators understand and follow the safety requirements for the equipment they are operating, would help prevent this type of accident.

4. March 8, 1999. 1 fatality. Some employees were using a mobile crane to maneuver a load of steel joists. The crane contacted a 7,200-volt overhead power line, electrocuting an employee who was signaling and guiding the load. The crane operator jumped clear and was not injured. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.11)

Section 1926.1408 includes provisions that would prevent this type of accident. First, it would require the use of “encroachment prevention” measures designed to prevent the crane from breaching a safe clearance distance from the power line. Second, if tag lines are used to guide the load, they would have to be non-conductive. Third, if maintaining the normal clearance distance were infeasible, a number of additional measures would have to be used. One of those additional measures is the use of an insulating link between the end of the load line and the load.

These measures would protect the employee guiding the load in several ways, including the following: First, they would reduce the chance that the crane would come into electrical contact with the power line. Second, if the employee were using a tag line to guide the load, it would have to be non-conductive, which would protect the employee if the load became energized.

If the crane were intentionally operated closer than the normal clearance distance, and the employer complied with the additional protective measures required in that circumstance, an insulating link would be in place. In such a case, even if there was a failure of the encroachment prevention measures and electrical contact resulted, the insulating link would prevent the load from becoming energized and prevent the employee guiding the load from being electrocuted.

5. August 21, 2003. 3 fatalities. A crane operator and two co-workers were electrocuted when a truck crane's elevated boom contacted a 7,200 Volt uninsulated primary conductor 31 feet from the ground. When the operator stepped from the cab of the truck he created a conduction pathway to the ground through his right hand and right foot, causing him to be electrocuted. A co-worker attempted to revive the incapacitated crane operator with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (“CPR”) while a third co-worker contacted 911 and returned to the incident location. When the third co-worker simultaneously touched the energized truck crane and the back of his co-worker performing CPR, the resulting pathway created a conduction pathway through the workers, electrocuting them all. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.12).

This type of accident would be avoided by compliance with the proposed rule. First, as explained in the previous electrocution accident examples, proposed § 1926.1408 is designed to ensure that a minimum safe distance from the power line is maintained, which would prevent the equipment from becoming energized. Also, when working closer than the normal minimum clearance distance, the crane would have to be grounded; that would reduce the chance of an electrical pathway through the employees in this type of scenario.

In addition, proposed § 1926.1408(g) would require the operator to be trained to remain inside the cab unless there is imminent danger of fire or explosion. The operator must also be trained in the danger of simultaneously touching the equipment and the ground, as he did in this case, and in the safest means of evacuating the equipment. The crane's remaining crew must be trained to avoid approaching or touching the equipment. The required training would be reinforced by the electrocution warnings that must be posted in the cab and on the outside of the equipment.

6. September 28, 1999: 1 fatality. A 19-year old electrical instrument helper was at a construction site that was on a manufacturing company's property. That morning a contractor had positioned a 50-ton hydraulic crane in an open area that consisted of compacted fill material. This was the only location that the crane could be situated because the receiving area for the equipment was very close to the property border. The crane was moving large sections of piping to a new location when it overturned and struck the helper.

The crane's outriggers were set but matting was placed only under the northwest outrigger pad. At the start of the construction project, the manufacturing company cleared the site and had fill material brought in. The site was originally swamp and large amounts of fill had been brought in. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.13). Start Printed Page 59722

Proposed § 1926.1402, Ground conditions, is designed to prevent this type of accident. Under that paragraph, care must be taken to ensure that the surface on which a crane is operating is sufficiently level and firm to support the crane in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. A contributing factor to this accident may have been a lack of clarity regarding responsibility for adequate ground conditions due to the fact that the employer who operated the crane did not control the ground conditions on the property.

Section 1926.1402 would impose specific duties on both the entity responsible for the project (the controlling entity) and the entity operating the crane to ensure that the crane is adequately supported. It places responsibility for ensuring that the ground conditions are adequate on the controlling entity while also making the employer operating the crane responsible for calling any deficiency to the controlling entity's attention and having it corrected before using the crane.

7. June 17, 2006: 1 fatality. A crane was being used on a barge to install a dock in a waterway. Employees were preparing to move the barge. A spud pipe, which anchored the barge, was being raised by the barge-mounted crane when the hoisting cable broke, dropping the headache ball and rigging onto one of the employees. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.3).

This type of accident can have various causes. An incorrectly selected wire rope (one that has insufficient capacity), use of a wire rope that is damaged or worn to the point where it needs to be replaced, or two-blocking, in which the headache ball is forced against the upper block, can each cause this type of failure. The provisions of proposed §§ 1926.1413 and 1414 on wire rope inspection, selection, and installation are designed to ensure that appropriate wire rope is installed, inspected and removed from service when its continued use would be unsafe. Section 1926.1416, Operational aids, contains provisions designed to protect against two-blocking.

8. July 13, 1999: 3 fatalities. Three employees were in a personnel basket 280 feet above the ground. They were in the process of guiding a large roof section, being lifted by another crane, into place. Winds gusting to 27 miles per hour overloaded the crane holding the roof section; that crane collapsed, striking the crane that was supporting the personnel basket, causing the boom to fall. All three employees received fatal crushing injuries. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.4 & OSHA-2007-0066-0018).

This type of accident would be prevented by compliance with proposed § 1926.1417(n), which requires the competent person in charge of the operation to consider the effect of wind and other adverse weather conditions on the equipment's stability and rated capacity. In addition, proposed § 1926.1431, Hoisting personnel, requires that when wind speed (sustained or gust) exceeds 20 mph, personnel are prohibited from being hoisted by a crane unless a qualified person determines it is safe to do so.

9. November 7, 2005: 1 fatality. A construction worker was crushed between the outrigger and the rotating superstructure of a truck crane. He apparently tried to retrieve a level and a set of blueprints which were laying on the horizontal member of one of the outriggers at the same time the operator began to swing the boom. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.5).

This type of accident would be avoided by compliance with proposed § 1926.1424, Work area control. That section generally requires that employers erect barriers to mark the area covered by the rotating superstructure to warn workers of that danger zone. In addition, employees who must work near equipment with a rotating superstructure must be trained in the hazards involved. If an employee must enter the marked area, the crane operator must be alerted and not rotate the superstructure until the area is clear.

10. March 19, 2005: 2 fatalities and 1 injury. During steel erection operations, a crane was lifting three steel beams to a parking garage under construction. The crane tipped over and the boom collapsed. The boom and attached beams struck concrete workers next to the structure. Two were killed and one injured. The accident apparently occurred as a result of overloading the crane. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.6).

Overloading a crane can cause it to tip over. When it does, the load or crane structure can strike and fatally injure workers who may be some distance from the crane. Proposed § 1926.1417, Operations, includes provisions designed to prevent overloading. That section prohibits the equipment from being operated in excess of its rated capacity and includes procedures for ensuring that the weight of the load is reliably determined and within the equipment's rated capacity.

The provisions on operator training and certification/qualification will also help prevent this type of accident by ensuring that the operator is sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled in recognizing conditions that would overload the crane.

11. December 7, 2005. 1 fatality. Two cranes were being used to lower a concrete beam across the river. During the lowering process, the west side of the beam became lower than the east side. The consequent shifting of the load's weight to the west side crane caused that crane to tip over. The west end of the beam went into the river and the east end fell on the bank and a support mat, causing a flag person to be thrown into the beam. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.7).

This type of accident would be prevented by compliance with proposed § 1926.1432, Multiple crane/derrick lifts. That section specifies that when more than one crane will be supporting a load, the operation must be performed in accordance with a plan developed by a qualified person. The plan must be designed to ensure that the requirements of this proposed standard will be met and must be reviewed with all individuals who will be involved in the process. Moreover, the lift must be supervised by an individual who qualifies as both a competent person and a qualified person as defined in this standard.

In the type of scenario involved in this accident, a plan that would comply with this requirement would, for example, include a determination of the degree of level that is needed to be maintained in order to prevent either crane from being overloaded. In addition, such a plan would include a system of communications and a means of monitoring the operation designed to ensure that the cranes' operation was properly coordinated.

12. May 7, 2004: 1 fatality. An employee, a rigger/operator-in-training, was in the upper cab of a 60-ton hydraulic boom truck crane to set up and position the crane boom prior to a lift. The crane was equipped with two hoists, a main line and auxiliary. The main hoist line had a multi-sheave block and hook and the auxiliary line had a 285 pound ball and hook. When the employee was extending the hydraulic boom, a two-block condition occurred with the auxiliary line ball striking the auxiliary sheave head, knocking the sheave and ball from the boom. The employee was struck in the head and killed by the falling ball. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.8).

This type of accident would be prevented by compliance with proposed § 1926.1416, Operational aids, which requires protection against two-blocking. A hydraulic boom crane, if manufactured after February 28, 1992, would have to be equipped with a Start Printed Page 59723device that automatically prevents two-blocking.

Also, the operator-in-training in this case apparently did not understand that extending a hydraulic boom would move the sheave head toward the ball and could cause two-blocking. The proposed standard, through proposed § 1926.1427(a) and (f), would avoid having inexperienced operators make this type of mistake by prohibiting an operator-in-training from operating a crane without supervision and without first having had enough training to enable the operator to perform the assigned task safely.

13. April 26, 2006: One fatality. The deceased employee was part of a framing crew which was in the process of installing sheathing for a roof. A bundle of plywood sheathing was being hoisted by a crane to a location on the roof. As the crane was positioning the bundle of sheathing above its landing location, the load hoist on the crane free spooled, causing an uncontrolled descent of the load. The employee was under the load, preparing to position it to its landing spot, when the load fell and crushed him. (OSHA-2007-0066-0017.9).

This type of accident would be prevented by compliance with § 1926.1426, Free fall and controlled load lowering, which prohibits free fall of the load line hoist and requires controlled load lowering when an employee is directly under the load.

As discussed below in the Preliminary Economic Analysis, OSHA finds that construction workers suffer 89 fatal injuries per year from the types of equipment covered by this proposed standard. Of that number, OSHA estimates that 53 would be avoided by compliance with the proposed standard. In addition, OSHA estimates that the proposed standard would prevent 155 non-fatal injuries each year. Based on all of the available evidence and on the collective expertise of the members of C-DAC, OSHA preliminarily finds that construction workers are faced with a significant risk of death and injury resulting from equipment operations and that the risk would be substantially reduced by compliance with this proposed standard.

During the SBREFA process, several Small Entity Representatives expressed concern that the C-DAC proposal was so long and complex that small businesses would have difficulty understanding it and complying with it. The SBREFA Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment on how the rule could be simplified and made easier to understand without creating ambiguities. OSHA welcomes public comment on this issue.

III. The SBREFA Process

Before proceeding with a proposed rule based on the C-DAC Consensus Document, OSHA was required to comply with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (SBREFA). This required OSHA to draft an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that would evaluate the potential impact of the rule on small entities (defined as small businesses, small governmental units, and small nonprofit organizations) and identify the type of small entities that might be affected by the rule. In accordance with SBREFA, OSHA then convened a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (“Panel”) composed of representatives of OSHA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Individuals who were representative of affected small entities (Small Entity Representatives, or “SERs”) were then identified for the purpose of obtaining advice and recommendations from those individuals about the potential impacts of the proposed rule.

OSHA provided the SERs with the C-DAC consensus document and the draft regulatory flexibility analysis and afforded them the opportunity to submit written comments on those documents. The Agency also drafted questions asking them their views on the specific aspects of the C-DAC document it thought would be of most concern to small entities.

The Panel conducted two conference calls with the SERs in which the SERs presented their views on various issues. After reviewing the SERs' oral and written comments, on October 17, 2006, the Panel submitted its report summarizing the requirements of the C-DAC proposal, the comments received from the SERs, and presenting its findings and recommendations. (OSHA-S030A-2006-0664-0019). In its findings and recommendations, the Panel identified issues that it believed needed particular attention and analysis in the proposal or for which it believed OSHA should explicitly solicit public comment.

In the discussion that follows, OSHA addresses each of the Panel's findings and recommendations in the section pertaining to the issue involved. Table 4 summarizes the Panel's recommendations and the portions of this preamble in which they are discussed.

Table 4—SBREFA Panel Recommendations and OSHA Responses

SBREFA panel recommendationOSHA response
The Panel recommends that OSHA provide full documentation for how it estimated the number of affected small entities and all other calculations and estimates provided in the PIRFASee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA reexamine its estimate of crane use in home building, the coverage of crane trucks used for loading and unloading, and the estimates of the number of jobs per crane. Changes in these estimates should be incorporated into the estimates of costs and economic impactsSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA review its estimates for the direct costs of operator certification and seek comment on these cost estimatesSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA carefully examine certain types of impact that could result from an operator certification requirement, including reports of substantial increases in the wages of operators; the possibility of increased market power for firms renting out cranes; and loss of jobs for existing operators due to language, literacy, or knowledge problems; and seek comment on these types of impactsSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider studying the impacts of the implementation of operator certification in CaliforniaSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
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The Panel recommends that OSHA reexamine its estimates for the amount of time required to assess ground conditions, the number of persons involved in the assessment, and the amount of coordination involved; clarify the extent to which such assessments are currently being conducted and what OSHA estimates as new costs for this rule represent; and seek comments on OSHA's cost estimatesSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA carefully review the documentation requirements of the standard, including documentation that employers may consider it prudent to maintain; estimate the costs of such requirements; seek ways of minimizing these costs consistent with the goals of the OSH Act; and solicit comment on these costs and ways of minimizing these costsThe Agency describes the documentation requirements, along with cost estimates, in the section of this Preamble entitled “OMB Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.”
The Panel recommends that OSHA examine whether the inspection requirements of the proposed rule require procedures not normally conducted currently, such as lowering and fully extending the boom before the crane can be used and removing non-hinged inspection plates during the shift inspection, estimate the costs of any such requirements, and seek comment on these issuesAs explained in the discussion of § 1926.1412, Inspections, OSHA's current standard at 29 CFR 1926.550 requires inspections each time the equipment is used as well as thorough annual inspections. In addition, national consensus standards that are incorporated by reference include additional inspection requirements. This proposal would list the inspection requirements in one place rather than rely on incorporated consensus standards. OSHA does not believe this proposed standard imposes significant new requirements for inspections. Section 1926.1413(a) explicitly says that booming down is not required for shift (and therefore monthly) inspections.
Similarly, OSHA does not believe that inspection of any of those items would require removal of non-hinged inspection plates. In the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412, OSHA requests public comment on these points.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider the costs of meeting the requirements for original load charts and full manuals, and solicit comments on such costsCurrently, Subpart N, at 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(2), requires load charts, so that is not a new cost. Subpart N does not require manuals. OSHA believes that most crane owners and operators have and maintain crane manuals, which contain the load charts and other critical technical information about crane operations and maintenance. The Agency believes that the cost of obtaining a copy of a manual should be modest and solicits comment on how many owners or operators do not have full manuals for their cranes or derricks.
The Panel recommends that OSHA provide full documentation for its analysis of the benefits the proposed rule is expected to produce and assure that the benefits analysis is reproducible by othersSee the Preliminary Economic Analysis (PEA), in section V.B. of this Federal Register notice.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and solicit public comment on whether the scope language should be clarified to explicitly state whether forklifts that are modified to perform tasks similar to equipment (cranes and derricks) modified in that manner would be coveredOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1400(c)(8) and solicits public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that there be a full explanation in the preamble of how responsibility for ensuring adequate ground conditions is shared between the controlling entity, and the employer of the individual supervising assembly/disassembly and/or the operatorOSHA explains in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1402(e) how the various employers, including the controlling entity, the employer whose employees operate the equipment, and the employer of the A/D supervisor share responsibility for ensuring adequate ground conditions.
The Panel recommends that OSHA restate the applicable corrective action provisions (which are set forth in the shift inspection) in the monthly inspection sectionOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(e) and solicits public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on whether, and under what circumstances, booming down should be specifically excluded as a part of the shift inspection, and whether the removal of non-hinged inspection plates should be required during the shift inspectionOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(d) and solicits public comment on the issues raised in the recommendation.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on whether to include an exception for transportation systems in proposed § 1926.1412(a), which requires an inspection of equipment that has had modifications or additions that affect its safe operation, and, if so, what the appropriate terminology for such an exception would beOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(a) and solicits public comment on the issues raised in the recommendation.
The Panel recommends that OSHA explain in the preamble that the shift inspection does not need to be completed prior to each shift but may be completed during the shiftIn the explanation of § 1926.1412(d)(1) of the proposed rule, OSHA explains that the shift inspection may be completed during the shift.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment about whether it is necessary to clarify the requirement of proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1)(xi) that the equipment be inspected for “level position”OSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1)(xi) and requests public comment on the issues raised in the recommendation.
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The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit comment on whether § 1926.1412(f)(2)(xii)(D) should be changed to require that pressure be inspected “at the end of the line,” as distinguished from “at each and every line,” and if so, what the best terminology would be to meet this purpose. (An SER indicated that proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xiv)(D) of § 1926.1412 should be modified to “checking pressure setting,” in part to avoid having to check the pressure at “each and every line” as opposed to “at the end of the line.”)There is no proposed requirement to check the pressure “at each and every line.” The provision simply states that relief valves should be checked for failure to reach correct pressure. If this can be done at one point for the entire system, then that would satisfy the requirement.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on whether proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xx) of § 1926.1412 should be deleted because an SER believes that it is not always appropriate to retain originally equipped steps and ladders, such as in instances where they are replaced with “attaching dollies.”Proposed § 1926.1412(f)(2)(xx) does not require the corrective action to which the SER refers. If an inspection under proposed § 1926.1412(f) reveals a deficiency, a qualified person must determine whether that deficiency is a safety hazard requiring immediate correction. If the inspection reveals that original equipment, such as stairs and ladders, have been replaced with something equally safe, there would be no safety hazard and no requirement for corrective action.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on the extent of documentation of monthly and annual/comprehensive inspections the rule should requireOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(f) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on whether the provision for monthly inspections should, like the provision for annual inspections, specify who must keep the documentation associated with monthly inspectionsOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(e) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider ways to account for the possibility that there may sometimes be an extended delay in obtaining the part number for an operational aid for older equipment and solicit public comment on the extent to which this is a problemOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1416(d) and solicits public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that the provision on fall protection (proposed § 1926.1423) be proposed as written and that OSHA explain in the preamble how and why the Committee arrived at this provisionIn the discussion of proposed § 1926.1423, OSHA explains the Committee's rationale underlying the proposed section.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider the potential advantages of and solicit public comment on adding provisions to proposed § 1926.1427 that would allow an operator to be certified on a particular model of crane; allow tests to be administered by an accredited educational institution; and allow employers to use manuals that have been re-written to accommodate the literacy level and English proficiency of operatorsOSHA addresses these recommendations in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1427 and requests public comment on the issues raised by the Panel.
The Panel recommends that OSHA clarify in the preamble how the proposed rule addresses an SER's concern that his crane operator would not be able to pass a written qualification/certification exam because the operator has difficulty in taking written examsThe issue is discussed in the explanation of the proposed rule for § 1926.1427(h).
The Panel recommends soliciting public comment on whether the phrase “equipment capacity and type” in proposed § 1926.1427(b)(1)(ii)(B) needs clarification, suggestions on how to accomplish this, and whether the categories represented in Figures 1 through 10 contained in ASME B30.5-2000 (i.e., commercial truck-mounted crane—telescoping boom; commercial truck-mounted crane—non-telescoping boom; crawler crane; crawler crane—telescoping boom; locomotive crane; wheel mounted crane (multiple control station); wheel mounted crane—telescoping boom (multiple control station); wheel mounted crane (single control station); wheel mounted crane—telescoping boom (single control station)) should be usedOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1427(b)(1)(ii)(B) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA ask for public comment on whether the rule needs to state more clearly that proposed § 1926.1427(j)(1)(i) requires more limited training for operators of smaller capacity equipment used in less complex operations as compared with operators of higher capacity, more complex equipment used in more complex situationsOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1430(c) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and ask for public comment on whether a more limited training program would be appropriate for operations based on the capacity and type of equipment and nature of operationsOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1430(c) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and ask for public comment as to whether the supervisor responsible for oversight for an operator in the pre-qualification period (§ 1926.1427(f)) should have additional training beyond that required in the C-DAC document at proposed § 1926.1427(f)(2)(iii)(B)OSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1430(c) and requests public comment on the issue.
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The Panel recommends OSHA solicit comment on whether there are qualified persons in the field with the necessary expertise to assess how the rated capacity for land cranes and derricks used on barges and other flotation devices needs to be modified as required by proposed § 1926.1437(n)(2)OSHA addresses these recommendations in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1437(n)(2) and requests public comment on the issues.
The Panel also recommends that OSHA solicit comment on whether it is necessary, from a safety standpoint, to apply this provision to cranes used only for duty cycle work, and if so, why that is the case, and how “duty cycle work” should be defined
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and ask for comment on whether it would be appropriate to exempt from the rule small side boom cranes incapable of lifting above the height of a truck bed and with a capacity of not more than 6,000 poundsOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed paragraph § 1926.1440(a) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on how the proposed rule could be simplified (without creating ambiguities) and made easier to understand. (Several SERs believed that the C-DAC document was so long and complex that small businesses would have difficulty understanding it and complying with it.)The length and comprehensiveness of the standard is an issue for this rulemaking. OSHA requests comment on how and whether the proposal can be shortened or simplified—made easier to understand—and the effect of that on addressing construction hazards.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider outlining the inspection requirements in spreadsheet form in an Appendix or developing some other means to help employers understand what inspections are needed and when they must be doneOSHA will consider developing such an aid as a separate guidance document.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider whether use of the words “determine” and “demonstrate” would mandate that the employer keep records of such determinations and if records would be required to make such demonstrationsSome SERs requested clarification as to when documentation was required, believing that the document implicitly requires documentation when it states that the employer must “determine” or “demonstrate” certain things. OSHA notes that it cannot cite an employer for failing to have documentation not explicitly called for in a standard. See also the discussion under proposed § 1926.1402(e).
The Panel recommends soliciting public comment on whether the word “days” as used in §§ 1926.1416(d) and 1926.1416(e) should be clarified to mean calendar days or business daysOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1416(d) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA carefully discuss what is included and excluded from the scope of this standardOSHA discusses in detail the types of machinery that are included under this proposed standard and those that are excluded in the explanation of § 1926.1400.
The Panel recommends that OSHA gather data and analyze the effects of already existing certification requirementsOSHA has obtained and evaluated a study by the Construction Safety Association of Ontario showing that Ontario's certification requirement has led to a substantial decrease in crane-related fatalities there.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider excluding and soliciting comment on whether equipment used solely to deliver materials to a construction site by placing/stacking the materials on the ground should be explicitly excluded from the proposed standard's scopeOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1400(c) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA should consider the information and range of opinions that were presented by the SERs on the issue of operator qualification/certification when analyzing the public comments on this issueThe information and opinions submitted by the SERs are part of the record for this rulemaking, and OSHA will consider them along with the other public comments on the proposed rule.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and solicit public comment on expanding the levels of certification so as to allow an operator to be certified on a specific brand's model of craneOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1427(j)(1) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and solicit public comment on expanding the levels of operator qualification/certification to allow an operator to be certified for a specific, limited type of circumstance. Such a circumstance would be defined by a set of parameters that, taken together, would describe an operation characterized by simplicity and relatively low risk. The Agency should consider and solicit comment on whether such parameters could be identified in a way that would result in a clear, easily understood provision that could be effectively enforcedOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1427(j)(1) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA consider and solicit public comment on allowing the written and practical tests described in Option (1) of § 1926.1427(b) to be administered by an accredited educational institutionOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of § 1926.1427(b)(3) and requests public comment on the issue.
The Panel recommends that OSHA solicit public comment on making it clear that: (1) an employer is permitted to equip its cranes with manuals re-written in a way that would allow an operator with a low literacy level to understand the material (such as substituting some text with pictures and illustrations), and (2) making it clear that, when the cranes are equipped with such re-written manuals and materials, the “manuals” and “materials” referred to in these literacy provisions would be the re-written manualsOSHA addresses this recommendation in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1427(h)(1) and requests public comment on the issues.
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The Panel recommends that OSHA explain in a Small Business Compliance Guide that the certification/qualification test does not need to be administered in English but can be administered in a language that the candidate can read; and that while the employee would also need to have a sufficient level of literacy to read and understand the relevant information in the equipment manual, that requirement would be satisfied if the material is written in a language that the employee can read and understandOSHA will issue a Small Business Compliance Guide after a final rule is issued and will explain these points in the Guide.

IV. Summary and Explanation of the Proposed Standard

The following discussion summarizes and explains each provision in the proposal and the substantive differences between the proposal and OSHA's current standard for cranes and derricks at 29 CFR 1926.550, which is located in Subpart N of OSHA's standards for construction work. In the discussion, OSHA explains corrections and clarifications it has made to the language in the C-DAC Document. The Agency also identifies other areas in the C-DAC Document it believes could benefit from modifications to the C-DAC language and asks for public comment on the need for such changes and, in some instances, the appropriateness of particular clarifying language.

Section 1400 Scope

Paragraphs (a) through (d) of proposed § 1926.1400 set forth the scope of the proposed rule. Proposed paragraphs (a) through (c) describe, respectively, what equipment is included, the application of the standard to equipment used with attachments, and specific exclusions.

Combining a Functional Description With a List of Covered Equipment

Proposed paragraph (a) provides a functional definition of the covered equipment as well as a non-exclusive list of what is covered. C-DAC considered choosing between these approaches, but ultimately decided to use a combination of the two. The Committee also agreed that equipment listed in this proposed paragraph should be defined; these definitions, among others, are set forth in § 1926.1401, Definitions. It should be noted that the scope of some of the listed equipment is further delineated in the section of the standard that specifically relates to that equipment (for example, § 1926.1436, Derricks and § 1926.1438, Overhead & Gantry Cranes). OSHA believes that this format strikes an appropriate balance between clarity and avoiding unintended limitations that might eliminate new and/or other existing technology that is similar to the listed examples.

The decision to propose a functional definition with a non-exclusive list of covered equipment followed considerable discussion. The Committee settled on a definition that focuses on the equipment's elemental functions—hoisting, lowering, and horizontally moving a suspended load. The goal of this definition is to cover both existing and new technologies that share those same functions. Committee members rejected using just a list of equipment because: (1) Even the most comprehensive list might inadvertently omit existing technologies, and (2) they wanted to provide leeway in the scope for applying the new standard to future technologies.

On the other hand, C-DAC decided against a functional definition alone because that might include equipment that the standard was not designed to address (for example, equipment that poses a different set of hazards than those addressed by the standard). The list provides a context in which to apply the functional definition. The Agency believes that this hybrid approach addresses C-DAC's concerns.

Dedicated Pile Drivers

The Committee quickly agreed to include most of the items on the non-exclusive list. However, several items were included only after considerable debate. For example, C-DAC's decision to include dedicated pile drivers followed much discussion, including a panel presentation. The panel was comprised of a manufacturer, represented by Ahti Knopp and Pentti Heinonen, President, of Junttan, as well as a user, represented by Pat Karinen and Dan Kuhs, of Pile Drivers Local Union 34 and 56. The focus of the discussion was whether to include machinery that fell outside what the industry traditionally considered to be a crane or derrick covered by existing Subpart N.

Although the manufacturer's representatives stated that they did not consider their equipment to be cranes, they ultimately supported the inclusion of dedicated pile drivers in the proposed standard for several reasons. Specifically, they emphasized certain mechanical similarities and the need for timely regulation. However, they requested that the standard be adjusted to address the equipment's unique characteristics.

The users on the panel, citing the similarities in functional capabilities and hazards between dedicated pile drivers and cranes, also supported their inclusion. They were particularly concerned about the need to establish required inspections for dedicated pile drivers in view of the stress placed on this type of equipment.

The Committee acknowledged the dilemma it faced in establishing the parameters of the proposed standard—including machines not typically described as cranes versus omitting machines similar in hazards and construction—but ultimately decided to include dedicated pile drivers. Prior to that decision, however, several members voiced concerns.

For example, some members were worried that including these machines might encourage their “use as cranes,” that is, primarily for hoisting objects. The manufacturer representatives pointed out that while these machines are designed to hoist within a very limited range and capacity, it is inappropriate to use them for hoisting beyond those restricted limits. Others were concerned that some requirements in the proposed standard might be a “bad fit” for these machines. In response to such concerns, the Committee included dedicated pile drivers but tailored the requirements of the standard to take into account the specific characteristics of such equipment. As a result, proposed § 1439, Dedicated pile drivers, provides that most provisions of the standard apply to dedicated pile drivers but excludes some that the Committee believed were inappropriate for such equipment.

OSHA believes that this approach is appropriate to propose because it Start Printed Page 59728provides a workable approach that addresses the unique aspects of the equipment.

Multi-purpose Machines

The concept of “multi-purpose machines” was discussed in depth. This term, as used in the proposed standard, refers to a relatively new type of equipment that is designed to be configured in a variety of ways to perform a variety of different types of functions. For example, during the discussion, C-DAC members noted that this type of machinery in one configuration works as an aerial forklift, and in another configuration works as a crane.

The Agency believes that the Committee developed an appropriate approach to coverage of this equipment. Specifically, the Committee defined this category of equipment in § 1926.1401, Definitions, to cover only machinery “designed to be configured in various ways” and has included it within the proposed scope of the standard only when configured “to hoist (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load.” In short, a multi-purpose machine would only be covered by the proposed standard when configured as a crane.

For example, a machine might be configured variously as a rough-terrain type forklift, work platform, or as a crane. Such a machine would only be covered by the proposed standard when configured as a crane. Conversely, a traditional rough-terrain forklift is originally designed solely as a forklift. Even if an employer suspends a load from its fork, it would still be configured (and can only be configured) as a rough terrain forklift. Such forklifts are not multi-purpose machines and would specifically be excluded from the standard's coverage by proposed § 1926.1400(c)(8).

For the same reason, aerial lifts that may have an incidental capacity to hoist (by means of suspending loads from the boom) are not multi-purpose machines. Even aerial lifts that are equipped with a low capacity hoisting device (usually located at basket level) are not “designed to be configured in various ways” and, as such, would not fall within the definition of a multi-purpose machine. Such aerial lifts are designed to be configured in only one way, that is, as an aerial lift. In fact, the provision that specifically excludes aerial lifts, proposed § 1926.1400(c)(5), emphasizes that point in its description of aerial lifts by saying “[e]quipment originally designed as vehicle-mounted aerial devices (for lifting personnel) * * *.”

The Agency agrees with the Committee that it is appropriate to propose covering multi-purpose equipment in this proposed standard (when configured as a crane) to protect employees from the types of hazards that are associated with the other equipment included in the Scope.

Other Listed Equipment

Some members were concerned that proposing to include industrial cranes on the list would result in such cranes being covered by this proposed standard even when used in a factory/general industry setting. That is not the case—this proposed standard applies only to employers engaged in construction, and therefore would apply to such equipment only when used in construction.

The Committee decided to cover side-boom cranes, which are included in the current Subpart N.[1] Committee members noted that side-boom cranes (defined in proposed § 1926.1401, Definitions) share characteristics with cranes. One member also stated that the American Pipeline Association supports their inclusion.

Additional machinery that is proposed to be covered that is either not currently covered or not specifically addressed by Subpart N include cranes on a monorail, luffing tower cranes, straddle cranes, pedestal cranes and shearleg derricks (see § 1926.1436, Derricks). Each of these meets the functional definition in the proposed standard and presents the same types of hazards.

Attachments

Proposed § 1926.1400(b) would establish that equipment otherwise covered by proposed § 1926.1400(a) would remain within the scope of the proposed standard when used with attachments that are either “crane-attached or suspended.” As defined in § 1926.1401, an “attachment” is “any device that expands the range of tasks that can be done by the equipment. Examples include, but are not limited to: an auger, drill, magnet, pile-driver, and boom-attached personnel platform.” This definition reflects an inclusive approach with respect to the use of attachments.

The Committee recognized that equipment using these attachments retain their fundamental nature as cranes, including most of the hazards typically associated with crane use. For example, hazards associated with ground conditions, assembly/disassembly and operation near power lines, as well as the importance of proper signaling, work area control, and operator knowledge and skill, remain the same while an attachment is in use. Consequently, the proposed standard as a whole is well suited to the use of this equipment with attachments.

The ACCSH December 2002 work group document provided C-DAC with an initial list of possible attachments (hooks, magnets, grapples, clamshell buckets, orange peel buckets) to be covered by the new rule. (OSHA-2007-0066-0020). Committee members suggested the remaining examples.

Whether the proposed rule should apply to a personnel platform that is pinned to the boom was the subject of considerable discussion. Such a personnel platform was the subject of a presentation to C-DAC by Dan Wolff of the National Crane Corporation. Currently, Subpart N explicitly addresses suspended personnel platforms but does not specifically mention boom-attached personnel platforms. The Committee confirmed in its discussions that installing a boom-attached personnel platform does not change the nature of the equipment to the type of aerial lift that is excluded by this proposed standard (see proposed § 1926.1400(c)(5)). The Committee was concerned that a failure to specifically address this type of platform could result in confusion as to whether its use would be governed by this standard or by the aerial lift standard. C-DAC concluded that it was appropriate to explicitly include boom-attached personnel platforms in this standard.

Committee members expressed some concern as to whether the use of such an attachment involves additional hazards not addressed in this proposed standard. The Agency is asking for public comment on whether there are additional requirements that should apply when using a personnel platform that is attached directly to the boom.

Exclusions

Proposed paragraph (c) lists machinery that is specifically excluded from the scope of the proposed rule. The Committee referenced a list in the ACCSH December 2002 work group document as a starting point for discussion (OSHA-2007-0066-0020). As a result of that discussion, modifications to that list were made. As discussed below, the Agency believes that the list in the proposed standard, in combination with proposed paragraphs (a) and (b), sets appropriate limits to the proposed standard's scope. Start Printed Page 59729

Proposed paragraph (c)(1) states that machinery otherwise included under proposed § 1926.1400(a) but “converted or adapted for non-hoisting use” is excluded. Power shovels, excavators and concrete pumps are listed as nonexclusive examples of such “conversions/adaptations” or modified machinery.

The view of the Committee was that, in most cases, once machinery that would otherwise be included under proposed § 1926.1400(a) is converted or adapted for non-hoisting use, the configuration and nature of operation of the machinery is generally changed to the point where many of the proposed provisions would not be directly relevant to the hazards presented. In contrast, as discussed above, C-DAC believed that equipment used with “crane-attached or suspended” attachments typically retain many of their original characteristics and the proposed provisions remain relevant.

The Agency recognizes that there may be some instances where covered equipment used with an attachment is similar in purpose to machinery converted or adapted for non-hoisting use. For example, a crane with a drilling attachment will serve the same function as a machine converted to a dedicated drilling rig. Nonetheless, the Agency believes that the approach recommended by C-DAC and reflected in the proposed rule sets an appropriate dividing line between covered and excluded machinery. The crane's hoisting mechanisms are mostly still present while the attachment is in use, and the crane's hoisting capability will likely be called upon fully once the attachment is removed. Having the machine move in and out of coverage of the rule as attachments are put on and taken off would create significant confusion. Furthermore, most of the operational characteristics and hazards of the equipment remain the same while the attachment is in use. The Agency believes that, overall, this represents a sensible approach to setting the breadth and limits of the proposed standard. -

Proposed paragraph (c)(2) contains a specific list of excluded material handling machinery. This provision reflects C-DAC's decision to name specific material handling machinery that is excluded rather than simply reference “material handling machinery” as a generic basis for exclusion. The Committee indicated that a generic exclusion based upon material handling would be too broad. For example, a crane, when equipped with a clamshell bucket, is used for material handling, and C-DAC believed such equipment should be covered by the proposed standard.

C-DAC also agreed to a Committee member's suggestion of specifying that the listed machinery is excluded even when used with rigging to lift suspended loads. C-DAC acknowledged that some of the hazards of using this material handling machinery in this way are similar to the hazards associated with equipment covered by the proposed rule. However, the Committee also believed the differences between the covered equipment and the material handling machinery is such that one standard could not be readily designed to suit both. It should be noted that another construction standard, 29 CFR 1926.602 in subpart O—Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations, covers material handling equipment.

Proposed paragraph (c)(3) excludes automotive wreckers and tow trucks “when used to clear wrecks and haul vehicles.” A Committee member, citing C-DAC's focus on construction activities, questioned the need for this provision. In response, another member explained that some of these vehicles have substantial hoisting capacity. The implication of that observation is that these machines have the capability of hoisting construction material and so some construction employers may use them for that purpose. Consequently, C-DAC decided to cover them generally, but to exclude them when used for clearing wrecks and hauling vehicles. The exclusion is based on the Committee's view that, even if done as a construction activity (which would be very rare), clearing wrecks and hauling vehicles is a highly repetitious, predictable type of operation that is sufficiently distinct from typical construction crane and derrick use to justify an exclusion from the proposed rule. It should be noted that “cranes designed for . . . automobile wreck clearance” are excluded from the scope of ASME B30.5-2004.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(4), service trucks with mobile lifting devices for use in the power line and electric service industries, such as digger derricks, are excluded when engaged in certain listed activities for those industries. This machinery is currently covered by Subpart N, with the exception of certain provisions, by virtue of § 1926.952(c). We note that ASME B30.5-2004 excludes digger derricks and “cranes manufactured specifically for, or when used for, energized electrical line service” from the scope of that industry consensus standard.

C-DAC ultimately adopted this exclusion because of the narrow, specialized range of activities and circumstances in which such trucks are used. The Agency is asking for public comment as to whether such an exclusion is appropriate and whether safety problems would be created by excluding them from coverage under the proposed standard.

Proposed paragraph (c)(5) specifically excludes machinery originally designed as vehicle mounted aerial lifts and self-propelled elevating work platforms. The language of this provision reflects C-DAC's intent to differentiate between equipment with an attachment such as a personnel platform pinned to the boom, which is within the scope of the proposed rule, and machinery originally designed to be configured only as an aerial lift, which is excluded. In excluding this machinery, the Committee discussed the fact that some aerial lifts have a small capacity auxiliary winch. C-DAC decided not to include such machinery. The use of such winches is only incidental to an aerial lift's primary function. Also, another standard, § 1926.453, addresses aerial lifts.

Proposed paragraph (c)(6) excludes telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems. This machinery is also not currently covered by Subpart N or any ANSI/ASME standards. C-DAC made the decision to exclude this machinery after extensive discussion between members and a presentation by Mr. Kevin Johnston of J&R Engineering Co., Inc.

The decision was based upon several factors. One factor was the difference in design between this machinery and other equipment covered by the proposed rule. Telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems consist (in their most basic configuration) of a header beam that is supported on each side by hydraulic jacks. The load is suspended by rigging from the header beam. The load is raised and lowered by raising and lowering the jacks.

This type of design involves hazards that are unique to this type of equipment. For example, keeping the jacks plumb and closely coordinating their movements is very important. Mr. Johnston noted that because of these differences, many of the requirements in the proposed standard would not be workable or needed. Also, hazards unique to this type of machinery would not be addressed.

C-DAC was concerned that a failure to include this machinery in the proposed rule could result in there being no applicable OSHA requirements. The Committee was particularly concerned about this Start Printed Page 59730because there was no industry consensus standard for telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems. Once the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) indicated its willingness to draft and complete a voluntary consensus standard for this machinery within a short time frame, the Committee was satisfied that the best approach was to exclude telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems from the proposed rule.

The Agency notes that, in the fall of 2004, SC&RA did in fact complete a voluntary consensus standard for telescopic/hydraulic gantry systems. (OSHA-2007-0066-0027). Accordingly, the Agency agrees with C-DAC that, under these circumstances, these systems should be excluded from the proposed rule.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(7), stacker cranes are excluded. This machinery, covered by ASME B30.18, was similarly excluded in the ACCSH draft. The Agency believes that these cranes are rarely used in construction, and that their configuration is too unlike other machinery covered by this proposed standard to warrant inclusion.

Proposed paragraph (c)(8) excludes powered industrial trucks (forklifts). As noted during the C-DAC meetings, this machinery is already covered by § 1926.602 of Subpart O—Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations. The Agency believes that this type of machinery is mostly used in a manner that does not involve suspended loads and would often require different responses to the hazards presented than provided in this proposed standard. Therefore, the Agency agrees with C-DAC that this machinery should be excluded from the proposed standard.

During the SBREFA process, one Small Entity Representative stated that the C-DAC document does not contain a provision explicitly excluding coverage of machines that are originally designed to function primarily as forklifts but are modified to perform tasks similar to cranes and derricks that are covered under the standard. The Panel recommended that OSHA consider and solicit public comment on whether the scope language should be modified to explicitly state whether forklifts modified in such a manner are covered. OSHA welcomes comment on this issue.

Proposed paragraph (c)(9) excludes mechanic's trucks with hoisting devices when used in activities related to equipment maintenance and repair. The treatment of this machinery is similar to that of automotive wreckers and tow trucks. This exclusion reflects the Committee's conclusion that mechanic's trucks, when used in these support activities, have the capability of hoisting construction material and so some construction employers may use them for that purpose. Consequently, C-DAC decided to cover them generally, but to exclude them when used for equipment maintenance and repair activities. The exclusion is based on the Committee's view that, even if done as a construction activity (which would be very rare), the maintenance and repair activities are highly repetitious, predictable types of operations that are sufficiently distinct from typical construction crane and derrick use to justify an exclusion from the proposed rule.

In proposed paragraph (c)(10), machinery that hoists by using a come-a-long or chainfall is excluded. This exclusion reflects currently industry practice as exemplified by OSHA's steel erection standard. The definition of “hoisting equipment” in OSHA's steel erection standard, § 1926.751, defines “come-a-long” as “a mechanical device typically consisting of a chain or cable attached at each end that is used to facilitate movement of materials through leverage” and notes that such a device is not considered “hoisting equipment.” § 1926.1401 of this proposed standard sets forth the same definition of “come-a-long” as OSHA's steel erection standard. Committee members decided that a specific exclusion was needed because these devices, that members term “tools of the trade,” are not all human-powered and thus might otherwise fall within the scope of the proposed rule. C-DAC was of the view that these tools are unlike the equipment covered by the proposed rule in terms of both scale and the set of hazards associated with their use.

Proposed paragraph (c)(11) excludes dedicated drilling rigs. This exclusion was agreed upon after substantial discussion among Committee members. It should be noted that neither Subpart N nor other OSHA construction standards currently cover dedicated drilling rigs specifically.

Much of the specific information as to the nature of dedicated drilling rigs and the concerns of drill rig industry stakeholders was ascertained during a panel discussion chaired by members of the International Association of Foundation Drilling. Panel members emphasized that, in their view, a dedicated drilling rig is not a crane, but rather is designed to function as excavating equipment.

In support of that position, the panelists noted that, unlike cranes, this machinery lacks load charts and has only limited horizontal movement, radius, and hoisting capabilities. They also stated that although many are equipped with an auxiliary service winch, the primary use of this machinery is not for hoisting. Panelists suggested that accidents associated with the use of dedicated drilling rigs tend to result from improper use (that is, attempting to use them for more extensive hoisting work, beyond the narrow limits set by manufacturer specifications). Finally, the speakers emphasized that while they did not believe this machinery should be regulated as cranes under the proposed rule, if they were to be regulated, they should be under a more closely related standard, such as the excavation standard.

Several additional concerns were examined in the course of the discussion. Some members suggested that dedicated pile drivers and dedicated drilling rigs be treated in the same manner—to either cover or exclude both. Others responded that the disparate treatment is justified by the fact that dedicated pile drivers are frequently used on barges, which involves additional hazards, and the more widespread use of that machine's hoisting function. Some members expressed concern that the inclusion of dedicated drilling rigs under the proposed rule would encourage their misuse as cranes.

The Committee decided that the arguments for excluding dedicated drilling rigs outweighed those for including them. The Agency agrees; while there are certain similarities to dedicated pile drivers in that both have an auxiliary hoisting capability, the dedicated drilling rigs are not typically used on barges and there seems to be less abuse of their very limited hoisting capabilities. Specific public comment is requested on these issues.

Proposed paragraph (c)(12) contains an exclusion for gin poles used during the erection of communication towers. It is the Agency's understanding that the erection of communication towers is a specialized subset of the construction industry, and involves issues that go beyond those C-DAC was designed to address. OSHA is therefore not proposing to include gin poles used for this purpose in the proposed rule.

Proposed paragraph (c)(13) excludes tree trimming and tree removal work from the scope of the proposed rule. In correspondence to the Committee (OSHA S030-2006-0663-0534), the Tree Care Industry Association had requested that their work be excluded from the proposed rule. The Committee noted that the vast majority of the tree care industry's work does not take place Start Printed Page 59731in construction and agreed that such work should be excluded. The Agency believes that, since tree trimming and tree removal work so rarely falls within construction, it is appropriate to exclude tree trimming and removal from the proposed rule.

Proposed paragraph (c)(14) excludes anchor handling with a vessel or barge using an affixed A-frame. C-DAC decided to exclude this activity after the Cranes on Barges Work Group found that there would be problems tailoring the general requirements of the C-DAC draft to address the use of these specialized devices.

Proposed paragraph (c)(15), the final item listed, excludes roustabouts. The Committee was of the view that the proposed rule is not suited to addressing these devices, which are moved about by hand.

The SBREFA Panel recommended that OSHA consider, and solicit comment on, whether equipment used solely to deliver materials to a construction site by placing/stacking the materials on the ground should be explicitly excluded from the scope of the rule. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

Note:

OSHA replaced the word “Equipment” used in proposed §§ 1926.1400(c)(1), (c)(5) and (c)(10) of the C-DAC Consensus Document with the word “Machinery.” This was done because “equipment” is a defined term in the proposed standard that refers to covered equipment and, thus, cannot be used to mean excluded machinery.

Unspecified Equipment

Proposed paragraph (d) is included to clarify that all provisions of the proposed rule apply to covered equipment unless otherwise noted. This paragraph was included because there are some types of equipment for which only limited requirements apply, and others where there are special requirements that supplement, rather than displace, the other requirements in the proposed rule. To avoid confusion, this proposed paragraph establishes that all parts of the proposed rule apply unless a provision specifically identifies other parts of the proposed rule as inapplicable, or identifies the only provisions of the standard that are applicable.

Controlling Entities

Proposed paragraph (e) provides that the duties of controlling entities [2] are not limited to the duties specified in §§ 1926.1402(c), (e) and 1926.1424(b). This was included to clarify that the controlling entity duties specified in the proposed rule are intended to supplement, rather than displace, controlling entity duties under OSHA's multi-employer policy.

The Agency has clear authority to include in this proposed rule the provisions in proposed §§ 1926.1402(c), (e) and 1926.1424(b), which would apply specific requirements to controlling entities. First, the plain language of the OSH Act and its underlying purpose support OSHA's authority to place requirements on employers that are necessary to protect the employees of others. Second, congressional action subsequent to passage of the OSH Act recognizes this authority. Third, OSHA has consistently interpreted its statutory authority as permitting it to impose obligations on employers that extend beyond their own employees, as evidenced by the numerous standards, including several construction standards, that OSHA has promulgated with multi-employer provisions. Finally, OSHA's authority to place obligations on employers that reach beyond an employer's own employees has been upheld by numerous courts of appeals and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

The purpose of the Act is to assure so far as possible safe and healthful working conditions for every working man and women in the nation. 29 U.S.C. 651(b). To achieve this goal, Congress authorized the Secretary to establish mandatory occupational safety and health standards. The Act broadly defines an OSHA standard as a rule that “requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employments and places of employment.” 29 U.S.C. 652(8). See Building and Constr. Trades Div., AFL-CIO v. Brock, 838 F.2d 1258, 1278 (DC Cir. 1988). OSHA standards must prescribe measures that are appropriate to protect “places of employment”; nothing in the statutory language suggests that OSHA may do so only by regulating an employer's interaction with its own employees. On the contrary, the Act's broad language gives OSHA almost “unlimited discretion” to devise means to reach the statutory goal. See United Steelworkers v. Marshall, 647 F.2d 1189, 1230 (DC Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 453 U.S. 913 (1981).

Similarly, Section 5(a)(2) provides that each employer “shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.” [3] Nothing in this language suggests that compliance is required only when necessary to protect the employers' own employees, or that the employer is entitled to endanger other employers' employees at the worksite. Finally, Section 6(b)(7) of the Act authorizes the Secretary to “prescribe the use of labels or other appropriate forms of warning as are necessary to insure that employees are apprised of all hazards to which they are exposed.” 29 U.S.C. 655(b)(7). Again, this authority is not limited to labels that would warn the employer's own employees of the hazard. Given the distribution of potentially hazardous products in commerce, employees are predictably exposed to hazardous conditions created by other employers. Requiring employers to include hazard information needed by downstream employees is a necessary and appropriate means to ensure that the employees are apprised of all hazards to which they are exposed.

In short, the statute focuses on workplace conditions to effectuate the OSH Act's congressional mandate, and not on a particular employment relationship. The OSH Act's underlying purpose is broad—to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women—and Congress made clear that it expected the Act to protect all employees. (H. Rep. No. 91-1291, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., p. 14-16 (July 9, 1970)). Numerous references in the legislative history of the Act require employers to provide a safe and healthful “place of employment” (see, e.g., S. Rep. No. 91-1282, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., p. 10 (October 6, 1970)). The OSH Act tasks OSHA with promulgating rules that will create safe places of employment, notwithstanding the many varied employment relationships that might exist at a worksite.

Subsequent congressional action has also recognized OSHA's authority to impose responsibilities on employers to protect employees who are not their own. For example, Congress directed OSHA to develop a chemical process safety standard (the PSM standard) requiring employers to “ensure contractors and contract employees are provided appropriate information and training” and to “train and educate Start Printed Page 59732employees and contractors in emergency response.” (29 U.S.C. note) (quoting Pub.L. 101-549, Title III, Sec. 304, November 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2576). This is a clear ratification of the Agency's authority to require employers to protect the employees of others. Congress also approved of the Agency's authority when it relied on the provisions of OSHA's Hazard Communication standard in promulgating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11001-11050) (EPCRA). OSHA's Hazard Communication standard, among other things, requires a manufacturer of a hazardous chemical to “inform not only its own employees of the dangers posed by the chemicals, but downstream employers and employees as well.” Martin v. American Cyanamid Co., 5 F.3d 140, 141 (6th Cir. 1993). Congress incorporated provisions of the Hazard Communication standard in EPCRA as a basis for triggering obligations on owners or operators of facilities producing hazardous chemicals to provide local governments with information needed for emergency response. Had Congress not approved of the multi-employer provisions in the Hazard Communication standard, it would not have approved of it as a basis for obligations in the EPCRA.

Furthermore, OSHA has consistently interpreted the OSH Act as authorizing it to impose multi-employer obligations in its standards. In addition to the Hazard Communication standard and PSM standard discussed above, OSHA included multi-employer provisions in its powered platforms standard, which requires that a building owner inform employers that the building installation has been inspected and is safe to use. 29 CFR 1910.66(c)(3). OSHA has also imposed multi-employer obligations in other construction standards.

For example, in the construction asbestos standard, OSHA requires building owners/employers to perform initial monitoring for asbestos and to communicate the presence of asbestos or presumed asbestos containing materials to prospective employers whose employees reasonably can be expected to work in exposed areas. 29 CFR 1926.1101(k)(2). In the recently promulgated steel-erection standard, OSHA imposed duties on controlling contractors to ensure that site conditions are safe for steel erection. 29 CFR 1926.752(c). OSHA just recently proposed in updates to its electric-power transmission and distribution construction standard similar multi-employer communication provisions. See 70 FR 34947-48. OSHA's inclusion of multi-employer provisions in this proposed rule is fully consistent with its past practice of ensuring the safety and health of all employees at construction worksites.

Finally, OSHA's authority to impose these provisions is confirmed by the decisions of numerous courts of appeals and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission holding that an employer's duties and OSHA standards may extend beyond an employer's own employees. See Universal Constr. Co. v. OSHRC, 182 F.3d 726, 728 (10th Cir. 1999) (following decisions from Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits); Access Equip. Sys., 18 BNA OSHC 1718, 1722-24 (No. 95-1449, 1999). But see Melerine v. Avondale Shipyards, Inc., 659 F.2d 706 (5th Cir. 1981). The DC Circuit suggested in Anthony Crane Rental, Inc. v. Reich, 70 F.3d 1298, 1306 (DC Cir. 1995), however, that 29 CFR 1910.12(a)—a rule promulgated by OSHA to adopt Construction Safety Act (CSA) standards as OSHA standards—might limit an employer's obligations under the construction standards in part 1926 to its own employees. The court did not reach the issue, noting that the parties had not briefed it. The proposed cranes and derricks in construction standard will be included in part 1926.

Paragraph 1910.12(a) is consistent with the promulgation of requirements that place obligations on employers necessary to protect the employees of others. The provision states:

The standards prescribed in part 1926 of this chapter are adopted as occupational safety and health standards under section 6 of the Act and shall apply, according to the provisions thereof, to every employment and place of employment of every employee engaged in construction work. Each employer shall protect the employment and places of employment of each of his employees engaged in construction work by complying with the appropriate standards prescribed in this paragraph.

The language of the provision supports OSHA's interpretation that an employer's responsibilities can extend beyond the employer's employees. The first sentence makes the construction standards applicable to every employment and to every “place of employment” of every construction employee. This is broad language that does not limit an employer's obligations to its own employees. The second sentence, by providing that each employer must protect the employment and the places of employment of each of his employees, does not limit an employer's obligations to only protecting his or her employees and does not negate the broad reach of the first sentence. The two sentences, read together, require employers to comply with standards at all sites where they are working in order to protect employees who are predictably present at those sites.

The sole purpose of the provision was to “adopt and extend” existing Construction Safety Act (CSA) standards applicable under the OSH Act. 29 CFR 1910.11. Under the CSA, standards applied only to employers with Federally funded contracts, and only with respect to employees engaged on those Federal projects. See 29 CFR part 1926 subpart B; CH2M Hill, Inc. v. Herman, 192 F.3d 711, 718 n.1 (7th Cir. 1999). The function of 29 CFR 1910.12(a) was to adopt the CSA standards as OSHA standards and in so doing to make it clear that neither of those limitations would apply. Thus, OSHA stressed that compliance would broadly extend to each construction employer (not just those with Federal contracts) and to every construction employee (not just those working on Federal projects). In no way did OSHA intend for the language of 29 CFR 1910.12(a) to restrict its authority to promulgate construction standards that establish obligations extending beyond an employer's own employees.

Other factors confirm that OSHA had no intention in 29 CFR 1910.12(a) to bar multi-employer responsibilities under the construction standards. OSHA issued the regulation without notice and comment under Section 6(a) of the Act. That section provided authority only to adopt established federal standards, such as the CSA standards, without making any substantive changes. Usery v. Kennecott Copper Corp., 577 F.2d 1113 (10th Cir. 1977). The CSA regulations did not limit multi-employer responsibilities; the regulations expressly provided for them. 29 CFR 1926.16. OSHA could not have intended to limit statutory obligations in an action under Section 6(a).

In addition, concurrently with issuance of 29 CFR 1910.12(a), OSHA issued its initial Field Operations Manual, which expressly directed issuance of citations to construction employers who created a hazard endangering their own employees or those of another employer. The Agency has also consistently promulgated rules in 29 CFR Part 1926 that expressly extend employers' obligations beyond their own employees. The requirements in proposed 29 CFR 1926.1204 reflect this consistent interpretation and will ensure that all employees on construction worksites are protected from the hazards of confined spaces.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission's recent decision in Start Printed Page 59733 Secretary of Labor v. Summit Contractors (OSHRC Docket No. 03-1622 (April 27, 2007), has no application to this proposed rule. In Summit, a divided Review Commission vacated citations issued to a controlling employer for violations of a construction standard. The two Commissioners who joined in this result issued separate opinions; each read 29 CFR 1910.12(a) as establishing a limitation on the Agency's authority to hold controlling employers accountable for violations. OSHA believes this view is mistaken, and has appealed the OSHRC decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals (8th Cir. No. 07-2191).

Moreover, Summit has no bearing on the duties established under the proposed rule. The Summit opinions interpreted OSHA's intent under then existing rules. They did not question OSHA's authority under the Act to establish multi-employer obligations through rulemaking. OSHA is exercising its authority under Section 6(b) to issue this proposed rule, and nothing in 29 CFR 1910.12(a) limits an employer's compliance obligations under the rule.

Proposed paragraph (f) would require that where a provision in the proposed rule directs an operator, crewmember or other employee to take a specified action, it would be the employer's responsibility to establish work rules to require the relevant employees to take that action, and to effectively communicate and enforce those work rules. This paragraph clarifies the employer's obligations with regard to such provisions.

Terminology

According to § 1926.1401, Definitions, two terms are defined as meaning all equipment covered by this subpart: “Equipment” and “cranes/derricks.” In reviewing the C-DAC document, OSHA has found that in some places it uses the word “crane” standing alone when C-DAC's intent was to refer to all covered equipment. To avoid any ambiguity, OSHA has modified the document where appropriate to replace “crane” with either “equipment” or “crane/derrick.” Where “crane” is used in a way that is technically correct, as in referring to “tower cranes,” OSHA has not changed it.

In instances where the C-DAC document uses the phrase “crane operator,” OSHA has deleted the word “crane.” By definition (in § 1926.1401) “operator” refers to the equipment operator and, in many locations, the C-DAC document already uses “operator” without a modifier to refer to the equipment operator. Therefore, use of “crane” to modify “operator” is unnecessary and potentially confusing.

Section 1401 Definitions

C-DAC included a number of definitions to clarify the meaning of terms used in the proposed standard. Many of the defined terms are commonly used in the industry, and C-DAC in most instances relied on standard industry sources or its own understanding of how terms are used in the industry to help ensure that the definitions would be readily understood by employers and employees. Industry sources on which C-DAC relied include existing OSHA standards, consensus standards, and “A Glossary of Common Crane and Rigging Terms” (Specialized Carriers and Rigging Foundation 1997) (“SC&RF Handbook”)(OSHA-2007-0066-0019). Some definitions were also included to ensure that certain terms used in the proposed standard have a precise, unambiguous meaning.

Where defined terms are used primarily in a single section or group of sections (such as §§ 1926.1407-1411 on power line safety), the definition will be explained in the preamble to that section or group. Definitions that are used in a number of sections will be explained in this section. Table 5 shows the section or paragraph where each definition is discussed.

Table 5—Index of Defined Terms

TermSection or paragraph where definition is discussed in the preamble
A/D supervisor§ 1926.1404(a)(1)
Articulating crane§ 1926.1401
Assembly/Disassembly§ 1926.1403
Assist crane§ 1926.1404(h)(4)
Attachments§ 1926.1400(b)(2)
Audible signal§ 1926.1419(b)
Blocking§ 1926.1404(h)(2)
Boatswain's chair§ 1926.1431(o)
Bogie§ 1926.1435
Boom (equipment other than tower crane)§ 1926.1401
Boom (tower cranes)§ 1926.1435(e)(5)(ii)
Boom angle indicator§ 1926.1416(d)(1)(i)(A)
Boom hoist limiting device§ 1926.1416(d)(1)
Boom length indicator§ 1926.1416(e)(3)
Boom stop§ 1926.1416(a)(2)
Boom suspension systems§ 1926.1404(h)(7)
Builder§ 1926.1436(c)(1)
Calculate§ 1926.1401
Center of gravity§ 1926.1404(h)(6)
Certified welder§ 1926.1431(e)(5)
Climbing§ 1926.1435(b)(7)
Come-a-long§ 1926.1400(c)(10)
Competent person§ 1926.1401
Controlled load lowering§ 1926.1426(d)
Controlling entity§ 1926.1402(c)
Counterweight§ 1926.1404(h)(9)
Crane/derrick§ 1926.1400
Crawler crane§ 1926.1401
Crossover points§ 1926.1413(a)(3)(iii)
Dedicated channel§ 1926.1420(b)
Dedicated pile-driver§ 1926.1439(a)
Dedicated spotter (power lines)§ 1926.1407(b)
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Directly under the load§ 1926.1425(e)(1)
Dismantling§ 1926.1405
Drum rotation indicator§ 1926.1416(e)(5)
Electrical contact§ 1926.1407-1411
Employer-made equipment§ 1926.1437(m)(4)
Encroachment§ 1926.1407-1411
Equipment§ 1926.1400
Equipment criteria§ 1926.1412(b)(1)(i)
Fall protection equipment§ 1926.1423(d)
Fall restraint system§ 1926.1423(d)
Fall zone§ 1926.1425(b)
Flange points§ 1926.1413(a)(3)(iii)
Floating cranes/derricks§ 1926.1437
For example§ 1926.1401
Free fall (of the load line)§ 1926.1426(d)
Free surface effect§ 1926.1437(m)(5)(ii)
Hoist§ 1926.1401
Hoisting§ 1926.1401
Include/including§ 1926.1401
Insulating link/device§ 1926.1408(b)(4)(v)
Jib stop§ 1926.1415(a)(3)
Land crane/derrick§ 1926.1437(h)
List§ 1926.1437(e)(1)
Load§ 1926.1401
Load moment (or rated capacity) indicator§ 1926.1416(e)(4)
Load moment (or rated capacity) limiter§ 1926.1416(e)(4)
Locomotive crane§ 1926.1401
Luffing jib limiting device§ 1926.1416(d)(2)
Marine hoisted personnel transfer device§ 1926.1431(b)(2)(iii)
Marine worksite§ 1926.1431(b)(2)(iii)
Mobile cranes§ 1926.1401
Moving point-to-point§ 1926.1423(d)(1)
Multi-purpose machine§ 1926.1400(a)
Nationally recognized accrediting agency§ 1926.1427(b)(1)(i)
Non-conductive§ 1926.1407(b)(2)
Operational aids§ 1926.1416
Operational controls§ 1926.1417(b)(2)
Operator§ 1926.1401
Overhead and gantry cranes§ 1926.1438
Paragraph§ 1926.1401
Pendants§ 1926.1404(h)(8)
Personal fall arrest system§ 1926.1423(f)
Portal cranes§ 1926.1415(a)(1)
Power lines§ 1926.1407-1411
Procedures§ 1926.1401
Proximity alarm§ 1926.1407(b)(3)
Qualified evaluator (not a third party)§ 1926.1428(a)(2)
Qualified evaluator (third party)§ 1926.1428(a)(2)
Qualified person§ 1926.1401
Qualified rigger§ 1926.1425(c)(3)
Range control warning device§ 1926.1407(a)(3)
Rated capacity§ 1926.1401
Rated capacity indicator§ 1926.1416(e)(4)
Rated capacity limiter§ 1926.1416(e)(4)
Repetitive pickup points§ 1926.1413(a)(3)(iii)
Running wire rope§ 1926.1413(a)(2)(ii)(A)
Runway§ 1926.1431(k)(12)(ii)(A)
Section§ 1926.1401
Side-boom crane§ 1926.1440
Special hazard warnings§ 1926. 1417(c)(1)
Stability (flotation device)§ 1926.1437(m)(5)(iii)
Standard Method§ 1926.1419(c)
Such as§ 1926.1401
Superstructure§ 1926.1424(a)(1)
Tag line§ 1926.1407(b)(2)
Tender§ 1926.1437(j)(3)
Tilt-up or tilt-down operation§ 1926.1425(e)
Tower crane§ 1926.1401
Travel bogie (tower cranes)§ 1926.1435(d)(2)(iv)
Trim§ 1926.1437(e)(1)
Two blocking§ 1926.1416(d)(3)
Start Printed Page 59735
Unavailable procedures§ 1926.1417(b)
Up to§ 1926.1401
Upperstructure§ 1926.1424(a)(1)
Upperworks§ 1926.1424(a)(1)
Wire rope§ 1926.1413

Four terms that are defined in the C-DAC document—“alongside,” “appointed person,” “blind pick,” and “power down,”—were used by C-DAC in earlier drafts but are not used in the proposed standard. OSHA has therefore not included them in this section.

“A/D supervisor” means “an individual who meets this standard's requirements for an A/D supervisor, irrespective of the person's formal job title or whether the person is non-management or management personnel.”

“Articulating crane” means “a crane whose boom consists of a series of folding, pin connected structural members, typically manipulated to extend or retract by power from hydraulic cylinders.” This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook definition of “articulating boom crane.”

“Assist crane” is “a crane used to assist in assembling or disassembling a crane.”

“Assembly/Disassembly” means “the assembly and/or disassembly of equipment covered under this standard. With regard to tower cranes, “erecting and climbing” replaces the term ‘assembly,’ and ‘dismantling’ replaces the term ‘disassembly.’ ”

“Attachments” means “any device that expands the range of tasks that can be done by the equipment. Examples include, but are not limited to: an auger, drill, magnet, pile-driver, and boom-attached personnel platform.” This definition is discussed under paragraph 1400(b) in the explanation of this proposed standard.

“Audible signal” means “a signal made by a distinct sound or series of sounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, sounds made by a bell, horn, or whistle.”

“Blocking” (also referred to as “cribbing”) “is wood or other material used to support equipment or a component and distribute loads to the ground. Typically used to support latticed boom sections during assembly/ disassembly and under outrigger floats.”

“Boatswain's chair” is “a single-point adjustable suspension scaffold consisting of a seat or sling (which may be incorporated into a full body harness) designed to support one employee in a sitting position.”

“Bogie” is synonymous with “travel bogie,” which is defined below.

“Boom (equipment other than tower crane)” means “an inclined spar, strut, or other long structural member which supports the upper hoisting tackle on a crane or derrick. Typically, the length and vertical angle of the boom can be varied to achieve increased height or height and reach when lifting loads. Booms can usually be grouped into general categories of hydraulically extendible, cantilevered type, latticed section, cable supported type or articulating type.” This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook.

“Boom (tower cranes).” On tower cranes: if the “boom” (i.e., principal horizontal structure) is fixed, it is referred to as a jib; if it is moveable up and down, it is referred to as a boom.

“Boom angle indicator” is “a device which measures the angle of the boom relative to horizontal.”

“Boom hoist limiting device” “includes boom hoist disengaging device, boom hoist shutoff, boom hoist disconnect, boom hoist hydraulic relief, boom hoist kick-outs, automatic boom stop device, or derricking limiter. This type of device disengages boom hoist power when the boom reaches a predetermined operating angle. It also sets brakes or closes valves to prevent the boom from lowering after power is disengaged.”

“Boom length indicator” “indicates the length of the permanent part of the boom (such as ruled markings on the boom) or, as in some computerized systems, the length of the boom with extensions/attachments.”

“Boom stop” “includes boom stops, (belly straps with struts/standoff), telescoping boom stops, attachment boom stops, and backstops. These devices restrict the boom from moving above a certain maximum angle and toppling over backward.”

“Boom suspension systems” are “a system of pendants, running ropes, sheaves, and other hardware which supports the boom tip and controls the boom angle.”

“Builder” means “an employer builder/constructor of equipment.” This definition is discussed under § 1926.1436(c)(1) in the explanation of this proposed standard.

“Calculate” “includes use of a calculator.” The Committee included this definition to make clear that persons who performed calculations under this standard may use any method, including use of a calculator, that yields accurate results.

“Center of gravity.” “The center of gravity of any object is the point in the object around which its weight is evenly distributed. If you could put a support under that point, you could balance the object on the support.”

“Certified welder” is “a welder that meets the nationally recognized certification requirements that are applicable to the task being performed.”

“Climbing” is “the process in which a tower crane is raised to a new working height, either by adding additional tower sections to the top of the crane (top climbing), or by a system in which the entire crane is raised inside the structure (inside climbing).”

“Come-a-long” means “a mechanical device typically consisting of a chain or cable attached at each end that is used to facilitate movement of materials through leverage.”

“Competent person” is “a person who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.” This definition is taken from 29 CFR 1926.32(f), which defines “competent person” under OSHA's construction standards. Those standards assign duties to “competent persons” that are similar to those assigned under this proposed standard.

“Controlled load lowering” means “lowering a load by means of a mechanical hoist drum device that allows a hoisted load to be lowered with maximum control using the gear train or hydraulic components of the hoist mechanism. Controlled load lowering requires the use of the hoist drive motor, Start Printed Page 59736rather than the load hoist brake, to lower the load.”

“Controlling entity” is “a prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager or any other legal entity which has the overall responsibility for the construction of the project—its planning, quality and completion.”

“Counterweight” is a “weight used to supplement the weight of equipment in providing stability for lifting loads by counterbalancing those loads.”

“Crane/derrick” includes “all equipment covered by this Subpart.”

“Crawler crane” means “equipment that has a type of base mounting which incorporates a continuous belt of sprocket driven track.” This definition is based on the definition of “crawler” in the SC&RF Handbook. Current industry terminology refers to crawler cranes and truck cranes together as “mobile cranes.” See definition of “mobile crane” below.

“Crossover points” are “locations on a wire rope which is spooled on a drum where one layer of rope climbs up on and crosses over the previous layer. This takes place at each flange of the drum as the rope is spooled onto the drum, reaches the flange, and begins to wrap back in the opposite direction.”

“Dedicated channel” is “a line of communication assigned by the employer who controls the communication system to only one signal person and crane/derrick or to a coordinated group of cranes/derrick/signal person(s).”

“Dedicated pile-driver” is “a machine that is designed to function exclusively as a pile-driver. These machines typically have the ability to both hoist the material that will be pile-driven and to pile-drive that material.”

“Dedicated spotter (power lines)” is defined as follows: “In order to be considered a dedicated spotter, the requirements of § 1926.1428 (signal person qualifications) must be met and his/her sole responsibility is to watch the separation between the power line and: the equipment, load line and load (including rigging and lifting accessories), and ensure through communication with the operator, that the applicable minimum approach distance is not breached.”

“Directly under the load” means “a part or all of an employee is directly beneath the load.”

“Dismantling” “includes partial dismantling (such as dismantling to shorten a boom or substitute a different component).”

“Drum rotation indicator” is “a device on a crane or hoist which indicates in which direction and at what relative speed a particular hoist drum is turning.”

“Electrical contact” refers to “when a person, object, or equipment makes contact or comes in close proximity with an energized conductor or equipment that allows the passage of current.”

“Employer-made equipment” means “floating cranes/derricks designed and built by an employer for the employer's own use.”

“Encroachment” is “where any part of the crane, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) breaches a minimum clearance distance that this subpart requires to be maintained from a power line.”

“Equipment” means “equipment covered by this subpart.”

“Equipment criteria” means “instructions, recommendations, limitations and specifications.”

“Fall protection equipment” means “guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or fall restraint systems.”

“Fall restraint system” means “a fall protection system that prevents the user from falling any distance. The system is comprised of either a body belt or body harness, along with an anchorage, connectors and other necessary equipment. The other components typically include a lanyard, and may also include a lifeline and other devices.”

“Fall zone” means “the area (including but not limited to the area directly beneath the load) in which it is reasonably foreseeable that partially or completely suspended materials could fall in the event of an accident.”

“Flange point” is “a point of contact between rope and drum flange where the rope changes layers.”

“Floating cranes/derricks” means “equipment designed by the manufacturer (or employer) for marine use by permanent attachment to a barge, pontoons, vessel or other means of flotation.”

“For example” means “one example, although there are others.” This definition was included to demonstrate and clarify the usage of the word.

“Free fall (of the load line)” means “where only the brake is used to regulate the descent of the load line (the drive mechanism is not used to drive the load down faster or retard its lowering).”

“Free surface effect” is “the uncontrolled transverse movement of liquids in compartments which reduce a vessel's transverse stability.”

“Hoist” is “a mechanical device for lifting and lowering loads by winding rope onto or off a drum.” A hoist is the primary lifting mechanism used by cranes and derricks.

“Hoisting” is “the act of raising, lowering or otherwise moving a load in the air with equipment covered by this standard. As used in this standard, ‘hoisting' can be done by means other than wire rope/hoist drum equipment.” This definition makes clear that “hoisting” is broad enough to encompass all movement of a load in the air by cranes/derricks and is not limited to movement caused by wire rope/hoist drum equipment. For example, movement resulting from booming out a hydraulic boom that is holding a load would be “hoisting.”

“Include/including” means “including, but not limited to.” This definition demonstrates and clarifies the usage of the word.

“Insulating link/device” is “an insulating device listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.”

“Jib stop,” which is also referred to as a jib backstop, “is the same type of device as a boom stop but is for a fixed or luffing jib.”

“Land crane/derrick” is “Equipment not originally designed by the manufacturer for marine use by permanent attachment to barges, pontoons, vessels, or other means of floatation.”

“List” is the “angle of inclination about the longitudinal axis of a barge, pontoon, vessel or other means of flotation.”

“Load” refers to “the object(s) being hoisted and/or the weight of the object(s); both uses refer to the object(s) and the load-attaching equipment, such as, the load block, ropes, slings, shackles, and any other ancillary attachment.” This definition makes clear that in calculating the weight of the load for purposes such as making sure that the lift is within the equipment's rated capacity, the weight of all objects used to attach the load to the equipment must be included. As drafted by C-DAC, “load” referred to the weight of the object being lifted but not the object itself. However, “load” is used throughout the proposed standard to refer to the object being hoisted in addition to the weight of the load. OSHA has modified the C-DAC definition accordingly.

“Load moment (or rated capacity) indicator” is “a system which aids the equipment operator by sensing the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and Start Printed Page 59737indicates to the operator the percentage of capacity at which the equipment is working. Lights, bells, or buzzers may be incorporated as a warning of an approaching overload condition.”

“Load moment (or rated capacity) limiter” is “a system which aids the equipment operator by sensing the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and when the rated capacity is reached, it shuts off power to those equipment functions which can increase the severity of loading on the equipment, e.g., hoisting, telescoping out, or luffing out. Typically, those functions which decrease the severity of loading on the equipment remain operational, e.g., lowering, telescoping in, or luffing in.”

“Locomotive crane” is “a crane mounted on a base or car equipped for travel on a railroad track.” OSHA included this definition to remain consistent with the industry's use of the term as indicated in the SC&RF Handbook.

“Luffing jib limiting device” “is similar to a boom hoist limiting device, except that it limits the movement of the luffing jib.”

“Marine hoisted personnel transfer device” is “a device, such as a ‘transfer net,' used to hoist an employee to or from a marine worksite that is designed to protect the employee during a marine transfer and that allows for rapid entry/exit from the device. Such devices do not include a boatswain's chair when hoisted by equipment covered by this standard.”

“Marine worksite” is “a construction worksite that is located in, on or above the water.”

“Mobile crane” is “a lifting device incorporating a cable suspended latticed boom or hydraulic telescopic boom designed to be moved between operating locations by transport over the road.” This definition is derived from the SC&RF Handbook. The term “mobile crane,” as used in ASME B30.5-2004, “Mobile and Locomotive Cranes,” encompasses crawler cranes, truck cranes, and other wheel-mounted cranes. The 1968 version of ANSI B30.5, which is incorporated by reference into Subpart N, is entitled “Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes” and also covered crawler cranes, truck cranes, and other wheel-mounted cranes (in addition to locomotive cranes). C-DAC included its definition of “mobile cranes” to reflect current industry terminology, which now refers to crawler cranes, truck cranes, and other wheel-mounted cranes collectively as “mobile cranes.”

The SC&RF Handbook definition states that in Europe, “mobile crane” refers to a crane mounted on a truck carrier. The C-DAC draft of the definition of “mobile crane” included this reference to European terminology. While the European terminology describes a device that is included in this proposed rule's definition of mobile crane, OSHA has deleted the reference to the European terminology because it could be read to mean, erroneously, that only truck cranes fall within the definition of “mobile cranes.” As noted above, crawler cranes and wheel-mounted cranes other than truck cranes also qualify as “mobile cranes.”

“Moving point to point” means “the times during which an employee is in the process of going to or from a work station.”

“Multi-purpose machine” means “a machine that is designed to be configured in various ways, at least one of which allows it to hoist (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load. For example, a machine that can rotate and can be configured with removable tongs (for use as a forklift) or with a winch pack, jib (with a hook at the end) or jib used in conjunction with a winch. When configured with the tongs, it is not covered by this Subpart. When configured with a winch pack, jib (with a hook at the end) or jib used in conjunction with a winch, it is covered by this Subpart.”

“Nationally recognized accrediting agency” is “an organization that, due to its independence and expertise, is widely recognized as competent to accredit testing organizations.”

“Non-conductive” means that, “because of the nature and condition of the materials used, and the conditions of use (including environmental conditions and condition of the material), the object in question has the property of not becoming energized (that is, it has high dielectric properties offering a high resistance to the passage of current under the conditions of use).”

“Operational controls” are “levers, switches, pedals and other devices for controlling equipment operation.”

“Operational aids” are “devices that assist the operator in the safe operation of the crane by providing information or automatically taking control of a crane function. These include, but are not limited to, the devices listed in § 1926.1416 (“listed operational aids”).”

“Operator” is “a person who is operating the equipment.” The term is therefore not restricted to job title but includes any and all persons who actually operate the equipment. The Committee included this definition to make clear that anyone operating equipment must meet all of the requirements of this subpart that apply to “operators.”

“Overhead and gantry cranes” is defined to include “overhead/bridge cranes, semigantry, cantilever gantry, wall cranes, storage bridge cranes, launching gantry cranes, and similar equipment, irrespective of whether it travels on tracks, wheels, or other means.”

“Paragraph” refers to “a paragraph in the same section of this subpart that the word ‘paragraph' is used, unless otherwise specified.” For example, proposed paragraph 1423(a)(1) refers to “paragraphs (b), (c)(2), and (e).” Under this definition, it is understood that those are paragraphs in § 1423. By contrast, paragraph 1439 refers to certain paragraphs in other sections and therefore includes the section designation in the reference, for example, “paragraph 1416(d)(3).”

“Pendants” are defined to “include both wire and bar types. Wire type: A fixed length of wire rope with mechanical fittings at both ends for pinning segments of wire rope together. Bar type: Instead of wire rope, a bar is used. Pendants are typically used in a latticed boom crane system to easily change the length of the boom suspension system without completely changing the rope on the drum when the boom length is increased or decreased.”

“Personal fall arrest system” means “a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combination of these.”

“Portal cranes” are “a type of crane consisting of a rotating upperstructure, hoist machinery, and boom mounted on top of a structural gantry which may be fixed in one location or have travel capability. The gantry legs or columns usually have portal openings in between to allow passage of traffic beneath the gantry.”

“Power lines” are “electric transmission and distribution lines.”

“Procedures” “include, but are not limited to: instructions, diagrams, recommendations, warnings, specifications, protocols and limitations.” Several paragraphs of this proposed standard, such as § 1926.1417(a), require employers to follow manufacturer procedures. C-DAC developed this definition to make clear that “procedures” in a provision such as § 1926.1417(a) is to be interpreted broadly to include all recommendations by the manufacturer Start Printed Page 59738regardless of the format of those recommendations.

“Proximity alarm” is “a device that provides a warning of proximity to a power line that has been listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.”

“Qualified evaluator (not a third party)” means “a person employed by the signal person's employer who has demonstrated that he/she is competent in accurately assessing whether individuals meet the qualification requirements in this subpart for a signal person.”

“Qualified evaluator (third party)” is an “entity that, due to its independence and expertise, has demonstrated that it is competent in accurately assessing whether individuals meet the qualifications in this Subpart for a signal person.” This definition is discussed under § 1926.1428(a)(2) in the explanation of this proposed standard.

“Qualified person” means “a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.” This definition corresponds to the definition of “qualified” in 29 CFR 1926.32(m). Its use here reflects the fact that the duties assigned to “qualified persons” under this proposal are similar to those assigned persons with comparable qualifications under other OSHA construction standards. By defining this term in the same way it is defined under other OSHA standards, C-DAC sought to make clear that construction industry employers could continue to rely on their understanding of the qualifications for a “qualified person” that is applied under existing standards.

“Qualified rigger” is “a rigger who meets the criteria for a qualified person.”

“Range control warning device” is “a device that can be set by the equipment operator to warn that the boom or jib tip is at a plane or multiple planes.”

“Rated capacity” is “the maximum working load permitted by the manufacturer under specified working conditions. Such working conditions typically include a specific combination of factors such as equipment configuration, radii, boom length, and other parameters of use.” The first sentence of this definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook. The second sentence was added by C-DAC to clarify the meaning of “working conditions.” Many crane/derrick accidents result when the equipment's “rated capacity” is exceeded, and the Committee sought to provide an unambiguous definition of the term to promote compliance with provisions that use the term. In reviewing the C-DAC consensus document, OSHA noted that “rated load” and “rated load capacity” were used in various places to mean the same thing as the Committee's definition of “rated capacity.” For consistency and to reflect the intention of the Committee, all references to “rated load” and “rated load capacity” in the consensus document have been changed to “rated capacity.”

“Rated capacity indicator” is an alternative term for “load moment indicator,” which is defined above.

“Rated capacity limiter” is an alternative term for “load moment limiter,” which is defined above.

“Repetitive pickup points” are “when operating on a short cycle operation, the rope being used on a single layer and being spooled repetitively over a short portion of the drum.”

“Running wire rope” is “a wire rope that moves over sheaves or drums.”

“Runway” is “a firm, level surface designed, prepared and designated as a path of travel for the weight and configuration of the crane being used to lift and travel with the crane suspended platform. This surface can be an existing surface or created for purposes of the work activity.”

“Section” means “a section of this subpart, unless otherwise specified.” This definition is included to ensure that the reader understands what “section” means in this standard.

“Side-boom crane” is “a track-type or wheel-type tractor having a boom mounted on the side of the tractor, used for lifting, lowering, or transporting a load suspended on the load hook. The boom or hook can be lifted or lowered in a vertical direction only.”

“Special hazard warnings” are “warnings of site-specific hazards (for example, proximity of power lines).”

“Stability (flotation device)” means “the tendency of a barge pontoon, vessel or other means of flotation to return to an upright position after having been inclined by an external force.”

“Standard Method” means “the protocol in Appendices for hand signals.”

“Such as” means “such as, but not limited to.” This definition was included to demonstrate and clarify the usage of the phrase.

“Superstructure” is a synonym for “upperstructure” and “upperworks,” which is defined below.

“Tag line” is a rope (usually fiber) attached to a lifted load for purposes of controlling load spinning and pendular motions or used to stabilize a bucket or magnet during material handling operations. This definition is included to ensure that the use of this term for the application of this proposed standard is consistent with how tag lines are commonly used to control loads during hoisting operations.

“Tender” is “an individual responsible for monitoring and communicating with a diver.”

“Tilt-up or tilt-down operation” is the “raising/lowering of a load from the horizontal to vertical or vertical to horizontal.”

“Tower crane.” C-DAC defined a tower crane as: A type of lifting structure which utilizes a vertical mast or tower to support a working boom (jib) suspended from the working boom. While the working boom may be fixed horizontally or have luffing capability, it can always rotate about the tower center to swing loads. The tower base may be fixed in one location or ballasted and moveable between locations.”

In reviewing this language, OSHA believes that several changes are needed. First, a characteristic of tower cranes that is missing from the C-DAC definition is that the working boom is in an elevated position above the ground. Second, the working boom on some tower cranes, even of the non-luffing type, may not be at a 90-degree angle to the tower, and so the term “fixed horizontally” may not always be appropriate. Third, there are “top slewing” tower cranes—those in which the working boom rotates on the top of a fixed tower, and “bottom slewing” tower cranes—those in which the tower itself (with the working boom fixed to it) rotates on its base. The definition does not make clear that both types are considered tower cranes for purposes of this proposed standard.

Therefore, the Agency has modified this language for the definition in the proposed rule as follows:

A type of lifting structure which utilizes a vertical mast or tower to support a working boom (jib) in an elevated position. Loads are suspended from the working boom. While the working boom may be of the fixed type (horizontal or angled) or have luffing capability, it can always rotate to swing loads, either by rotating on the top of the tower (top slewing) or by the rotation of the tower (bottom slewing). The tower base may be fixed in one location or ballasted and moveable between locations.

OSHA requests public comment on these changes.

“Travel bogie (tower cranes)” is “an assembly of two or more axles arranged to permit vertical wheel displacement Start Printed Page 59739and equalize the loading on the wheels.”

“Trim” is the “angle of inclination about the transverse axis of a barge, pontoon, vessel or other means of flotation.”

“Two blocking” means “a condition in which a component that is uppermost on the hoist line such as the load block, hook block, overhaul ball, or similar component, comes in contact with the boom tip, fixed upper block or similar component. This binds the system and continued application of power can cause failure of the hoist rope or other component.”

“Unavailable procedures” means “procedures that are no longer available from the manufacturer, or have never been available from the manufacturer.”

“Upperstructure” is a synonym for “superstructure” and “upperworks,” which is defined below.

“Upperworks” means “the revolving frame of equipment on which the engine and operating machinery are mounted along with the operator's cab. The counterweight is typically supported on the rear of the upperworks and the boom or other front end attachment is mounted on the front.” “Superstructure” and “upperstructure” are synonyms for “upperworks.”

The second sentence of C-DAC's version of this definition stated: “The counterweight is typically supported on the rear of the upperstructure * * *.” OSHA has changed the word “upperstructure” to “upperworks” to avoid any confusion that could be caused by using one synonym in the definition of another.

“Up to” means “up to and including.” This definition is included to make the meaning of the phrase clear.

“Wire rope.” The C-DAC document defined this term as “rope made of wire,” the definition that is used in this proposed rule. However, some wire rope has a fiber core, which proposed § 1926.1414 permits to be used for purposes other than boom hoist reeving. However, the C-DAC definition indicates that such rope would not be considered “wire rope.” OSHA requests public comment on whether a more suitable definition would be the one used by SC&RF, which is the following:

A flexible rope constructed by laying steel wires into various patterns of multi-wired strands around a core system to produce a helically wound rope.

Section 1402 Ground Conditions

The Committee believed that the failure to have adequate ground conditions is a significant crane safety problem. Adequate ground conditions are essential for safe crane operations because the crane's capacity and stability depend on such conditions being present.

In the Committee's view, there have been several key problems regarding ground conditions. First, cranes are commonly brought on site by a subcontractor, who typically neither has control over ground conditions nor knowledge of hidden hazards. For example, an HVAC subcontractor will usually not have the contractual authority to alter site conditions and will not know about hidden conditions such as sewer lines under the area where the crane will be located. Consequently, when ground conditions are inadequate, the subcontractor is typically unable to correct those conditions itself. Attempts to get other entities at the site to correct the conditions are often unsuccessful, which has led to cranes being set up on inadequate ground conditions.

Another problem is that the entity that usually does have such authority—the controlling entity—may not have the expertise to know what changes are needed to make the ground conditions suitable for crane operations. This proposed section is designed to address these problems so that ground conditions will be made sufficient for safe crane operations.

Paragraph 1402(a) Definitions

Proposed paragraph (a) provides definitions of key terms used in this proposed section.

The term “ground conditions” would be defined as the ability of the ground to support the equipment (including slope, compaction and firmness). The Committee believed that slope, compaction and firmness are the key factors that are involved in the ability of the ground to support the equipment.

“Supporting materials” would be defined as meaning blocking, mats, cribbing, marsh buggies (in marshes/wetlands), or similar supporting materials or devices. Such materials typically help to distribute the load of the crane over a broad area and/or assist in leveling the equipment. The list in the definition of examples of such materials is nonexclusive—it includes similar materials and devices that would serve the same purpose(s).

Paragraph 1402(b)

Under proposed paragraph (b), the equipment would be prohibited from being assembled or used unless ground conditions are firm, drained (except for marshes/wetlands), and graded to a sufficient extent so that, in conjunction (if necessary) with the use of supporting materials, the equipment manufacturer's specifications for adequate support and degree of level of the equipment are met. A crane's stability depends (in part) on the crane being level, and “degree of level” is a term used in the industry to describe the manufacturer's specification for how level the crane must be.

The Committee believed that crane tip-over incidents caused by inadequate ground conditions are a significant cause of injuries and fatalities. Conditions that enhance the chance of such accidents include ground that is wet or muddy, poorly graded, or that is loose fill (or otherwise disturbed soil) that has not been compacted. The Committee believed that requiring adequate ground conditions will prevent many of these accidents.

This proposed provision would not require the ground conditions alone to be sufficient to support the equipment. The Committee recognized that such a requirement would be unnecessarily restrictive, since adequate support can often be achieved with the use of supporting materials. However, supporting materials cannot compensate for all ground condition problems. As a result, the Committee found that an appropriate approach would be to require that ground conditions be sufficiently firm, drained (except for marshes/wetlands) and graded to a sufficient extent so that, in conjunction (if necessary) with supporting materials, the support and degree of level would be adequate. “Adequate” in this context would mean sufficient to meet the equipment manufacturer's specifications for support and degree of level of the equipment.

In practical terms, the ultimate test of whether this criterion is met is whether the equipment can be set up so that it is within the manufacturer's specifications for the needed support for the equipment and the degree of level of the equipment and whether it can remain within those specifications while in use.

The Committee considered using more specific criteria, such as specifications for slope, compaction and firmness. That approach was rejected by the Committee for two reasons. First, in its view, such specifications would be unduly burdensome since employers would need to conduct complex tests with sophisticated instruments to ensure compliance. Second, it believed that such tests are unnecessary because the person or persons supervising the equipment assembly and the crane operator would have sufficient expertise to assess the adequacy of ground conditions without the use of complex Start Printed Page 59740ground assessment tests and related instruments.

The individual (or team) supervising the equipment assembly (referred to in proposed § 1926.1404(a) as the “A/D supervisor”) would, under proposed § 1926.1404(a), individually or collectively meet the definition of both a competent and qualified person. Also, under proposed § 1926.1427 (and specifically proposed § 1926.1427(j)(1)(i)(E)(1)), the crane operator would have technical knowledge applicable to the suitability of the supporting ground and surface to handle expected loads. In view of that level of knowledge, the Committee believed that both the A/D supervisor and the crane operator would be able to assess the adequacy of ground conditions without the use of complex ground assessment tests and related instruments.

OSHA notes that proposed § 1926.1402(e) refers to the “individual” supervising the equipment assembly. Since the individual or individuals supervising the equipment assembly are referred to throughout this proposed rule as the “A/D supervisor,” [4] OSHA has, for clarity, replaced the phrase “individual supervising the equipment assembly” in § 1926.1402(e) with “A/D supervisor.”

Proposed paragraph 1402(b) would require the ground to be drained except for marshes/wetlands. This exception was included because the Committee was aware that, in many instances, the draining of marshes/wetlands is prohibited or restricted by environmental laws. Since there are devices available, such as marsh buggies, that are designed to provide adequate support to cranes in such areas (a marsh buggy is a device designed to support equipment such as a crane in swampy terrain; it can cross such terrain with that equipment on board), the Committee believed that such an exception would be appropriate.

Paragraph 1402(c)

Under proposed paragraph 1402(c), the controlling entity would have several specific duties regarding ground conditions. “Controlling entity” is defined in proposed § 1926.1401 as “a prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager or any other legal entity which has the overall responsibility for the construction of the project—its planning, quality and completion.” This definition, which mirrors the definition of “controlling contractor” in the steel erection standard, subpart R of 29 CFR part 1926, reflects the core principle of general supervisory control over the construction site as the central theme of the concept. The Committee believed that “controlling entity” would be a better term for this concept than “controlling contractor” because some employers may mistakenly believe that “controlling contractor” refers only to general contractors. Since in some instances an entity other than a general contractor has general supervisory control of the worksite, such an entity would meet the terms of the definition.

Proposed paragraph 1402(c)(1) would require the controlling entity to ensure that ground preparations necessary to meet the requirements in proposed paragraph (b) of this section are provided.

Currently, Subpart N does not specify who is responsible for providing for such preparations. In effect, reliance is placed on the various parties to work out who would have such responsibility through contractual arrangements. In the experience of a number of Committee members, in many instances the parties are unable to agree on who will have (or has) that contractual responsibility, with the result that inadequate ground conditions often do not get corrected. Consequently, the Committee believed that it is necessary to specify who will have ground condition responsibility.

In the Committee's view, the crane user and operator typically do not have the equipment or authority to make such preparations. In contrast, the controlling entity, due to its control of the worksite, has the requisite authority and is in the best position to arrange for adequate ground conditions. The Committee considered the fact that some controlling entities claim to not know when a crane will arrive at the site, and would therefore be unable to timely arrange for the necessary ground condition preparations. However, the Committee found this unpersuasive. It believed that the controlling entity, by virtue of its control over the site and normal business responsibilities for the construction project itself, is fully able to be cognizant of construction schedules and information about crane use by its subcontractors.

The Committee was concerned, however, that some controlling entities may lack the expertise to recognize when ground conditions are inadequate. To address this concern, the Committee developed proposed § 1926.1402(e). Under that proposed provision, if the A/D supervisor or the operator determines that ground conditions do not meet the requirements in proposed paragraph (b) of this section, that person's employer would be required to have a discussion with the controlling entity.[5] This discussion would concern the ground preparations that are needed so that, with the use of suitable supporting materials/devices (if necessary), the requirements in proposed paragraph (b) of this section can be met. This discussion would serve as a mechanism for those with expertise regarding the ground conditions needed to meet proposed paragraph (b) of this section to convey that information to the entity responsible for making the necessary preparations.

Proposed paragraph 1402(c)(2) addresses the problem of hidden hazards beneath the equipment set-up area. Open spaces underground, such as from voids, tanks, and utilities such as sewer, water supply and drain pipes, can greatly compromise the ability of the ground above them to support the equipment. At the set-up area, there are often no readily apparent visual clues above ground that such hazards exist under the area. In the experience of members of the Committee, because of the hidden nature of these hazards, accidents have occurred when cranes have been set up above such hazards and a portion of the ground has given way.

Under proposed paragraph 1402(c)(2), the controlling entity would be required to inform the user of the equipment and the equipment operator of the location of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) that are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) if they are available to the controlling entity.

In developing this proposed provision, the Committee was mindful that the controlling entity often has access to documents that may identify the location of such hazards. For example, a sewer line may be marked on a site drawing, an as-built drawing, or in a soil analysis. Under this proposed provision, if the controlling entity has such a document, whether at the site or at an off-site location, it would be required to inform the equipment user and operator of the location of the hazard as identified in it. If the Start Printed Page 59741controlling entity does not possess such a document, it would not be required to obtain it from another source.

The proposed provision would not require the controlling entity to identify hazards that are not identified in such documents. In other words, it would not require the controlling entity to arrange for tests to be done at the site to determine if such hazards are present. The Committee believed that such a requirement would be unduly burdensome on the controlling entity. In its view the proposed provision would be sufficient because such hazards are typically identified in these documents in the normal course of business.

The Committee also believed that the duty to provide this information should be limited to hazards identified in documents that are available to the controlling entity. Requiring the controlling entity to obtain such information from other sources would, in effect, require it to arrange for testing. As explained above, the Committee believed such a duty would be unduly burdensome and unnecessary.

During the SBREFA meeting an SER commented on the difficulty and time consumed in getting approval from the controlling entity to make sure ground conditions were adequate, especially since many controlling entities were resistant to checking the site themselves for adequate ground conditions. The commenter further stated that his company relies on the steel erectors to test ground conditions for the proper support and that this system seems to work fine. OSHA notes that while the proposed rule would not preclude such arrangements, the responsibility for meeting the requirements of proposed paragraph (c) would nonetheless rest with controlling entity. Moreover, OSHA believes that this comment is illustrative of the need for the standard to require the controlling entity's involvement in this phase of the project.

Another SER expressed concern that the rule could not be properly implemented due to the number of communication channels a subcontractor would have to juggle before finally getting in contact with the controlling entity. For example, a subcontractor may have to go through several other subcontractors before it reaches the controlling entity. OSHA believes that, if controlling entities had the responsibilities set out in proposed paragraph (c), controlling entities would be more likely to facilitate such communication.

Paragraph 1402(d)

In the event that no controlling entity exists, proposed paragraph 1402(d) provides that the requirement in paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall be met by the employer that has authority at the site to make or arrange for ground preparations needed to meet paragraph (b) of this section. For example, if the employer who hires the crane has the authority to get the ground prepared in the absence of a controlling entity, the responsibility for complying with proposed paragraph (b) would fall to that employer. However, that employer would not be required to comply with proposed paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This is because the information required to be disclosed under proposed paragraph (c)(2) is not likely to be available to that employer.

Paragraph 1402(e)

Proposed paragraph 1402(e) would establish a mechanism for a controlling entity to obtain information from the A/D supervisor or the equipment operator about insufficient ground conditions and the preparations needed to correct the problem. Specifically (as discussed above in the context of proposed § 1926.1402(c)(1)), if the A/D supervisor or equipment operator determines that ground conditions do not meet the criteria in proposed paragraph (b) of this section, that person's employer would be required to have a discussion with the controlling entity regarding the ground preparations needed so that, with the use of suitable supporting materials/devices (if necessary), the requirements in proposed paragraph (b) can be met.

The Committee believed that, in some instances, the controlling entity may lack the expertise needed to know what ground preparations may be needed. In such cases, it is necessary for the information it needs to be provided by the A/D supervisor or operator, who have that expertise, so that the preparations needed for safe crane operations can be made.

For example, controlling entity C, who has experience working with only relatively light, low capacity cranes, believes that the ground in set-up area Q is suitable. However, the crane that is going to be used is a high capacity crane. Because of the substantially greater weight of the high capacity crane, a greater degree of compaction of the soil in set-up area Q is needed. When the operator of the high capacity crane arrives at the site, the operator recognizes the need for more compaction. In this example, under this proposed provision, the operator's employer would then be required to have a discussion with controlling entity C regarding the need for greater compaction. As a result of the ensuing discussion, controlling entity C would have the additional information it needs so that it could then comply with proposed paragraph (c)(1) of this section by ensuring that the additional compaction needed to meet the criteria in proposed paragraph (b) of this section is performed.

Also, proposed § 1926.1402(e) would place a duty on the employer of the A/D supervisor or equipment operator irrespective of a controlling entity's lack of expertise. For example, if the controlling entity fails to ensure necessary ground condition preparations, action would be required of the A/D supervisor's or operator's employer. If either determined that ground conditions were insufficient to meet the proposed paragraph (b) criteria, that employer would be required to discuss the preparations that needed to be made with the controlling entity. The Committee believed that, in such circumstances, such a discussion would make it more likely that the requirements in proposed paragraph (b) would be met which, as discussed above, is necessary for safe crane operations.

Sections 1403-1406 Assembly and Disassembly

Proposed §§ 1926.1403 through 1926.1406 set out requirements designed to ensure the safety of employees while equipment is assembled and disassembled, which includes the erecting and dismantling of tower cranes. C-DAC members indicated that, in their experience, the failure to adequately address hazards associated with these processes is a significant cause of injuries and fatalities. Two analyses of data support their view.

A recent analysis of data published in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, authored by J.E. Beavers, J.R. Moore, R. Rinehart and W.R. Schriver, found that being “crushed during assembly/disassembly” was the third highest proximate cause of crane related fatalities during 1997 to 2003.[6] (OSHA-2007-0066-0012). Contributing physical factors included improper assembly, improper disassembly (specifically, pin removal), and improper boom support. The study indicates that these assembly/disassembly fatalities occurred while using lattice boom cranes.

A 1997 study by A. Suruda, M. Egger and D. Liu analyzed crane related Start Printed Page 59742fatalities from 1984 to 1994.[7] This study determined that crane assembly and disassembly was the second leading cause of crane related fatalities, comprising 12% (or 58 deaths) of the total number of crane fatalities from 1984 to 1994. More specifically, a majority of these fatalities involved lattice boom cranes and a relatively small number involved tower cranes.[8] Almost 90 percent of the fatalities involving lattice boom cranes resulted when employees were removing boom pins from underneath an unsupported boom. (A. Suruda, et al., “Crane-Related Deaths in the U.S. Construction Industry, 1984-94” (1997) (OSHA-2007-0066-0013).[9]

The Committee also concluded that the most effective way to reduce these injuries and fatalities would be to have a standard that comprehensively addresses these hazards.

Note that the term “procedures” which is used in the proposed assembly/disassembly provisions is defined (see § 1926.1401) to include (but is not limited to) instructions, diagrams, recommendations, warnings, specifications, protocols and limitations. The operation of an “assist” crane used to help in the assembly/disassembly process is not covered by the assembly/disassembly requirements but is covered by the other sections of this proposed standard.

Section 1403 Assembly/Disassembly—Selection of Manufacturer or Employer Procedures

In § 1926.1401, “assembly/disassembly” is defined to mean “the assembly and/or disassembly of equipment covered under this standard. With regard to tower cranes, ‘erecting and climbing’ replaces the term ‘assembly,’ and ‘dismantling’ replaces the term ‘disassembly.’ ” C-DAC did not originally include a definition of “assembly/disassembly,” but OSHA added this definition to avoid any implication that §§ 1926.1403-1406 on “assembly/disassembly” do not apply to tower cranes because the terms “assembly” and “disassembly” are not commonly used in the industry in referring to tower cranes. Instead, the words “erecting,” “climbing,” and “dismantling,” are used, and the definition of “assembly/disassembly” makes it clear that §§ 1926.1403-1406 apply to tower cranes and, for that purpose, use tower crane terminology.

Proposed § 1926.1403 would require employers to choose among two options: Assemble and disassemble cranes and derricks by following the manufacturer's procedures, or use their own assembly/disassembly procedures (if they meet the proposed rule's criteria in § 1926.1406). Note, though, that the assembly/disassembly requirements in proposed §§ 1926.1404 and 1405 must be met regardless of which option the employer selects.

Committee members discussed whether employers should be required to comply with the manufacturer's procedures, or if deviations from those procedures should be allowed. The Committee determined, and OSHA agrees, that deviations should be allowed for two reasons. First, manufacturers' procedures are typically designed for use in “ideal” environments: Large, flat, dry, unencumbered open areas. However, such conditions are not typical, especially in urban areas. Consequently, employers are currently unable to implement those procedures in those situations. Second, members were of the view that there is often more than one way to safely assemble and disassemble a crane, and that it is unnecessary to mandate that in every case the manufacturer procedures be used.

The Committee also agreed that, while use of methods other than those of the manufacturer should be allowed, such employer-developed procedures need to meet certain benchmarks (see the criteria in proposed § 1926.1406) to ensure that they are adequate to protect the employees during the assembly/disassembly process.

Section 1404 Assembly/Disassembly—General Requirements (Applies to All Assembly and Disassembly Operations)

In examining the underlying causes of fatalities and injuries from assembly/disassembly accidents, the Committee determined that a systematic, proactive approach, designed to highlight the key hazards involved, was needed. C-DAC developed a list of those hazards and then considered how to deal with each one. It became apparent in that discussion that the action needed to address some of these hazards is specific and straightforward. These are addressed in paragraphs (a) through (g) and (j) through (q) of this proposed section. However, with regard to others, the wide variety of circumstances and methods that could be used to address them made specifying particular, detailed actions impractical and needlessly inflexible. For those, C-DAC decided to require that the hazard be addressed but to have an Assembly/Disassembly supervisory (A/D supervisor) determine how to deal with them; these are covered in paragraph (h). Note that the requirements in proposed § 1926.1404 would apply irrespective of whether manufacturer or employer procedures were used.

New Issue

The Agency has been investigating a March 15, 2008 collapse of a tower crane in New York City. One aspect of that investigation has focused on the use of synthetic slings in the process of attaching a bracing collar to the tower (the installation of such collars is part of the crane assembly process). This prompted the Agency to examine the existing OSHA standards applicable to the use of synthetic slings during crane assembly/disassembly.

In the course of that examination, OSHA has determined that neither Subpart N nor 29 CFR 1926.251, Rigging equipment for material handling, specifically addresses the hazard posed when a synthetic sling is used in a manner that can cause compression or distortion of the sling, or when the sling is in contact with a sharp edge. Consequently, the Agency is considering adding a provision to § 1926.1404 to address these hazards.[10]

One way of addressing these hazards would be to prohibit the use of synthetic slings in the assembly/disassembly of equipment covered by this proposed standard. Another way that the Agency is considering to address these hazards is to require padding or similar measures when needed to protect the slings from being damaged such as from being cut, compressed or distorted. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

Paragraph 1404(a) Supervision—Competent—Qualified Person

Proposed paragraph (a) would require supervision of the assembly/disassembly process by an “A/D supervisor.” Section 1926.1401 defines “A/D supervisor” as “an individual who meets this proposed paragraph's criteria for being an A/D supervisor, irrespective of the person's formal job title or whether the person is non-management or management personnel.” C-DAC defined the term in this way to make Start Printed Page 59743clear that it is the substance of the individual's qualifications, and not his or her job title or position in the company hierarchy, that determines whether the person is qualified to act as an A/D supervisor.

The A/D supervisor would have to meet the definition of both a “competent” and “qualified” person as OSHA defines those terms.[11] The Committee believed that having an A/D supervisor overseeing the assembly/disassembly process who had both the authority to correct a hazard or stop the process and who had the expertise of a qualified person was necessary to ensure the safety of the operation.

Many of the hazards involved in the process are not obvious to those with limited knowledge and experience in assembly/disassembly. There are numerous scenarios in which there is stored kinetic energy in the equipment's component parts. The installation or removal of components in the wrong order, or using the wrong procedure, can release that energy in ways that would be unexpected to those with little knowledge of the process.

For example, failure to place blocking in the correct position under a boom can lead to unexpected movement or collapse of the boom when a pin that is in tension is removed. Workers unfamiliar with the concept of pins in tension may not recognize the dangers of removing it in that circumstance. Having a person overseeing the process that has the expertise needed to know how the process is supposed to be done, the ability to recognize dangerous situations and how to remedy them, and the authority to take corrective action, is crucial to ensuring that the assembly/disassembly process is completed safely.

The Committee agreed that the A/D supervisor did not have to be one individual since two people (one with the requisite expertise and the other with the authority to take corrective action), working as a team, would be as effective in overseeing the process as one individual.

The A/D supervisor would oversee the implementation of the proposed requirements in paragraphs (a) through (g) and (j) through (q) of this proposed section, and would also address the hazards as described in paragraph (h) of this proposed section.

Paragraphs 1404(b) Knowledge of the Procedures, and 1404(c), Review of the Procedures

Proposed paragraph (b) would require that the A/D supervisor understand the assembly/disassembly procedures. In addition, proposed paragraph (c) requires the A/D supervisor to review them prior to starting the process unless experience in having used them on the same type and configuration of equipment makes their review unnecessary. One example would be an A/D supervisor who has overseen the erection of a tower crane with the same configuration for numerous jobs in the past year. If that A/D supervisor had, through that repetitive experience, developed a knowledge and understanding of the assembly procedures to the point where reviewing them prior to beginning assembly was no longer necessary, he/she would not be required to review them.

Without a thorough knowledge of these procedures, the A/D supervisor would be unable to ensure that the assembly/disassembly process is conducted safely.

Paragraph 1404(d) Crew Instructions

Under this proposed provision, before beginning assembly/disassembly operations, the A/D supervisor would have to determine that the crew members understand their tasks and the associated hazards, as well as any hazardous positions/locations that they need to avoid.

The Committee was of the view that accidents during assembly/disassembly are often caused by misunderstandings of the employees working in the assembly/disassembly crew as to their tasks and how they are to be performed, as well as a failure to recognize potentially dangerous areas in and around the equipment. The details of these tasks and, in particular, the location of danger areas from which workers need to keep themselves and their extremities clear, often vary from one machine to another. Having theA/D supervisor check to make sure that the crew members know this essential information before starting the assembly/disassembly process would be, in the Committee's view, an effective and practical means of addressing this aspect of the problem.

Paragraph 1404(e) Protecting Assembly/Disassembly Crew Members Out of Operator View

One of the hazards identified by the Committee is an operator swinging or moving the crane/derrick when assembly/disassembly personnel are in a crush/caught-in-between zone and out of the operator's view. The Committee believed that an effective and practical means of preventing these accidents would be through a communication procedure that would provide key information to, and coordination between, the operator and these workers.

This provision would therefore require that the crew member inform the operator that he/she is going to a location in, on, under, or near the equipment or load that is out of view of the operator where the movement of the equipment could injure the worker. The operator would be prohibited from moving any part of the crane/derrick or load until the operator gives a warning (the significance of which is understood by the crew member) and sufficient time for the crew member to move to a safe location, or the operator is informed through a pre-arranged means of communication that the crew member has moved to a safe location. Committee members indicated that the use of the (understood) warning coupled with sufficient time to exit, and the use of a pre-arranged means of communication, are each currently used by many employers and have proved to be effective.

One Committee member suggested that instead of requiring that the crew member directly inform the operator of his/her location, the rule should permit the crew member to provide this information to the operator through a third person. For example, the crew member would instruct his/her foreman to radio the information to the operator. Such a change could be made by changing the last phrase in proposed paragraph (e)(1) of this section to read, “the crew member shall inform the operator directly or through someone instructed by the crew member that the crew member is going to that location.” OSHA is asking for public comment on this suggestion. In particular, OSHA is asking for comment on whether this approach would be as protective of the crew members as the proposal, given that it would allow indirect communication between the crew members and the operator. Start Printed Page 59744

Paragraph 1404(f) Working Under the Boom, Jib or Other Components

The proposed provision would establish a general prohibition against employees being under the component when pins or similar devices are being removed (note that this provision is similar to section 5-3.1.3(l) of ASME B30.5-2004). An exception is provided for instances where the employer demonstrates that site constraints require being positioned under the component and the employer takes steps to minimize the risk of dangerous movement and duration and extent of exposure.

The Committee discussed the inherently hazardous nature of removing pins while being under the boom (and jib or similar components). If the wrong pins are removed while employees are under the component, it can move or collapse, posing a severe hazard to the worker. Even when pins are removed in the correct order, there may be unexpected stresses in the component which, as stored kinetic energy that may not be apparent until that energy is released upon the removal of the pin—at which time unexpected movement of the component may result. While other proposed provisions in the assembly/disassembly sections address this same hazard in other ways, these provisions in combination form a layered approach to safety.

The Committee discussed whether any exceptions should be allowed to the prohibition against workers being under the component during pin removal. It determined, after considerable discussion, that the only type of situation where it may be inappropriate to apply the prohibition involves site constraints. For example, in some circumstances there is no room to assemble/disassemble the boom horizontally using ground support, and the boom has to be assembled/disassembled “in the air” (that is, at an angle well above horizontal, or over an area, such as a large excavation, where there is no ground available for support). In some of those situations, one or more employees may have to be under the boom for certain periods of time in the pin removal process.

Therefore, the proposed provision includes an exception to cover such instances. However, in those instances the hazard of being under the component is still present. Because of that, the Committee believed it important to limit the application of the exception and, where it would apply, to ensure that steps would be taken to limit the risks involved. Therefore, the exception would be applicable only where the employer demonstrates that site constraints require being positioned under the component and the employer takes steps to minimize the risk of dangerous movement and duration and extent of exposure.

An example of a method for minimizing that risk and the exposure is provided in proposed Non-Mandatory Appendix D. The Committee considered making that method mandatory, but decided to include it only as an example because there may be other effective methods, which should not be excluded.

Paragraph 1404(g) Capacity Limits

This proposed provision would require that the rated capacity limits for loads imposed on the equipment, each of its components, (including rigging), lifting lugs and equipment accessories being assembled or disassembled not be exceeded. The provision would apply “during all phases of assembly/disassembly.” One example of the risk created by not following capacity limits is the process of installing counterweights. In some cases the crane being assembled is used to install its own counterweights. Early in this process, when few counterweights are in place, the crane's capacity will be so limited that swinging beyond a certain point, or booming out beyond a certain point, may cause it to overturn.

It should be noted that where an assist crane is being used during the assembly/disassembly of another crane/derrick, the requirements for rated capacity during operations must be met under proposed § 1926.1417(o), Compliance with rated capacity, with respect to the assist crane.

Paragraph 1404(h) Addressing Specific Hazards

For assembly and disassembly, this provision sets out specific hazard topics which the A/D supervisor must address. The Committee believed that requiring specific means and methods for protecting against these hazards (and, where specified goals are stated, for attaining those goals) would be too limiting. Therefore, the A/D supervisor must consider each listed hazard, determine the appropriate means of addressing it, and oversee the implementation of that method.

Paragraph 1404(h)(1) Site and Ground Bearing Conditions

This proposed provision would work in conjunction with proposed § 1926.1402, which addresses ground conditions for both assembly/disassembly and use of the equipment, including ground condition criteria. Proposed § 1926.1404(h)(1) would require the A/D supervisor to assess the ground conditions for conformance with those criteria, and to assess the site for suitability for assembly and disassembly.

Before beginning assembly/disassembly, the A/D supervisor would have to make the determination that ground bearing conditions are adequate to support the equipment during assembly/disassembly (the concept of adequate ground bearing conditions is discussed in detail above regarding proposed § 1926.1402). In addition, the A/D supervisor would have to consider the adequacy of site conditions which might affect the safety of assembly or disassembly. For example, at a construction site in an industrial facility with overhead piping carrying hazardous materials, the A/D supervisor would have to consider the potential for the equipment contacting the piping in determining where and how to conduct the assembly/disassembly operations.

Paragraph 1404(h)(2) Blocking Material and 1404(h)(3) Proper Location of Blocking

These two provisions address the hazards associated with inadequate blocking. “Blocking” (also referred to as “cribbing”) is defined in § 1926.1401 as “wood or other material used to support equipment or a component and distribute loads to the ground. Typically used to support latticed boom sections during assembly/disassembly and under outrigger floats.” This definition is from the SC&RF Handbook.

Proper blocking plays an important role in assembly/disassembly safety. Blocking is used in a variety of circumstances to compensate for minor ground sloping and/or to enhance stability by spreading out the area over which forces from the load are transferred to the ground. It is used to help support assembled equipment (usually placed under outrigger pads) and during assembly/disassembly to support components. Blocking that is undersized, insufficient in type or number, in poor condition, and/or stacked in an unstable manner could lead to a failure of support and consequent unplanned movement or collapse of the equipment or component.

When used to support lattice booms or lattice components, the failure to place blocking in the correct location could have several dangerous consequences. For example, incorrect placement in some instances could cause a part of the lattice boom/component to bear too much force and damage it. That damage could Start Printed Page 59745compromise structural integrity and, in some cases, may not be immediately noticed. If the assembly process were to continue nonetheless, the boom/component could fail.

Improper blocking location may also result in a failure to provide adequate support of the boom/component. One example is blocking used to provide support to a boom section that will need it later in the disassembly process, such as after pins are removed. If the blocking is in the wrong place, once the pins are removed, unplanned movement or collapse could result. Note that proposed § 1926.1404(h)(3) on proper blocking location is similar to section 5-3.1.3(k) of ASME B30.5-2004 (blocking to be appropriately placed to prevent inadvertent dropping of the boom).

Proposed paragraph (h)(3) (Proper location of blocking) is unchanged from the C-DAC document and its applicability is limited to lattice booms and components. However, it is the Agency's understanding that other types of booms and components (i.e., those for hydraulic cranes) also are at times assembled and disassembled in the field and may similarly need blocking. Consequently, it appears to the Agency that it may be appropriate to broaden the provision so that it would apply to all booms and components, not just lattice boom and components. OSHA is soliciting comments from the public on whether proposed paragraph (h)(3) of this section should be broadened to apply to all booms and components.

Paragraph 1404(h)(4) Verifying Assist Crane Loads

This proposed paragraph requires that, when using an assist crane, the loads that will be imposed on the assist crane at each phase of assembly/disassembly must be verified in accordance with proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3) to avoid exceeding the assist crane's rated capacity. “Assist crane” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a crane used to assist in assembling or disassembling a crane.” When used for this purpose, an “assist crane” is subject to all applicable provisions of this standard, including the requirement of proposed paragraph (o) of this section that it not be used in a manner that exceeds its rated capacity.

The Committee was concerned that, at times, resulting loads on assist cranes during the assembly/disassembly process are not properly anticipated. For example, when a boom is being disassembled in a cantilevered position, an assist crane is sometimes used to help support the boom. In some instances, the load prior to pin removal is within the assist crane's rated capacity, but exceeds its rated capacity once the pins are removed, causing a collapse.

The Committee discussed having one section on capacity limits for equipment, equipment components and accessories as well as for any assist equipment used while assembling or disassembling. The Committee agreed that having a separate section on capacity limits for assist cranes was less confusing and would help highlight the hazard as it pertains to assembly/disassembly.

Paragraph 1404(h)(5) Boom and Jib Pick Points

This proposed provision would require the A/D supervisor to address the hazard of using improper boom and jib pick points. Specifically, the points of attachment of rigging to a boom/jib or boom/jib section(s) must be suitable for preventing structural damage. Such damage could compromise structural integrity and, in some cases, may not be immediately noticed. If that component were nonetheless used, the boom/component could fail.

The points of attachment also need to facilitate the safe handling of these components. Typically facilitating the safe handling of the boom/jib or boom/jib sections means using pick points that will result in the boom/section being at an intended angle (that is, 90 degrees to the load line or some other intended angle) when hoisted. For example, if the boom/section is intended to be horizontal, and only one pick point is going to be used, the pick point must coincide with the center of gravity. If the boom/section is intended to be at some other angle, a pick point would need to be identified that would generate that intended angle. Failure to use an appropriate pick point in this regard can create a situation in which there is a greater likelihood of unintended movement in connecting or disconnecting the boom/section.

Paragraph 1404(h)(6) Center of Gravity

In a variety of instances the method used for maintaining stability during assembly/disassembly depends on supporting or rigging a component (or set of components) so that it remains balanced throughout the process. In such instances the A/D supervisor would be required to identify the center of gravity of the load.

The “center of gravity” of an object is defined in § 1926.1401 as “the point in the object around which its weight is evenly distributed. If you could put a support under that point, you could balance the object on the support.” This definition is similar to the one in the SC&RF Handbook.

One example of where it would be necessary to identify the center of gravity is where the assembly/disassembly crew relies on an assist crane to suspend a component in a horizontal position. In such instances the center of gravity must be identified in order to correctly install the rigging. If the center of gravity were not identified, employees might try to compensate by riding on the section/component while it is being moved into place, which is quite dangerous. Also, in such a situation, if the component gets “hung-up,” it can move unexpectedly if it becomes freed.

In contrast, some methods for maintaining stability do not depend on rigging or supporting the component to attain horizontal balance. For example, if two adjoining sections of a boom are being disconnected from each other, and both sections are supported at all four end points by blocking, identifying the center of gravity of each section would not normally be necessary.

The Committee anticipated that there may be instances where the assembly/disassembly method being used necessitates the identification of the center of gravity, but the employer is unable to get sufficient information to make that identification accurately. In those instances, measures would be required to be put in place that would prevent unintended dangerous movement resulting from an inaccurate identification of the center of gravity. An example of one such method is described in the proposed Non-Mandatory Appendix D of proposed subpart CC.

Paragraph 1404(h)(7) Stability Upon Pin Removal

This proposed paragraph requires that boom sections, boom suspension systems (such as gantry A-frames and jib struts) or components must be rigged or supported to maintain stability upon the removal of the pins. “Boom suspension systems” are defined in § 1926.1401 as “a system of pendants, running ropes, sheaves, and other hardware which supports the boom tip and controls the boom angle.” This definition is the same as that for “boom suspension” in the SC&RF Handbook.

The Committee identified the process of pin removal as one that has proved to be particularly hazardous. Potential energy in these sections, systems and components can be released suddenly during this process, resulting in unanticipated movement, ranging from shifting to collapse. Even small movements can result in injury, Start Printed Page 59746including amputations; larger movements and collapses can cause fatal injuries.

The Committee determined that the key to preventing these injuries and fatalities is through ensuring that the sections/components will remain stable upon the removal of the pins. Instability can have a variety of causes, including improper assembly/disassembly sequencing, improper rigging, incorrectly designed support, blocking failures and ground compression. Therefore, under this proposed provision, the A/D supervisor would be required to make sure that the sections/components are rigged or supported by maintaining stability once the pins are removed.

Paragraph 1404(h)(8) Snagging

This proposed paragraph requires that suspension ropes and pendants not be allowed to catch on the boom or jib connection pins or cotter pins (including keepers and locking pins). In § 1926.1401, “pendants” are defined to “include both wire and bar types. Wire type: a fixed length of wire rope with mechanical fittings at both ends for pinning segments of wire rope together. Bar type: Instead of wire rope, a bar is used. Pendants are typically used in a latticed boom crane system to easily change the length of the boom suspension system without completely changing the rope on the drum when the boom length is increased or decreased.” This definition is similar to that in the SC&RF Handbook, but with the addition of the reference to “bar type” pendants.

Many times the pendant cables hang alongside the boom and may get caught (snagged) on the pins, bolts, or keepers as the operator raises the boom. If this were to occur the cables could be damaged or the boom may rise then drop suddenly as a snagged cable releases from the pin. This can result in shock loading and damaging cables and components. For example, under this proposed provision, once all the boom sections are installed and the pendants are pinned together, the A/D supervisor must ensure that care is taken when raising the boom so that pendant cables and hoist cables do not snag on the pins or any other component during the boom raising process.

Paragraph 1404(h)(9) Struck by Counterweights

“Counterweight” is defined in § 1926.1401 as a “weight used to supplement the weight of equipment in providing stability for lifting loads by counterbalancing those loads.” This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook.

Counterweights are usually large, heavy plates made of steel and/or concrete. The A/D process typically involves the installation and removal of counterweights. This proposed provision would require that the A/D supervisor address the hazard of employees being struck by them during their installation/removal. During the installation/removal process, employees typically are in close proximity to them. An employee could be struck by a counterweight or crushed between it and the crane structure if it were to sway as it was being installed or removed. The A/D supervisor would be required to address this aspect of the hazard, such as by taking steps to have the operator minimize the amount of sway and by positioning the employees to minimize their hazard exposure.

Additionally, after the counterweights are installed, the crane may have to swing to complete the boom assembly. The A/D supervisor would be required to address this aspect of the hazard as well, such as through the proper positioning of the employees and enhancing their awareness of the counterweight swing zone so that they will avoid being struck or crushed.

Paragraph 1404(h)(10) Boom Hoist Brake Failure

This proposed provision addresses a hazard that can occur both during assembly and disassembly, although it is more typically a hazard during assembly. In many older cranes the boom hoist brake mechanism has an external or internal mechanical brake band that operates by pressing against the hoist drum. As the configuration of the crane changes and, for example, more boom is added, this type of boom hoist brake may slip unless it has been adjusted to hold the extra weight. The Committee was concerned that the inability of an unadjusted brake to hold the increased load will not be evident until the additional boom section(s) has been added and the operator attempts to rely on the brake in a subsequent phase of the operation. If the operator does not first raise the boom a small amount after the section has been added (with the crew clear of the boom) to test the brake, employees could be injured later in the process when the operator manipulates the boom and finds that he/she is unable to brake it.

To address this hazard, the employer would be required to test the brake to determine if it can hold the load. In many cases, if it is insufficient, an adjustment to the brake will correct the problem. If it remains insufficient, the employer would be required to use a boom hoist pawl, other locking device, back-up braking device, or another method of preventing dangerous boom movement (such as blocking or using an assist crane to support the load) from a boom hoist brake failure.

The Agency is concerned that the text of the proposed provision may not be sufficiently clear regarding the timing of this brake test. OSHA's interpretation is that the test would need to be done immediately after each section (or group of sections) is installed, and after all sections are in place. OSHA is soliciting public comment on this issue and if it is necessary to revise the language of the provision to clarify when the test must be done.

Paragraph 1404(h)(11) Loss of Backward Stability

The Committee identified three points during the assembly/disassembly process at which there is a heightened risk of loss of backward stability; these are: when swinging the upperworks, during travel, and when attaching or removing equipment components. Therefore, under this proposed provision, before any of these occur, the A/D supervisor would be required to consider whether precautions need to be instituted to ensure that backward stability is maintained.

The illustration contained within the proposed requirements for loss of backward stability (§ 1926.1404(h)(11)) is taken from the “Mobile Crane Manual,” published by the Construction Safety Association of Ontario.

Paragraph 1404(h)(12) Wind Speed and Weather

Committee members believed that wind velocity and weather must be considered so that crane stability and capacity are not compromised. The Committee considered the option of establishing a maximum wind speed, as well as the option of incorporating ANSI's provisions regarding wind speed. However, it believed that selecting any one particular speed as a maximum would be arbitrary because of the variety of factors involved. For example: different cranes and crane types vary with respect to the “sail” area they present; an assembly process involving use of an assist crane may require lower wind speeds than one in which no assist crane is used; and assembly/disassembly operations done “in the air” (that is, with the boom elevated in the air, without ground support for the boom) may require lower wind speeds than a boom assembled/disassembled on the ground. Start Printed Page 59747

The Committee ultimately decided that a better approach would be to have the A/D supervisor determine the maximum safe wind speed under the circumstances.

Other weather conditions that can affect the safety of assembly/disassembly would include, for example, ice accumulation on crane components. Ice can both add to the weight of the components and create slippery, dangerous surfaces on which employees work. The A/D supervisor must consider if weather conditions affect the safety of the operation.

Paragraph 1404(i). [Reserved.] OSHA is proposing to reserve this paragraph because it can be difficult for readers to distinguish (i) from (j).

Paragraph 1404(j) Cantilevered Boom Sections

Members of the Committee believed that a common mistake in assembly/disassembly is cantilevering too much boom. When too much boom is cantilevered structural failure can occur in components such as the mast/gantry, boom sections and lifting lugs. Employees may be struck by falling components from this type of failure. To prevent accidents from cantilevering too much boom during assembly/disassembly, this provision would require manufacturer's limitations on cantilevering not to be exceeded.

If the manufacturer's limitations were not available, the employer would be required to have a registered professional engineer (RPE) determine the appropriate limitations, and to abide by those limitations. The Committee believed that in such cases there would need to be a requirement that the RPE's determination be in writing to ensure that the assessment has been done.

Paragraph 1404(k) Weight of Components

As with any load to be lifted by a crane/derrick, the weight of the components must be available to the operator so that the operator can determine if the lift can be performed within the crane/derrick's capacity. This proposed requirement would apply irrespective of whether the component is being hoisted by the crane being assembled/disassembled or by an assist crane.

Paragraph 1404(l). [Reserved.] OSHA is proposing to reserve this paragraph because it is inconvenient for readers to distinguish the letter “l” from the Arabic number “1.”

Paragraph 1404(m) Components and Configuration

This proposed provision deals with the selection of components that will be used to comprise the crane/derrick, the configuration of the equipment, and its inspection upon completion of assembly. Proper selection of components and proper configurations are explained in the manufacturer's instructions, limitations, and specifications. Regarding component selection, the provision would address the hazards associated with use of components that the manufacturer had neither intended nor planned for incorporation into the equipment.

The Committee believes that the use of such components could adversely affect the capacity and performance of the crane/derrick, cause the manufacturer's specifications (including the load chart) and instructions to be inapplicable, and adversely affect other components on the crane/derrick.

Similar hazards are posed by configuring the crane/derrick in a manner that does not accord with the manufacturer's instructions, limitations and specifications. An example given by the Committee was trucks carrying boom sections arriving out of sequence. To save time, some employers assemble the sections in the order in which they arrive rather than waiting for the correct section. This would result in a crane/derrick configured differently than intended by the manufacturer. Because the crane/derrick is designed and tested as a unit, the failure to configure the crane/derrick as the manufacturer had intended could present the same hazards as those described above for improper component selection.

The Committee recognized that, especially in the case of very old equipment where the manufacturer no longer exists, there are instances where the employer can no longer obtain the manufacturer's instructions, limitations and specifications regarding the selection of components and configuration of the equipment. In such instances the proposed provision would require that a registered professional engineer familiar with the type of equipment involved approve, in writing, the component selection and configuration.

Another proposed section (§ 1926.1434) would allow cranes/derricks to be modified under certain circumstances. To the extent a crane/derrick were modified in accordance with that section, the employer would not be required to follow the manufacturer's original instructions, limitations and specifications regarding component selection and configuration regarding those modifications. Instead, under proposed paragraph (m)(1)(ii) of this section, the employer would be required to follow the component selection and configuration requirements approved in accordance with proposed § 1926.1434.

Finally, this proposed provision would require that the equipment be inspected after assembly has been completed to ensure that the component selection and configuration are correct.

Paragraph 1404(n) Manufacturer Prohibitions

As explained above regarding proposed § 1926.1403, an employer would be able to choose to use either manufacturer assembly/disassembly procedures or its own (as long as they met the requirements in proposed § 1926.1406). However, in either case, the Committee believed that manufacturer prohibitions regarding assembly or disassembly would need to be met. In the Committee's view, a prohibition specified by the manufacturer signals that, if not heeded, a significant hazard would likely be created.

Paragraph 1404(o) Shipping Pins

In order to properly address the hazards the Committee was concerned with, the Agency rewrote the language that C-DAC had originally agreed upon for this proposed provision. The original (C-DAC) language read as follows:

(o) Shipping pins. Reusable shipping pins, straps, links and similar equipment must be removed and stowed in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

In studying the regulatory text as it was originally drafted it appeared the language did not accurately reflect the intentions of the Committee. The provision was intended to address two hazards. The first hazard is the failure to remove items such as shipping pins, which if left in place during operation could damage the equipment. For example, if shipping pins are not removed and the boom is raised up, the boom could be damaged. The second hazard is injury to employees where items such as shipping pins are removed but not properly stowed (i.e., placed in a special hole or bracket designed to keep the item from being dislodged) or stored on the equipment (such as in an equipment box in the cab) after assembly. Where these items are left lying on the equipment and not properly stowed or stored they present a falling object hazard to employees. To better reflect the Committee's intentions the Agency has altered the C-DAC language. The proposed provision reads:

Start Printed Page 59748

(o) Shipping pins. Reusable shipping pins, straps, links and similar equipment must be removed. Once they are removed they must either be stowed or otherwise stored so that they do not present a falling object hazard.

The Agency welcomes any comments with respect to this change.

Paragraph 1404(p) Pile Driving

This proposed provision would prohibit equipment used in pile driving operations from having a jib attached. The constant pounding of the pile driving hammer and the sometimes rapid descent of the pile causes the boom to bounce. If a jib were installed on the tip, as the boom bounces the jib could be thrown backward against its stops, which would likely cause structural damage to the boom. The damage could cause the boom to immediately fail or could diminish its capacity.

Paragraph 1404(q) Outriggers

This proposed paragraph specifies requirements regarding outrigger deployment. These requirements reflect current industry best practices in the use of outriggers. Failure to use outriggers in accordance with these practices could result in the overturning of the crane.

Section 1926.1405 Disassembly—Additional Requirements for Disassembly of Booms and Jibs (Applies to Both the Use of Manufacturer Procedures and Employer Procedures)

The Committee believed that many of the accidents associated with cranes occur during the removal of pendant, boom and jib pins. These accidents typically occur because of a failure to recognize that, in certain situations, particular pins are “in tension.” If removed while in that state the result will be unplanned movement of a component or the collapse of the boom or jib.

Consequently, the Committee believed that the removal of pendant, boom section and jib pins warrants heightened attention. This proposed section focuses on protecting employees from these hazards during the dismantling of booms and jibs, either when disassembling the crane/derrick or when changing the length of a boom or jib. To make clear that “dismantling” includes activities such as shortening a boom, proposed § 1926.1401 defines “dismantling” to include “partial dismantling (such as dismantling to shorten a boom or substitute a different component).”

In this proposed section the Committee identified particular scenarios that, in the experience of many of the Committee members, pose specific hazards in disassembly if the wrong pins (that is, pins that are in tension) are partly or completely removed. The failure to follow the provisions would very likely result in unintended movement and or collapse of the components. OSHA believes that these requirements will help to prevent unintended movement or collapse of booms or jibs as they are being disassembled.

While discussing the hazards associated with disassembly, the Committee reviewed particular illustrations from the “Mobile Crane Manual” by Construction Safety Association of Ontario. It was agreed that including these illustrations would be an effective way of communicating the dangers and the precautions specified in this proposed section.

Section 1406 Assembly/Disassembly—Employer Procedures—General Requirements

Under proposed § 1926.1403, employers would be permitted to follow their own procedures for assembling and disassembling a crane/derrick instead of those of the manufacturer. When doing so, the employer would have to ensure that its procedures met the general requirements in proposed § 1926.1406.

The proposed general requirements would focus on a “layered” strategy for preventing injuries and fatalities during this process: maintaining stability of the equipment and its components and positioning employees so that their exposure to unintended dangerous movement is minimized. This reflects the Committee members' experience that maintaining stability and avoiding dangerous positions are the key elements to preventing these accidents.

In addition, under proposed paragraph (b) of this section, the employer would be required to have its procedures developed by a qualified person. The Committee believed that, due to the complexity of the factors involved and the resultant expertise needed to develop such procedures, it would be necessary for them to be developed by a qualified person.

Note that the Agency wording in proposed § 1926.1406(a)(1) includes a modification of the language in the C-DAC document. The C-DAC document stated:

(1) Prevent unintended dangerous movement, and to prevent collapse, of part or all of the equipment.

Read literally, this would mean that the employer could choose to design the procedures to prevent collapse either of part or of all of the equipment. The intent of the Committee was that the procedures must not allow unintended dangerous movement of any part of the equipment. Therefore, the Agency modified this language so that the proposed provision reads as follows:

(1) Prevent unintended dangerous movement, and to prevent collapse, of all parts of the equipment.

Sections 1407-1411 Power Lines

Introduction

Proposed §§ 1926.1407 through 1926.1411 set out proposed requirements designed to help ensure the safety of employees while cranes/derricks are being assembled, disassembled, operated, or while they travel under power lines. Section 1401 defines “power lines” as “electric transmission and distribution lines.” This definition makes it clear that these sections apply to all electric transmission and distribution lines. C-DAC defined “power lines” as “electrical distribution and electric transmission lines,” but OSHA changed the definition to make the terminology consistent with Subpart V of 29 CFR part 1926, which applies to the construction of “electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment.” 29 CFR 1926.950(a).

The Committee believed that there is a need to reduce the number of fatalities resulting from electrical contact with power lines. In its experience, the presence of power lines at construction sites poses a significant hazard to employees at the site. Power lines can be a hazard not only during the operation of cranes and derricks, such as lifting operations, but also during assembling and disassembling the equipment and traveling with such equipment under power lines. Employees are at risk of serious injury or death if the equipment they are in, on or near is at a construction site where there are power lines.

The Committee's perception of the significance of this problem is confirmed by data that indicate that electrocution is one of the leading causes of crane-related fatalities on construction sites. During the years 1992 to 2005, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 1,153 crane-related fatalities. These statistics include fatalities across all industries and are not exclusive to construction crane-related fatalities. Of those total crane-related fatalities the second highest cause is attributed to cranes contacting overhead power lines (19% or 219 fatalities). Specifically for the year 2005, BLS reported 85 crane-Start Printed Page 59749related fatalities and 12 (or 14%) of those fatalities resulted from cranes contacting overhead power lines. (OSHA-2007-0066-0026).

In addition, a recent analysis of data published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), authored by J.E. Beavers, J.R. Moore, R. Rinehart and W.R. Schriver, found that electric shock caused by cranes and other lifting equipment contacting a power source was the second highest proximate cause (after being struck by a load) of crane-related fatalities in the construction industry from 1997 to 2003. These fatalities all involved the failure to maintain the minimum approach distances set out in the existing Subpart N, § 1926.550 provisions.[12] J.E. Beavers et al., “Crane-Related Fatalities in the Construction Industry,” 132 Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 901, 903-04 (2006) (OSHA-2007-0066-0012).

The Construction Safety Association of Ontario conducted an extensive study which reviewed crane fatalities from 1969 through 2002 in the Province of Ontario. (OSHA-2007-0066-0009). This study showed that the number one cause of mobile crane fatalities in the Province of Ontario construction industry during these 34 years was due to power line contact, with 50 of the 115, or 43%, of the mobile crane fatalities caused by power line contact.

A 1997 study by A. Suruda, M. Egger and D. Lui, analyzed crane related fatalities in the U.S. construction industry from 1984 to 1994. This study determined that electrocution by power line contact was the leading cause of crane related fatalities in the U.S. construction industry, with 39% of the 502 fatalities caused by electrocution from power lines. In addition, the findings of this study further confirmed previous studies which indicated that power line contact contributes to a significant number of crane related fatalities.[13] A. Suruda et al., “Crane-Related Deaths in the U.S. Construction Industry, 1984-94,” The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (Oct. 1997) (OSHA-2007-0066-0013).

Proposed § 1926.1401 defines “electrical contact” as follows:

When a person, object, or equipment makes contact or comes in close proximity with an energized conductor or equipment that allows the passage of current.

The Committee decided that it was necessary to define the term “electrical contact” to clarify that the term is not limited to a person, object, or equipment making physical contact with a power line but includes situations in which the object comes close enough to a power line for current to arc between the power line and the object and thereby energize the object.

Currently Subpart N, in 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(15)(i) and (ii), addresses power line hazards by specifying the minimum distance that must be maintained between a crane and an energized power line. For lines rated 50 kilovolts (kV) or below, the minimum distance is 10 feet; for lines over 50 kV, the minimum distance is 10 feet plus 0.4 inches for each 1 kV over 50 kV (we will refer to this Subpart N requirement in this preamble as the “10 foot rule”). However, the existing Subpart N provisions, which instruct employers to maintain a minimum clearance distance, do little by way of requiring employers to implement measures to help prevent operators from inadvertently breaching that distance.

The only preventative measure in Subpart N is a requirement, in paragraph 1926.550(a)(15)(iv), to use a spotter “where it is difficult for the operator to maintain the desired clearance by visual means.” In discussing how to reduce power line fatalities, the Committee determined that a systematic, proactive approach to preventing power line contact is needed.

First, in the Committee's experience, it is difficult for the operator, from his/her position in the crane's cab, to determine if the crane or load is 10 feet (or other applicable minimum distance) from a power line. According to C-DAC, generally operators know the 10 foot rule but they have problems being able to perceive or visually determine when the part of the equipment or load closest to the power line has reached the 10 foot rule's distance. The operator might think he/she is maintaining the required minimum distance when in fact the crane or load is closer than that to the line. Except for the limited requirement to use a spotter mentioned above, the existing Subpart N standard does not require any methodology or aids to be provided in each case to help the operator identify the location of this invisible boundary or otherwise avoid it.

Second, the Committee believed that operators sometimes breach the minimum clearance distance when they forget about the presence of a power line. For example, an operator might conclude at the beginning of a shift that he/she can pick and set all necessary loads while maintaining the required minimum distance but may thereafter be called upon to pick or set a load closer to the power line than normal. Having once concluded that the power line presents no problem, the operator might not recognize that the situation has changed and that there is now a danger of breaching the minimum distance.

Another scenario is when an operator concentrates so strongly on tasks related to moving the load, particularly if the load is one that requires the crane to be operated near its capacity, that he/she forgets about the power line. By not providing encroachment prevention measures, the current standard does not help the operator maintain the 10 foot rule and therefore does not address scenarios where operators forget about the presence of a power line.

Further, the current standard's provision for a spotter does not adequately address these scenarios. By requiring a spotter only “where it is difficult for the operator to maintain the desired clearance by visual means,” the provision implies that typically it is not difficult for the operator to accurately judge the distance and the equipment's or load's distance from the boundary. However, a crane operator, no matter how experienced, is normally not well-positioned to judge either the boundary distance or the distance the equipment or load is from it. In most cases the power line is thin, high up, and poorly contrasted against the sky.

Adding to the operator's difficulty is a confusion of angles posed by the power lines, load line, boom, and position of the operator away from the boundary. These factors are compounded by the distorting effects of distance on depth perception. Despite these factors, the operator must be able to accurately ascertain the location of an invisible boundary and judge relatively small distances with a high degree of precision.

Even a small misjudgment can result in the minimum clearance distance being breached. In short, the current standard assumes a degree of visual acuity that experience has shown is unrealistic. The high number of fatalities that continue to result from electrocution by power lines demonstrates that the current, limited provision regarding a spotter is not effective.

Third, the Committee discussed the reality that many employers intentionally perform work closer than the 10 foot rule to energized power lines. In only two circumstances does the current standard allow the operation of cranes closer than the 10 foot rule. Start Printed Page 59750The first instance is where the power lines have been deenergized and visibly grounded and the second is where insulating barriers (separate from the equipment) have been erected to prevent physical contact.

Committee members noted that typically neither of these measures is implemented. Specifically, the Committee believed that most employers elect not to use the option to deenergize and ground because of the time, expense and difficulty in making those arrangements. In addition, the Committee determined that an “insulating barrier” of the type that is currently available does not, by itself, adequately protect employees because these barriers are only effective for “brush” contact. If there is more than brush contact, they will not protect employees from electrocution because the equipment will pierce the device. In order to address the lack of compliance and the insufficient protections provided to employees who work closer than the 10 foot rule, the Committee developed new provisions that it believed would be both realistic and effective for safely working in such circumstances.

To summarize, the Committee found that the existing Subpart N provisions are inadequate. They fail to require employers to implement measures that would help prevent operators from inadvertently breaching the minimum clearance distance. The Committee determined that a systematic, proactive approach to preventing power line contact is needed. It recognized that while such an approach is necessarily more complex than the current 10 foot rule, it is essential to accomplishing the goal of reducing power line related fatalities and injuries.

Brief Overview of Proposed Requirements

The proposed standard would require the implementation of a systematic, proactive approach to dealing with the hazard of power lines. This approach would be comprised of the following steps: (1) Identify the work zone and assess it for power lines—determine how close the crane could get to them. The employer would have the option of doing this assessment for the area 360 degrees around the crane or for a more limited, demarcated area; (2) If the assessment showed that the crane could get closer than a trigger distance—20 feet for lines rated up to 350 kV (50 feet for lines rated over 350 kV)—then requirements for additional action would be triggered.

Specifically, unless the power lines were deenergized and grounded, encroachment/electrocution prevention measures would have to be implemented to prevent the crane from breaching a minimum clearance distance and protect against electrocution. The employer would be allowed to choose among several minimum clearance distance options.

For example, for lines up to 350kV, the minimum clearance distance options would be: (1) 20 feet; or (2) the distance specified in Table A for the line's voltage (Table A is the “10 foot rule”; see discussion of Table A below); or (3) a distance closer than what is specified in Table A.

However, there are limitations to the availability of some of these options, and the number of mandatory encroachment prevention (and other) measures increases when using a clearance distance closer than Table A.

The proposed standard uses the word “encroachment” to describe a situation in which equipment gets closer than the minimum allowed clearance distance to a power line. Under § 1926.1401, Definitions, encroachment “is where any part of the crane, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) breaches a minimum clearance distance that this Subpart requires to be maintained from a power line.” Encroachment prevention measures are critical to compliance with this proposed standard's minimum distance requirements.

A similar approach to power line safety was developed for preventing electrocutions during the assembly and disassembly of equipment. This is addressed in a separate proposed section because the assembly/disassembly process involves some different circumstances than are present during operation.

Section 1407 Power Line Safety (Up to 350 kV)—Assembly and Disassembly

The proposed requirements in § 1926.1407 address the hazards of assembling and disassembling equipment near power lines up to 350 kV. The requirements in proposed 1407 are similar in most respects to the requirements in proposed § 1926.1408, which address operations of equipment near power lines.

OSHA notes that when an assist crane is used during the assembly or disassembly of another crane/derrick, the use of the assist crane, with respect to power line safety, would be considered “operations” and therefore covered by proposed § 1926.1408 (or, for power lines over 350 kV, proposed § 1926.1409). This is because the assist crane has already been assembled and is being used for a crane operation. Therefore, use of the assist crane would be required to comply with proposed § 1926.1408 during the assembly/disassembly process rather than with proposed § 1926.1407.

In contrast, a crane that is not yet fully assembled is often used to complete its own assembly. For example, a crane is often used to load its own counterweights. Similarly, it may unload its counterweights in its own disassembly process. Such activities would be covered under proposed § 1926.1407 since it is being assembled/disassembled.

Paragraph 1407(a)

Under this proposed paragraph, before beginning assembly or disassembly, the employer would be required to determine if any part of the crane, load or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in the direction or area of assembly, closer than 20 feet to a power line. In other words, the employer would use the direction or area of assembly or disassembly in evaluating whether any such part could come closer than 20 feet. If this 20 foot “trigger” determination is positive, then the employer would be required to take additional steps. Specifically, the employer would be required to meet the proposed requirements under either, Option (1), Option (2) or Option (3) of § 1926.1407(a). If any part of the crane, load or load line could not come within more than 20 feet of a power line the employer would not be required to take any further action under this proposed section.

Upon further review of C-DAC's § 1926.1407(a), OSHA realized there was an inadvertent omission. The C-DAC regulatory text read:

(a) Before assembling or disassembling a crane, the employer must determine if any part of the crane, load, or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in the direction or area of “assembly,” within 20 feet of a power line during the assembly/disassembly process.

These provisions were intended to apply to both assembly and disassembly. The employer needs to evaluate power lines with respect to the direction or area of assembly when preparing to assemble the crane, and the direction or area of disassembly when preparing to disassemble the crane. A reference to “disassembly” in this regard was inadvertently omitted. Therefore, OSHA has changed the regulatory text to read:

(a) Before assembling or disassembling a crane, the employer must determine if any part of the crane, load, or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in Start Printed Page 59751the direction or area of “assembly/disassembly,” closer than 20 feet to a power line during the assembly/disassembly process.[14]

The phrase “direction or area of assembly/disassembly” is designed to address the fact that, in some cases, the assembly or disassembly of a crane takes place not just in an “area,” that is, a fixed portion of the work site, but also in a “direction.” For example, when disassembling a crane, the disassembly process takes place in an area that includes the area under and around the boom's path as it is lowered to the ground (in most, but not all cases, the boom is lowered to the ground for the disassembly process). Under this provision, the employer would be required to assess the promixity that the boom will be in to the power line in its path of travel to (and on) the ground.

In another example, when assembling a lattice boom crane, the “area” involved will expand as boom sections are added.[15] This area expands in the “direction” in which the boom sections are added. The power line assessment has to be made for the portion of the site that will be involved as these boom sections are added.

In addition, “direction” includes the direction that, for example, the boom will move as it rises into the air after the boom has been assembled on the ground. For example, the boom, when fully assembled on the ground, may be more than 20 feet from a power line. However, when raising it from the ground, it may get closer than 20 feet. Accordingly, under this language, the “direction” that the boom will travel as it is raised must also be evaluated for proximity to power lines.

Another example is the assembly of a tower crane. As tower sections are added, the assembly process may get closer to power lines than when the process began on the ground. That “direction” of assembly upwards must also be evaluated.

Paragraph (a)(1) Option (1)

An employer choosing Option 1 would protect against electrocution by having the power lines deenergized and visibly grounded. Where the employer elects this option, it would not have to implement any of the encroachment/electrocution prevention measures listed in proposed § 1926.1407(b). This option helps to eliminate the electrical hazards which are present with power lines.

However, some amount of time is needed to arrange for the utility owner/operator [16] to deenergize and ground the line. Also, in some instances, especially where the construction project is small, the cost of deenergizing and grounding may be a substantial portion of the cost of the project. The Committee recognized that, in practice, largely because of these factors, deenergizing and grounding has not been routinely done.

Therefore, the Committee believed that providing other safe and practical options would help to reduce unsafe practices in the industry. Those other options (Options 2 and 3 in proposed § 1926.1407(a)) combined with proposed § 1926.1407(b) are designed to be effective protection against the hazards of electrocution.

Paragraph (a)(2) Option (2)

Under Option 2 (proposed § 1926.1407(a)(2)), the employer would be required to maintain a minimum clearance distance of 20 feet. To help ensure that this distance is not breached, the employer would have to implement the encroachment prevention measures in proposed § 1926.1407(b). Under this proposed option, no part of the crane, load or load line, including rigging and lifting accessories, would be permitted closer than 20 feet to the power line.

Employers using this proposed option would, in most cases, have to stay further away from the power line than under the existing Subpart N's 10 foot rule (employers wanting to use the 10 foot rule would have to use proposed Option 3, discussed below).[17] However, an advantage of this proposed option to many employers is that they would not have to determine the exact voltage of the power line as they would if they were to apply Subpart N's 10 foot rule. They would only have to determine that the line voltage is equal to or less than 350 kV. As a practical matter, since many employers rely on the utility owner/operator to provide voltage information, this option would save them that step.

The Committee believed that, since the minimum clearance distance would be 20 feet, there would be no diminution of safety under this option since the maximum possible clearance distance under the current Subpart N's formula is 20 feet. In fact, in the Committee's experience, most power lines encountered by most employers have voltages that, under the current Subpart N formula, require a minimum clearance distance of 10 feet. Therefore, use of this option would, in most cases, result in a higher margin of safety. Employers who do not need to get closer than 20 feet in order to assemble/disassemble the crane could use this option and would be saved the step of obtaining the exact line voltage.

As noted above, in addition to maintaining a minimum clearance distance of 20 feet, employers using this option would be required to implement the encroachment prevention and other measures specified in proposed § 1926.1407(b).

Paragraph (a)(3) Option (3)

Under Option 3 (proposed paragraph § 1926.1407(a)(3)), the employer would be required to maintain a minimum clearance distance in accordance with Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408). Under Table A, depending on the voltage of the power line, the minimum approach distance ranges from 10 feet to 20 feet for lines up to 350 kV. Therefore, the minimum clearance distance would be essentially the same under Option 3 as under Subpart N's 10 foot rule. Under this option the employer would be required to determine the line's voltage.

As a practical matter, in the Committee's experience, the power lines most typically encountered by most employers would require a minimum clearance distance of 10 feet under Table A. As a result, employers could usually assemble/disassemble equipment closer to the lines under this option than under Option 2.

Table A in essence is based upon the same formula as is currently used in existing Subpart N (the 10 foot rule) and is similar to Table 1 in ASME B30.5-2004. Unlike Subpart N, which requires employers to calculate the minimum clearance distance from a formula, Table A sets forth specified clearance distances in a readily understood table and requires no calculations. The Committee believed that a table with specified clearance distances is more Start Printed Page 59752readily applied than the formula set out in the existing Subpart N requirements.

The enhanced safety that would result under this option would stem from the fact that, first, there would be an affirmative obligation on the employer to determine the power line voltage so that the correct Table A minimum clearance distance could be determined. Second, in addition to maintaining the minimum clearance distance specified in the Table, employers using this option would be required to implement the encroachment prevention and other measures specified in proposed § 1926.1407(b).

In reviewing C-DAC's draft of this provision, the Agency realized that C-DAC inadvertently failed to explicitly state that the Table A minimum clearance distance must not be breached. OSHA has modified proposed paragraph § 1926.1407(a)(3)(ii) to correct this error. Therefore, the last sentence of the C-DAC language has been expanded to read as follows:

If so, then the employer must follow the requirements in paragraph (b) to ensure that no part of the crane, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer to the line than the minimum clearance distance.

Paragraph 1407(b) Preventing Encroachment/Electrocution

Once an employer has determined that some part of the crane, load or load line could come within the trigger distance of 20 feet of a power line (see § 1926.1407(a)), if it chooses either Option (2) or (3) of § 1926.1407(a) it would be required to implement encroachment prevention measures to help ensure that the applicable minimum clearance distance (20 feet under Option 2 or the Table A distance under Option 3) is not breached.[18]

Most of the measures in this proposed paragraph are designed to help the employer maintain the appropriate clearance distance and thereby prevent electrical contact while in the process of assembling or disassembling equipment. Some of the measures are designed to prevent electrocution in the event of electrical contact. The committee believed these proposed requirements would add layers of protection to help keep employees safe from power lines during the assembly or disassembly of the equipment.

Paragraph 1407(b)(1)

Under proposed paragraph (b)(1), the employer would be required to conduct a planning meeting with the Assembly/Disassembly Supervisor (A/D Supervisor), operator, assembly/disassembly crew and other workers who will be in the assembly/disassembly area (including the area of the load). This planning meeting must include reviewing the location of the power line(s) and the steps that will be implemented to prevent encroachment and electrocution.

As discussed below, under this proposed paragraph, certain encroachment/electrocution prevention measures would be required (they are listed in proposed paragraph (b)(1) and (2) of this section). In addition, the employer would be required to select at least one additional measure from the list in proposed § 1926.1407(b)(3). In the planning meeting, the employer would be required to make that selection and review all the measures that will be used to comply with this section.

The purpose of this proposed requirement is to ensure that the operator and other workers who will be in the area understand these measures and how they will be implemented. That understanding is important to their successful implementation. Because of the critical nature of these measures, and the seriousness of the consequences to the safety of the employees if they are not implemented correctly, the Committee believed that it is necessary for there to be a structured process by which the employer communicates this information.

Paragraph 1407(b)(2)

Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would require that where tag lines are used they must be non-conductive. This provision uses two terms that are defined in § 1401. “Tag lines” is defined as “a rope (usually fiber) attached to a lifted load for purposes of controlling load spinning and pendular motions or used to stabilize a bucket or magnet during material handling operations.” Thus, one end of a tag line is attached to the load and the other end is held by an employee who controls the load's motion by exerting force on the line.

If the equipment or load were to make electrical contact with a power line while an employee was holding a tag line that was able to conduct electricity, the employee could be electrocuted. The requirement that the tag line be non-conductive is designed to protect against such an event. Section 1926.1401 defines “non-conductive” as meaning that, “because of the nature and conditions of the materials used, and the conditions of use (including environmental conditions and condition of the material), the object in question has the property of not becoming energized (that is, it has high dielectric properties offering a high resistance to the passage of current under the conditions of use).”

This definition recognizes that it is not only the inherent property of the tag line material that results in it being non-conductive but also the conditions of use. For example, if an otherwise non-conductive material were to become wet and therefore able to conduct electricity, it would no longer qualify as non-conductive under this proposed paragraph.

Paragraph 1407(b)(3)

Under this proposed paragraph the employer would be required to choose one of five encroachment prevention measures (§ 1926.1407(b)(3)(i) through (v)) to implement. The Committee concluded that the use of any one of these measures, in combination with the required measures listed elsewhere in proposed § 1926.1407(b), would be feasible and effective in protecting against encroachment. Specifically, the employer would be required to choose either: (i) The use of a dedicated spotter; (ii) a proximity alarm; (iii) a device that automatically warns the operator when to stop (i.e., a range control warning device); (iv) a device that automatically limits the range of movement of the equipment; or (v) an elevated: Warning line, barricade, or line of signs, in view of the operator, equipped with flags or similar high-visibility markings. Providing the ability to choose among these options would give the employer flexibility so that it could pick one that was well suited and efficient in the circumstances.

A definition of “dedicated spotter (power lines)” is included in proposed § 1926.1401, Definitions. That definition provides:

In order to be considered a dedicated spotter, the requirements of § 1926.1428 (signal person qualifications) must be met and his/her sole responsibility is to watch the separation between the power line and: the equipment, load line and load (including rigging and lifting accessories), and ensure through communication with the operator that the applicable minimum distance is not breached.

When the employer uses a dedicated spotter to prevent encroachment under this section, that person has the critical responsibility of ensuring, through communication with the operator, that the equipment maintains a specified minimum clearance distance from a power line. This definition makes clear that the dedicated spotter cannot have any other responsibilities that detract him/her from this task. Also, the Start Printed Page 59753dedicated spotter must have the qualifications required of a signal person under proposed § 1926.1428, discussed below. Those qualifications will ensure that the signal person can communicate effectively with the operator. They also ensure that the signal person is knowledgeable about crane dynamics and therefore is able to recognize situations in which the minimum clearance distance may inadvertently be breached if, for example, the load is stopped quickly while it is being moved near a power line.

The devices listed in proposed §§ 1926.1407(b)(3)(ii) and (iii) are also defined in § 1401. “Proximity alarm,” is defined as “a device that provides a warning of proximity to a power line that has been listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.” [19] A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory is an organization that has been recognized by OSHA pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.7 as competent to evaluate equipment for conformance to appropriate safety test standards for that type of equipment. Thus, approval of a proximity alarm by a nationally recognized testing laboratory provides assurance that the device will work as intended. “Range control warning device,” is defined as “a device that can be set by an equipment operator to warn that the boom or jib tip is at a plane or multiple planes.”

In reviewing this proposed provision, OSHA realized that some of the devices listed in proposed § 1926.1407(b)(3) would not be operational or effective against electrocution during certain phases of the assembly or disassembly process of certain types of cranes. For example, for lattice boom cranes, proximity alarm devices may not be able to be used when the boom is not yet fully assembled; at that point the proximity alarm typically cannot be connected and functioning. Therefore, during certain phases of assembly/disassembly, one of the other options would need to be used (such as a dedicated spotter) in order to provide the needed protection.

However, the regulatory text, as currently drafted, would permit an employer to select an option irrespective of whether it would be effective under the circumstances. In order to address this concern, OSHA requests public comment on whether proposed § 1926.1407(b)(3) should be revised to preclude the employer from selecting an option that, in the employer's situation, would be ineffective, such as by revising the provision to read:

(3) At least one of the additional measures listed in this paragraph must be in place. The measure selected from this list must be effective in preventing encroachment. The additional measures are: * * *

In situations where an employer chooses the option of using a dedicated spotter, the employer would be required to meet the proposed requirements for spotters in proposed § 1926.1407(b)(3)(i). As specified in proposed paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A) of this section, the spotter would have to be equipped with a visual aid to assist in identifying the minimum clearance distance. The Committee concluded that a visual aid is needed for the spotter because of the difficulty in visualizing the minimum clearance distance boundary in the air (as discussed above).

In the C-DAC version of this paragraph, examples of visual aids included a line painted on the ground, a clearly visible line of stanchions or a set of line-of-sight landmarks. An example of a clearly visible set of line-of-sight landmarks would be a fence post and a building corner.

In reviewing C-DAC's draft of this provision, the Agency noted that the stanchions and landmarks would have to be “clearly visible,” but that this language was not used with respect to the example of a painted line on the ground. Since all such visual aids would have to be clearly visible to be effective, and that was the evident intent of C-DAC, the Agency has modified the C-DAC language so that, in the proposed provision, all the listed examples would have to be “clearly visible.” This revision was also made in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii)(A).

Under proposed paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(B)-(D), the spotter would have to be positioned so that he/she can effectively gauge the clearance distance from the power line; the spotter, where necessary, would have to use equipment that enables him/her to communicate directly with the equipment operator; and the spotter would have to give timely information to the operator so that the required clearance distance can be maintained. C-DAC believed that each criterion is needed for the spotter to be able to be effective.

Paragraph 1407(c) Assembly/Disassembly Below Power Lines Prohibited

This proposed paragraph would preclude employers from assembling or disassembling cranes/derricks beneath energized power lines. The Committee agreed that assembly/disassembly below energized power lines presents an extreme risk and needs to be prohibited. The assembly/disassembly process necessarily involves moving and hoisting parts of the equipment into place. If some of this work took place beneath a power line, the risk that a part, load, load line, or other equipment would make electrical contact is very high. Also, in both assembly and disassembly, maneuvering an assembled crane out from under the power lines, or maneuvering a crane that is about to be disassembled under them, itself poses a high risk of such contact.

C-DAC's agreement on this provision indicates a belief by the Committee that, in almost all cases, the employer can plan the assembly/disassembly so that there will be no need to be beneath power lines. The Committee also concluded that, in the very few instances where this is not possible, in light of the extreme risk involved, it is essential that the lines be deenergized and visibly grounded.

Paragraph 1407(d) Assembly/Disassembly Closer Than Table A Clearance Prohibited

Assembly and disassembly of cranes/derricks closer than the minimum clearance distance in proposed Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) to an energized power line would be prohibited. If assembly or disassembly needed to take place closer than that distance, the employer would be required to have the line deenergized and visibly grounded. The rationale for this proposed provision is similar to that discussed above for assembly/disassembly beneath power lines. Engaging in assembly/disassembly activity closer to an energized power line than the Table A distance was considered by the Committee to be too hazardous to be permitted under any circumstances.

This reflects certain inherent characteristics of the assembly/disassembly process that preclude the employer from being able to reliably maintain clearance distances closer than Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408). For example, when disassembling a lattice boom, pins that hold boom sections together are removed. Even when done properly, this can release stored kinetic energy and cause the boom section Start Printed Page 59754being removed, as well as the remaining sections, to move. It is too difficult to estimate the amount of such potential movement with the precision that would be necessary when working closer than the Table A distances.

Another example is when assembling a boom, an error in the assembly process may similarly cause unanticipated movement. Using clearances closer than those in Table A would not allow sufficient room in light of the difficulty of predicting the amount such movement.[20]

Paragraph 1407(e) Voltage Information

This proposed section operates in conjunction with proposed § 1926.1407(a)(3). Under proposed § 1926.1407(a)(3), employers who elect to use Option (3) of § 1926.1407(b) must determine the line's voltage. Under proposed § 1926.1407(e), where the employer asks the utility owner/operator for that voltage information, the utility owner/operator of the line would be required to provide the voltage information within two working days of the request.

This reflects a belief of the Committee that, in the absence of such a time limitation on the utility owner/operator, in many instances Option (3) (proposed § 1926.1407(b)) would not be useful because the employer would not be able to get the voltage information in sufficient time to be able to use it. Many employers would rely on the utility owner/operator to get this information. The Committee was concerned that an extended delay in getting it would result in employers, to some extent, doing the work anyway without the information. Therefore, for Option (3) (proposed § 1926.1407(b)) to be viable, the Committee believed that a reasonable time limitation for the utility owner/operator to respond is needed.[21]

The Committee believed that two business days would be a reasonable amount of time to allow the utility owners/operator to respond and be sufficiently short to be useful to the employer requesting the information.

In reviewing this provision, the Agency noted that the C-DAC provision reads:

Voltage information. Where Option (3) is used, owner/operators of power lines must provide the requested voltage information within two working days of the employer's request.

In a different context—determining the timeliness of notices of contest to OSHA citations—OSHA defines “working days” to mean “Mondays through Fridays but shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays.” 29 CFR 1903.22(c). Since the term is already defined in an OSHA regulation, the Agency would apply the same definition here unless this rule were to specify a different definition. Therefore, OSHA solicits comments on whether the phrase “working days” should be defined differently for purposes of this rule than it is in 29 CFR 1903.22(c).

Paragraph 1407(f) Power Lines Presumed Energized

This proposed paragraph would require that employers always assume that all power lines are energized unless the utility owner/operator confirms that the power line has been and continues to be deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite. This fundamental precaution is essentially the same as currently in Subpart N at § 1926.550(a)(15)(vi).

Paragraph 1407(g) Posting of Electrocution Warnings

This proposed paragraph would require the posting of electrocution warnings as follows: One inside the cab in view of the operator and (except for overhead gantry and tower cranes) at least two on the outside of the equipment. The Committee believes that these electrocution warnings are necessary to protect the operator as well as any employees working in the area around the crane by increasing their awareness of the hazard. This provision is similar to section 5-3.4.5.2(d) of ASME B30.5-2004.

Section 1408 Power Line Safety (Up to 350 kV)—Operations

As discussed above with respect to power line safety in assembly/disassembly, the proposed standard would require the implementation of a systematic approach to power line safety for crane/derrick operations. This approach would consist of two basic steps. First, the employer would need to identify the work zone, assess it for power lines, and determine how close the crane could get to them. The employer would have the option of doing this assessment for the area 360 degrees around the crane or for a more limited, demarcated area. Second, if the assessment showed that the crane could get closer than a trigger distance—20 feet for lines rated up to 350 kV (50 feet for lines rated over 350 kV)—then requirements for additional action would be triggered.

Specifically, unless the power lines were deenergized and grounded, encroachment prevention measures would have to be implemented to prevent the crane from breaching a minimum clearance distance. The employer would be allowed to choose among three minimum clearance distance options. For example, for lines up to 350kV, the minimum clearance distance options would be 20 feet, or the distance specified in Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) for the line's voltage (Table A is the “10 foot rule”; see discussion of Table A below), or a distance closer than what is specified in Table A.

However, there are limitations to the availability of some of these options, and the number of mandatory encroachment prevention (and other) measures increases when using a clearance distance closer than Table A.[22]

Paragraph 1408(a) Hazard Assessments and Precautions Inside the Work Zone

Before beginning crane/derrick operations, the employer would be required to determine if power lines would pose a hazard. The first step in this process would be to identify the work zone for which this hazard assessment will be made (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(1)). The employer would have two options for defining the work zone.

Under the first option (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(1)(i)), the employer would be required to define the work zone by marking boundaries and prohibiting the operator from operating the equipment past those boundaries. Examples of how to demarcate the boundaries include using flags or devices such as a range limit device or range control warning device. “Range control warning device” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a device that can be set by an equipment operator to warn that the boom or jib tip is at a plane or multiple planes.” See the explanation Start Printed Page 59755below of “range limit device” at the end of the discussion of this section.

Employers would not be permitted to use existing landmarks to demarcate boundaries unless they are marked. For example, a line of trees would be insufficient. Without anything more the trees would not signal a reminder to the operator of there being a boundary that must be maintained. However, adding flags to those trees would be sufficient because the flags would serve as a reminder that the trees are located along a boundary that the operator must not breach.

The boundaries must mark the limits of all crane movement. For example, a work zone could be defined by demarcating boundaries: (1) To the left and right of the operator, to limit the lateral movement of the boom, and (2) in front of the operator, in a line connecting the side boundaries, limiting the boom's radius.

In identifying the work zone, the employer must consider the entire area in which the crane will need to operate. If the crane will need to be positioned in more than one spot to accomplish its work, or to travel with a load, the employer would be required to consider the total area in which it will need to operate and set the boundaries accordingly.

The second option for identifying the work zone (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(1)(ii)) would be to define the work zone as the area 360 degrees around the crane, up to the crane's maximum working radius. In other words, under this option, the work zone would be the area within a circle, with the crane at the center, and the radius defined by the maximum working radius of the crane. No boundaries would have to be marked under this option since the crane would be permitted to operate in the entire area that it could reach.

Paragraph 1408(a)(2)

Once the employer has identified the work zone according to proposed § 1926.1408(a)(1), it would then be required to make the power line hazard assessment. Specifically, it must determine if any part of the crane, load or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) could come within a “trigger” distance—20 feet of a power line. This determination must be made based upon the assumption that the crane would be operated up to its maximum working radius (or, if a demarcated boundary is closer than the maximum working radius, the assessment must be made with the assumption that the crane would be operated up to that boundary).

Even if the employer has no intention of working up to the crane's maximum radius in the work zone, the assessment must still be made using this assumption. The Committee believed that this is crucial since, even if the employer's original intention was not to operate in that part of the work zone, unexpected events may occur that may lead the operator to operate the equipment there.

If this 20 foot “trigger” determination is positive, then the employer would be required to take additional steps. Specifically, the employer would be required to meet the proposed requirements under either, Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2).[23]

Paragraph 1408(a)(2)(i) Option (1)

An employer choosing Option (1) would protect against electrocution by having the power lines deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite. This option would prevent equipment that contacts the power line from becoming energized. The power line must be “visibly grounded at the worksite” so that the employer can verify, through observation, that the protection provided by this option remains in place for as long as the employer continues to rely on it.

Where the employer elects this option, it would not have to implement any of the encroachment/electrocution prevention measures listed in proposed § 1926.1408(b). However, some amount of time is needed to arrange for the utility owner/operator to deenergize and ground the line. Also, in some instances, especially where the construction project is small, the cost of deenergizing and grounding may be a substantial portion of the cost of the project. The Committee recognized that, in practice, largely because of these factors, deenergizing and grounding has not been routinely done.

Therefore, the committee believed that providing other safe and practical options would help to reduce unsafe practices in the industry. Those other options (Options 2 and 3 in proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii) and (iii), discussed below) combined with proposed § 1926.1408(b) are designed to afford effective protection against the hazards of electrocution.

Paragraph 1408(a)(2)(ii) Option (2)

Under Option 2 (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii)), the employer would be required to maintain a minimum clearance distance of 20 feet. To help ensure that this distance is not breached, the employer would have to implement the encroachment prevention measures in proposed § 1926.1407(b). Under this proposed option, no part of the crane, load or load line, including rigging and lifting accessories, would be permitted closer than 20 feet to the power line.

Employers using this proposed option would, in most cases, have to stay further away from the power line than under the existing Subpart N's 10 foot rule (employers wanting to use the 10 foot rule would have to use proposed Option 3 (in § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)). However, proper application of the 10 foot rule, as a practical matter, necessitates determining the exact voltage of the power line.[24] An advantage of this proposed option to many employers is that they would not have to determine the exact voltage of the power line (they would only have to determine that the line is equal to or less than 350 kV). As a practical matter, since many employers rely on the utility owner/operator to provide voltage information, this option would save them that step.

The Committee believed that, since the minimum clearance distance would be 20 feet, there would be no diminution of safety under this option since the maximum possible clearance distance under the current Subpart N's formula is 20 feet. In fact, in the Committee's experience, most power lines encountered by most employers have voltages that, under the current Subpart N's formula, require a minimum clearance distance of 10 feet. Therefore, use of this option would, in most cases, result in a higher margin of safety. Employers who do not need to get closer than 20 feet in order to do their work could use this option and would be saved the step of obtaining the exact line voltage.

As noted above, in addition to maintaining a minimum clearance distance of 20 feet, employers using this option would be required to implement the encroachment prevention and other Start Printed Page 59756measures specified in proposed § 1926.1408(b).

Paragraph 1408(a)(2)(iii) Option (3)

Under Option 3 (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)), the employer would be required to maintain a minimum clearance distance in accordance with Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408). Under Table A, depending on the voltage of the power line, the minimum approach distance ranges from 10 feet to 20 feet.[25] Under this option the employer would be required to determine the line's voltage.

As a practical matter, in the Committee's experience, the power lines most typically encountered by most employers have a minimum clearance distance of 10 feet under Table A. As a result, employers could usually work closer to the lines under this option than under Option 2 (proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii)). Table A in essence is based upon the same formula as is currently used in existing Subpart N. Therefore, the minimum clearance distance would be similar under Option 3 (in proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)) as under the existing requirements.

The information in Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) of the proposed rule is similar to information in Table 1 of ASME B30.5-2004. The Committee believed that a table with specified clearance distances is more understandable than the formula set out in the existing Subpart N requirements. Proposed Table A is intended to be a clear way of conveying the minimum clearance distances.

The enhanced safety that would result under this option would stem from the fact that, first, there would be an affirmative obligation on the employer to determine the power line voltage so that the correct Table A minimum clearance distance could be determined. Second, in addition to maintaining the minimum clearance distance specified in the Table, employers using this option would be required to implement the encroachment prevention and other measures specified in proposed § 1926.1408(b).

In reviewing C-DAC's draft of this provision, the Agency realized that C-DAC inadvertently failed to explicitly state that the Table A minimum clearance distance must not be breached. Therefore, OSHA has modified proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2) to correct this error. The last sentence of the C-DAC language has been expanded to read as follows:

If so, then the employer must follow the requirements in paragraph (b) to ensure that no part of the crane, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer to the line than the minimum clearance distance.

Paragraph 1408(b) Preventing Encroachment/Electrocution

Once the employer has determined that some part of the crane, load or load line could come within the work zone assessment trigger distance of 20 feet of a power line (see proposed § 1926.1408(a)), if it chooses either Option (2) or (3) (of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii) and (iii)), it would be required to implement encroachment prevention measures to help ensure that the applicable minimum approach distance (20 feet under Option 2 or the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distance under Option 3 is not breached.[26] Most of the measures in this proposed paragraph are designed to help the employer maintain the appropriate distance and thereby prevent electrical contact while operating the equipment. Some of the measures are designed to prevent electrocution in the event of electrical contact. The committee believed these proposed requirements would add layers of protection to help keep employees safe from energized power lines.

Paragraph 1408(b)(1)

Under proposed 1408(b)(1) the employer would be required to conduct a planning meeting with the operator and other workers who will be in the area of the crane or load. This planning meeting must include reviewing the location of the power line(s) and the steps that will be implemented to prevent encroachment and electrocution.

As discussed below, under this proposed paragraph, certain encroachment/electrocution prevention measures would be required (they are listed in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(1) through (3)). In addition, the employer would be required to select at least one additional measure from the list in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4). In the planning meeting, the employer would be required to make that selection and review all the measures that will be used to comply with this section. The purpose of this proposed requirement is to ensure that the operator and other workers who will be in the area understand these measures and how they will be implemented. That understanding is important to their successful implementation. Because of the critical nature of these measures, and the seriousness of the consequences to the safety of the employees if they are not implemented correctly, the Committee believed that it is necessary for there to be a structured process by which the employer communicates this information.

Paragraph 1408(b)(2)

Proposed § 1926.1408(b)(2) would require that where tag lines are used they must be non-conductive. This provision would provide additional protection to those employees who would be exposed to electrical hazards in the event that the equipment, load line, tag line or load contacts a power line and the tag line they are holding becomes energized.

Paragraph 1408(b)(3)

Proposed § 1926.1408(b)(3) would require elevated: Warning lines, barricades or line of signs, in view of the crane operator equipped with flags or similar high-visibility markings, at 20 feet from the power line (if using Option (2) (of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii)) or at the minimum approach distance under Table A (if using Option (3) (of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)). This provision is designed to serve as a reminder to the operator that there are power lines with associated minimum clearance distances that must be met. Warning lines, barricades or a line of signs in the operator's view equipped with high-visibility markings would also indicate to the operator where the minimum approach distance boundary is located. This would serve as one of two layers of protection (the second layer would consist of an additional means selected by the employer under proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4), discussed below).

C-DAC discussed and ultimately rejected the idea of permitting a visual line on the ground which would mark the minimum approach distance because an operator would generally not notice or see a line on the ground and because, from where the operator sits, it would be particularly difficult for the operator to extrapolate from that line the location of the boundary in the air. The committee decided that these visual reminders need to be elevated, or as the proposed definition states, sufficiently elevated from the ground level to accurately enable the operator to judge the distance between the load, load line (including rigging and lifting Start Printed Page 59757accessories) or crane and the boundary marked by the elevated warning line.

In reviewing the C-DAC draft of this provision, OSHA realized that there may be situations where the employer would not be able to place such a line so that it would be visible to the operator. In such a case, in order to have two layers of protection, it would be necessary to require that a dedicated spotter be used in addition to one of the other (non-spotter) methods described below in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4). Therefore, OSHA is planning on modifying this proposed provision by adding the following after the last sentence in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(3):

If the operator is unable to see the elevated warning line, a dedicated spotter must be used as described in § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii) in addition to implementing either the measure described in § 1926.1408(b)(4)(i), (iii), (iv) or (v).

The Agency requests public comment on this issue.

Paragraph 1408(b)(4)

This proposed section sets out a list of five prevention measures, from which the employer would be required to select at least one, when the employer elects to use either Option (2) or Option (3) under § 1926.1408(a)(2). In the Committee's experience, the use of any one of these measures, in combination with the required measures listed elsewhere in proposed § 1926.1408(b), would be feasible and effective in protecting against encroachment/electrocution. The first four measures are methods for encroachment prevention. The fifth measure is a method of electrocution prevention in the event of electrical contact with a power line. Specifically, the employer would be required to choose either: (i) A proximity alarm; (ii) the use of a dedicated spotter; (iii) a device that automatically warns the operator when to stop (i.e., a range control warning device); (iv) a device that automatically limits the range of movement of the equipment; or (v) an insulating link/device.

C-DAC believed that allowing the employer to choose from a variety of options for this second layer of protection would allow the employer to select a method that it believed would be suitable, would increase the likelihood of employer compliance and would be an effective approach to reducing power line related injuries and fatalities.

In situations where an employer chooses the option of using a dedicated spotter, the employer would be required to meet the proposed requirements for spotters in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii). As specified in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii)(A), the spotter would have to be equipped with a visual aid to assist in identifying the minimum clearance distance. The Committee concluded that a visual aid is needed for the spotter because of the difficulty in visualizing the minimum clearance distance boundary in the air (as discussed above).

In the C-DAC version of this paragraph, examples of visual aids included a line painted on the ground, a clearly visible line of stanchions or a set of line-of-sight landmarks. An example of a clearly visible set of line-of-sight landmarks would be a fence post positioned behind the dedicated spotter and a building corner ahead of the spotter.

In reviewing C-DAC's draft of this provision, the Agency noted that that the stanchions and landmarks would have to be “clearly visible,” but that this language was not used with respect to the example of a painted line on the ground. Since all such visual aids would have to be clearly visible to be effective, and that was the evident intent of C-DAC, the Agency has modified the C-DAC language so that, in the proposed provision, all the listed examples would have to be “clearly visible.” This revision was also made in proposed § 1926.1407(b)(3)(i)(A).

Under proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii)(B)-(D), the spotter would have to be positioned so that he/she can effectively gauge the clearance distance from the power line; the spotter, where necessary, must use equipment that enables him/her to communicate directly with the equipment operator; and the spotter must give timely information to the operator so that the required clearance distance can be maintained. C-DAC believed that each criterion is needed for the spotter to be able to be effective.

Proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(iii) would give the employer the option of using a device that automatically warns the operator when to stop movement, such as a range control warning device. Such a device must be set to give the operator sufficient warning to prevent encroachment. “Range control warning device”defined in § 1926.1401 as “a device that can be set by an equipment operator to warn that the boom or jib tip is at a plane or multiple planes.” For example: an employer has chosen the option of maintaining a 20 foot distance from the power line. Under proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4), it has chosen to use a range control warning device to help maintain that distance. The device would have to be set to alert the operator in time to prevent the boom, load line or load (which ever is closest to the line) from breaching that 20 foot distance. As a practical matter, the device would have to be set to sound the warning more than 20 feet from the line, since the operator will need some time to react and to account for the momentum of the equipment, load line and load.

Proposed § 1926.1408 (b)(4)(iv) would give the employer the option of using a device that automatically limits the equipment's range of motion and is set to prevent encroachment. Such a device could be particularly suitable for tower cranes, for which the swing angle can be programmed so that the operator cannot move the boom or jib past a certain range. The Committee recognized that it may be more technically difficult to apply swing limitation devices for use in mobile cranes but believed that the technology may develop so that they could be used in such cranes.

As noted above, the insulating link option that would be available under proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(v) would not protect against encroachment but would provide protection to employees handling the load against electrocution in the event encroachment did occur. Such a device would have to be installed between the end of the load line and the load. When so installed, it prevents the load from becoming energized in the event the load line or other part of the equipment makes electrical contact with a power line. Preventing the load from becoming energized helps protect riggers, who often guide crane loads manually and who are therefore at high risk of being electrocuted if a load becomes energized.

As stated in proposed § 1926.1401, “Insulating link/device” would be defined as “an insulating device that has been listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.” This proposed definition reflects the Committee's concern that there be some assurance that the insulating link/device would work as intended. That assurance would be accomplished by requiring that such link/device be approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

Paragraph 1408(b)(5)

Employers engaged in construction of electric transmission and distribution lines, which is regulated by 29 CFR part 1926 subpart V (§§ 1926.950 through 960), would also have to meet the requirements in proposed § 1926.1408, with several exceptions. First, in accordance with proposed § 1926.1408(b)(5), work involving Start Printed Page 59758cranes/derricks that is covered by Subpart V would not be required to comply with the proposed requirements in § 1926.1408(b)(4). Subpart V applies to the construction of electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment, which includes the alteration, conversion, and improvement of existing lines and equipment. Thus, when employees are engaged in Subpart V work near energized lines, by the nature of the job, their full attention is on the power lines.

Subpart V contains additional requirements to protect those employees against making electrical contact with the lines. These include requirements in § 1926.950(c) for guarding the line or using insulation (such as insulating gloves) to prevent electrical contact. Non-Subpart V workers, by contrast, do not work directly with the lines, and their attention is primarily directed elsewhere. In view of these differences, the Committee believed that the protective measures listed in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4) were not necessary for Subpart V work.

Second, as explained below in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1410, when certain prerequisites are met, the employer would be permitted to use the minimum clearance distances in Subpart V's Table V-1. Also explained in that discussion is that where additional prerequisites are met, work would be permitted closer than the Table V-1 distances.

Third, an employer engaged in Subpart V work would not be subject to the restrictions regarding operations below power lines, as explained in the discussion below of proposed § 1926.1408(d).

Paragraph 1408(c) Voltage Information

This proposed section operates in conjunction with proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii) (Option 3—Table A clearance). Where an employer elects to use Option (3) (of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)), it would be required under proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)(A) to determine the voltage of the power lines. Under proposed § 1926.1408(c), utility owners/operators of these lines must provide the requested voltage information within two working days of the request.

The Committee believed that for Option (3) (of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(iii)) to be viable, a reasonable time limit for the utility owner/operator to respond is needed. Employers must generally rely on the utility owner/operator to provide the voltage of the power line. The Committee was concerned that an extended delay in obtaining the information would lead some employers to do the work anyway without the information. The committee believed that two business days would be a reasonable amount of time to allow the utility owners/operator to respond and be sufficiently short to be useful to the employer requesting the information.[27]

As discussed above with respect to proposed § 1926.1407(e), the Agency would interpret “working days” to mean Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, unless this rule contains a different definition, and is asking for comment on whether a different definition should be included in the rule.

Paragraph 1408(d) Operations Below Power Lines

The Committee believed that there is a substantially enhanced likelihood of breaching the applicable minimum clearance distance when a crane operates below a power line. This is due to several factors, including the greater difficulty of judging the distance to the line when the line is above the equipment and the fact that in most such situations the operator has to purposely look up to see the line (and therefore is more likely to forget its location or that it is there).

This proposed section addresses this problem by prohibiting any part of a crane, load or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) from being below a power line unless the employer has confirmed with the utility owner/operator that the power line is deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite or unless the employer can demonstrate that it meets one of the four exceptions in proposed § 1926.1408(d)(2).

The first exception, § 1926.1408(d)(2)(i), is that the work the employer is doing is covered by 29 CFR part 1926 subpart V. Subpart V work involves work on the power line itself and commonly requires equipment to operate below a power line. As explained above with respect to proposed paragraph § 1926.1408(b)(5), Subpart V work does not require all of the precautions required of other work because the full attention of the workers is directed at the power line. The Committee believed that the other precautions required during Subpart V work would provide adequate protection when equipment operates below power lines during Subpart V work.

The second exception, § 1926.1408(d)(2)(ii), would be for equipment with non-extensible booms and the third exception, § 1926.1408(d)(2)(iii), would be for equipment with articulating or extensible booms. These exceptions would apply when the boom, either at its most vertical point (for non-extensible booms) or at its fullest extension (for extensible booms), will be more than 20 feet below the plane of the power line or more than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) minimum clearance distance below the plane of the power line. Where this criterion is met, it is not possible for the minimum clearance distance to be breached.

The last exception, § 1926.1408(d)(2)(iv), is where the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible to comply with proposed § 1926.1408(d)(1), which prohibits any part of a crane, load or load line from being below a power line unless the line is deenergized and visibly grounded. Under this proposed exception, the employer must not only show that compliance with § 1926.1408(d)(1) is infeasible, it must also comply with the requirements in proposed § 1926.1410. Proposed § 1926.1410 governs equipment operations closer than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) minimum approach distances. The Committee believed that in such instances those additional protective measures are needed to prevent the minimum clearance distance established under proposed § 1926.1410(c) from being breached and to protect the employees in the event of electrical contact with the power line.

Paragraph 1408(e) Power Lines Presumed Energized

This proposed paragraph would require employers to assume that all power lines are energized unless the utility owner/operator confirms that the power line has been and continues to be deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite. This fundamental precaution is essentially the same as currently in Subpart N at § 1926.550(a)(15)(vi).

Paragraph 1408(f)

Proposed paragraph (f) addresses the danger that employees could receive electrical shock from equipment that is operating near a transmission or communication tower. During such operation, the equipment could act as an antenna and become energized by the electromagnetic signal emitted by the tower. When the equipment is close enough for an electrical charge to be induced in the equipment or load, proposed § 1926.1408(f) would require the transmitter to be deenergized or the following precautions taken: the Start Printed Page 59759equipment must be grounded, and non-conductive rigging or an insulating link/device must be used.

Currently, Subpart N, at § 1926.550(a)(15)(vii), requires that when equipment is close enough to a transmission tower for an electrical charge to be induced, the equipment must be grounded and a ground jumper cable must connect the load to the equipment. In addition, nonconductive poles having large alligator clips or other similar protection must be used to connect the ground jumper cable to the load. By connecting the load to the grounded equipment, any electrical charge induced in the load will be dissipated. In the Committee's experience, this precaution is neither necessary nor commonly taken. The Committee believed that the proposal's requirement for nonconductive rigging or an insulating link reflects current safe industry practice.

OSHA notes that the requirement for nonconductive rigging or an insulating link in proposed § 1926.1408(f) is a fundamentally different approach than requiring a ground jumper cable to be used as specified in current § 1926.550(a)(15)(vii). The latter connects the load to the equipment and grounds the load, while proposed paragraph (f) would insulate the load from the equipment. It appears that only an employee who is contacting the load would be affected by this provision. The Agency requests public comment on the following questions: (1) Is it necessary to take special precautions to ground the equipment to protect an employee who contacts the equipment? (2) Are employees best protected by proposed paragraph (f), by current Subpart N, or by some other means, such as requiring that they only handle the load with an insulated tag line or other means of insulation?

Paragraph 1408(g) Training

During C-DAC discussions, members stressed the importance of providing appropriate training to operators and their crew regarding power line safety. The Committee believed that training is a necessary component in reducing crane related fatalities.

The training topics listed are designed to ensure that both the operator and the other crew members have the information they need to protect themselves from power line hazards.

The Committee believed that training for power line safety should not be limited to operators because any crew member who is near the equipment is potentially at risk of electrocution.

The Agency notes that proposed § 1926.1408(g) does not address the timing and frequency of this training. OSHA requests public comment on whether and, if so, how the standard should address training timing and frequency.

In addition, proposed § 1926.1408(g)(1)(i)(E) would requiring training in the need to avoid approaching or touching “the equipment.” OSHA believes that C-DAC inadvertently failed to add the phrase “and the load” to this provision, since whenever the equipment is in electrical contact with a power line, the load may also be energized. OSHA requests public comment on whether this provision should be modified to correct this omission.

Paragraph 1408(h)

This proposed provision would require that where devices originally designed by the manufacturer for use as safety devices, operational aids, or a means to prevent power line contact or electrocution are used to comply with proposed § 1926.1408, they must meet the manufacturer's procedures for use and conditions of use. The Committee believed that this provision is necessary to ensure that the devices will work as intended.

OSHA notes that § 1926.1408 uses the term “range limit device” in § 1926.1408(a)(1)(i) but that no definition of this term is provided in § 1926.1401. OSHA believes that C-DAC understood a range limit device to be a device that physically limits how far a crane can boom out and the angle within which the boom can swing. OSHA requests public comment on whether a definition of “range limit device” should be added to § 1926.1401 and, if so, whether the definition in this paragraph is appropriate.

Section 1409 Power Line Safety (Over 350 kV)

Under this proposed section, the requirements in proposed §§ 1926.1407 and 1926.1408 would apply to power lines rated over 350 kV in all respects except one: wherever the regulatory text states “20 feet,” “50 feet” is substituted. Therefore, the “trigger” distance that would be used when assessing the work zone would be 50 feet. In addition, an employer engaged in assembly/disassembly that is using Option 2 of proposed § 1926.1407 (a)(2), or an employer engaged in crane operations that is using Option 2 of proposed § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii), would be required to maintain a minimum clearance distance of 50 feet. This would apply to all power lines rated over 350 kV, including power lines over 1,000 kV.

For power lines over 1,000 kilovolts, employers electing to use Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408 in either assembly/disassembly (Option 3 in proposed § 1926.1407(a)(3)) or crane operations (Option 3 in proposed § 1926.1408 (a)(2)(iii) would be required, pursuant to instructions in the Table, to maintain a minimum clearance distance determined by the utility owner/operator or a registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution.

In reviewing this regulatory language, OSHA recognized that a minimum clearance distance of 50 feet may be inadequate for the open-ended category of “over 1,000 kV.” In fact, at some point in that range, a utility owner/operator or a registered professional engineer may well specify a minimum clearance distance of more than 50 feet. However, as currently drafted, employers using Option 2 (in both proposed § 1926.1407(a)(2) and § 1926.1408(a)(2)(ii)) would only have to maintain a minimum clearance distance of 50 feet. OSHA requests public comment on whether Option 2 is insufficiently protective for power lines rated over 1,000 kV.

Section 1410 Power Line Safety (All Voltages)—Crane Operations Closer Than the Table A Zone

The existing Subpart N requirements do not permit work closer than the 10 foot rule.[28] The only exceptions to the 10 foot rule are where the lines are deenergized and visibly grounded or where insulating barriers, separate from the equipment, have been erected. However, the Committee recognized that many employers, without meeting the exceptions, nonetheless work closer than the 10 foot rule.

Specifically, the Committee believed that most employers do not use the option to deenergize and ground because of the time, expense and difficulty in making those arrangements. In addition, the Committee concluded that an “insulating barrier” of the type that is currently available does not, by itself, adequately protect employees because these barriers are only effective for “brush” contact. If there is more than brush contact, they will not protect employees from electrocution because the equipment will pierce the device. Start Printed Page 59760

In order to address the insufficient protections provided to employees who work closer than the 10 foot rule, the Committee developed a new approach, which is contained in proposed § 1926.1410. It consists of prerequisites and criteria that would apply when work must be conducted closer than the minimum clearance distance specified in Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408). The Committee believed that these provisions would be both realistic and effective for safely working in these circumstances.

This proposed section starts out by explicitly prohibiting equipment from operating closer than the distances specified in Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) of an energized power line except where the employer demonstrates compliance with the requirements in proposed § 1926.1410.

Note that, in the discussion below of proposed § 1926.1410, references to a “registered professional engineer” are, in accordance with proposed § 1926.1410(c)(1), references to a registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution.

Paragraphs 1410(a) and (b)

These proposed paragraphs set forth prerequisites that must be met for the employer to be permitted to operate equipment closer to a power line than the applicable Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distance. Proposed § 1926.1410(a) would require the employer to determine that it is infeasible to do the work without breaching the minimum approach distance under Table A. If the employer determines it is infeasible to maintain the Table A distance, under proposed § 1926.1410(b) it would also have to determine, after consulting with the utility owner/operator, that deenergizing and grounding the power line, as well as relocating the line, are infeasible.

Paragraph 1410(c) Minimum Clearance Distance

After the employer makes the infeasibility determinations required by proposed § 1926.1410(a) and (b), a minimum clearance distance would have to be established. Under proposed § 1926.1410(c)(1), the employer can establish this distance by either having the utility owner/operator determine the minimum clearance distance that must be maintained or by having a registered professional engineer who is a qualified person with respect to electrical transmission and distribution determine the minimum clearance distance that must be maintained. The Committee believed that either of these sources of this information has sufficient expertise to accurately apply the factors discussed below in setting an appropriate minimum clearance distance.

Under proposed § 1926.1410(c)(1), regardless of whether it is the utility owner/operator or a registered professional engineer that makes this determination, several factors must be considered when establishing the minimum clearance distance. These factors include, but are not limited to: Conditions affecting atmospheric conductivity; time necessary to bring the equipment, load and load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) to a complete stop; wind conditions; degree of sway in the power line; lighting conditions, and other conditions affecting the ability to prevent electrical contact.

Under proposed § 1926.1410(c)(2), the proposed requirement in § 1926.1410(c)(1) described above would not apply to work covered by part 1926 subpart V. Instead, the minimum clearance distance specified in § 1926.950 Table V-1 would apply. This proposed paragraph, along with the other proposed provisions affecting work covered by Subpart V, are discussed below at the end of the portion of this preamble addressing proposed § 1926.1410.

Paragraph 1410(d)

Once a minimum clearance distance has been established, under proposed § 1926.1410(b) the employer would be required to have a planning meeting with either the owner/operator of the power line or the registered professional engineer to determine what procedures will be implemented to prevent electrical contact and electrocution. In accordance with proposed § 1926.1410(e), these procedures would have to be documented and immediately available on-site. In addition, in accordance with proposed § 1926.1410(f) and (g), these procedures would have to be reviewed with the operator and other workers who will be in the area of the equipment and the procedures must be implemented (proposed § 1926.1410(e)-(g) are discussed below).

Proposed § 1926.1410(d) sets out the minimum protective measures which would have to be included in the procedures set by the employer and utility owner/operator (or registered professional engineer). The committee believed that these procedures need to include more stringent protective measures than those set out in proposed § 1926.1408, because equipment will be in closer proximity to power lines and there would otherwise be a greater risk of contacting a power line and causing electrocution. Therefore, these procedures would have to include, at the minimum, the following:

Paragraph 1410(d)(1)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(1), for power lines that are equipped with a device that automatically reenergizes the circuit in the event of a power line contact, the automatic reclosing feature of the circuit interrupting device must be made inoperative prior to beginning work. This would help ensure that, in the event of a power line contact and activation of the automatic reclosing feature, the line would not be automatically re-energized.

Paragraph 1410(d)(2)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(2), a dedicated spotter who is in continuous contact with the operator would have to be used. In addition, the dedicated spotter must be equipped with a visual aid to assist in identifying the minimum clearance distance, must be positioned to effectively gauge the clearance distance, where necessary must use equipment that enables him or her to communicate directly with the operator, and the spotter must give timely information to the operator so the required clearance distance can be maintained. The need for a spotter meeting this criteria is explained above in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii).

Paragraph 1410(d)(3)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(3), an elevated warning line, or barricade that is not attached to the equipment, positioned to prevent electrical contact, would have to be used. This warning line or barricade must be in view of the operator either directly or by use of video equipment and must be equipped with flags or similar high-visibility markings. The need for an elevated warning line or barricade is explained above in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1408(b)(3).

As discussed above in relation to proposed § 1926.1408(b)(3), there may be situations where the operator is not able to see an elevated warning line or barricade. To address such situations, under proposed § 1926.1408 or § 1926.1409, OSHA is planning to change the regulatory text so that the employer would be required to use both a dedicated spotter and one of the other (non-spotter) measures listed in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4). Here, when working closer than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) clearance Start Printed Page 59761distance, C-DAC believed it is necessary to provide an additional layer of protection by requiring the use of video equipment to enable the operator to see the warning line or barricade. Therefore, in all cases when working closer than the Table A clearance distance, the operator will have “two sets of eyes” (in addition to other protection required under this proposed section) to ensure that the equipment maintains the minimum clearance distance established under proposed § 1926.1410(c).

As explained in, Subpart V-working closer than Table A, that follows the discussion of § 1926.1410(k), this provision would not apply to subpart V work.

Paragraph 1410(d)(4) Insulating Link/Device

Under proposed paragraph (d)(4), an insulating link/device would have to be installed at a point between the end of the load line (or below) and the load. An insulating link is a barrier to the passage of electrical current. When used on a crane, it prevents the load from becoming energized if the boom or the load line makes electrical contact with a power line. In such situations it protects employees who make contact with the load or are holding a tag line.

As explained in, Subpart V-working closer than Table A, that follows the discussion of § 1926.1410(k), this requirement to install an insulating link/device would only apply when working closer than the § 1926.950 Table V-1 clearance distances.

Paragraph 1410(d)(5)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(5), if the rigging may be closer than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distance during the operation, it would be required to be non-conductive rigging. This would provide protection to those employees who would be exposed to electrical hazards in the event that the rigging contacts a power line, which otherwise could energize the rigging and the load.

Paragraph 1410(d)(6)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(6), if the crane is equipped with a device that automatically limits range of movement, it would have to be used and set to prevent any part of the crane, load or load line (including rigging and lifting accessories) from breaching the minimum approach distance established under proposed paragraph (c) of § 1926.1410.

Paragraph 1410(d)(7)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(7), if a tag line is used it would have to be non-conductive. This requirement would provide additional protection to those employees who would be exposed to electrical hazards in the event that the equipment contacts a power line and the tag line they are holding becomes energized, or in the event that the tag line makes contact with the power line.

Paragraph 1410(d)(8)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(8), barricades would have to be used to form a perimeter at least 10 feet away from the equipment to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering the work area. In areas where obstacles prevent the barricade from being at least 10 feet away, the barricade would be required to be as far from the equipment as feasible. This provision, along with proposed § 1926.1410(d)(9) and (d)(10), would minimize the likelihood that any more employees than are absolutely necessary to the operation would be near the equipment in the event the equipment, load or load line makes electrical contact with the power line.

Paragraph 1410(d)(9)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(9), employees other than the operator would be prohibited from touching the load line above the insulating link/device and equipment. It is the Agency's understanding that the Committee's rationale for not extending this prohibition to the operator is that the operator, by being in the cab, is going to be in electrical contact with both the equipment and load line. However, this assumes that the operator is in fact standing or sitting on the equipment. There may be some situations where this is not the case. For example, some equipment may be operated by pendant control or wireless control; in such cases the operator need not be on the equipment to control it. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

Paragraph 1410(d)(10)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(10), only personnel essential to the operation would be permitted to be in the area of the equipment and the load. In conjunction with proposed § 1926.1410(d)(8) and (d)(9), this would minimize the likelihood that any more employees than are absolutely necessary to the operation would be near the equipment in the event the equipment, load or load line makes electrical contact with the power line.

Paragraph 1410(d)(11)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(11), the equipment would be required to be properly grounded. In the event the equipment inadvertently makes electrical contact with the power line, proper grounding would protect employees in two ways. First, if the line is equipped with a circuit interrupting device, the grounding will result in a current surge that will trip the device and deenergize the line. Second, in the event an employee on the ground is touching the equipment when it contacts the power line, proper grounding will reduce the danger to the employee by providing an alternative, low resistance path to ground for the electric current.

In reviewing this proposed paragraph, OSHA has identified what appears to be a conflict between this proposed provision and a provision in Subpart V's § 1926.952(c)(2)(iii) regarding grounding of equipment. This issue is explained under the heading, Subpart V work—working closer than Table V-1, that follows the discussion of § 1926.1410(k).

Paragraph 1410(d)(12)

Under proposed paragraph (d)(12), insulating line hoses or cover-ups would be required to be installed by the utility owner/operator except where such devices are unavailable for the line voltages involved. The Committee noted that Subpart N, at § 1926.550(a)(15), currently allows such insulating barriers to be used as a complete alternative to deenergizing and grounding or to maintaining the applicable minimum clearance distance from the power line. However, the Committee believed that such insulating devices do not provide complete protection because they can be pierced if the equipment makes more than brushing contact with the device. However, the Committee believed that these insulating devices do provide protection if there is brushing contact and that such devices are useful to supplement the other protective measures provided by the requirements of this proposed § 1926.1410(d).

Paragraph 1410(e)

Under proposed paragraph (e), the procedures that are developed to comply with proposed § 1926.1410(d) would have to be documented and immediately available on-site. This would ensure that these procedures are available to be used as a reference while the work is in progress.

Paragraph 1410(f)

Under proposed paragraph (f), the equipment user and utility owner/operator would be required to meet with Start Printed Page 59762the equipment operator and the other employees who will be in the area of the equipment or load to review the procedures that are developed under proposed § 1926.1410(d) to prevent a breach of the minimum clearance distance established under proposed § 1926.1410(c). The Committee believed that it is important that this review take place so that the operator and other employees understand this critical information and have the opportunity to discuss the procedures with the utility owner/operator, who has a high level of expertise regarding the power lines.

Paragraphs 1410(g) and (h)

Under proposed paragraphs (g) and (h), the employer would be required to implement the procedures developed in accordance with proposed § 1926.1410(d). The utility owner/operator and all employers of the employees involved in the work would have to identify one person who will direct the implementation of the procedures. This person would have to direct the implementation of the procedures and have the authority to stop work at any time to ensure safety.

The Committee believed that, in view of the fact that more than one employer is typically involved in these situations, coordination among the employers of these employees is needed for the protective measures to be effectively implemented. Once the operation is underway, safety-related orders typically need to be given and followed without delay. Since an employee of one employer typically would not immediately follow an instruction from another employer, it is necessary that, before these operations begin, all employees understand that the one designated person will have this authority. For these reasons, the Committee believed that there needs to be one person who all involved in the operation recognize as having this role and authority.

Paragraph 1410(i). [Reserved.] This paragraph would be reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to determine whether “(i)” is being used as a letter or a roman numeral.

Paragraph 1410(j)

This proposed provision would require the employer to safely stop operations if a problem occurs with implementing the procedures in paragraph (d) or if there is an indication that those procedures are inadequate to prevent electrocution. In addition, this proposed provision would require that the employer either develop new procedures which comply with paragraph (d) or contact the utility owner/operator and have them deenergize and visibly ground or relocate the power line(s) before resuming operations.

Paragraph 1410(k)

This proposed provision would require that where a device originally designed by the manufacturer for use as a safety device, operational aid, or a means to prevent power line contact or electrocution is used to comply with proposed § 1926.1410 it must meet the manufacturer's procedures for use and conditions of use. The Committee believed that this provision is necessary to ensure that the devices will work as intended.

Subpart V Work—Working Closer Than Table A

In considering the circumstances under which work closer than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distances would be permitted, C-DAC recognized that it was necessary to address the special circumstances of power line work covered by 29 CFR 1926 subpart V. That subpart applies to the erection of new electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment, and the alteration, conversion, and improvement of existing transmission and distribution lines and equipment.

Currently, under subparts V and N of part 1926, employers engaged in subpart V work are not required to comply with the “10 foot rule.” Instead, with some exceptions, they are required to maintain the minimum clearance distances specified in subpart V's Table V-1.[29] Table V-1 has minimum clearance distances that are less than the “10 foot rule” (and, therefore, less than the proposed rule's Table A distances). As discussed below, under this proposed standard, employers engaged in subpart V work would continue to be permitted to use the Table V-1 minimum clearance distances. However, C-DAC believed that additional protection is needed for these workers. Therefore, this proposed rule includes new prerequisites and criteria that must be met before the Table V-1 minimum clearance distances could be used.[30] The Committee believed that it is appropriate for employers using equipment for subpart V of part 1926 activities to work closer than the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distances only where the prerequisites and criteria for doing so set out in proposed § 1926.1410, which are applicable to all employers, are met. Therefore, for subpart V work, the employer would be required to maintain the clearance distances in Table A except where the employer demonstrates infeasibility.

In addition, it would be required to implement most of the protective measures required by this proposed standard. As discussed above, Subpart V work would not be subject to the requirement for an additional protective measure from the list in proposed § 1926.1408(b)(4). The Committee believed that, with certain exceptions explained below, such additional measure would not be necessary for such work. Also, subpart V work would not be subject to the prohibition in proposed § 1926.1408(d)(1) against equipment operating under power lines (see discussion above of proposed paragraph 1408(d)(2)(i)).

However, when, as will often be the case, it is not feasible to maintain the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) distances for subpart V work, under proposed § 1926.1410(c)(2), the clearance distances in Table V-1 would normally apply. The Committee concluded that it was not necessary to require employers engaged in subpart V work to undertake the process in proposed § 1926.1410(c)(1) for establishing a minimum clearance distance when it is infeasible to comply with the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) clearances. The existing clearance distances for subpart V work found in Table V-1 recognize that such work often requires that equipment get closer to the lines than the clearance distances specified in Table A and were specifically drafted to address subpart V work. Therefore, proposed § 1926.1410 (c)(2) would exempt subpart V work from proposed § 1926.1410(c)(1) and would state instead that the minimum clearance distances specified in § 1926.950 Table V-1 would apply.

Furthermore, under proposed § 1926.1410(d)(3), an employer engaged in subpart V work closer than the Table A distance would not be required to use an elevated warning line or barricade. It is the Agency's understanding that the Start Printed Page 59763Committee's rationale for this exclusion was that when subpart V work takes place closer than the Table A distances, a warning line would interfere with the tools, cables, and other material used in subpart V work. However, it is unclear to the Agency why this would also be the case if a barricade were used. The Agency requests public comment on this issue.

The provisions of this proposed standard would necessitate certain conforming amendments to the subpart V provisions dealing with lifting equipment to eliminate obsolete requirements and promote clarity. Currently, § 1926.952(c)(1) reads as follows

:

(c) Derrick trucks, cranes and other lifting equipment. (1) All derrick trucks, cranes, and other lifting equipment shall comply with subpart N and O of this part except:

(i) As stated in § 1926.550(a)(15)(i) and (ii) relating to clearance (for clearances in this subpart see Table V-1) and

(ii) Derrick truck (electric line trucks) shall not be required to comply with § 1926.550(a)(7)(vi), (a)(17), (b)(2), and (e).

These subpart V provisions would need to be modified in several respects. First, service trucks with mobile lifting devices designed specifically for use in the power line and electric service industries, such as digger derricks (radial boom derricks), when used in these industries for auguring holes to set power and utility poles, or handling associated materials to be installed or removed from utility poles, are excluded from the scope of this proposed standard. They would, however, continue to be covered by subpart V when used in this manner. Specifically, subpart V's current requirement that the minimum clearance distances of Table V-1 be met when using such equipment would be retained when such equipment is used outside the coverage of the new cranes and derricks standard.

Since these trucks, when used in the manner described, would be outside the scope of the new cranes and derricks standard, subpart V's provision in § 1926.952(c)(1)(ii) stating that derrick trucks need not comply with §§ 1926.550(a)(7)(vi), (a)(17), (b)(2), and (e), which incorporate the requirements of certain industry consensus standards, would no longer be necessary.

Second, the subpart V provisions would be changed to reflect the terminology used in the scope section of this proposed standard and its new subpart designation (Subpart CC). With respect to “cranes and other lifting equipment,” § 1926.952(c)(1)(i) would be unnecessary since proposed §§ 1926.1407 through 1926.1411 of this proposed standard address the applicable minimum clearance distances, including the circumstances under which the clearance distances in Table V-1 would apply.

Accordingly, § 1926.952(c)(1) would be amended to read:

(c) Cranes and other lifting equipment. (1) All equipment covered by Subpart CC that is used for work covered by this standard [Subpart V], including cranes and other lifting equipment, shall comply with subparts CC and O of this part.

(2) Service trucks with mobile lifting devices designed specifically for use in the power line and electric service industries, such as digger derricks (radial boom derricks), when used in these industries for auguring holes to set power and utility poles, or handling associated materials to be installed or removed from utility poles, must meet the applicable minimum clearance distance in Table V-1.

Subpart V Work—Working Closer Than Table V-1

Currently, § 1926.952(c)(2) recognizes that there are circumstances when the Table V-1 clearance distances cannot be maintained during Subpart V work and lists requirements that must be met when this is the case. OSHA believes that C-DAC intended to permit Subpart V work closer than the Table V-1 clearances when the precautions in § 1926.952(c)(2), as well as additional precautions contained in proposed § 1926.1410(d), are followed.

To make this clear, OSHA is proposing to add the following language to proposed § 1926.1410(c)(2): “Employers engaged in Subpart V work are permitted to work closer than the distances in § 1926.950 Table V-1 where both the requirements of this section and § 1926.950(c)(2)(i) and (ii) are met.” [Note that subsections (i) and (ii) are currently subsections (iii) and (iv) but would be renumbered under the proposed amended language of § 1926.950(c)(2) discussed below]. OSHA requests public comment on this proposed addition.

This proposed change would require conforming amendments to § 1926.952(c)(2), which currently reads as follows:

(2) With the exception of equipment certified for work on the proper voltage, mechanical equipment shall not be operated closer to any energized line or equipment than the clearances set forth in § 1926.950(c) unless:

(i) An insulated barrier is installed between the energized part and the mechanical equipment, or

(ii) The mechanical equipment is grounded, or

(iii) The mechanical equipment is insulated, or

(iv) The mechanical equipment is considered as energized.

Under this proposed section, the precautions specified in paragraphs § 1926.952(c)(2)(i) and (ii) would be required under proposed § 1926.1410(d) when equipment used in Subpart V work is operated closer than the Table V-1 clearances. Since these precautions would now be required by proposed § 1926.1410(d), OSHA is proposing to delete them from Subpart V as redundant. OSHA is therefore proposing to amend § 1926.952(c)(2) to read as follows:

(2) With the exception of equipment certified for work on the proper voltage, mechanical equipment shall not be operated closer to any energized line or equipment than the clearances set forth in § 1926.950(c) unless, in addition to the requirements in § 1926.1410:

(i) The mechanical equipment is insulated, or

(ii) The mechanical equipment is considered as energized.

OSHA requests public comment on the proposed amendments to § 1926.950(c)(1) and (2) of Subpart V described above.

In addition, OSHA notes that, under the current 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart V requirement in § 1926.952(c)(2), when doing Subpart V work closer than the Table V-1 distances, the equipment must be insulated or considered energized.[31] However, proposed § 1926.1410 does not have a similar requirement. Therefore, an employer engaged in Subpart V work that was closer than the Table V-1 distances would continue to be required (under § 1926.952(c)(2)) to insulate or consider the equipment energized, but an employer engaged in non-Subpart V work at the same distance would not. The Agency requests public comment on whether such requirements should also apply to non-Subpart V work when working closer than the Table V-1 distances.

Finally, OSHA notes that in this zone, one of the options that an employer engaged in Subpart V currently has under § 1926.952(c)(2)(iii) is to insulate the equipment. Under proposed § 1926.1410(d)(11), that employer would also have to ground the equipment. The Agency's understanding of how equipment can be simultaneously Start Printed Page 59764insulated and grounded is illustrated by the following example: Equipment that has a boom constructed of an insulating material (such as fiberglass) is typically mounted on a carrier (the “truck” portion of the equipment), which is constructed mostly of conductive material (i.e., steel). Because the boom (and the linkages, pneumatic and hydraulic lines, and other associated parts on the boom) is insulated, the equipment is considered insulated under (§ 1926.952(c)(2)(iii)). If the employer were to ground the carrier, the parts of the equipment that could form an electrical path to ground (the carrier and the conducting parts of the equipment forming an electrical path to the carrier, such as the load line and hoist) would be grounded. Therefore, the equipment would meet both the insulating option in § 1926.952(c)(2)(iii) and the proposed grounding requirement in proposed § 1926.1410(d)(11).

Subpart V Work—Summary

The differences between how the proposed requirements for power line safety would apply generally to crane operations and how they would apply to an employer engaged in work covered by Subpart V are summarized in the following table:

Non-Subpart V WorkSubpart V Work
When Using Table A Distances
§ 1926.1408:
Must pick one additional prevention measure from list in § 1926.1408(b)(4)Additional measure not required (§ 1926.1408(b)(5)).
§ 1926.1408(d): Operations below power lines generally precluded.Operations below power lines permitted (§ 1926.1408(d)(2)(i)).
(All other requirements in § 1926.1408 would apply equally to both Non-Subpart V work and Subpart V)
Working Closer Than Table A Distances
§ 1926.1410:
§ 1926.1410(c)(1) (utility or registered professional engineer sets minimum clearance distance)Instead, use Subpart V's Table V-1 minimum clearance distance (§ 1926.1410(c)(2)).
§ 1926.1410(d)(3) (warning line or barricade)Not required.
§ 1926.1410(d)(4) (insulating link)Only required if working closer than Table V-1 (§ 1926.1410(d)(4)(ii)); see below.
Working Closer Than Table V-1
[The proposed § 1926.1410 requirements would apply to all distances closer than those specified in Table A; there are no additional proposed requirements for working closer than the Table V-1 distances for non-Subpart V work](Under both § 1926.1410 and current § 1926.952(c)(2)).
(Insulating link required under § 1926.1410(d)(4))Must use insulating link (§ 1926.1410(d)(4)(ii)).
Not requiredEquipment must be insulated or considered energized (§ 1926.952(c)(2)).
(All other requirements in § 1926.1410 would apply equally to both Non-Subpart V work and Subpart V work)

Section 1411 Power Line Safety -While Traveling

This proposed section is designed to protect against electrical hazards while equipment is traveling with no load under power lines on construction sites. These proposed requirements would apply only to cranes/derricks while traveling on a construction site under power lines; they would not apply to equipment while traveling on roads (or in areas) that are not part of a construction site.

The following scenario is an example of the parameters of the scope of this provision: A crane travels on a public road to the entrance of a new residential tract development. While traveling on the public road it passes under powerlines. No construction is taking place on the public road. The tract, including a road that runs through the development, is open to construction traffic but is otherwise closed to the public. In the development, homes are in various stages of construction. The crane enters the development and travels along the development road to the area where the crane is going to be operated. The crane will pass under power lines as it travels along this development road.

In this scenario, proposed § 1926.1411 would not apply with respect to the crane traveling along the public road to the entrance of the development, since that road is not part of a construction site. However, it would apply with respect to traveling under power lines on the development road since the development road is part of a construction site.

It was the intention of the Committee that the requirements of proposed § 1926.1411 apply only with respect to such equipment when traveling with no load. Power line hazards regarding equipment traveling on a construction site with a load would be governed by the proposed provisions in §§ 1926.1408, 1926.1409 and 1926.1410.

The C-DAC draft of § 1926.1411(a) stated:

(a) This section applies to equipment while traveling under a power line on the construction site with no load and the boom/mast and boom/mast support system lowered sufficiently to meet the requirements of paragraph (b).

In reviewing that draft, the Agency realized that it could be misconstrued to mean that the requirements of § 1926.1411 would only apply once the crane was traveling under a power line; in other words, that no action would be required of an employer prior to the equipment being under the power line. To make it clear that there are certain proposed provisions in this section that would require the employer to make determinations and take action before the equipment is actually under the power line, the Agency has revised the Committee's original language in § 1926.1411(a) to read:

(a) This section establishes procedures and criteria that must be met for equipment traveling under a power line on the construction site with no load.

Start Printed Page 59765

This change clarifies that the employer would be required to make determinations and take certain actions prior to the equipment traveling under the power line. For example, under proposed § 1926.1411(b)(4), if any part of the equipment while traveling would get closer than 20 feet to the power line, the employer would be required to have a dedicated spotter who is in continuous contact with the operator. If this requirement were to only apply at the moment the equipment was under the power line, it would not serve the purpose of providing the operator with someone to assist in gauging the clearance distance while the equipment is traveling under the power line.

In addition, the C-DAC draft of § 1926.1411(a) included a reference to the boom/mast and boom/mast support system being lowered to meet the criteria specified in proposed § 1926.1411(b). The Agency was concerned that inclusion of that reference could be misconstrued as meaning that the section is inapplicable where the boom/mast and boom/mast support system had not been sufficiently lowered. Therefore, the Agency has modified the paragraph by moving that reference to proposed 1926.1411(b) to explicitly make it part of the required criteria for traveling under powerlines without a load. The C-DAC's draft of 1926.1411(b)(1) stated:

(b) The employer shall ensure that:

(1) The clearances specified in paragraph (c), Table T, are maintained.

This has been changed so that the proposed § 1926.1411(b)(1) and (b)(2) now state:

(b) The employer shall ensure that:

(1) The boom/mast and boom/mast support system are lowered sufficiently to meet the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) The clearances specified in Table T of this section are maintained.

Therefore, under these proposed provisions, the employer would be required to ensure that equipment traveling with no load on a construction site under a power line has the boom/mast and boom/mast support system lowered sufficiently so that the clearances specified in Table T are maintained.

In addition to maintaining the Table T minimum clearance distances, proposed § 1926. § 1926.1411(b)(3) would require the employer to ensure that the effects of speed and terrain are considered so that those effects do not cause the minimum clearance distances specified in Table T to be breached. OSHA is modifying the C-DAC language as follows to clarify this requirement.

(b)(3) The effects of speed and terrain on equipment movement (including movement of the boom/mast) are considered so that those effects do not cause the minimum clearance distances specified in Table T of this section to be breached.

Proposed paragraph (b)(4) would require the employer to use a dedicated spotter if any part of the equipment while traveling will get closer than 20 feet to a power line. This provision would also require that the dedicated spotter be in continuous contact with the crane operator; be positioned to effectively gauge the clearance distance; where necessary, use equipment that enables the spotter to communicate directly with the crane operator; and give timely information to the crane operator so that the required clearance distance can be maintained. The Committee believed that each of these measures is necessary for the spotter to be effective.

In reviewing proposed § 1926.1411(b)(4), OSHA noted that the language “crane operator” was used rather than “driver.” For example, proposed § 1926.1411(b)(4) reads:

(4) Dedicated spotter. If any part of the equipment while traveling will get within 20 feet of the power line, the employer shall ensure that a dedicated spotter who is in continuous contact with the crane operator is used * * *

Because proposed § 1926.1411 deals with power line safety while equipment is traveling without a load, OSHA recognizes that the language “crane operator” may not be appropriate in all situations. In some cases a crane operator may not be the driver of such equipment on the construction site. Therefore, OSHA is soliciting comments on whether the language “crane operator” used in proposed § 1926.1411(b)(4) should be changed to “driver” or “driver/operator.”

The Committee members were also concerned about equipment traveling underneath power lines in low visibility situations, such as at night, in the rain or fog. The electrical hazards posed by power lines are exacerbated when the driver's ability to see the power line is reduced. The Committee believed that additional precautions are necessary in light of this heightened danger. Therefore, proposed § 1926.1411(b)(5) would require the employer to ensure the power lines are either illuminated or another means of identifying them is used and a safe path of travel is identified.

In reviewing the C-DAC draft of this provision, OSHA recognized that § 1926.1411(b)(5)(ii) did not clearly state the Committee's intentions. The committee intended for employers to both identify a safe path of travel and also use the identified safe path of travel. However, the C-DAC draft stated only that a safe path be “identified,” which only implicitly means that it be used. Therefore OSHA has revised the language in § 1926.1411(b)(5)(ii) from:

(ii) A safe path of travel is identified.

to read:

(ii) A safe path of travel is identified and used.

The proposed requirements of this section are similar to section 5-3.4.5.5 of ASME B30.5-2004. The values in proposed Table T of proposed § 1926.1411, which provides the minimum clearance distances while traveling with no load and a lowered boom, are substantially similar to the values used by ASME. The distinction between these proposed requirements and those requirements in ASME are that the proposed requirements govern equipment while traveling under a power line and the ASME provisions govern mobile cranes while in transit. ASME defined “transit” as the moving or transporting of a crane from one jobsite to another.

The Agency notes that ASME B30.5-2004 calls for equipment in transit to maintain a specific clearance distance to power lines in accordance with Table 1 of ASME B30.5. While proposed § 1926.1411 governs equipment traveling without a load directly under power lines, it does not otherwise address the potential hazards associated with equipment traveling without a load near power lines. Further, as stated earlier, equipment traveling with a load, whether or not under a power line, would be considered “operations” and employers would have to comply with the proposed requirements in § 1926.1408, 1926.1409, or 1926.1410 in such instances.

However, equipment traveling without a load is not covered by either proposed § 1926.1410 (operations) or § 1926.1411 (traveling under power lines). Therefore, OSHA requests public comment on whether it is necessary to establish requirements for equipment traveling on a construction site without a load near power lines.

Additional Changes to the Regulatory Text In Proposed §§ 1926.1407-1411

In the C-DAC draft of provisions dealing with the “trigger” distance for further action, the draft referred to situations in which the crane, load or load line could get “within” the trigger distance. Because of the potential for confusion as to whether “within” means breaching or not breaching that Start Printed Page 59766distance, the Agency has changed “within” to “closer than.” For example, the C-DAC draft of 1926.1407(a) read:

Before assembling or disassembling a crane, the employer must determine if any part of the crane, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in the direction or area of assembly, within 20 feet of a power line during the assembly/disassembly process. If so, the employer must meet the requirements in Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of, as follows: * * *

This provision now reads:

Before assembling or disassembling a crane, the employer must determine if any part of the crane, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in the direction or area of assembly, closer than 20 feet to a power line during the assembly/disassembly process. If so, the employer must meet the requirements in Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of § 1926.1407(a), as follows:

Section 1412 Inspections

The purpose of this proposed section is to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by equipment failures. A key method of accomplishing this goal is through the use of an inspection process that identifies and addresses safety concerns.

Currently, Subpart N requires the employer to designate a competent person to inspect all machinery and equipment prior to each use, and during use, to make sure it is in safe operating condition. Any deficiencies shall be repaired, or defective parts replaced, before continued use. 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(5). In addition, Subpart N requires a thorough annual inspection of the hoisting machinery by a competent person or by a government or private agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6).

Subpart N also contains inspection requirements for specific types of equipment that incorporate national consensus standards or manufacturer recommendations by reference. Section 1926.550(b)(2) requires crawler, locomotive, and truck cranes to meet the inspection requirements of ANSI B30.5-1968, “Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes” (with a modified version of the ANSI standard's monthly inspection documentation requirement). Overhead and gantry cranes, under § 1926.550(d)(4), must be inspected pursuant to ANSI B30.2.0-1967, “Overhead and Gantry Cranes.” For derricks, § 1926.550(e) requires compliance with the inspection requirements of ANSI B30.6-1969, “Derricks.” Hammerhead tower cranes must be inspected (§ 1926.550(c)(5)) and floating cranes and derricks must be tested (§ 1926.550(f)(2)(iii)) in accordance with manufacturer specifications.

The Committee believed it would avoid confusion and promote compliance to establish, as far as possible, uniform inspection schedules and requirements applicable to all types of equipment. At the same time, it recognized that the wide variety of equipment covered by this proposed standard necessitated some equipment-specific inspection provisions. Thus, proposed paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section would set inspection requirements for all covered equipment that would be supplemented by other sections of this proposed standard relative to specific equipment. The proposed section is structured so that the inspection requirements would be triggered by activity (e.g., equipment modification, repair/adjustment, assembly, severe service or equipment not in regular use) and the passage of time (e.g., shift, monthly and annual/comprehensive).

Note that for each of these inspections, as discussed in detail below, this proposed standard specifies a requisite level of qualification of the person conducting the inspection (for certain inspections, a competent person; for others a qualified person). However, like Subpart N, the proposed rule does not include a testing/evaluation requirement for such employees for assessing their ability to conduct the inspections.

Since the C-DAC document was completed, crane accidents have occurred that have raised concerns regarding the level of expertise needed by those who inspect the equipment covered by this proposed standard. In § 1926.1428, this proposed rule specifies a protocol for ensuring that signal persons have adequate expertise to perform their duties. The Agency requests public comment on whether a similar approach is needed for those who inspect equipment as required by this proposed standard.

Paragraph 1412(a) Modified Equipment

Proposed paragraph (a) would require an inspection (that includes functional testing) to be performed by a qualified person for equipment that has been modified or has additions that affect the safe operation of the equipment prior to initial use after that modification/addition. In essence, the proposed provision would require assurance that such modifications or additions are performed in accordance with the approval obtained in proposed § 1926.1434, Equipment modifications. Proposed § 1926.1412(a)(2) would prohibit the use of the equipment until that requirement was met. The purpose is to prevent modification-related equipment failure.

This proposed paragraph is generally similar to consensus and government standards, including ANSI B30.5-1968, ASME B30.5-2004, COE (Corps of Engineers)—EM 385-1-1 (3-Nov-03), and DOE (Department of Energy)—STD-1090-2004 in that each require an inspection and some degree of functional testing prior to using equipment that has been modified/altered. However, the inspection in the proposed paragraph differs from these in that it is limited to equipment that has modifications/additions that affect the safe operation of the equipment and is limited to confirming compliance with modifications or additions that are approved by the manufacturer or a registered professional engineer pursuant to § 1434. Further, this proposed paragraph does not contain a documentation requirement.

The Committee was of the view that many changes made to equipment do not implicate safe operation, and application of an inspection requirement to such changes would be unnecessary and unduly burdensome. The proposed paragraph reflects this concern and is tailored to require this inspection only when the modification is of the type that could affect safety. As such, the inspection would only be required for modifications that affect “safe operation” as illustrated by a non-exclusive list of examples (“modifications or additions involving a safety device or operator aid, critical part of a control system, power plant, braking system, load sustaining structural components, load hook, or in-use operating mechanisms”).

The first criterion to be used in conducting the inspection (proposed § 1926.1412(a)(1)(i)) is the modification approval obtained under proposed § 1926.1434. This would ensure that the modification was accomplished as intended under that approval.

The second criterion (proposed § 1926.1412(a)(1)(ii)) is functional testing. This reflects the Committee's view that functional testing is essential to ensuring that the modification was completed correctly. Such testing can reveal faults that often would not otherwise be apparent.

As drafted, § 1926.1412(a)(1)(ii) would not limit the functional testing requirement to only those components that are or may be affected by the modification or addition but would require testing of the entire equipment. OSHA requests public comment on Start Printed Page 59767whether the provision should be modified to limit the functional testing requirement to those components that are or may be affected by the modification or addition.

During the SBREFA process, a Small Entity Representative suggested adding an exception to proposed § 1926.1412(a) for “transportation systems,” by which the SER meant any system dispersing the weight of the crane for movement on the highways. The Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment on whether to include such an exception and, if so, what the appropriate terminology for such an exception would be. OSHA welcomes public comment on whether an explicit exception for such transportation systems should be included in § 1926.1412(a).

Paragraph 1412(b) Repaired/Adjusted Equipment

Proposed paragraph (b) provides that equipment that has had a repair or adjustment that affects the safe operation of the equipment must be inspected (including functional testing) by a qualified person prior to initial use after the repair/adjustment. In summary, the qualified person would be required to determine if such repairs and adjustments have been performed in accordance with manufacturer equipment criteria.

As defined in § 1926.1401, “equipment criteria” include “instructions, recommendations, limitations and specifications.” This definition is included to make clear that “equipment criteria” is to be broadly construed to include the full range of information regarding the equipment's functions and operation provided by the manufacturer. If those criteria were unavailable or inapplicable, the qualified person would be required to determine whether a registered professional engineer (RPE) is needed to develop criteria. If an RPE were not needed, a qualified person would be required to develop them. Use of the equipment would be prohibited until the inspection demonstrates that the repairs and adjustments met the criteria. The purpose of this provision is to avoid the failure of equipment due to improper repairs and adjustments.

The Committee was of the view that many repairs and adjustments made to equipment do not implicate safe operation, and application of an inspection requirement to all repairs and adjustments would be unnecessary and unduly burdensome. The proposed paragraph reflects this concern by limiting this proposed inspection requirement to those repairs and adjustments that are of the type that could affect safety. A non-exclusive list of examples of repairs and adjustments that would trigger the inspection is included in the provision.

The Committee believed that functional testing is essential to ensuring that a repair or adjustment has been completed correctly. Such testing can reveal faults that may not otherwise be apparent.

As discussed above in relation to proposed § 1926.1412(a)(1)(ii), the functional testing requirement is not limited to those components that are or may be affected by the repair or adjustment. OSHA requests public comment on whether the provision should be modified to add such a limitation.

The Agency believes that this inspection provision is needed to prevent injuries and fatalities from accidents caused by faulty repairs and adjustments. As evidenced by similar provisions in other standards (see COE—EM 385-1-1 (3-Nov-03), and DOE—STD-1090-2004; see also the consensus standard ASME B30.5-2004), the industry has recognized the hazards associated with improperly repaired and adjusted equipment and the importance of this type of inspection.

Paragraph 1412(c) Post-Assembly

Proposed paragraph (c) would require a post-assembly inspection of equipment by a qualified person prior to its use. In sum, the provision would require the qualified person to assure that the equipment is configured in accordance with the manufacturer's equipment criteria. Where those criteria are unavailable, the equipment would have to meet criteria developed by either the qualified person or an RPE familiar with the equipment (if the qualified person decides that an RPE is needed). Equipment use would be prohibited until the inspection demonstrates that the criteria have been met.

ANSI B30.5-1968, and ASME B30.5-2004 do not call for this type of inspection. COE in EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03), Appendix H, does include a post-assembly inspection.

The Committee was of the view that a post-assembly inspection is needed because of the dangers associated with incorrectly assembled equipment. For example, the equipment's load chart may overstate the equipment's capacity if the equipment has been incorrectly assembled. Also, a component may be stressed beyond its design capacity if incorrectly assembled.

The Committee considered whether to recommend requiring that this inspection be conducted by a person who is not only qualified but is also a “competent person,” i.e., a person with the authority to take corrective action. The Committee ultimately decided that this would not be necessary because proposed § 1926.1412(c)(3) would prohibit the use of equipment until the post-assembly inspection demonstrates that the equipment is configured in accordance with the applicable criteria. Therefore, if the qualified person were to find that the equipment was incorrectly assembled, it could not be used until the error was corrected.

Also discussed was whether a registered professional engineer (RPE), as opposed to a qualified person, is needed to develop the criteria for the equipment configuration where the manufacturer criteria are unavailable. The Committee agreed that an RPE would typically not be needed for, as one member stated, “a basic machine that goes together in a basic manner,” but that an RPE would be needed for some of the more complex types of equipment. As a result, the Committee found that it would be appropriate to have the qualified person determine if an RPE were needed to develop the criteria.

Paragraph 1412(d) Each Shift

Proposed paragraph (d) would require a shift inspection, the first of three regularly scheduled equipment inspections that would be required. Specifically, 1926.1412(d)(1) sets forth the frequency of this inspection, the degree of scrutiny required and the level of expertise required of the person performing this inspection. The proposed paragraph lists the items that would be required to be included in this inspection and specifies the corrective action that would be required. The purpose of this provision is to identify and address safety hazards before they cause accidents.

This inspection (which would begin prior to each shift and be completed before or during that shift) is broadly similar to the current requirement in 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(5) of Subpart N to conduct an inspection “prior to each use, and during use * * *” Similarly, several other current standards, including 29 CFR part 1926 subpart R (Steel Erection) and COE—EM 385-1-1 (3-Nov-03) require some type of shift inspection for cranes. In contrast, ANSI B30.5-1968 as well as the more current ASME B30.5-2004, call for a “Frequent Inspection” at “daily to monthly” intervals. The “Frequent Inspection” in the ANSI/ASME standards, though, includes a reference to “observation during operation.” Start Printed Page 59768

The “each shift” inspection in the proposed rule is designed to ensure that the equipment will be removed from service if there is a visually apparent deficiency that constitutes a safety hazard. The Committee considered adopting the “daily to monthly” inspection interval that is in the ANSI/ASME B30.5 consensus standard, but determined that that approach was too vague for use as a mandatory OSHA requirement. Instead, the Committee found that, in accordance with long-standing, common industry practice, an inspection of the items listed in the proposed paragraph each shift is an appropriate means of ensuring that the equipment's condition will be sufficient for safe operation.

The Committee also discussed whether the shift inspection should be required to be completed before a shift's crane operations begin. It determined that it is not necessary to complete the inspection in that short of a time frame. The Agency believes that this determination is reasonable for several reasons. First, this would be an inspection that would be done for every shift, and therefore would be done quite frequently. This would substantially diminish the likelihood that a critical problem would suddenly occur, since symptoms of such a problem developing would likely have been detected in prior shift inspections.

Second, as discussed below, one of the purposes of the annual/comprehensive inspection is to detect developing deficiencies that, while not yet safety hazards, need to be monitored. In such cases the employer under the annual/comprehensive requirements in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4) would be required to monitor them in the monthly inspections. Finally, the competent person that conducts the shift inspection would be required to reassess his or her determinations in light of observations made during the equipment's operation. The Committee designed these proposed requirements to work together, and in light of that combined approach, the Agency believes that it would be sufficient for the shift inspection to be completed during the shift.

The Committee also discussed the degree of scrutiny that would be required during the shift inspection. Specifically, it considered whether the shift inspection should involve any disassembly of the equipment. It determined that disassembly should not normally be needed for this type of inspection since its purpose is not to duplicate the annual/comprehensive inspection (which is where the equipment would be subjected to a level of scrutiny that would necessarily involve disassembly). Instead, disassembly would only be required where “the results of the visual inspection or trial operation indicate that further inspection necessitating disassembly is needed.”

Finally, a competent person would be required to perform the shift inspection. The Committee believed that a person that meets the definition of a competent person (see the definition discussion above) is needed to perform the shift inspection for two reasons. First, such a person would have the capability to identify apparent deficiencies, determine if any disassembly was needed, and determine if the deficiency constitutes a safety hazard. Second, a competent person would have the authority necessary to take corrective action in the event a deficiency was such a hazard.

OSHA anticipates that the equipment operator will often be used by the employer as the competent person who conducts the shift inspection. The operator will be at the site and, in most cases, by virtue of his or her qualification or certification under proposed §§ 1926.1427 and 1926.1430 and experience and familiarity with the equipment, would meet the requirements for a competent person. However, the employer would have the flexibility to use someone else to conduct the shift inspection as long as that person met the definition of competent person.

Proposed paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (xiv) sets forth the list of items that, at a minimum, would be required to be inspected each shift. The Committee believes that this is an appropriate list for ensuring safety and builds on well established industry practice in terms of what needs to be inspected in this type of inspection. For example, the list is similar to the one for pre-shift inspections in 29 CFR Part 1926 subpart R, the list in ASME B30.5-2004 for its Frequent Inspection, and with the exception of a few additional items, to the list for Frequent Inspections in ANSI B30.5-1968.

Overall, except as noted below in the discussion of the particular items on this list, the concerns of C-DAC members relative to this list focused on whether items not listed as “daily” inspection items but included instead in the “Frequent Inspection” list in ASME B30.5a-2002 (which are identical to those in the more recent ASME B30.5-2004 standard) should be inspected each shift. A concern was raised in the Committee meetings about the nature of the visual inspection and whether including all of the listed items in ANSI/ASME would be too burdensome. To address this concern, the Committee decided to include these items (and a few others) but to also include the language discussed above limiting the circumstances in which disassembly would be required.

The following discussion addresses only those items for which the Committee recommended inspection descriptions that vary in some significant way from past or current consensus standards (apart from their being designated for inspection each shift).

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(ii) lists “[c]ontrol and drive mechanisms for apparent excessive wear of components and contamination by lubricants, water or other foreign matter.” Though similar to the requirement in ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 (on the “Frequent” list), and in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart R, this provision reflects some differences. For example, unlike the ANSI/ASME standards (but similar to Subpart R), it adds “drive” mechanisms, which the Committee believed more accurately reflects the type of mechanisms that need to be inspected. In addition, “excessive” was added to account for the fact that some wear in these mechanisms is normal and not unsafe. The extent of wear needed to trigger further evaluation of the item is that which is apparently excessive.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(iii) addresses “[a]ir, hydraulic, and other pressurized lines for deterioration or leakage, particularly those which flex in normal operation.” This paragraph is similar to an item listed in ANSI B30.5—1968 and in ASME B30.5-2004, with the difference being the reference to “air” and “other pressurized lines.” These additions reflect the Committee's belief that it is necessary to check all types of pressurized lines.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(v) lists “[h]ooks and latches for deformation, cracks, excessive wear, or damage such as from chemicals or heat.” This substantially mirrors Subpart R, and is similar to ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004, but also differs in certain ways. First, the Committee believed that latches can be damaged by causes other than the examples listed. The proposed paragraph therefore adds the words “such as” so that the examples listed would be a non-exclusive list. Second, the Committee believed that “heat” should be added as another example of a cause of damage to highlight this as an area of concern (since, for example, welding is sometimes done near a hook or latch). Finally, the proposed Start Printed Page 59769provision would require the competent person to inspect for “excessive wear,” as opposed to “wear.” This change was made because the Committee believed that hooks and latches are designed to withstand a degree of wear, and it is only when the wear is excessive that it is of concern.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(vii) lists “[w]ire rope, in accordance with § 1926.1413(a).” This item references the Shift Inspection provision of § 1926.1413, Wire rope—inspection, which specifies how the wire rope would be required to be inspected in the shift inspection. As discussed below in the section of this Preamble on that proposed provision, the timing, degree of scrutiny, and level of expertise required of the person conducting the wire rope inspection essentially mirror those for proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1). This was done to ensure consistency with the wire rope inspections and the other general items inspected each shift.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(viii) lists “[e]lectrical apparatus for malfunctioning signs of apparent excessive deterioration, dirt or moisture accumulation.” This essentially mirrors provisions in ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 (for Frequent Inspection) and Subpart R except for the insertion of the word “apparent.” That word was added to be consistent with proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1)'s reference to “apparent deficiencies.”

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(ix) lists “[t]ires (when in use) for proper inflation and condition.” ASME B30.5-2004 calls for tires be checked for “inflation pressure” and Subpart R contains a similar provision, although it does not contain the “when in use” limitation. The Committee believed that it is unnecessary to check tires for proper inflation on equipment that is not in use. In addition, it decided to not include the word “pressure” because it believed that checking pressure each shift with a gauge is unnecessary and inconsistent with the visual nature of the shift inspection.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(x) lists “[g]round conditions around the equipment for proper support, including ground settling under and around outriggers and supporting foundations, ground water accumulation, or similar conditions.” This item is new, in that it is not included in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N or the ANSI/ASME standards. The Committee believed that ground conditions can change from shift to shift, and in light of the critical importance of sufficient ground support, included this item in the C-DAC document.

A nearly identical provision is included in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart R. However, the C-DAC provision differs from the Subpart R provision in that the language “and supporting foundations” was added by C-DAC to reflect that some cranes (particularly towers cranes) are set on surfaces other than “ground” (e.g., concrete) and that ground settling could occur “under and around” those foundations. As such, the Agency believes that the C-DAC language is appropriate in the proposed rule. It should also be noted that a separate provision, § 1926.1402, Ground conditions, is included in this proposed rule, which more specifically addresses responsibility for and adequacy of ground conditions.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(xi) lists “[t]he equipment for level position, both shift and after each move and setup.” This item is not included in the ANSI/ASME standards; however, it mirrors the language of the similar pre-shift inspection in Subpart R. The Committee found that, as with ground conditions, maintaining the equipment's level position is essential for its safe operation. Since factors affecting the equipment's angle of inclination can change from shift to shift (such as compression of dunnage, ground settling from freeze/thaw conditions and ground compression), the Committee believed that it is necessary to include this in the shift inspection.

The SBREFA Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment about whether it is necessary to clarify the requirement of proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1)(xi) that the equipment be inspected for “level position” by clarifying the amount of tolerance that would be allowed for the equipment to be considered “level.” The Agency requests public comment on this issue.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(xii) lists “[o]perator cab windows for significant cracks, breaks, or other deficiencies that would hamper the operator's view.” [32] The purpose of this proposed provision is to ensure adequate visibility. The Committee believed that it is important to ensure that the windows' condition does not hamper the operator's view. Since a significant crack, break or other defect hampering the operator's view may occur during a shift, it believed that this item needs to be included in the shift inspection. The inclusion of the words “significant” and “hamper the operator's view” were to clarify that minor deficiencies that do not materially impair the operator's view are not considered safety hazards.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(xiii) lists “[r]ails, rail stops, rail clamps and supporting surfaces when the equipment has rail traveling.” This item is not specifically listed as an inspection item in the pre-shift inspections of Subpart R or in the Frequent Inspections of the 1968 or 2004 ANSI/ASME B30.5 standards. However, they are included because of the essential role they play in the holding and emergency stopping of rail mounted equipment. Their importance to safe operation is similarly recognized by their inclusion in proposed § 1926.1415, Safety Devices, as safety devices that must be working properly for crane operations to continue.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(xiv) lists “[s]afety devices and operational aids for proper operation.” Subpart N, through its incorporation by reference of ANSI B30.5-1968, includes a daily inspection of safety devices for malfunction for the equipment it covers, while ASME B30.5-2004 requires a daily inspection of operational aids for malfunction. Finally, Subpart R includes a nonexclusive list of safety devices in its pre-shift inspection. The equipment's safety devices and operational aids would be included because of their important role in assisting the operator in the safe operation of equipment.

Concern was raised in Committee about including this item because the industry did not have clear, consistent definitions for terms “safety devices” and “operational aids.” This concern was addressed by referencing the lists of devices for each of these terms in proposed § 1926.1415, Safety devices and § 1926.1416, Operational aids.

The language also reflects the Committee's view that the inspection of these devices and aids is more accurately described as an inspection for “proper operation” rather than for “malfunction.” The Committee considered this a more accurate description because the person conducting the inspection does so by checking the safety device or operational aid for proper operation. If it is found to be working properly, the inspection is finished.

Another concern was including both safety devices and operational aids in this provision, since many members were of the view that these two categories of devices necessitate different levels and types of action when a deficiency is found. That concern was addressed by specifying in proposed § 1926.1412(d)(3) that if a deficiency is found, the action that Start Printed Page 59770would be required in response would be the actions delineated in proposed § 1926.1415, Safety devices and § 1926.1416, Operational aids, which address these two categories differently. See additional discussions of these procedures in §§ 1926.1415 and 1926.1416 of this explanation of the rule.

Proposed paragraph (d)(2) would establish the follow-up actions to the identification of apparent deficiencies during the shift inspection that would be required. Specifically, under proposed 1926.1412(d)(2), immediately following the discovery of any deficiency identified pursuant to proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1)(i) through (xiii), or pursuant to other equipment-specific inspections (e.g., see proposed § 1926.1436(p) (inspection of derricks), the competent person must determine whether the deficiency is a safety hazard. If so, equipment operations must cease until it has been corrected. The correction procedure described in proposed § 1926.1412(d)(2) is similar to that in ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 for their Frequent Inspections.

This approach reflects the Committee's determination that not all deficiencies constitute safety hazards. The proposed language in § 1926.1412(d)(2) reflects that approach by linking the requirement for removing the equipment from service to deficiencies that constitute safety hazards. The provision is designed to ensure that this determination is made appropriately by requiring that it be made by a competent person. The competent person would have the capability necessary to make an accurate determination. In addition, requiring a competent person to make the determination would ensure that his or her findings were implemented; i.e., the competent person would have the authority to order the equipment out of service if the deficiency constituted a hazard. The Agency believes that this would be an appropriate means of protecting employees from equipment with deficiencies that constitute safety hazards.

The SBREFA Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment on whether, and under what circumstances, booming down should be specifically excluded as a part of the shift inspection, and whether the removal of non-hinged inspection plates should be required during the shift inspection. Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(1), discussed below, explicitly states that booming down is not required as part of the shift inspection for wire rope. It is the Agency's understanding that C-DAC did not include a similar provision in the general shift inspection provision in proposed § 1926.1412(d) because booming down would not be required to observe a deficiency in any of the items requiring inspection under that paragraph. Similarly, OSHA does not believe that inspection for a deficiency in any of those items would require removal of non-hinged inspection plates. However, OSHA welcomes public comment on these points.

Paragraph 1412(e) Monthly

Proposed paragraph (e) would require a monthly inspection of the equipment, the second of the three regularly scheduled general inspections that would be required by this proposed standard. The monthly inspection is identical in coverage and manner to the shift inspection required by proposed § 1926.1412(d), with one addition discussed below. Thus, the monthly inspection would be a visual inspection of the items listed in the shift inspection for apparent deficiencies, conducted by a competent person. However, unlike a shift inspection, a written record of the monthly inspection is proposed to be kept and retained for at least 3 months.

In addition, under the annual/comprehensive inspection in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4), the employer would be required to identify developing deficiencies that, while not yet safety hazards, need to be monitored. In such cases the employer under proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4) and (f)(6) would be required to monitor them in the monthly inspections.

This provision differs in some ways from the current requirement in 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N that incorporates by reference ANSI B30.5-1968 and from ASME B30.5-2004. For example, rather than a monthly inspection, these industry standards call for a “Frequent” inspection to be done at “daily to monthly” intervals. The Committee believed that the proposed approach is an improvement over the ANSI/ASME approach by eliminating ambiguity over the frequency of inspections. Also, the consensus standards do not call for the monitoring of developing deficiencies, a change the Committee believed would lead to the elimination of hazards before they develop. However, many of the items listed in those consensus standards for frequent inspections are similar to those listed in the shift and monthly inspections of the proposed rule (See discussion of items inspected under proposed paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (xiv) for comparison).

Proposed paragraph (e)(3) would establish a documentation requirement for this monthly inspection. Specifically, proposed § 1926.1412(e)(3)(i) would require that the inspection “be documented by the employer that conducts the inspection” and indicate the items checked with results, the name and signature of the person of the inspector, and the date. In these respects this proposed requirement is similar to that currently in effect under § 1926.550(b)(2) of 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N for crawler, locomotive, and truck cranes. Proposed § 1926.1412(e)(3)(ii) would establish a minimum three-month retention period for the monthly inspection documentation.

These two proposed provisions have several purposes. The Committee believed that, on a monthly basis, it is necessary to record the items checked and the results of an inspection that for the most part parallels a shift inspection. It believed that the documentation of this inspection, signed by the person who conducted the inspection and retained for three months, would have several effects. First, it would increase the likelihood that more employers would implement systems for conducting and responding to inspections. The failure to do so would be more readily apparent if a record were not made, and the signature of the person who conducted the inspection would be an inducement to that person to ensure that the inspection was done correctly. Second, it would create a record that the employer could use to help track developing problems so that they could be corrected in time to assure continued safe operation of the equipment.

The Agency notes that the proposed three month retention period also reflects a desire of the Committee to have a retention period that is consistent with Department of Transportation (“DOT”) truck inspection documentation requirements. Also, proposed § 1926.1412(e)(3) parallels the monthly inspection for wire rope in proposed paragraph 1413(b) in terms of timing, level of scrutiny, expertise of the inspector, and documentation.

The SBREFA Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment on whether the provision for monthly inspections should, like the provision for annual inspections, specify who must keep the documentation associated with monthly inspections. (The provision for annual inspections states that the documentation must be “maintained by the employer who conducts the inspection.”) OSHA requests public comment on the issue raised by the Panel's recommendation. Start Printed Page 59771

The SBREFA Panel also recommended that OSHA restate the corrective action provisions from the shift inspection (proposed § 1926.1412(d)(2) and (3)) in proposed § 1926.1412(e). Under proposed § 1926.1412(e)(1), the monthly inspection must be conducted in accordance with proposed § 1926.1412(d) on shift inspections, and this means that the corrective action provisions in proposed § 1926.1412(d)(2) and (3) must also be followed in the monthly inspections. OSHA requests comment on whether the language in proposed § 1926.1412(d)(2) and (3) should be repeated under proposed § 1926.1412(e).

Paragraph (f) Annual/Comprehensive

Proposed paragraph (f) would require an annual (i.e., once every twelve months), general inspection of the equipment, the third of the three regularly scheduled general inspections that would be required by this proposed standard. It would promote safety by ensuring that a thorough, comprehensive inspection of the equipment is performed to detect and address deficiencies that might not be detected in the proposed shift and monthly inspections.

Proposed paragraph (f)(1) would require that a qualified person inspect the equipment, at least every 12 months, in accordance with § 1926.1412(d) (shift inspections). The Committee's intent was to have the items specified in the shift inspection examined more thoroughly, by a qualified person, on an annual basis. This would ensure that deficiencies necessitating a greater degree of scrutiny than what would be required in the shift inspection (such as a deficiency that is not apparent in a visual inspection but is detectable through disassembly), and a greater degree of expertise to detect, would be discovered.

The Committee believed that, in light of this need for greater scrutiny, a higher level of expertise is needed of the person conducting the inspection than is currently required for the annual inspection in 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N (Subpart N, at § 1926.550(a)(6), requires that it be conducted by a competent person). The Committee's view is similar to that reflected in COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03) and ASME B30.5-2004, both of which call for a qualified person to perform those standards' “periodic” inspections. The Agency believes that, to effectuate the purpose of the proposed annual/comprehensive inspection, a qualified person would be needed to conduct this inspection.

The Agency notes that neither this paragraph nor the subsequent paragraphs under proposed § 1926.1412(f) specify the level of scrutiny that would be required for the annual/comprehensive inspection. As it is the Agency's understanding that it was the Committee's belief that this inspection needs to be more thorough than a visual inspection for apparent deficiencies, OSHA solicits comments from the public as to whether language specifying a higher level of scrutiny (for example, “thorough, including disassembly when necessary”) should be added.

In terms of timing, this proposed annual/comprehensive inspection is essentially the same as currently specified in Subpart N, which requires an “annual” inspection.

The requirement that the inspection be conducted at least every 12 months means that an inspection must be conducted on or before the anniversary date of the last annual inspection. A situation that may arise is where the equipment is not in service on the anniversary date. In that situation, since the equipment is not in service, the annual inspection would not have to be done at that point. However, the equipment could not be put back into service until the annual inspection had been done.[33]

As discussed below, proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4)-(f)(6) contain specific proposed responsive actions in the event a deficiency is discovered in the annual/comprehensive inspection. C-DAC recommended that proposed § 1926.1412(f)(1) state that “ * * * the equipment shall be inspected * * * in accordance with paragraph (d) (shift inspections).” Read literally, the C-DAC language would have required the employer to comply with the responsive actions specified for the shift inspections in proposed § 1926.1412(d). However, the specified responsive actions for the proposed shift inspection differ from those proposed for the annual/comprehensive inspection. Therefore, the Agency modified the C-DAC language for proposed § 1926.1412(f)(1) to make it clear that the responsive actions that would be required if a deficiency were found under § 1926.1412(f)(1) are those specified in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4)-(f)(6). This has been done by adding the following language to the C-DAC (f)(1) provision:

At least every 12 months the equipment shall be inspected by a qualified person in accordance with paragraph (d) (shift inspections) of this section, except that the corrective action set forth in Paragraph (f) Annual/comprehensive, of this section shall apply.

The difference is that while both require that the equipment be removed from service if safety hazards are identified, paragraphs (f)(4) through (f)(6) also provide that a deficiency that might, but has not yet, reached the safety hazard stage must be monitored on a monthly basis. (Also, the determinations in § 1926.1412(f)(4) through (f)(6) are made by a qualified person, whereas the determinations in the shift inspection are made by a competent person.)

Proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (xxi) supplement the list of inspection items in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(1) that would be required to be inspected in the annual/comprehensive inspection. The Committee developed this list based on the members' experience and current industry practice as reflected in current consensus standards for annual/periodic inspections. The Committee believed that each item plays an important role in the safe operation of equipment.

The list in proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (xxi) differs somewhat from those in consensus standards. Among other differences, the list in these proposed paragraphs is more user-friendly to the employer and qualified person because the item inspected is at the beginning of each sentence. Also, some items not in consensus standards are included because, as discussed below, in the view of the Committee, they also have a significant effect on the safe operation of equipment.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(i) lists “[e]quipment structure (including the boom and, if equipped, the jib),” including “(A) Structural members: deformed, cracked, or significantly corroded. (B) Bolts, rivets and other fasteners: loose, failed or significantly corroded. (C) Welds for cracks.” Differences with similar items listed in ANSI B30.5-1968, ASME B30.5-2004 and COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03) are as follows: “Welds for cracks” was added to better ensure that the equipment is structurally sound; “Other fasteners” was added to “bolts and rivets” (referenced in the ANSI/ASME standards) because there are now other types of fasteners which also need to be inspected to ensure they are not loose, failed or significantly corroded; and “significantly” was added to describe Start Printed Page 59772the degree of corrosion on a structural member or fastener needed to trigger further examination because some corrosion on those items is normal and has no effect on safety.

Proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(ii) through (iv) list: “[s]heaves and drums for cracks or significant wear;” “[p]arts such as pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers and locking devices for distortion, cracks or significant wear;” and “[b]rake and clutch system parts, linings, pawls and ratchets for excessive wear.” These items are similar to the items currently listed in the Periodic Inspection (monthly to twelve month intervals) in ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004. The Committee believed that these items, as reflected in their inclusion in current consensus standards, need to be checked in an annual inspection to ensure the safe operation of the equipment.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(v) lists “[s]afety devices and operational aids for proper operation (including significant inaccuracies).” The Committee included the term “significant inaccuracies” in recognition of the fact that such devices normally operate within a tolerance range. Corrective action would not be required if the inaccuracy is so small as to be irrelevant with regards to the safe operation of the equipment. In contrast, significant inaccuracies in these devices could mislead the operator and contribute to actions that could result in the equipment being inadvertently used in an unsafe manner. Consequently, the Committee believed that these devices and aids need to be inspected for both proper operation and significant inaccuracies.

This provision is broader than similar provisions in the ANSI and ANSI/ASME standards. Specifically, ANSI B30.5-1968 only addresses “safety devices for malfunction” (the Periodic Inspection includes the items listed in the Frequent Inspection) while the Periodic Inspection for ASME B30.5-2004 only includes operational aids.

Another significant difference between this paragraph and the ASME standard is the follow-up action required subsequent to the discovery of a deficiency involving operational aids. Under this paragraph, the discovery of such a deficiency that is determined to be a safety hazard would require the equipment to be removed from service until the safety hazard is corrected. In contrast, under the 2004 ASME standard, alternatives to the removal of equipment from service are available.[34]

Proposed § 1926.1416 would permit equipment with operational aids that are not functioning properly to continue to be used with specified alternative measures in place. Proposed § 1926.1416(d) and (e) would set time limits for such use. It is the Agency's understanding that the Committee intended that this same approach should apply with respect to the follow-up action required when an operational aid is found in the annual inspection to be not working properly. In other words, the equipment could be returned to service but the time limits in proposed § 1926.1416(d) and (e) would apply, as would the alternative measures requirements.

Proposed § 1926.1412(f) does not explicitly describe how the follow-up measures in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4)-(f)(6) would apply to operational aids. As explained below in the discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4)-(f)(6), the Agency believes that it would be appropriate to add language to clarify that the follow-up action required when an operational aid is found in the annual inspection to be not working properly is the action specified in proposed § 1926.1416(d) and (e).

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(vi) lists “[g]asoline, diesel, electric, or other power plants for safety-related problems (such as leaking exhaust and emergency shut-down feature), conditions and proper operation.” This proposed provision was derived from ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 and reworded to emphasize and limit its application to safety related issues, and to include examples to better communicate those concepts. Leaking exhaust was included as an example because it could asphyxiate an employee. The emergency shut-down feature was added as an example because a failure of this feature could result in an employee being struck by a suspended load.

Proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(vii), (viii) and (ix) list “[c]hains and chain drive sprockets for excessive wear of sprockets and excessive chain stretch,” “[t]ravel steering, brakes, and locking devices, for proper operation,” and “[t]ires for damage or excessive wear.” These proposed provisions were derived from ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004. The Committee believed that these items, as their presence in these industry standards reflects, play a significant role in the safe operation of equipment.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(x) lists “[h]ydraulic, pneumatic and other pressurized hoses, fittings and tubing, as follows: (A) Flexible hose or its junction with the fittings for indications of leaks. (B) Threaded or clamped joints for leaks. (C) Outer covering of the hose for blistering, abnormal deformation or other signs of failure/impending failure. (D) Outer surface of a hose, rigid tube, or fitting for indications of excessive abrasion or scrubbing.” The purpose of this proposed paragraph, as noted during C-DAC meetings, is to “call attention to specific parts of these hoses” and thus prevent the failure of mechanisms, such as the brakes, hoist mechanisms and limit switches, that are powered or affected by the movement of fluids or air through the equipment's system of hoses.

Neither the general provisions in 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N nor the provisions in ANSI B30.5-1968 that are incorporated by reference in Subpart N contain a specific requirement for an inspection of these hoses, fittings and tubing. However, several more recent consensus and government standards do contain similar items in their annual/Periodic inspections. ASME B30.5-2004, COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03) and DOE STD 1090-2004 all contain some form of this item in their Periodic inspection provisions.

The Committee's discussion of this item focused on whether language used in ASME B30.5-2004 should be adopted. For example, the meaning of the reference in the ASME standard to “metal and couplings” as one of the points of concern on a hose for leakage was questioned. The Committee sought to be clearer by referencing “fittings” instead in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(2)(x)(A).

Also, members questioned the appropriateness of the ASME language on inspecting for hose leakage that specifies leakage from threaded or clamped joints that is not eliminated by “recommended procedures.” Since the use of such procedures to correct a leak is in the nature of a repair, the concept of limiting the inspection item in this manner was rejected.

Proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(xi)-(xiii) list a series of items that, like (f)(2)(x), focus on specific parts of hydraulic and pneumatic power systems. They would be included for the same reason—to better ensure that those parts of the equipment driven by hydraulic and pneumatic power do not fail. These provisions address: “(xi) [h]ydraulic and pneumatic pumps and motors, as follows: (A) Performance indicators: Start Printed Page 59773unusual noises or vibration, low operating speed, excessive heating of the fluid, low pressure. (B) Loose bolts or fasteners. (C) Shaft seals and joints between pump sections for leaks”; (xii) “[h]ydraulic and pneumatic valves, as follows: (A) Spools: sticking, improper return to neutral, and leaks. (B) Leaks. (C) Valve housing cracks. (D) Relief valves: failure to reach correct pressure (if there is a manufacturer procedure for checking pressure, it must be followed)”; and (xiii) “[h]ydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, as follows: (A) Drifting caused by fluid leaking across the piston. (B) Rod seals and welded joints for leaks. (C) Cylinder rods for scores, nicks or dents. (D) Case (barrel) for significant dents. (E) Rod eyes and connecting joints: loose or deformed.”

As with proposed paragraph (f)(2)(x), these items are not explicitly mentioned in Subpart N. Neither the Subpart itself nor the incorporated “Periodic” inspection in ANSI B30.5-1968 specifically references these items. However, ASME B30.5-2004, COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03) and DOE STD 1090-2004 each require inspection of these items by language with varying degrees of specificity.

While discussing these items, C-DAC members decided not to include the inspection of hydraulic filters that are included in ASME B30.5-2004 because, as a Committee member who works for a manufacturer noted, the condition of these filters is a maintenance rather than a safety issue. Other discussion related to several of the items in this list. In proposed § 1926.1412(f)(2)(xi)(C), “pump” was inserted to clarify which joints must be inspected for leaks. Further, “significant” was added to describe the dents subject to inspection under proposed § 1926.1412(f)(2)(xiii)(D) because some dents on cases do not affect operation.

The Committee believed that these items, as their presence in these government and consensus standards reflects, play a significant role in the safe operation of equipment.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xiv) lists “[o]utrigger pads/floats” for excessive wear or cracks.” The purpose of the inspection of outrigger pads/floats is to make certain that these pads (which are attached to the outrigger and used to distribute the weight of the load to the ground) will not fail and leave the outrigger without proper support.

This item is not included in the annual inspection of Subpart N for cranes and derricks, the periodic inspections of ANSI B30.5-1968 or ASME B30.5-2004. However, the Periodic (yearly) inspection in COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03) may cover “outrigger pads/floats” with its general provision regarding “foundation or supports.” The Committee similarly included this item because it believed that it plays a significant role in the safe operation of equipment.

Paragraph (f)(2)(xv) lists “slider pads for excessive wear or cracks.” Slider pads (which are used to guide sections of equipment such as the boom extension on a hydraulic crane) are included because excessive wear may cause the equipment to fail. The Committee was aware that some disassembly may be required to inspect slider pads.

This item is not included in the annual inspection of Subpart N for cranes and derricks or the periodic inspections of ANSI B30.5-1968 or ASME B30.5-2004. However, the Committee included this item because of its role in the safe operation of the equipment.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xvi) lists “[e]lectrical components and wiring for cracked or split insulation and loose or corroded terminations.” Wires are not listed in the annual/Periodic inspection in Subpart N, ANSI B30.5-1968, ASME B30.5—2004 or COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03). The purpose of this proposed provision is to prevent hazards related to deficiencies in electrical components and wiring. Since such deficiencies may cause a fire or the malfunction of safety related systems, the Agency believes that the inclusion of electrical components as well as wiring in the inspection list is necessary.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xvii) lists “[w]arning labels and decals originally supplied with the equipment by the manufacturer or otherwise required under this standard: missing or unreadable.” The annual/Periodic inspection in COE-EM 385-1-1 (3-NovJan 03) contains a similar requirement relative to “safety and function labels for legibility and replacement.” However, this item is not included in the annual/Periodic inspections included in Subpart N, ANSI B30.5-1968 or ASME B30.5-2004.

The Committee believed that warning decals that would be required under this proposed standard (either by virtue of a specific provision in this proposed standard, e.g., paragraph 1407(g), or because they were originally supplied by the manufacturer with the equipment, see § 1926.1433(e)(5), Posted warnings) provide important safety reminders and information. As such, it was of the view that they need to be maintained in order for them to continue to alert users to those safety concerns. The Agency modified the C-DAC language for proposed paragraph (f)(2)(xvii) so that it would cover warning labels and decals originally supplied by the manufacturer and thus better reflect the Committee's intent as indicated by proposed § 1926.1433(e)(5).

Proposed paragraphs (f)(2)(xviii-xxi) list: “Originally equipped operator seat: missing;” “Operator seat: unusable;” [35] “Originally equipped steps, ladders, handrails, guards: missing;” and “Steps, ladders, handrails, guards: in unusable/unsafe condition.” These are not included in the annual/periodic inspections of ANSI B30.5-1968, ASME B30.5-2004, or COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03).

The Committee believed that these are safety related items that need to be inspected. For example, if the operator seat is unusable, the likelihood of the operator manipulating a control in an inadvertent manner or being unable to reach a control is increased. The other items relate to preventing falls and contact with exposed parts that are moving or otherwise dangerous. It should be noted that, among others, proposed § 1926.1433, Design, construction and testing, and § 1926.1426, Fall protection, would include requirements related to several of these items.

Proposed paragraph (f)(3) would require functional testing as part of the annual/comprehensive inspection. A general functional testing requirement is not included in the annual/periodic inspection in COE-EM 385-1-1 (3 Nov 03), although it does require functional testing for certain items, such as “crane function operating mechanisms,” and “operator aids (safety devices) and indicating devices.” Similarly, the annual/periodic inspection provisions of ANSI B30.5-1968 (incorporated by reference into Subpart N) and ASME B30.5-2004, imply a functional testing requirement with regard to several specific items (e.g., in B30.5-1968 and in B30.5-2004), “[t]ravel steering, braking, and locking devices, for malfunction”).

The purpose of this testing is to ensure that the equipment as configured in the inspection is functioning properly. It was the Committee's belief that, without functional testing, the inspection may not reveal some safety problems.

The proposed provision reflects the Committee's belief that functional testing should be limited to the equipment “as configured in the Start Printed Page 59774inspection.” In its view, functional testing in all possible configurations, with all possible attachments, is unnecessary and would be unduly burdensome. In light of the comprehensive nature of the inspection that would result from compliance with the proposed annual/comprehensive inspection provision, the Agency believes that this limitation would not adversely affect safety.

Proposed paragraphs (f)(4) through (6) delineate the follow-up procedures that would apply when a deficiency is identified during the annual/comprehensive inspection. The purpose of these provisions is to ensure that a deficiency that is not yet a safety hazard but may develop into one is monitored on a monthly basis, and that a deficiency that is a safety hazard is corrected before the equipment is returned to service.

Specifically, proposed paragraph (f)(4) provides that immediately following the identification of a deficiency, the qualified person must determine “whether the deficiency constitutes a safety hazard, or though not yet a safety hazard, needs to be monitored in the monthly inspections.” Proposed paragraph (f)(5) would require that equipment with a deficiency identified as a safety hazard by the qualified person be removed from service until the deficiency is corrected. Proposed paragraph (f)(6) would require the employer to check in the monthly inspections the deficiencies that the qualified person had identified as needing monitoring.

The corrective procedures in proposed paragraphs (f)(4) through (f)(6) are similar to those in ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 in that the ANSI/ASME provisions also call for equipment operation to cease upon discovery of a safety hazard. They differ in that the ANSI/ASME provisions have no procedures for monitoring deficiencies that are not yet safety hazards.

The Committee believed that this would be an effective means of ensuring that employers respond appropriately to deficiencies identified in the annual/comprehensive inspection. In addition, the Committee's addition of a mechanism for monthly monitoring, where needed, of deficiencies that have not yet developed into safety hazards would ensure that developing hazards are caught before they endanger employees.

Upon reviewing these proposed provisions, OSHA believes that C-DAC inadvertently omitted a reference in the proposed provisions for annual/comprehensive inspections to special corrective action procedures for operational aids. This issue is explained below.

Proposed § 1926.1416, Operational aids, sets out requirements that would apply where an operational aid is not working properly. Specifically, it would allow equipment with an operational aid that is not working to continue to be operated for a limited time as long as certain temporary protective measures are used.

In a shift or monthly inspection, as reflected in proposed § 1926.1412(d)(3), if a deficiency in an operational aid is identified, the corrective action described in proposed § 1926.1416 would apply. In contrast, in the proposed paragraph on annual/comprehensive inspections (§ 1926.1412(f)), C-DAC did not include a similar reference.

If the corrective actions described in proposed § 1926.1416 did not apply and an operational aid were found to be not working properly in an annual/comprehensive inspection, the qualified person would have to determine if that constituted a safety hazard. If he or she concluded that it was a safety hazard, the equipment would have to be removed from service immediately until the aid was repaired. OSHA believes that such a result would be contrary to C-DAC's intent, since the issue of the extent to which an operational aid needed to be repaired was comprehensively dealt with in proposed § 1926.1416.

In sum, the Agency believes that proposed § 1926.1412(f) should be modified to specifically make the corrective actions in proposed § 1926.1416 applicable. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

The Committee considered whether the monitoring aspect of this proposed requirement would unduly add to the employer's paperwork burden. The Committee determined that it would not, since all that would be involved would be a notation on the employer's monthly inspection form to pay special attention to the item and then note its condition.

Proposed paragraph (f)(7), Documentation of annual/comprehensive inspection, would require the employer that conducts the inspection to complete and maintain, for a minimum of twelve months, documentation that contains “[t]he items checked and the results of the inspection,” and “[t]he name and signature of the person who conducted the inspection and the date.” Note that proposed § 1926.1413(c)(4), which pertains to the annual/comprehensive wire rope inspection, contains a similar documentation requirement.

This proposed documentation requirement differs in several respects from Subpart N and other current consensus standards. For example, Subpart N at 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6), has an open-ended retention period and does not include a signature requirement or a requirement that the inspector be named. It also differs from the periodic inspection in ASME B30.5-2004 that only calls for “dated records” for specific, critical items, does not specify that the inspector's name be listed, and does not specify a retention period.

The Committee believed that the proposed provision would promote safety by ensuring that the items checked and the inspection results are documented and maintained for at least 12 months. This would ensure that past deficiencies and potential hazards associated with the equipment can be tracked. In the Committee's view this information would help the qualified person assess the equipment in the subsequent annual/ comprehensive inspection.

The Committee believed that the documentation of this inspection, signed by the person who conducted the inspection and retained for 12 months, would have several effects. First, it would increase the likelihood that more employers would implement systems for conducting and responding to inspections. The failure to do so would be more readily apparent if a record was not made, and the signature of the person who conducted the inspection would be an inducement to that person to ensure that the inspection was done correctly.

The Committee determined that it would not be necessary for this documentation to be available on site. The information in the document is not routinely needed at the site to ensure safe operation. Rather, it would be sufficient to maintain it in a centralized location (such as a corporate office) and made available as necessary.

During the SBREFA process, several Small Entity Representatives objected to the requirement for documentation of monthly and annual inspections, stating that such documentation would be unduly burdensome and would not, in their opinions, add to worker safety. The Panel recommended that OSHA solicit public comment on the extent of inspection documentation the rule should require. OSHA requests comment on this issue. Start Printed Page 59775

Paragraph 1412(g) Severe Service

Proposed paragraph (g) would require the employer to inspect the equipment when the severity of use/conditions—“such as loading that may have exceeded rated capacity, shock loading that may have exceeded rated capacity, [or] prolonged exposure to a corrosive atmosphere”—creates a “reasonable probability of damage or excessive wear.” In such instances, the employer would be required to stop using the equipment and have a qualified person “inspect the equipment for structural damage”; determine whether, in light of the use/conditions of the severe service, any items listed in the Annual/comprehensive inspection need to be inspected and if so, inspect them; and if a deficiency is found, follow the correction/monitoring procedures set forth in proposed § 1926.1412(f)(4)-(f)(6).

Neither ANSI B30.5-1968 nor ASME B30.5-2004 has a specific inspection provision for severe service. Rather, those standards reference “severity of service” as a factor to be considered when determining how frequently to conduct a Periodic Inspection. COE-EM 385-1-1 (1 Jan 03) references severe service under its periodic inspection as a basis for requiring that inspection to be performed quarterly as opposed to “Yearly.”

The Committee believed that there are certain events and circumstances that, because they may cause damage (i.e., structural damage or significant wear), should trigger a close inspection to check for such damage, rather than waiting for the next annual inspection.

The Committee considered using “heavy service” as a trigger for such an inspection. In the course of that discussion, the Committee considered triggering the inspection based on specific rated load capacities (such as 85 to 100% of the rated load capacity) or on a particular number of cycles (such as in excess of 10 lift cycles per hour). These were rejected because members believed that, as long as the use is within the equipment's rated capacity, such use would not be expected to necessitate a special inspection.

Instead, the Committee agreed that a trigger based on use or conditions in which there is a reasonable probability of damage or excessive wear would be an effective means of ensuring that equipment was not operated with such damage/wear. Examples were provided in the proposed provision to add clarity to the concept.

Paragraph 1412(h) Equipment Not in Regular Use

Proposed paragraph (h) would require that equipment that sits idle for three months or more be inspected by a qualified person in accordance with the monthly inspection provisions of proposed § 1926.1412(e) before being used.

This would ensure that deficiencies that may arise as a result of the equipment standing idle are checked before its subsequent use. The Committee believed that this inspection would need to be done by a qualified person because some of the deficiencies that may arise from sitting idle require the qualified person's higher level of ability to detect and assess. For example, equipment that is idle for a period of time is often subject to variations in weather (e.g., temperature and humidity) that cause contraction and expansion of parts and fluids, which can cause damage. In addition, idle equipment is also more likely to have corroded pins and corrosion on the boom. Such conditions need to be assessed by a qualified person to determine if there is a deficiency that constitutes a hazard.

This proposed requirement differs from the ANSI/ASME standards in several respects, most significantly in terms of the time frame that triggers the inspection and the type of inspection required. Both ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004 subject cranes that are idle for one or more months, but less than six months, to a frequent inspection, and cranes that are idle for six or more months to a periodic inspection. It should be noted that under the proposed provision and the ANSI/ASME standards, an inspection of wire rope is included. A qualified person would conduct this inspection of wire rope (as well as the rest of the items included in this inspection of equipment not in regular use).

The Committee considered the ANSI/ASME approach to inspecting idle equipment. It determined that a one month trigger was too short, because problems that may arise from the equipment sitting idle, such as drying/hardening seals, take longer than that to occur. It believed that a three month trigger was more appropriate to use for this purpose.

Paragraph 1412(i). [Reserved.] This paragraph is reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to determine whether “(i)” is being used as a letter or a roman numeral.

Paragraph 1412(j)

Proposed paragraph (j) would require that any part of a manufacturer's inspection procedures relating to safe operation that is more comprehensive or has a more frequent schedule than that required by this proposed section must be followed. However, the proposed paragraph notes that additional manufacturer documentation requirements need not be followed. Examples are provided in the proposed provision of the types of items that would be considered to relate to safe operation (“a safety device or operator aid, critical part of a control system, power plant, braking system, load-sustaining structural components, load hook, or in-use operating mechanism”).

Neither the general provisions of 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N nor ANSI B30.5-1968 contains a similar provision. However, § 1926.550(c)(5) of Subpart N relative to hammerhead tower cranes and § 1926.550(f)(2)(iii) relative to floating cranes and floating derricks require that inspections meet the manufacturer's requirements. COE-EM 385-1-1-1 (3 Nov 03) states that “[c]ranes and derricks shall be * * * inspected * * * in accordance with the manufacturer's operating manual for the crane and the applicable ANSI/ASME codes or OSHA requirements, whichever is more stringent.”

The Committee believed that, to the extent a more comprehensive or frequent inspection is specified by the manufacturer, it is necessary for that to be done to ensure the safe operation of the equipment. In the Committee's view, the expertise of the manufacturer with respect to the equipment in this regard needs to be recognized and acted upon.

Summary of Significant Differences From the Current 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart N

This proposed section differs in several respects from Subpart N. Unlike Subpart N, the proposed standard does not include an initial inspection for new equipment or inspections for standby cranes, nor does it include a requirement for preventive maintenance.

The Committee concluded that manufacturers' quality control and inspection practices are generally effective in ensuring that new equipment does not have deficiencies that constitute safety hazards. The Committee believed that, to the extent those practices do not identify and correct all such hazards, the shift inspection would be adequate to identify and address them.

The Committee concluded that a special inspection for “standby” cranes is not needed since the proposed section includes proposed requirements for equipment “not in regular use” (see the Start Printed Page 59776discussion of proposed § 1926.1412(h), above).

The Committee also concluded that a general requirement for preventive maintenance is not needed because the proposed inspection requirements are designed to ensure that deficiencies constituting safety hazards will be identified quickly and equipment with such a safety hazard would be prohibited from being returned to service until the hazard is corrected.

As discussed above, the proposed section would add requirements for a post-assembly inspection and a severe service inspection, and varies from Subpart N to some extent with respect to some of the items to be inspected. In addition, the specific proposed requirements for inspecting operational aids and for a qualified person to perform the modified equipment and annual inspections would be new requirements. Finally, rather than providing for “daily to monthly” inspections, the proposed standard would require shift inspections and monthly inspections.

Section 1413 Wire Rope—Inspection

Cranes/derricks use wire rope to lift and support their loads and parts of the equipment. If the rope is worn or damaged, it can break, causing a failure of the equipment and/or a falling load, which can kill or injure workers below. Approximately 3% of crane fatalities in construction work result from wire ropes snapping. J.E. Beavers et al., “Crane-Related Fatalities in the Construction Industry,” 132 Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 901, 903 (Sept. 2006). (OSHA-2007-0066-0011).

Subpart N, in § 1926.550(a), contains several inspection requirements applicable to wire ropes. Other requirements are found in ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference in Subpart N through § 1926.550(b)(2). In addition, the employer currently must look to both § 1926.550 and to the ANSI standard to learn the content of the required inspections, the qualifications of the inspector, and the requirements for addressing deficiencies found in ropes. The Committee believed that placing all of the required inspections and remedies in this subpart without reference to outside resources would make it easier for employers to find and become familiar with the steps they are required to take and so facilitate compliance. This is particularly true for small businesses, which bear a disproportionate cost when they must access outside resources.

The proposal would require wire rope inspections at the same frequency—shift, monthly, and annually—that would apply for other crane components. Also, like inspections of other components, the shift and monthly inspections must be conducted by a “competent person,” and the annual inspection by a “qualified person.”

Paragraph 1413(a) Shift Inspection

Proposed paragraph (a) would require a shift inspection, the first of the three types of wire rope inspections that would be required under this subpart. The timing, degree of scrutiny, and the level of expertise required of the person conducting this inspection and the other two inspections (monthly and annual) essentially mirror those in proposed § 1926.1412, Inspections, for general equipment inspections.

Paragraph 1413(a)(1)

Proposed paragraph (a)(1) describes who conducts the shift inspection, the timing of the inspection, and the degree of scrutiny required.

The shift inspection would be conducted by a “competent person,” a defined term in this subpart.[36] C-DAC believed that a “competent person” would be the appropriate person to perform the shift inspection. OSHA standards typically assign comparable inspection duties to “competent persons.” See, for example, § 1926.753(c) (competent person must conduct pre-shift visual inspection of cranes used in steel erection) and § 1926.451(d)(3)(i) (competent person must inspect suspension scaffold before use to ensure it is able to support intended load). Moreover, a “competent person” would conduct other aspects of the shift inspections under this proposed standard. Some C-DAC members questioned using a “competent person” for shift and monthly inspections on the basis that the individual most likely to perform such an inspection, the operator, may not have the authority to take corrective action, as is required of a “competent person” by definition. In response, OSHA notes that the employer would be required to ensure that the person assigned to perform the shift inspections has the requisite authority.

This proposed paragraph also would require that this inspection be started before each shift and be completed before or during that shift. As with the general shift inspection, the Committee concluded that it was appropriate to allow the wire rope inspection to be completed during the shift instead of requiring it to be completed before the shift begins (see the discussion above of proposed § 1926.1412(d)(1), which explains the Committee's reasons for allowing the general shift inspection to be completed during the shift).

Accordingly, the competent person would be required to inspect all wire rope that is reasonably likely to be used during the shift. In cases where some of the rope that is likely to be used is not readily visible before the shift begins, as discussed above, that portion may be inspected during the shift.

Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(1) would require the competent person to conduct a “visual inspection * * * for apparent deficiencies.” As discussed below, the purpose of this inspection is to ensure that deficiencies are identified and that, depending on the competent person's evaluation of those deficiencies, appropriate action is taken. The Committee wanted to make clear, however, that the inspection was not to be so comprehensive and time-consuming that it would be unrealistic to conduct it for each shift. To clarify that the inspection was one that was reasonable for a shift inspection, the provision states that neither “untwisting (opening of wire rope)” nor “booming down” would be required during this inspection. It believed that keeping the level of inspection realistic will encourage compliance that ultimately will serve to reduce accidents.

Paragraph 1413(a)(2) Apparent Deficiencies

Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(1) (discussed above) would require the competent person to look for “apparent deficiencies, including those listed in paragraph (a)(2).” Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(2) would establish three categories (I, II, and III) of apparent wire rope deficiencies. The likelihood that a deficiency is hazardous increases as the number of the category increases from I to III. As discussed further below, the category determines the options or “next steps” available to or required of the employer under § 1926.1413(a)(4), Removal from service.

C-DAC's goal in this paragraph is to establish clear and appropriate requirements setting out the steps employers must take when inspections reveal deficiencies.

Category I: Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(2)(i) lists “Category I” apparent deficiencies. These are similar to the types of wire rope deterioration noted in the inspection provisions of Start Printed Page 59777section 5-2.4.1 of ANSI B30.5-1968 and section 5-2.4.2 of ASME B30.5-2004. As further indicated below in the discussion of § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i) under Removal from service, these items are grouped together because they reflect damage that may or may not be severe enough to constitute a hazard. Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i) sets forth the steps the employer would be required to take once a Category I apparent deficiency has been identified.

Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(2)(i)(A) begins the list with the “significant distortion” of wire rope, such as “kinking, crushing, unstranding, birdcaging, signs of core failure or steel core protrusion between the strands.” These apparent deficiencies were selected because, as indicated by their inclusion in consensus standards, such as section 5-2.4.2 of ASME B30.5-2004, they may constitute or indicate the presence of a hazard. The Committee considered whether the reference in this paragraph to core failure should be limited to rotation resistant rope. However, the Committee decided not to limit “signs of core failure” to rotation resistant rope.

The word “significant” was included in this and other provisions in § 1926.1413(a)(2)(i) to make clear that minimal defects of these types do not rise to the level of Category I deficiencies. Only those that may pose genuine safety concerns are included.

Proposed § 1926.1413 (a)(2)(i)(B) lists “significant corrosion” as a Category I apparent deficiency. This type of damage was included because severe corrosion can weaken wire rope and cause it to break. The Committee used the descriptive term “significant” to limit further action to situations in which the degree of corrosion could realistically suggest a hazard.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(C) lists “electric arc (from a source other than power lines) or heat damage” as a Category I apparent deficiency. These deficiencies were derived from SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and COE (Army Corps of Engineers) standards and are included because such damage can weaken the wire rope. In discussing these types of damage, some Committee members expressed concern that “heat damage” would include instances where the rope had been cut to size by flame cutting. However, flame cutting would occur at the end of the newly cut rope, not at a load-bearing part of the rope. Heat damage is only a concern if it weakens a load-bearing part of the rope. Flame cutting done at the end of the rope, not in a load-bearing part, would not cause a hazard.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(D) lists “improperly applied end connections” as another apparent deficiency. In the Committee's experience, one type of error that occurs is when somebody between shifts cuts the cable and puts the end connection back the wrong way.[37] An improper connection is weaker than a proper one and can result in the connection failing.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(E) lists “[s]ignificantly corroded, cracked, bent, or worn end connections (such as from severe service)” as the last type of Category I apparent deficiency. Each of these may constitute a hazard.

Category II: Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(ii) contains two types of Category II apparent deficiencies—visible broken wires (§ 1926.1413(a)(2)(ii)(A)) and wire rope diameter reduction (§ 1926.1413(a)(2)(ii)(B)). In the experience of the Committee, these more typically signal the presence of a safety hazard than Category I apparent deficiencies. Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(ii), under Removal from service, sets forth the steps the employer would be required to take once a Category II apparent deficiency has been identified.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) lists separate criteria for visible broken wires for running wire ropes (six randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay or three broken wires in one strand in one rope lay), rotation resistant ropes (two randomly distributed broken wires in six rope diameters or four randomly distributed broken wires in 30 rope diameters), and pendant or standing wire ropes (more than two broken wires in one rope lay located in rope beyond end connections and/or more than one broken wire in a rope lay located at an end connection).

A “running wire rope” is a wire rope that moves over sheaves or drums. This definition is included in § 1926.1401 of this proposed standard to make clear the nature of the wire rope that is subject to this inspection provision. These criteria are the same as those contained in section 5-2.4.3 of ASME B30.5-2004, and those for running wire ropes and pendant or standing wire ropes are also contained in section 5-2.4.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference in 29 CFR Part 1926 subpart N. One issue that was left unanswered during the Committee discussions is whether these broken wire criteria are equally applicable when using plastic sheaves. The Agency requests public comment on this issue.

The reference in proposed paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(B) to “a diameter reduction of more than 5% from nominal diameter” reflects a change in the manner of expressing essentially the same criteria currently set forth in fractions in Subpart N (§ 1926.550(a)(7)(iv)) and section 5-2.4.3(b)(6) of ASME B30.5-2004. OSHA notes that the “reduction in diameter” fractions set forth currently in § 1926.550(a)(7)(iv) are in each case equal to or greater than 5%, so the proposed across the board 5% criterion is equally or more protective than the current standard for each rope diameter. C-DAC used the percentage reduction criterion because it is consistent with the criterion now being set by rope manufacturers and used in the industry. The industry uses the percentage reduction criterion because it is easier to remember than the fractional reductions in Subpart N.

Category III: Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(iii) lists apparent Category III deficiencies. The Committee believed that these are of such significance that they require the rope's immediate removal from service. For some Category III deficiencies, the undamaged part of the rope may be returned to service if the damaged part is severed (the actions required in response to identifying these deficiencies are discussed below with respect to proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(iv)).

Under proposed paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(A), “core protrusion or other distortion indicating core failure” in rotation resistant rope would be a Category III apparent deficiency. As described by a C-DAC member, this visible indicator is present when there is core protrusion between the outer strands or, in other words, “the metal core is coming out.” Core protrusion is a late-stage indicator that the rope has already suffered significant damage and, in the Committee's judgment, necessitates the rope's immediate removal from service.

Under proposed paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(B), “[e]lectrical contact with a power line” would be a Category III apparent deficiency. Contact with a power line could cause the rope to carry a high electrical current that could result in internal damage that significantly reduces the rope's strength. The Committee believed that, in view of the difficulty in confirming such internal damage and the likelihood that significant damage has occurred in such instances, it is imperative that the entire rope be replaced.

The rope would have to be removed from service under this provision if the load, rigging, or the rope itself makes electrical contact with a power line. In Start Printed Page 59778addition, electrical contact under this provision would occur if the boom or other part of the crane contacts a power line and the wire rope is in contact with the ground through the hook or some other means.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(C) also lists “a broken strand” as a Category III apparent deficiency. A strand is a “group” of wires. In the Committee's view, that degree of damage clearly compromises the rope's capacity and continued use would be dangerous.

Paragraph 1413(a)(3) Critical Review Items

Under proposed paragraph (a)(3), the competent person must give particular attention to certain “Critical Review Items” during the shift inspection (as well as, as discussed below, in the monthly and annual inspections).

Under proposed paragraph (a)(3)(i), rotation resistant wire rope that is in use would be a critical review item. As indicated earlier, the construction of rotation resistant rope makes it more susceptible to damage and more difficult to detect damage to the inner wires and/or strands.

Under proposed paragraph (a)(3)(ii), “wire rope being used for boom hoists and luffing hoists, particularly at reverse bends” would be included in the list because of the critical nature of these ropes and, with respect to reverse bends, because these areas are subjected to more stress and are more prone to damage.

Proposed paragraph (a)(3)(iii) lists “wire rope at flange points, crossover points and repetitive pickup points on drums” because these points of the rope are subject to additional wear. These terms are defined in § 1926.1401, Definitions, as follows:

Flange point: A point of contact between rope and drum flange where the rope changes layers.

Crossover points: Locations on a wire rope which is spooled on a drum where one layer of rope climbs up and crosses over the previous layer. This takes place at each flange of the drum as the rope is spooled onto the drum, reaches the flange, and begins to wrap back in the opposite direction.

Repetitive pickup points: When operating on a short cycle operation, the rope being used on a single layer and being spooled repetitively over a short portion of the drum.

Proposed paragraph (a)(3)(iv) lists “wire rope adjacent to end connections” because such rope is prone to corrosion and/or breakage due to the localized stresses placed on these areas.

Proposed paragraph (a)(3)(v) lists “wire rope at and on equalizer sheaves” because the limited travel of such rope and added stress make it more prone to wear.

Paragraph 1413(a)(4) Removal From Service

Remedial steps upon identification of apparent deficiency: Proposed paragraph (a)(4) would set out the required next steps to be taken once the competent person performing the inspection has identified an apparent deficiency. Those steps depend upon whether, under § 1926.1413(a)(2), the apparent deficiency falls under Category I, II or III. Under this approach, immediate removal from service would be required for certain deficiencies, while continued use under prescribed circumstances would be allowed for others. This approach was adopted by C-DAC because, in the Committee's collective experience, different types of deficiencies warrant different responses.

As described below, this approach differs somewhat from Subpart N, with its incorporation by reference of ANSI B30.5-1968, as well as ASME B30.5-2004. In addition, certain apparent deficiencies addressed in this proposed rule are not addressed by those consensus standards.

Category I remedial steps: Proposed paragraph (a)(4)(i) sets forth the follow-up to the discovery of a Category I apparent deficiency that would be required. Immediately upon the discovery of such a deficiency, the competent person must determine whether the deficiency is a safety hazard. If it is determined to be a hazard, operations involving the use of the wire rope would be prohibited until one of two responses is taken—the rope is replaced or the deficiency, if localized (and not due to power line contact), is removed by severing the rope in two so that the undamaged portion can be used. The provision also would prohibit joining lengths of rope by splicing.

The Committee found that the likelihood of significant damage from power line contact is so great that, after such contact, it is imperative that the rope be removed from service. Also, it determined that splicing is not a safe practice and should therefore be prohibited.

The Category I deficiencies, except for damage from significant corrosion or an electric arc, are currently addressed by Subpart N through incorporation by reference of section 5-2.4 of ASME B30.5-1968. That ANSI standard requires the deficiencies to be evaluated (by an “appointed or authorized person”) and a determination made as to whether continued use of the rope would constitute a safety hazard. A similar provision is contained in ASME B30.5-2004. These provisions imply, but do not explicitly state, that a rope constituting a safety hazard must not be used. The proposed standard would explicitly state this prohibition.

Category II remedial steps: Proposed paragraphs (a)(4)(ii) and (iii) establish the procedures to be followed once Category II apparent deficiencies have been identified. This category of deficiencies includes wire rope that has diameter reduction and/or visible broken wires as described in proposed § 1926.1413(a)(2)(ii). Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(ii) sets forth two alternative options for the employer—Option A or B—when such a deficiency is identified.

Under Option A, an employer must consider the wire rope to be a safety hazard where the deficiency meets the wire rope manufacturer's established criterion for removal or “meets a different criterion that the wire rope manufacturer has approved in writing for that specific wire rope.” In such instances, operations involving the use of the wire rope in question are prohibited until it is replaced or severed as provided in § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B).

Option B would allow limited continued use of the wire rope with an identified Category II apparent deficiency provided the employer ensures the procedures specified in § 1926.1413(a)(4)(iii) are met. Under 1926.1413(a)(4)(iii), a qualified person first assesses the deficiencies in light of the load and other conditions of use and determines that continued use is safe as long as the conditions established in this paragraph are met.

These conditions include (as established by the qualified person) the parameters for use of the rope, including a reduced maximum rated load, the number of broken wires and/or the diameter reduction that will require the rope to be taken out of service (or repaired in accordance with proposed 1926.1413(4)(i)(A) or (B)), and a specific time limit, not to exceed 30 days from the date the deficiency was first identified, to replace the rope or sever the damaged portion in accordance with 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B).

The C-DAC draft, at paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(C), would also have allowed the qualified person to specify the number of broken strands that would require the equipment to be taken out of service. However, as discussed above, under 1926.1413(a)(2)(iii)(C), a single broken strand is a Category III apparent deficiency that requires the equipment to be immediately removed from service until the rope is replaced or the deficiency severed, in which case the undamaged part of the rope may continue to be used. Because the proposed rule prohibits any use of a Start Printed Page 59779wire rope with a broken strand, OSHA has deleted the words “broken strands” from 1926.1413(a)(4)(iii)(C).

Once the qualified person has established the conditions for continued use of the rope, the workers who are to conduct the shift inspections must be notified of the qualified person's determinations. In addition, the qualified person's procedures and findings must be documented. The Committee included this documentation provision because the person conducting the shift inspections would need to be able to refer to the parameters set by the qualified person.

29 CFR Part 1926 subpart N, in § 1926.550(a)(7), currently requires that ropes with the same deficiencies that would fall under the proposed rule's Category II (as well as heat damage, which would be a Category I deficiency) be removed from service. Section 2.4.3(a) of ASME B30.5-2004 allows the rope to be used to the end of the work shift based on the judgment of a qualified person.

The Committee determined that the alternative measures specified in Option B are sufficiently comprehensive and specific to ensure that the rope's continued use for up to 30 days would be safe.

OSHA notes that the remedial steps for Category II apparent deficiencies do not, unlike those for Category I and III apparent deficiencies, state explicitly that splicing of wire rope is prohibited. Instead, § 1926.1413(a)(4)(ii)(A) states that, if a Category II apparent deficiency is a safety hazard, continued use of the rope is prohibited unless “the damage is removed in accordance with § 1926.1413(4)(i)(B),” which applies to Category I deficiencies. Proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B) includes a prohibition against splicing that C-DAC intended to apply to Category II deficiencies, but the language “damage is removed” in proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(ii)(A) could, in the absence of an explicit prohibition against splicing in that paragraph, arguably be read to mean that the rope could be severed and the undamaged portions spliced. To make clear C-DAC's intent that the anti-splicing provision of § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B) applies to Category II, OSHA has modified the C-DAC language for proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(ii)(B) as follows:

(ii) If a deficiency in Category II is identified, the employer shall comply with Option A of this section or Option B of this section, as follows:

(A) Option A. Consider the deficiency to constitute a safety hazard where it meets the wire rope manufacturer's established criterion for removal from service or meets a different criterion that the wire rope manufacturer has approved in writing for that specific wire rope. If the deficiency is considered a safety hazard, operations involving use of the wire rope in question shall be prohibited until the wire rope is replaced, or the damage is removed in accordance with all of the requirements and restrictions in paragraph (4)(i)(B) of this section.

OSHA has made similar changes to proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(iii)(C) & (D).

Category III remedial steps: Proposed paragraph (a)(4)(iv) would establish the procedure for dealing with identified apparent deficiencies that fall within Category III. These deficiencies include a broken strand, electrical contact with a power line, and core protrusion or other distortion in rotation resistant rope indicating core failure. This proposed paragraph would prohibit operations involving the use of the wire rope until either the wire rope is replaced or (except where there has been power line contact) severed in two, so that the undamaged portion can be used. Joining lengths of wire rope by splicing would be prohibited (see discussion above of proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B)).

Neither Subpart N nor ANSI B30.5-1968 addresses these apparent deficiencies. However, the Committee noted that section 5-2.4.2(a) of ASME B30.5-2000 lists “broken or cut strands” and “core failure in rotation resistant ropes” as deficiencies that may be an immediate hazard. (ASME B30.5-2004 contains the same characterization of these deficiencies as the 2000 version). The Committee believed that ropes with Category III deficiencies must not be used because of the high potential for rope failure.

Proposed paragraph (a)(4)(v) would require that where a wire rope is required to be removed from service under this proposed section, the equipment (as a whole) or the hoist with that wire rope shall be tagged-out as provided in proposed § 1926.1417(f)(1) until the wire rope is replaced or repaired. Neither Subpart N, with its incorporated reference to ASME B30.5-1968, nor ASME B30.5-2004 contains a similar tag-out provision specific to wire rope. The Committee believed that this would be an efficient and effective way of preventing employees from activating equipment (or the affected hoist) that has a wire rope with an identified hazard.

Paragraph 1413(b) Monthly Inspection

Proposed paragraph (b) would require a monthly inspection of wire rope. The monthly inspection would be, as explained below, a documented shift inspection. C-DAC decided to keep the timing of this inspection (as well as the level of scrutiny required and the expertise required of the inspector) parallel with the general inspection requirements in § 1926.1412 to provide for an efficient inspection process and thus enhance compliance. A monthly wire rope inspection is currently required by Subpart N's incorporation by reference of ASME B30.5-1968.

Proposed paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) would require the monthly inspection to be conducted in the same manner as the shift inspection under § 1926.1413(a). Thus, the monthly inspection would be a visual inspection conducted by a competent person for the same types of apparent deficiencies noted in the wire rope shift inspection.

It should be noted that the reference in proposed § 1926.1413(b)(2) of the C-DAC Consensus Document to “paragraph 1413(a)(3)” has been corrected in the proposed rule to refer to § 1926.1413(a)(4), which contains the relevant provisions governing corrective actions.

Proposed paragraph (b)(3) would require the monthly inspection to be documented in the same manner as required by paragraph § 1926.1412(e)(3) for the monthly general inspection. C-DAC wanted to keep this requirement parallel with the monthly general inspection provision in order to reduce paperwork and confusion, and facilitate compliance.

Specifically, for the general monthly inspection, § 1926.1412(e)(3) provides that the “employer that conducts the inspection” must provide documentation that reflects the items checked with results, the name and signature of the inspector, and the date. Similar requirements are set forth in ASME B30.5-1968.

Proposed paragraph 1412(e)(3) also specifies that the documentation be retained for not less than three-months. The Committee believed that the proposed three-month retention period would provide sufficient overlap to avoid gaps in information and thus provide a tracking mechanism for developing problem areas.

Paragraph 1413(c) Annual/Comprehensive

Proposed paragraph 1413(c) would require an annual inspection (at least every 12 months) for wire rope, conducted by a qualified person. The annual inspection would be considerably more thorough and comprehensive than the shift and monthly inspections required by proposed § 1926.1413(a) and (b). In Start Printed Page 59780addition, it would be conducted by a “qualified person,” who would have greater expertise than the “competent person” who must conduct the shift and monthly inspections.

The timing and inspector qualifications for the annual wire rope inspection coincide with those for the general equipment annual/comprehensive inspection. C-DAC believed that the use of corresponding timeframes and personnel will allow inspections to be conducted efficiently and thereby promote effectiveness and compliance.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(1), all apparent deficiencies and critical review items required to be checked in a shift inspection would have to be checked in the annual/comprehensive inspection (see § 1926.1413(a)(2) and (a)(3)). In addition, under proposed § 1926.1413(c)(2), a complete and thorough inspection, covering the surface of the entire length of the wire ropes, would be required. In addition to inspecting in this manner for the types of deficiencies listed in § 1926.1413(a)(2), under proposed § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(A), the qualified person would be required to give particular attention to the critical review items listed in § 1926.1413(a)(3). Note that the C-DAC document's § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(A) referred to the “critical review items listed in paragraph (a)(2)” instead of § 1926.1413(a)(3). That reference to § 1926.1413(a)(2) was a typographical error, which has been corrected in the proposed rule.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B), particular attention must be given to those sections of wire rope that are normally hidden during shift and monthly inspections. For example, such sections would include parts of the rope that form the lower wraps on the boom hoist drum and which would not be visible unless the drum is in a very low angle position. The parts of the rope that are normally inside a cowling or covered area would be another example of such sections.

Similarly, proposed paragraphs (c)(2)(ii)(C) through (F) require particular attention to wire rope in contact with saddles, equalizer sheaves or other sheaves where rope travel is limited, wire rope subject to reverse bends, wire rope passing over sheaves and wire rope at or near terminal ends, since these areas are more prone to wear.

Unlike the shift and monthly inspections, in which booming down would not be required, booming down would be necessary in order for the inspection to be “complete and thorough, covering the surface of the entire length of the wire rope.”

OSHA notes that the items listed in § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(C) and (F) (“Wire rope in contact with saddles, equalizer sheaves or other sheaves where rope travel is limited” and “Wire rope at or near terminal ends”) are similar to the critical review items listed for shift inspections in proposed § 1926.1413(a)(3)(iv) and (a)(3)(v)(“Wire rope adjacent to end connections” and “Wire rope at and on equalizer sheaves”). Consequently, the Agency is planning to revise the language in proposed § 1926.1413(a)(3)(iv) and (a)(3)(v) to match the language in § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(C) and (c)(2)(ii)(F). OSHA then could delete proposed § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(C) and (c)(2)(ii)(F) because proposed § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(A) incorporates by reference the critical review items listed in § 1926.1413(a)(3)(iv) and (a)(3)(v), thereby making the items listed in proposed paragraphs § 1926.1413(c)(2)(ii)(C) and (c)(2)(ii)(F) redundant and unnecessary. The Agency asks the public for comments on this proposed action.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iii) would establish an exception to the timing of the annual/ comprehensive inspection where that inspection is infeasible due to “existing set-up and configuration of the equipment (such as where an assist crane is needed) or due to site conditions (such as a dense urban setting).” The provision sets a timetable for annual/comprehensive inspections in such cases that requires the inspection to be performed “as soon as it becomes feasible, but no longer than an additional 6 months for running ropes and, for standing ropes, at the time of disassembly.”

This provision reflects the Committee's concern that, particularly in densely developed urban settings, the inability to boom down would prevent the employer from completing a comprehensive wire rope inspection. The Committee considered requiring employers anticipating such situations to provide rope that is new or “like new” when the crane is set-up at the site. Also considered was requiring that an annual inspection be required in such instances before the start of the job. The Committee found these proposals to be impractical because it is difficult for employers to forecast completion timeframes with sufficient accuracy.

The proposed provision is intended to ensure that, under the circumstances where the exception would apply, the required inspection would occur within an appropriate period. The Committee considered a maximum of an additional 6 months appropriate for running ropes in these circumstances. A longer period, up to the time of disassembly, was considered appropriate for standing ropes because these ropes, in the Committee's experience, are less subject to deterioration and wear.

These provisions of the annual/comprehensive inspection differ in various ways from Subpart N annual inspection provisions at § 1926.550(a)(6). The current annual inspection in Subpart N is a “thorough” inspection conducted by a “competent person or by a government or private agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor.” Under this proposal, the annual/comprehensive inspection would be conducted by a qualified person and includes a number of specific items the inspection must encompass. The Committee believed that these changes are needed to reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities from wire rope failure.

Proposed paragraph (c)(3) identifies the next steps that would have to be taken once the qualified person performing the annual/comprehensive inspection discovers a deficiency. The qualified person must immediately determine whether the deficiency constitutes a safety hazard. If it does, under proposed § 1926.1413(c)(3)(i), the rope would either have to be replaced or, if the deficiency is localized, the damaged part may be severed and the undamaged portion may continue to be used. As discussed with respect to proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B), joining lengths of wire rope by splicing would be prohibited.

The proposed standard does not include a prohibition in § 1926.1413(c)(3)(i)(B) against repair of wire rope that contacted an energized power line, although such a prohibition is included in the context of a shift inspection in proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B). The Agency's understanding is that the Committee decided to not include that prohibition in the annual/comprehensive inspection provision because, if an energized power line contact had occurred, the rope would have been removed from service immediately in accordance with proposed § 1926.1413(a)(4)(i)(B).

If the qualified person determines that the deficiency is not currently a safety hazard but needs to be monitored, under proposed § 1926.1413(c)(3)(ii) the employer would be required to ensure that the deficiency is checked in the monthly inspections. This would ensure that, as the deficiency continues to develop, the competent person would pay particular attention to it in the monthly inspections. Once it became a Start Printed Page 59781safety hazard, it would be identified promptly and the appropriate corrective action would be taken.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(4), the annual/comprehensive inspection would be required to be documented according to proposed § 1926.1412(f)(7), which is the documentation provision for the annual general inspection. As with other parallel requirements in this section, the C-DAC intended to ensure consistency with other recordkeeping requirements and thus facilitate compliance.

Proposed paragraph 1412(f)(7), which is incorporated by reference here, would require the employer that is conducting the inspection to document and retain for 12 months, “the items checked and the results of that inspection” and “the name and signature of the person who conducted the inspection and the date.” This documentation requirement differs from 29 CFR Part 1926 subpart N's annual inspection in that Subpart N does not specify the period of time the documentation must be kept and has neither a signature requirement nor a requirement that the inspector be named. The Committee believed that a 12 month retention period would ensure that the employer would be able to refer to the last annual/comprehensive inspection to help track the rate of progression of a deficiency that has not yet developed into a safety hazard. The Committee also believed that it would increase the likelihood of compliance with the annual/comprehensive inspection requirements.

Finally, proposed paragraph 1413(d) would prohibit the use of the type of rope lubricants that hinder inspection. For example, rope lubricants that are opaque or so dark that they mask the wire rope inside them would be of this type. This prohibition is necessary to ensure that the rope lubricant does not hide potential deficiencies.

Section 1414 Wire Rope—Selection and Installation Criteria

This proposed section sets forth requirements for selecting and installing wire rope. It addresses safety concerns related to wire rope selection and installation. In addition, it would provide greater flexibility in the selection process than current requirements under Subpart N. This flexibility reflects and takes advantage of new developments in wire rope technology.

Currently, paragraph 1926.550(a)(7)(vi) of Subpart N prescribes that wire rope safety factors accord with ANSI B30.5-1968 or SAE J959-1966. By contrast, this proposed section would not refer to external standards for wire rope safety factors or other requirements (with a single exception discussed below) and would give greater flexibility in selecting wire rope, particularly rotation resistant wire rope. Specific differences between this proposal and Subpart N are examined in the discussion of the paragraph where the difference arises.

The Agency notes that, in developing the C-DAC consensus document, the Committee appears to have made an inadvertent omission. The wire rope safety factors in section 5-1.7.1 of ANSI B30.5-1968 (which, as noted above, are incorporated by reference in Subpart N) apply irrespective of whether the rope is of the standard type (i.e., rope that is not rotation-resistant) or rotation resistant. However, the C-DAC document contains safety factor (now “design” factor) requirements only for rotation resistant rope [38] ; it has no provisions on design factors for standard rope.

Currently, under Subpart N's incorporation of section 5-1.7.1 of ANSI B30.5-1968, the factors for standard rope vary from a minimum of 2.5 to 3.5 depending on how the rope is used. The 2004 version of section 5-1.7.1 of ASME B30.5 contains similar provisions and the same range of design factors.[39] Given the importance of design factors in the selection of wire rope, OSHA believes that the omission of design factors for standard rope from the C-DAC document was an oversight. OSHA is unaware of any reason to omit design factors for standard rope and plans to include factors for standard rope similar to those in section 5-1.7.1 of ASME B30.5-2004. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

Paragraph 1414(a)

Proposed paragraph (a) would require the selection of replacement wire rope to be in accordance with the requirements of this section and the recommendations of the wire rope manufacturer, the equipment manufacturer, or a qualified person. Currently, Subpart N (through section 5-1.7.2e of ANSI B30.5-1968) limits the employer to using replacement rope of the same size, grade and construction as the rope originally furnished by the crane manufacturer unless otherwise approved by the rope manufacturer. The 2004 version of ASME B30.5, in section 5-2.4.3(d), specifies that replacement rope shall have a strength rating at least as great as the original rope unless a deviation is approved by the equipment manufacturer, the rope manufacturer, or a qualified person.

A number of concerns about the current 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N provision were raised during the C-DAC negotiations. Some members were concerned about delays in obtaining approval from the equipment manufacturer. With respect to older equipment, the manufacturer may no longer be in business. In such cases the employer is unable to get original equipment wire rope information or obtain approval for use of a different specification of rope. Even where the original manufacturer was purchased by another company, the current company may no longer have the original equipment information. Another concern was that the wire rope manufacturer may be unduly conservative in recommending a replacement rope.

The Committee concluded that it would be appropriate to allow a qualified person to determine the replacement rope specifications. The Committee believed that the criteria for being a qualified person are sufficiently rigorous to ensure that such a person's recommendation in this regard would be authoritative with respect to safety.

OSHA notes that proposed paragraph (a)'s mention of only “replacement rope” could mislead some readers to conclude that all of § 1926.1414 applies only to replacement rope. The Committee clearly intended that the remainder of § 1926.1414 apply to both original equipment rope and replacement rope. Rewording § 1926.1414(a) to read as follows would, OSHA believes, make clear the Committee's intent: “Original equipment wire rope and replacement wire rope shall be selected and installed in accordance with the requirements of this section. Selection of replacement wire rope shall be in accordance with the recommendations of the wire rope manufacturer, the equipment manufacturer, or a qualified person.” OSHA requests public comment on such a revision. Start Printed Page 59782

Paragraph 1414(b) Boom Hoist Reeving

Proposed paragraph (b) sets forth two provisions regarding the use of wire rope for boom hoist reeving.

Proposed paragraph (b)(1) would prohibit using fiber core ropes for boom hoist reeving, except for derricks. In the Committee's view, the composition of such ropes makes them prone to degradation that is not completely detectable by normal inspection techniques. The Committee believed that fiber core ropes can be used safely for boom hoist reeving on derricks because the sheaves on derricks are smaller than on cranes, and because they are more pliable, fiber core ropes can accommodate reverse bending. In addition, but less significant, derrick booms are typically shorter in length and have less capacity.

Currently, Subpart N does not contain an express prohibition against the use of fiber core wire ropes for boom hoist reeving. ANSI B30.5-1968, incorporated by reference into Subpart N, only references the effect of temperature on fiber core wire rope.

The 2004 version of ASME B30.5, in section 5.1.7.2(b), prohibits the use of fiber core wire ropes for boom hoist reeving for mobile and locomotive cranes. By contrast, the standard in the ASME B30 series that applies to derricks, ASME B30.6-2003, does not prohibit the use of fiber core wire rope for boom hoist reeving. Thus, the distinction in proposed § 1926.1414(b) between cranes and derricks in this regard is consistent with current national consensus standards.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would prohibit rotation resistant rope from being used for boom hoist reeving except where the requirements of § 1926.1414(c) are met. The Committee believed that only where these provisions are met would the use of rotation resistant rope for this purpose be safe. The particulars of paragraph (c) are discussed next.

Paragraph 1414(c) Rotation Resistant Ropes

Paragraph (c)(1)

Proposed paragraph (c)(1) would classify rotation resistant ropes into three “Types” (“Type I,” “Type II,” and “Type III”).[40] Proposed § 1926.1414(c)(2) specifies use limitations and requirements for each “Type” of wire rope. This approach differs from Subpart N, ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004, which do not distinguish between types of rotation resistant rope.

Technological advances have resulted in different types of what in the past had been referred to as “rotation resistant rope.” The different kinds, which are distinguished in this proposed section as Types I, II and III, have different capabilities, which are described in the definitions in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(1). This proposed section tailors the requirements and limitations to each Type. The Committee believed that this approach would enable the industry to take advantage of technological advances and improve safety.

Paragraph (c)(2) Requirements

Proposed paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (iv) set forth use requirements of the three “Types” of rotation resistant rope in terms of operating design factors (and in some instances activity). The purpose of these provisions is to ensure that the selection of the Type of rotation resistant rope is suitable, in terms of safety, to its use.

The specifics of each paragraph are discussed below. This approach generally differs from Subpart N. The safety factors in ANSI B30.5-1968 and SAE J959-1966 that are incorporated by reference in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N are applicable to wire rope generally; those industry consensus standards do not separately address rotation resistant rope with respect to design factors.

However, sections 5-5-1.7.1(c) and 5-3.2.1.1(d) of ASME B30.5-2004 generally designate a design factor of 5 for the use of rotation resistant rope, reflecting the advances in technology that led the Committee to adopt a similar approach. Further, the 2004 ASME standard allows for deviation from the design factor of 5, but in no case lower than 3.5, when certain specified procedures that are similar to procedures in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(2)(iv) and further described in § 1926.1414(c)(3) are followed.

Proposed paragraphs (c)(2)(i)-(iv) use the phrase “operating design factor.” “Operating” has been included in this phrase to show that the factors specified in these proposed paragraphs are to reflect how the rope is installed on the specific piece of equipment in which it is used. In other words, the operating design factor is calculated based on numerous considerations associated with both the rope's design and how it is installed on the equipment in which it will be used.

The Committee recognized that limiting the use of a particular Type of rotation resistant rope by operating design factors (and, in some instances, by activity) is a new approach. However, the technological developments that have occurred since Subpart N was promulgated have led to a need to tailor use requirements and parameters to the different Types of rotation resistant rope.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(i) would prohibit Types II and III rotation resistant rope with an operating design factor of less than 5 from being used for duty cycle or repetitive lifts. The Committee believed that such ropes are inappropriate for this type of use, which subjects the rope to high levels of stress generally and/or concentrates wear in particular sections of the rope.[41]

While not addressed in the current Subpart N, a similar limitation applies to rotation resistant rope (though not limited by Type) in section 5-3.2.1.1(d)(3) of ASME B30.5-2004.

This prohibition would not apply to Type I rotation resistant rope because the Committee believed that it is significantly more resistant to rotation or torque compared with Types II and III. This reduces Type I's potential for internal wear during use and moves degradation from the inner wires to the outer wires, where damage is more easily detected during wire rope inspections. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that Type I rope can safely be used for duty cycle and repetitive lifts at an operating design factor below 5 (but no less than 3.5), as specified in proposed 1926.1414(c)(2)(ii).

The Committee's understanding of “duty cycle” in this context is a continuous operation in which approximately the same type and weight of load is handled. For example, dredging with a clamshell is duty cycle work. “Repetitive lifts” refers to a continuous operation with loads that may vary in size and weight. For example, steel erection work typically involves repetitive lifts of various size and configurations of structural steel members. It is the Agency's understanding that these definitions are widely understood in the industry. However, OSHA believes it is appropriate to include them in § 1926.1401, Definitions, to avoid any misunderstanding as to their meaning in this standard. OSHA requests public comment on this issue.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would require that all rotation resistant ropes Start Printed Page 59783have an operating design factor of no less than 3.5. As discussed above, some rotation resistant ropes—Types II and III—would have to have an operating design factor of no less than 5 when used for duty cycle or repetitive lifts. Apart from those uses, under proposed § 1926.1414(c)(2)(ii), the lowest operating design factor that would be allowed for both Types II and III, as well as Type I, would be 3.5.

This provision recognizes that the use of rotation resistant rope at operating design factors below 5 (but in no case below 3.5) is permissible, although proposed paragraphs (c)(2)(i) (discussed above), (iii) and (iv) would set limitations and conditions. The Committee was cognizant of the fact that section 5-3.2.1.1(d) of ASME B30.5-2004 also allows rotation resistant rope to be used at a design factor as low as 3.5 under similarly restricted circumstances.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iii) would require the operating design factor for Type I rotation resistant rope to be no less than 5 except where the wire rope manufacturer and the equipment manufacturer approve a different design factor in writing. (Note that, under proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii), the operating design factor would be prohibited from being less than 3.5.) The Committee believed that, in light of the design of Type I rope, where there is approval for the operating design factor by both the wire rope manufacturer and equipment manufacturer, the use of the rope would be safe.

The Committee considered concerns about the fact that, in the future, there may be many new Type I ropes on the market, and the manufacturer may not have tested them; this could lead to difficulty in obtaining manufacturer approval for an operating design factor less than 5. However, in the Committee's judgment, the manufacturer's expertise regarding the particular equipment is essential in this instance to ensure that use of such rope would be safe.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iv), Types II and III rotation resistant rope would be required to have an operating design factor of no less than 5 except when used for non-duty cycle and non-repetitive lifts, and where the requirements of § 1926.1414(c)(3)(i)—(iii) are met. When these exceptions apply, proposed § 1926.1414(c)(2)(ii) would prohibit the operating design factor from being less than 3.5.

This proposed paragraph reflects the Committee's belief that there is a greater likelihood of internal damage in Type II and Type III rotation resistant rope when used with an operating design factor lower than 5. However, the Committee's view is that where the additional precautions in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(3) are met, its use would be safe.

As stated above, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N is dissimilar from this paragraph in that it does not contain a specific operating design factor for rotation resistant rope and does not otherwise differentiate between rotation resistant wire ropes. This provision is, however, similar to section 5-3.2.1.1(d) in ASME B30.5-2004 which, while not differentiating by “Type,” does allow the use of rotation resistant rope with an operating design factor of less than 5 where conditions similar to those included in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(3) are instituted.

Paragraph (c)(3)

This proposed paragraph specifies additional requirements that must be met when Types II and III are used with an operating design factor of between 3.5 and 5 (for non-duty cycle, non-repetitive lifts). The Committee believed that these additional requirements are needed to ensure that use of such ropes would be safe.

Specifically, under proposed § 1926.1414(c)(3)(i), an inspection of the rope by a qualified person in accordance with § 1926.1413(a) would be required, with its use allowed only if that person determines there are no deficiencies constituting a hazard (with the presence of more than one broken wire in any one rope lay considered a hazard). Because of the lower operating design factor of these ropes, the Committee believed that the expertise of a qualified person is needed to ensure that there are no deficiencies that constitute a hazard. Similarly, even one broken wire in any one rope lay would be considered a hazard.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(3)(ii), operations would have to be conducted in a manner and at speeds that minimize dynamic effects. Dynamic effects are the additional forces exerted on the rope due to dynamics like acceleration and deceleration. Such effects need to be minimized because they increase the stress on the rope.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii), each lift would have to be documented in the monthly and annual inspection records, with such use to be considered by the qualified person in allowing subsequent use of the rope. The Committee considered this an important step because the more times the rope is used, the greater the likelihood that degradation would have occurred. Requiring each such lift to be documented in the monthly and annual inspection records would ensure that this information is available to the qualified person when that person makes his or her inspections and assessments under proposed § 1926.1414(c)(3)(i) and (ii).

Paragraph (c)(4) Additional Requirements for Rotation Resistant Rope for Boom Hoist Reeving

Proposed paragraph (c)(4)(i) would prohibit rotation resistant rope from being used for boom hoist reeving except where the requirements of proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii) are met. Currently, Subpart N, through its incorporation by reference of section 5-1.7.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968, prohibits the use of rotation resistant rope for boom hoist reeving under all circumstances. This prohibition reflects the fact that rotation resistant rope used for boom hoist reeving tends to twist and thereby suffer internal damage when it passes over sheaves that are close together.

In reviewing this prohibition, the Committee noted that this problem is reduced when load hoists using rotation resistant rope are used as boom hoists for attachments such as luffing attachments or boom and mast attachment systems because the sheaves are not as close together in these applications and the twisting forces are therefore lower.

The Committee concluded that safety would not be compromised in such circumstances as long as the conditions in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii) were met. The Committee also believed that the exception would serve a practical purpose, especially when using attachments such as luffing jibs. The auxiliary hoist is typically used as a boom hoist for such attachments, and is normally rigged with rotation resistant rope. The exception enables the employer to avoid the need to change the rope when using such attachments when safety could be assured by meeting the specified conditions for its use. Note that section 5-1.7.2 of ASME B30.5-2004 also allows rotation resistant rope to be used for boom hoist reeving when conditions similar to those in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii) are met.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(A), the drum must have a first layer rope pitch diameter of not less than 18 times the nominal diameter of the rope used. A first layer rope pitch diameter less than that could damage the rope.

Under proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(B), the requirements of § 1926.1426(a) and (b) would have to be Start Printed Page 59784met.[42] Section 1926.1426(a) prohibits boom free fall for equipment manufactured prior to October 31, 1984 and restricts the circumstances under which a free falling boom may be used for equipment manufactured before that date. By saying that paragraph 1426(a) applies “irrespective of the date of manufacture,” proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii)(B) makes clear that, when rotation resistant rope is used for boom hoist reeving, boom free fall is prohibited for all equipment under all circumstances. The reference to § 1926.1426(b) requires the boom hoist to have a secondary mechanism to prevent free fall in the event the primary system fails. These provisions would prevent the rope from being subjected to the shock load forces that would occur in a boom free fall when the rope arrests the fall.

The C-DAC draft of proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(C) incorporated by reference the provisions in ASME B30.5-2004 at sections 5-1.3.2(a), (a)(2) through (a)(4), and (b) through (d).[43] (Note that, at the time the C-DAC document was completed, the most current version of ANSI/ASME B30.5 was the 2000 version. Since that time the 2004 version has been issued. The referenced provisions are identical in both versions).

These provisions of section 5-1.3.2 (load hoist mechanisms) of the ASME standard provide:

* * * * *

(a) Load Hoist Drums. The load hoist drum assemblies shall have power and operational characteristics sufficient to perform all load lifting and lowering functions required in crane service when operated under recommended conditions.

* * * * *

(2) Load hoist drums shall have rope capacity with the recommended rope size and reeving to perform crane service within the range of boom lengths, operating radii, and vertical lifts specified by the manufacturer.

(a) No less than two full wraps of rope shall remain on the drum when the hook is in the extreme low position.

(b) The drum end of the rope shall be anchored to the drum by an arrangement specified by the crane or rope manufacturer.

(c) The drum flange shall extend a minimum of 1/2 inch (13 mm) over the top layer of rope at all times.

(3) The load hoist drums shall provide a first layer rope pitch diameter of not less than 18 times the nominal diameter of the rope used.

(4) A means controllable from the operator's station shall be provided to hold the drum from rotating in the lowering direction and be capable of holding the rated load without further action by the operator. Foot-operated brakes having a continuous mechanical linkage between the actuating and braking means, capable of transmitting full braking force and equipped with a positive mechanical means to hold the linkage in the applied position, meet this requirement.

* * * * *

(b) Load Hoist Brakes.

(1) When power-operated brakes having no continuous mechanical linkage between the actuating and braking means are used for controlling loads, an automatic means shall be provided to set the brake, to prevent the load from falling in the event of loss of brake control power.

(2) Foot-operated brake pedals shall be constructed so that the operator's feet, when in proper position, will not slip off, and a means shall be provided for holding the brakes in the applied position without further action by the operator.

(c) Power Controlled Lowering. When provided, a power-controlled lowering system shall be capable of handling rated loads and speeds as specified by the manufacturer. Such a system is recommended to assist in precision lowering and to reduce demand on the load brake.

(d) Cylinders with Rope Reeving. Cranes using a load hoist mechanism with hydraulic cylinder(s) and rope reeving shall have power and operational characteristics sufficient to perform all load lifting and lowering functions required in crane service when operated under recommended conditions. Sheaves used in multiple rope reeving shall have a pitch diameter not less than 16 times the nominal diameter of the rope and shall comply with para. 5-1.7.4.

Upon reviewing these provisions, OSHA believes that two changes need to be made to the incorporation recommended by C-DAC. First, the second sentence of section 5-1.3.2(c) is stated as a recommendation rather than a mandatory requirement. OSHA believes it would be confusing to incorporate a non-mandatory recommendation into this standard. Therefore, rather than incorporating that provision by reference, OSHA is adding a new paragraph (G) to § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii) that incorporates only the mandatory first sentence of section 5-1.3.2(c) of ASME B30.5: “When provided, a power-controlled lowering system shall be capable of handling rated loads and speeds as specified by the manufacturer.”

The second change pertains to the final sentence of section 5-1.3.2(d) of ASME B30.5. That sentence's requirement of a minimum pitch diameter of 16 times the nominal diameter of the rope varies from the requirement of proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii)(D), discussed next, that the minimum pitch diameter be 18 times the rope's nominal diameter. The variation is due to the fact that section 1.3.2(d) of ASME B30.5 does not apply solely to rotation resistant rope, as does this paragraph. Although it is possible to comply with a minimum pitch diameter of both 16 and 18 times the nominal diameter of the rope by adhering to the value of 18, OSHA believes it would be confusing to include requirements giving both values. Accordingly, OSHA is modifying the incorporation by reference recommended by C-DAC so that, in this proposed rule, § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii)(C) reads as follows:

The requirements in ASME B30.5-2004 Section 5-1.3.2 (a), (a)(2)-(a)(4), (b), and (d), except that the minimum pitch diameter for sheaves used in multiple rope reeving is 18 times the nominal diameter of the rope used instead of the value of 16 specified in section 5-1.3.2(d).

Proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(D) provides that all sheaves used in the boom hoist reeving system shall have a rope pitch diameter of not less than 18 times the nominal diameter of the rope used.

Proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(E) provides that the operating design factor of the boom hoist reeving system shall be not less than five. In this paragraph and the next one as well, OSHA has changed the C-DAC term “design factor” to “operating design factor.” OSHA made this change so that the terminology in these two paragraphs would be consistent with that in proposed paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section. OSHA requests public comment on whether there is any reason for using different terminology in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(4)(ii)(E) and (F) than in proposed § 1926.1414(c)(2) and (3).

Proposed paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(F) provides that the operating design factor for these ropes shall be the total minimum breaking force of all parts of rope in the system divided by the load imposed on the rope system when supporting the static weights of the structure and the crane rated load. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the methodology for computing the operating design factors is clear and the operating design factor requirements specified in the proposed standard achieve their intended effect.

Paragraph 1414(d)

Proposed paragraph (d) would require that wire rope clips used with wedge sockets be attached to the unloaded dead end of the rope; however, the provision also permits the use of Start Printed Page 59785devices specifically designed for dead-ending rope in a wedge socket. The Committee believed that this provision is necessary to ensure attachment strength, reliability and prevention of cable damage.

Paragraph 1414(e)

Proposed paragraph (e) states that socketing shall be done in the manner specified by the manufacturer of the wire rope or fitting. This is a clearer version of the provision in section 5-1.7.2b of ANSI B30.5-1968, which refers to the manner specified by the manufacturer of the assembly.

Paragraph 1414(f)

Proposed paragraph (f) specifies that prior to cutting wire rope, seizings must be placed on each side of the point to be cut, with the length and number of seizings determined in accordance with the wire rope manufacturer's instructions. Seizings are needed to hold the wire in the strands and the strands in place during handling while cutting. This keeps the rope beyond the area of the cut intact. This provision differs from both section 5.2.4.3(c) of ANSI B30.5-1968 (incorporated by reference into 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N) and from section 5-2.4.4(c) of ASME B30.5-2004, which set forth specific seizing requirements based upon whether the rope is preformed and the rope's diameter.

In Committee's experience, the instructions and procedures for seizing differ among various wire rope manufacturers. It concluded that the most appropriate approach would be to require that, beyond specifying that seizings be placed on each side of the point to be cut, which is always necessary, the length and number of seizings be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The Committee decided to require employers to follow the manufacturer's instructions because it believed that wire rope manufacturers have the knowledge and expertise to best determine the length and number of seizings that are needed to maintain the integrity of their wire ropes during cutting.

Section 1415 Safety Devices

This section sets forth the proposed requirements for equipping cranes and derricks with certain safety devices.

The safety devices addressed by this section are devices that C-DAC believed are essential for the safe operation of cranes and derricks and therefore, required to be present and in proper working order during all equipment operations with no alternative measures permitted. Those devices considered less critical to equipment safety are designated as operational aids and are governed by proposed § 1926.1416. That section allows for equipment to continue operating if the operational aid fails or malfunctions but requires certain temporary alternative protective measures in such cases. Those devices designated as safety devices in this section are so essential and integral to safe equipment operation that C-DAC determined that there is no acceptable alternative to having them in proper working order.

Paragraph 1415(a) Safety Devices

Proposed paragraph (a) lists the safety devices that would be required on all equipment covered by this Subpart and any specifications and conditions applicable to those devices (including the exemption of certain equipment from the requirements of the listed devices).

Crane Level Indicator: Proposed paragraph (a)(1) would require that a crane level indicator be on all equipment covered under this subpart. The Agency is proposing this requirement based upon the Committee's belief that level equipment is a key factor in ensuring crane and derrick safety. Using a crane level indicator is necessary because it has the requisite accuracy for leveling the equipment. C-DAC members stressed the need to use a crane level indicator because, if the equipment is not properly leveled, it will not have all the capacities indicated in the load charts. Reliance on the charts in such situations could cause the equipment to overturn or otherwise fail.

C-DAC discussions also raised two significant issues in applying the (a)(1) requirement. First, as stated in § 1926.1415(a)(1)(i), the proposal specifies that a crane level indicator must either be built into the equipment or available on it. The Committee believed that either option accomplishes the purpose of enabling the employer to determine if the equipment is level. Second, as covered in § 1926.1415(a)(1)(ii), the Committee believed that tagging out or removing deficient built-in crane level indicators is necessary. This provision addresses the hazard posed by false readings.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(iii) would exempt portal cranes,[44] derricks, floating cranes/derricks and land cranes/derricks on barges, pontoons, vessels, or other means of flotation from the requirements of § 1926.1415(a)(1). C-DAC members indicated that these types of equipment are leveled upon installation and then fixed in place, precluding the need for a crane level indicator.[45]

Boom Stops: Proposed paragraph (a)(2) requires boom stops on all equipment except for derricks and hydraulic booms. “Boom stop” is defined in proposed § 1926.1401 as a device that restricts the boom from moving above a certain maximum angle and toppling over backwards. This definition is derived from the SC&RF Handbook. The term includes all devices that meet the definition, including boom stops, (belly straps with struts/standoff), telescoping boom stops, attachment boom stops, and backstops. As the definition indicates, a boom stop is needed to prevent a boom from tipping backwards past its designed range during equipment operations. Several Committee members suggested exempting certain older equipment from being retrofitted with boom stops. However, C-DAC concluded that the significant safety issue at stake and the fact that installing boom stops is not technically difficult justify requiring them on older equipment.

As noted above, the Agency proposes to exempt derricks and hydraulic cranes from the requirements of 1926.1415(a)(2). The derrick boom overturn issue is covered in proposed 1926.1436(f)(2). Hydraulic cranes are exempted because these cranes contain the equivalent function of boom stops in that the hydraulic cylinder physically prevents the boom from moving backward past its designed range.

Jib Stops: “Jib stop” is defined in § 1926.1401 as the same type of device as a boom stop but used for a fixed or luffing jib. The definition notes that the device is also referred to as a “jib backstop.” Proposed § 1926.1415(a)(3) would require jib stops on all equipment where a jib is attached, except for derricks. Jib stops perform the same function for jibs as boom stops perform for booms, and are similarly necessary. The proposal exempts derricks from this requirement because jibs are not installed on derricks.

Foot Pedal Brake Locks: Proposed paragraph (a)(4) would require that equipment with foot pedal brakes have Start Printed Page 59786locks, except for portal cranes and floating cranes. Such locks are needed to prevent the unintentional disengagement of a foot pedal brake, which could lead to unintended equipment movement and consequent injuries and fatalities. Due to the physical effort needed to keep the pedal engaged, this is particularly important where the brake is applied for long periods of time.

The rationale for exempting portal cranes and floating cranes from this requirement discussed by the Committee was that there are instances in which, due to the pitching of a floating crane and the pitching of the vessel or object in the water with which a portal crane works, the operator may have to immediately release the brake. The concern is that, if the foot pedal brake lock had been activated, the operator may not be able to release the brake quickly enough in such a situation to prevent the equipment from being overloaded or to prevent unintended movement of the load.

Upon review of the exemption in the provision, the Agency has realized that C-DAC assumed that the locking device would in all cases be of the type that is located on the brake pedal. That type of device can be difficult to disengage, thereby delaying the operator's ability to release the brake. However, it is OSHA's understanding that there are other types of brake locking mechanisms that do not present this problem (for example, a brake lock that is hand-actuated). It therefore appears that the exemption may not be needed.[46] The Agency requests public comment on changing proposed paragraph § 1926.1415(a)(4) by deleting the exemption and requiring a hoist brake locking mechanism for all cranes.

Integral Holding Device/Check Valve: Proposed paragraph (a)(5) would require that hydraulic outrigger jacks have an integral holding device/check valve. Such a device is necessary to prevent the outrigger jack from collapsing in the event of a hydraulic failure.

Rail Clamps and Rail Stops: Proposed paragraph (a)(6) specifies that equipment on rails have rail clamps and rail stops, except for portal cranes. A rail clamp restricts the equipment from lifting off the rails. The rail stop prevents the equipment from moving further than a specific point on the rails. Portal cranes are exempt from the requirements of § 1926.1415(a)(6) because these cranes typically are equipped with a parking brake that provides the equivalent function of preventing the crane from unintentionally moving along the rails.

Paragraph 1415(b) Proper Operation Required

Proposed paragraph (b) would prohibit the operation of the equipment if any of the safety devices listed in this section are not in proper working order. This paragraph reflects the Committee's belief, discussed above, that proper operation of these devices is critical to safe use of the equipment.

Section 1416 Operational Aids

This section sets forth the proposed requirements for equipping cranes and derricks with certain operational aids. “Operational aids” are defined in § 1926.1401 as “devices that assist the operator in the safe operation of the crane by providing information or automatically taking control of a crane function. These include, but are not limited to, the devices listed in § 1926.1416 (‘listed operational aids’).” This definition is similar to that in section 5-0.2.2 of ASME B30.5-2004.

As discussed above in regard to proposed § 1926.1415, the Committee believed that the devices addressed in § 1926.1416 enhance safety. However, they are less essential to the safe operation of equipment than the safety devices addressed by § 1926.1415 because of the availability of alternatives that are sufficient on a temporary basis. The temporary alternative measures are precautions that were historically used prior to the widespread availability and use of these operational aids.

Paragraphs 1416(a) and (b)

Under proposed paragraphs (a) and (b), operational aids would be required on all equipment unless otherwise specified, and would have to be in proper working order unless the employer uses specified temporary alternative protection. Section 1926.1416(b) provides that if the crane/derrick manufacturer specifies more protective alternative measures than those listed in the standard, the employer would be required to follow them.

Committee discussions of these provisions primarily focused on the use of manufacturer procedures as temporary alternative measures. The Committee considered recommending that the Agency require employers to follow any temporary alternative measures specified by the equipment manufacturer in addition to those required by this proposal. However, instead of requiring additional measures, the Committee decided that employers should be required to rely solely on measures specified by the manufacturer but only if those measures are more protective than those specified in the standard.

Paragraph 1416(c)

Proposed paragraph (c) states that if a listed operational aid stops working properly during operations, the operator shall safely stop operations until the temporary alternative measures are implemented or the device is again working properly. It further provides that, if a replacement part is no longer available, a substitute device that performs the same type of function may be used, and the use of such a device is not considered a modification under proposed § 1926.1434, Equipment modifications. Section 1926.1434 applies to modifications or additions which affect the capacity or safe operation of the equipment unless certain steps are taken to have the modifications or additions approved.

The Committee believed that it is unnecessary to apply § 1926.1434 to the use of a substitute operational aid because, as long as the substitute device works properly, its use will not affect the capacity or safe operation of the equipment.

Paragraph 1416(d) Category I Operational Aids and Alternative Measures

The proposal splits operational aids into two categories, with different amounts of time permitted for temporary alternative measures to be used in place of the listed operational aids. Category I operational aids, which are addressed by proposed paragraph (d), would set a 7-day time limit for repairing the deficient aid, and Category II, addressed below under proposed paragraph (e), has a 30-day time limit. The allowance of a 30-day time period for Category II operational aids reflects the Committee's belief that these aids are less critical to equipment safety than those in Category I.

Both Category I and II would have an exception to the repair time limits. For Category I, if the employer documents that it has ordered the necessary part within 7 days of the occurrence of the deficiency, the repair would have to be completed within 7 days of receipt of the part. For Category II, if the employer documents that it has ordered the necessary part within 7 days of the occurrence of the deficiency and the part is not received in time to complete the repair in 30 days, the repair shall be completed within 7 days of receipt of Start Printed Page 59787the part. The Committee believed that these time frames set limitations that are both feasible and reflective of the amount of time that it is appropriate to rely on the alternative measures in each category.

During the SBREFA Panel process, one Small Entity Representative stated that an extended period of time might be required to determine the appropriate part number for older equipment and that it might therefore not be possible to order a replacement within 7 days. OSHA solicits public comment on the extent to which this is a problem. OSHA further seeks comment on how to accommodate a situation in which ordering a replacement part is hindered because the part number is not readily available. For example, would a parts supplier be able to furnish the correct part if the type of device (e.g., boom hoist limiting device) and the model of the crane are provided?

The SBREFA Panel also questioned whether the number of “days” for ordering parts and completing repairs for operational aids refers to calendar days or business days. Absent a different definition in the standard, OSHA interprets the word “days” to mean “working days” which, as discussed above in relation to proposed § 1926.1407(e), would mean Mondays through Fridays, excluding federal holidays. OSHA solicits public comment on whether a different definition of “days” should apply under this section.

Proposed paragraph (d) lists the required Category I operational aids and the acceptable temporary alternative measures for these aids.

Boom Hoist Limiting Device: Proposed paragraph (d)(1) would require that all equipment manufactured after December 16, 1969 have a boom hoist limiting device. As defined in § 1926.1401, a boom hoist limiting device disengages boom hoist power when the boom reaches a predetermined operating angle and also sets brakes or closes valves to prevent the boom from lowering after power is disengaged. This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook. Section 1926.1401 also explains that the term “boom hoist limiting device” includes boom hoist disengaging device, boom hoist shutoff, boom hoist disconnect, boom hoist hydraulic relief, boom hoist kick-outs, automatic boom stop device, or derricking limiter. A boom hoist limiting device automatically prevents the boom hoist from pulling the boom past the minimum allowable radius (maximum boom angle). If the boom were to be pulled past that point, a failure is likely (for example, the boom could buckle from being forced against the boom stop).

The December 16, 1969 date reflects the effective date of ANSI B30.5-1968. This was the first national consensus standard to require a boom hoist limiting device, and the Committee regarded that date as a reasonable indicator of when the industry began widely manufacturing or equipping cranes and derricks with such devices. Although the ANSI standard was only applicable to crawler, locomotive, and truck cranes, the Committee recommended extending this provision to all equipment based on prevailing industry practice.

The Agency is also proposing three temporary alternative measures [§ 1926.1416(d)(1)(A)-(C)], of which the employer must use at least one upon malfunction of the boom hoist limiting device. These are: Use of a boom angle indicator; clearly marking the boom hoist cable at a point that will give the operator sufficient time to stop the hoist to keep the boom within the minimum allowable radius; and, if a spotter is used, clearly marking the boom hoist cable at a point that will give the spotter sufficient time to signal the operator and have the operator stop the hoist to keep the boom within the minimum allowable radius. C-DAC recommended these measures because historically they were used by employers prior to the development of the boom hoist limiting device. This paragraph further proposes requiring these measures on a permanent basis for those employers operating equipment manufactured on or before December 16, 1969 and not originally equipped with a boom hoist limiting device.

Luffing Jib Limiting Device: Proposed paragraph (d)(2) would require that equipment with a luffing jib have a luffing jib limiting device. As defined in § 1926.1401, a luffing jib limiting device is similar to a boom hoist limiting device, except that it limits the movement of the luffing jib. C-DAC indicated that these two devices function similarly and are distinguished only as to the type of crane extension each is automatically designed to limit: The jib versus the boom. The temporary alternative measures for a luffing jib limiting device are the same as those proposed for a boom hoist limiting device in § 1926.1416(d)(1)(i)(A)-(C).

Anti Two-Blocking Device: Proposed paragraph (d)(3) sets forth the requirements for anti two-blocking devices. “Two blocking” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a condition in which a component that is uppermost on the hoist line such as the load block, hook block, overhaul ball, or similar component, comes in contact with the boom tip, fixed upper block or similar component. This binds the system and continued application of power can cause failure of the hoist rope or other component.” This definition is derived from the SC&RF Handbook. As the definition indicates, two-blocking can result in the crane dropping the load, the headache ball, or another component, creating an extreme hazard to employees below. An anti two-blocking device has been required by § 1926.550(g)(3)(ii)(C) when hoisting personnel since October 3, 1988 but is not otherwise required under 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N. The Committee believed that expanding the use of anti two-blocking devices beyond hoisting personnel is needed to help reduce the number of crane-related injuries and fatalities.

Anti two-block devices are manufactured in two forms: As an automatic prevention device or as a warning device. The automatic prevention device automatically stops two blocking from occurring. The warning device warns the operator when two blocking is about to occur. C-DAC members agreed that the automatic prevention anti two-block device provides better protection for employees, since it automatically stops two-blocking. As discussed below, the proposed standard would ultimately require automatic prevention devices on all equipment under a phase-in schedule. In drafting the schedule, C-DAC took account of the date the national consensus standard, ANSI B30.5, began to require such devices for telescopic boom cranes and the fact that B30.5 has continued to allow lattice boom cranes to be equipped with either prevention devices or warning devices.

Effective February 28, 1992, ASME B30.5 required automatic prevention devices on telescopic boom cranes. At the same time, for lattice boom cranes, ASME B30.5 required two-block protection but allowed greater flexibility, requiring them to be equipped with either automatic prevention devices or warning devices. The additional protection required for telescopic boom cranes in the ASME standard reflects the fact that such cranes are more likely to two-block because telescoping the boom out (an action that does not occur with lattice boom cranes) moves the boom's block closer to the load end of the hoist cable, which can cause two-blocking.

Because February 28, 1992, is the date that ASME B30.5 first required anti two-block devices on telescopic boom cranes and the industry first began widely manufacturing or equipping such cranes Start Printed Page 59788with such devices, proposed § 1926.1416(d)(3)(i) would require automatic prevention devices on all telescopic boom cranes manufactured after February 28, 1992. However, because ASME B30.5 has allowed lattice boom cranes to have either a warning device or an automatic prevention device since February 28, 1992, proposed § 1926.1416(d)(3)(ii)(A) similarly would give employers the option of using either device on lattice boom cranes manufactured between February 28, 1992 and one year after the effective date of this standard.

As noted above, C-DAC believed that the automatic prevention device offers better protection than the warning device. Therefore, to ensure that future cranes are equipped with the preferable automatic prevention device, the proposal would require lattice boom cranes manufactured more than one year after the effective date of this standard to be equipped with an automatic prevention device.

Proposed paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(C) excludes lattice boom equipment used during certain activities from the anti two-block requirements of § 1926.1416(d)(3)(A) and (B). The provision would exempt lattice boom equipment when used for dragline, clamshell (grapple), magnet, drop ball, concrete bucket, and pile driving work because these operations involve heavy repetitive motion, and currently manufactured anti-two block devices used during these activities consistently malfunction (that is, the device “trips” even though a two-block has not occurred) and are frequently damaged.

Lattice boom equipment used during marine operations generally would be exempt because the constant movement of the barge tends to damage the device. Similarly, lattice boom equipment used during container handling work in construction would be exempted because this activity typically involves hoisting containers to and from ships.[47]

However, note that proposed paragraph 1437(f)(1) would require anti two-block devices on floating cranes/derricks and land cranes/derricks on barges when hoisting personnel or hoisting over an occupied coffer dam or shaft. In those situations the exemption would not apply. The Agency believes that the need for anti two-block devices in such situations to prevent employees from being dropped, and to prevent a load from striking employees in the confined work environment of a coffer dam or shaft, outweighs any propensity for damage to the device or unnecessary “tripping” during marine operations.

For lattice boom cranes and derricks, the temporary alternative measure required when an anti two-block device malfunctions is to clearly mark the cable so that it can easily be seen by the operator at a point that will give the operator sufficient time to stop the hoist to prevent two-blocking, or use a spotter to warn the operator to stop the hoist.

For telescopic boom cranes, the temporary alternative measure required would be to clearly mark the cable so that it can easily be seen by the operator at a point that will give the operator sufficient time to stop the hoist to prevent two-blocking and use a spotter when extending the boom. The Committee believed that the alternative measure for telescopic boom cranes needs to have the additional precaution of a spotter when extending the boom because in those cranes two-blocking can occur even when the cable hoist is not being operated. As noted above, telescoping the boom out moves the boom's block closer to the load end of the hoist cable, which can cause two-blocking. A mark on the hoist cable in such instances would not warn the operator that two-blocking is about to occur. Therefore, when extending the boom, a spotter would also have to be used.

Paragraph 1416(e) Category II Operational Aids and Alternative Measures

Proposed paragraph (e) lists the required Category II operational aids and the acceptable temporary alternative measures for these aids. If these aids were to malfunction there would be a 30-day time limit for repair. If the employer documents it has ordered the necessary parts within 7 days of the occurrence of the deficiency and the part is not received in time to complete the repair within 30 days, the repair would be required to be completed within 7 days of receipt of the part.

Boom Angle or Radius Indicator: Proposed paragraph (e)(1) would require a boom angle or radius indicator readable from the operator's station on all equipment. “Boom angle indicator” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a device which measures the angle of the boom relative to the horizontal.” This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook. Knowing the boom angle is necessary to accurately determine the crane's capacity from its load chart. The temporary alternative would be to measure the radii or boom angle with a measuring device.

Jib Angle Indicator: Proposed paragraph (e)(2) would require a jib angle indicator on all equipment with a luffing jib. The temporary alternative would be to measure the radii or jib angle with a measuring device.

Boom Length Indicator: Proposed paragraph (e)(3) would require a boom length indicator on all equipment equipped with a telescopic boom. As defined in § 1926.1401, a boom length indicator “indicates the length of the permanent part of the boom (such as ruled markings on the boom) or, as in some computerized systems, the length of the boom with extensions/attachments.” The length of the boom must be known because it affects the crane's capacity as shown on the load chart. The temporary alternative would be one of the following: mark the boom with measured marks to calculate boom length; calculate boom length from boom angle and radius measurements; or measure the boom with a measuring device.

Load Weighing and Similar Devices: Proposed paragraph (e)(4) would require load weighing and similar devices on all equipment with a rated capacity over 6,000 pounds and manufactured after March 29, 2003, except derricks. (A comparable provision for derricks is in proposed § 1926.1436(f)(3), discussed below.) The framework of this proposed paragraph is similar to the approach taken in section 5-1.9.9.2 of ASME B30.5-2004 with respect to these aids. The framework permits employers to choose to outfit its equipment with either a load weighing device; load moment or rated capacity indicator; or a load moment or rated capacity limiter.

Load moment (or rated capacity) indicator is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a system which aids the equipment operator by sensing the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and indicates to the operator the percentage of capacity at which the equipment is working. Lights, bells, or buzzers may be incorporated as a warning of an approaching overload condition.” This definition is derived from the SC&RF Handbook.

Load moment (or rated capacity) limiter is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a system which aids the equipment operator by sensing the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and when the rated Start Printed Page 59789capacity is reached, it shuts off power to those equipment functions which can increase the severity of loading on the equipment, e.g., hoisting, telescoping out, or luffing out. Typically, those functions which decrease the severity of loading on the equipment remain operational, e.g., lowering, telescoping in, or luffing in.” The proposal permits employers flexibility in choosing which device to employ because the Committee believed that all three devices will help ensure that the equipment does not exceed its capacity and tip over.

This provision would be limited to equipment (other than derricks) manufactured after March 29, 2003. That was the date when ASME B30.5 first called for all mobile cranes with a rated capacity over 6,000 pounds to be equipped with load weighing devices. It therefore reflects when the industry first began widely manufacturing or equipping cranes with load weighing or load moment devices.

Each of these indicators makes it easier for the operator to ensure that the equipment is operated within its capacity. The proposed provision would therefore reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities from tip-over and other incidents resulting from operating equipment beyond its capacity.

Proposed paragraph (e)(5) would require two future operational aids—an outrigger position sensor/monitor and a hoist drum rotation indicator—on all equipment manufactured after January 1, 2008. “Drum rotation indicator” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a device on a crane or hoist which indicates in which direction and at what relative speed a particular hoist drum is turning.” This definition is taken from the SC&RF Handbook. C-DAC believed that these aids will help ensure the safe operation of cranes but found that additional time is needed for the industry to develop them.

The Committee also considered whether a third future operational aid—counterweight sensors—should be required on all equipment manufactured after January 1, 2008. Several Committee members representing crane manufacturers expressed concern as to the difficulty in developing a reliable counterweight sensor presently or in the near future. In light of these technological problems, the Committee did not include these.

Section 1417 Operation

Proposed § 1926.1417 addresses hazards associated with general operation of equipment covered by this standard. Currently, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N primarily addresses safe operation by incorporating national consensus standards and manufacturer recommendations. For example, § 1926.550(b)(2) requires crawler, truck, and locomotive cranes to comply with the operation requirements of ANSI B30.5-1968. The provisions in this proposed section are designed to update such requirements, make them more comprehensive, and state them in a way that is clear and enforceable.

Paragraph 1417(a)

Currently, Subpart N requires employers to comply with manufacturers' operational requirements for hammerhead tower cranes (§ 1926.550(c)(5)) and for floating cranes/derricks (§ 1926.550(f)(2)(iii)) but not for other types of equipment. Proposed § 1926.1417(a) would require employers to comply with the manufacturer procedures applicable to the operational functions of all equipment covered by this proposed standard, including the use of equipment with attachments.

The Committee believed that the manufacturer has a high degree of expertise with respect to the capabilities and limitations of the equipment it has designed and built. Accidents can therefore be prevented by ensuring that the equipment is operated in a manner that is consistent with the manufacturer's procedures. As noted in the discussion of the proposed definition of “procedures” in § 1926.1401, the phrase “manufacturer procedures” is to be interpreted broadly to include all recommendations by the manufacturer regardless of the format of those recommendations.

Paragraph 1417(b) Unavailable Operation Procedures

Paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3). Currently, Subpart N has no provision for developing operational procedures where manufacturer procedures are not available. C-DAC believed that setting requirements to address these situations would help improve safety with respect to the operation of such equipment.

“Unavailable procedures” is defined in proposed § 1926.1401 as meaning procedures that are no longer available from the manufacturer, or have never been available from the manufacturer. C-DAC provided this definition so that employers would understand what constitutes unavailable procedures. For instance, procedures that are in the employer's possession but are not on the job site, would not be considered unavailable under proposed §§ 1926.1417(b) and 1926.1441(c)(2), where the term is used.

Under proposed paragraph (b)(1), in the event that the manufacturer procedures for operation are not available, the employer would be required to develop procedures necessary for the safe operation of the equipment and its attachments. The employer would also be required to ensure compliance with such procedures.

For example, the manufacturers of some old equipment are no longer in business; procedures for that equipment are typically unavailable. Even where the original manufacturer became a part of another company that is still in business, in some cases the successor company no longer has the original manufacturers' procedures for that equipment. In such instances the employer would be required to develop and follow substitute procedures.

Proposed paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) would specify qualifications criteria for those who develop two aspects of the substitute procedures. Specifically, under proposed § 1926.1417(b)(2), procedures for the operational controls would have to be developed by a qualified person. As defined in § 1926.1401 of this proposed standard, “operational controls” are levers, switches, pedals and other devices for controlling equipment operation. The Committee believed that a high level of expertise is needed to develop such procedures in light of both the complexity of the factors that must be considered in developing such procedures and the critical nature of the operational controls.

Under proposed paragraph (b)(3), operational procedures related to equipment capacity would have to be developed and signed by a registered professional engineer familiar with the equipment. The Committee believed that the type and complexity of engineering analysis that is needed to develop safe procedures related to capacity necessitates that this work be done by a registered professional engineer (RPE). In addition, because capacity is so critical to safe operation, the Committee believed that a signature by the RPE is needed to ensure that this work is done with the requisite care.

Paragraph 1417(c) Accessibility of Procedures

Paragraph (c)(1). This proposed paragraph would require employers to provide the operator with ready access in the cab to the procedures applicable to the operation of the equipment, including the following: Rated capacities (load charts), recommended operating speeds, special hazard Start Printed Page 59790warnings, and the instructions and operator's manual.

For the purposes of this proposed standard, “special hazard warnings” are warnings of site-specific hazards (for example, proximity of power lines). C-DAC defines this term in proposed § 1926.1401 to differentiate these site-specific warnings from all other general hazard warnings which are common to typical construction worksites.

Currently, § 1926.550(a)(2) of Subpart N requires rated capacities, recommended operating speeds, and special hazard warnings to be posted on the equipment, and instructions and warnings to be visible at the operator's station. Unlike § 1926.1417(c)(1) of this proposed standard, it does not require the operator's manual to be accessible to the operator.

The Committee believed that the information in these materials, including the operator's manual, is essential for safe crane operation. It is needed to help the operator avoid performing operations beyond a crane's capacity and recommended operating speed, and by increasing operator awareness of special hazards related to a specific piece of equipment.

In addition, the Committee believed that this information needs to be available to the equipment operator in the cab so that the operator can obtain the information as the need arises. If the information were not available in the cab, operations would have to be delayed in order for the operator to leave the cab and obtain the information elsewhere (or for someone else to obtain them and bring them to the operator). The prospect of such a delay would serve as a disincentive to obtaining the information and increase the chance that operations would proceed without it, which could result in injuries or fatalities.

Paragraph (c)(2). Subpart N does not address the issue of load capacities that are available only in electronic form. With the advancement of technology since 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N was promulgated, it has become increasingly common for equipment to be supplied by manufacturers with load capacities in electronic form. Because of the potential for an electronic or other failure to occur that would make that information inaccessible, C-DAC determined that it is necessary to establish requirements to address that problem. Proposed § 1926.1417(c)(2) establishes requirements to address a situation in which electronic or other failure makes such information unavailable.

The Committee agreed that having the load capacities accessible to the operator in the cab is so important, due to this information's direct relationship to preventing overloading, that operations need to shut down without them. Therefore, where load capacities are available in the cab only in electronic form and a failure makes the load capacities inaccessible, this proposed paragraph would require that the operator immediately cease operations or follow safe shut-down procedures until the load capacities become available again (in electronic or other form).

Paragraph 1417(d)

This proposed paragraph would require that operators refrain from engaging in any practice that would divert his or her attention while operating the crane. This would include the use of cell phones except when cell phones are used for signal communications. Operating a crane is a complex task that requires an operator's full attention to be performed safely. This proposed paragraph addresses the risk that an accident can occur if the operator's full attention is not directed toward that task. A similar provision is found in section 5-3.1.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference in Subpart N, although it does not specifically reference the use of cell phones.

Paragraph 1417(e) Leaving Equipment Unattended

Paragraph (e)(1). Currently, under 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N, the operator of a crawler, locomotive, or truck crane is prohibited from leaving the controls while a load is suspended.[48] It is important for the operator to be at the controls for a variety of safety-related reasons. These include making necessary adjustments to keep the load in a safe position, moving the load where necessary for reasons of safety (such as for the safety of employees working with or near the load), and responding to emergencies that may arise during lifting operations.

In the Committee's experience, this requirement is routinely breached when the load is “held suspended,” that is, without need for adjustment of the load's or the equipment's position—for an extended period. In such circumstances, the operator does not manipulate the controls.

In this type of circumstance, the Committee believed that greater safety could be achieved by developing criteria that allow the operator to leave the controls when it is safe to do so rather than to simply continue the existing rule unchanged. (Note that the suspension of working gear, such as slings, spreader bars, ladders, and welding machines, is addressed separately in proposed § 1926.1417(e)(2)).

This proposed paragraph would require that the operator not leave the controls while the load is suspended except when four conditions, outlined in proposed § 1926.1417(e)(1)(i) through (e)(1)(iv), are met. The conditions are as follows:

Paragraph (e)(1)(i). The operator would be required to remain adjacent to the equipment and not engage in any other duties. This paragraph will not only prevent unauthorized use of the crane by persons who are not competent crane operators but also allow the operator to quickly access the controls in case the equipment or load inadvertently moves.

Paragraph (e)(1)(ii). The load is to be held suspended for a period of time exceeding normal lifting operations. As explained above, these are instances when the load is “held suspended,” that is, without need for adjustment of the load's or the equipment's position—for an extended period. These are circumstances in which the operator will not need to manipulate the controls. Such circumstances must be for a period of time in excess of the periods that occur during normal lifting operations.

For example, during the construction of a structure, a large subassembly is being attached to another part of the structure. After the subassembly has been initially connected, it is held suspended (that is, without need for adjustment of position) for support for a protracted period while the final connections are made. This period exceeds normal lifting operations. In this example, the criterion of proposed § 1926.1417(e)(1)(ii) would be met.

Another, contrasting example is the following: A steel structure is being erected. When installing the steel beams, the operator holds the beam suspended (typically for several minutes) while it is initially connected. Holding the beam suspended in such instances is a normal part of the steel erection process. In this example the criterion in proposed § 1926.1417(e)(1)(ii) would not be met and the operator can not leave the controls.

Paragraph (e)(1)(iii). The competent person would have to determine that it is safe for the operator to leave the controls and implement measures Start Printed Page 59791necessary to restrain the boom hoist and telescoping, load, swing, and outrigger functions. This proposed provision addresses the hazard of inadvertent movement while the controls are unattended.

Paragraph (e)(1)(iv). Barricades or caution lines, and notices would have to be erected to prevent all employees from entering the fall zone. Furthermore, under this proposed paragraph no employees would be permitted in the fall zone, including those listed in proposed § 1926.1425(b)(1) through (3), (d), or (e). The Committee concluded that this is necessary because the added margin of safety that results from the operator being at the controls would not be present in these circumstances.

Paragraph (e)(2). As drafted, proposed § 1926.1417(e)(2) reads:

The provisions in paragraph (e) of this section do not apply to working gear (such as slings, spreader bars, ladders, and welding machines) where the load is not suspended over an entrance or exit.

The Agency notes that the reference to “§ 1926.1417(e)” is a drafting error and that the appropriate reference is to paragraph “§ 1926.1417(e)(1).” In addition, the provision currently contains two incidences of the word “not” which could lead to confusion. Therefore, the Agency is considering changing the language to read as follows and requests comment on such a change:

The provisions in § 1926.1417(e)(1) do not apply to working gear (such as slings, spreader bars, ladders, and welding machines) where the working gear is suspended over an area other than an entrance or exit.

The Committee agreed on this paragraph with the understanding that employers frequently leave lightweight items such as slings, ladders, spreader bars, and welding machines suspended in the air overnight in order to prevent theft. These are items whose weight is negligible relative to the capacity of the equipment and whose size is small (the small size means that there will not be a significant sail effect and the rigging needed to attach the item to the hook is not complex).

The Committee recognized that this practice is a safe practice as long as the working gear items are not suspended over an entrance or exit where employees could be exposed to falling object hazards. Thus, this paragraph would allow such items to be held suspended, without the operator at the controls, and without establishing the four conditions set forth in § 1926.1417(e)(1)(i) through (iv), so long as the gear is not suspended over an entrance or exit.

Paragraph 1417(f) Tag-Out

Paragraph 1417(f)(1). Tagging out of service equipment/functions. Where the employer has taken the equipment out of service, this proposed paragraph would require that the employer place a tag in the cab stating that the equipment is out of service and not to be used. Where the equipment remains in service but the employer has taken a function out of service, this proposed paragraph would require that the employer place a tag in a conspicuous position stating that that function is out of service and not to be used. This proposed paragraph is designed to prevent hazards associated with workers inadvertently attempting to use out-of-service equipment or a function that is out of service.

Currently, section 5-2.3.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference in Subpart N, requires “out of order” signs on crawler, locomotive and truck cranes undergoing maintenance. Unlike proposed 1926.1417(f)(1), 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N does not address the situation where the equipment itself is in service but a function is out of service.

Paragraph 1417(f)(2) Response to “Do Not Operate”/Tag-Out Signs

Paragraph 1417(f)(2)(i). If there is a warning sign on the equipment or starting control, proposed paragraph (f)(2)(i) would prohibit the operator from activating the switch or starting the equipment until the sign is removed by someone authorized to remove it or until the operator can verify that (A) no one is servicing, working on, or otherwise in a dangerous position on the machine, and (B) the equipment has been repaired and is working properly. Similarly, under proposed § 1926.1417(f)(2)(ii), when there is a warning sign on any other switch or control, the operator would be prohibited from activating that switch or control until the sign has been removed by an individual authorized to remove it, or until the operator meets the two requirements of paragraph § 1926.1417(f)(2)(i), described above.

These provisions would prevent two types of hazards. First, since the machine is out of service, there is a risk that an employee servicing, working on, or otherwise in a dangerous position on it is not expecting it to be activated and would be injured if it were activated. Second, if an employee does not know that the equipment is malfunctioning or has a function that is not working properly, an employee could inadvertently try to operate it with the result that the equipment will not work as intended, causing unintended movement or a collapse.

Subpart N addresses this issue through section 5-3.1.3g of ANSI B30.5-1968, which states: “If there is a warning sign on the switch or engine starting controls, the operator shall not close the switch or start the engine until the warning sign has been removed by the person placing it there.” Instead of requiring that the sign be removed by the person who placed it, proposed § 1926.1417(f)(2) would permit it to be removed by an authorized person and, as an alternative, permit the operator to start the equipment after verifying that no worker is in a dangerous area and that the equipment has been repaired and is working properly. C-DAC believed that either alternative would achieve the safety purpose of the tag-out because it would ensure that a knowledgeable and responsible person, either the operator or another authorized person, verifies that repairs are complete and all workers are in a safe position before the equipment can be started.

As discussed above, the operator would be permitted to start equipment that is tagged out or activate a tagged-out switch if the procedures specified in proposed § 1926.1417(f)(2)(i) are met. In reviewing this provision, the Agency noted that these procedures are not as comprehensive as those in the general industry standard for the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), which are listed in § 1910.147(e)(3)(i) through (iii).[49] The Agency requests public comment on whether procedures similar to those in paragraphs 1910.147(e)(3)(i) through (iii) [50] would be feasible and appropriate for cranes/derricks used in construction.

Paragraph 1417(g). Before starting the engine, this proposed paragraph would require the operator to verify that all controls are in the proper starting position and that all personnel are in the clear. The Committee agreed that requiring operators to check that all controls are in their proper starting positions would prevent unintended movement of the equipment when the Start Printed Page 59792engine is initially started. Similarly, requiring operators to ensure that all personnel are in the clear is designed to prevent personnel from being injured in the event that some aspect of the equipment moves upon start-up. Currently, section 5-3.1.3h of ANSI B30.5-1968, incorporated by reference in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N, contains a comparable requirement.

Paragraph 1417(h). Storm warning. When a local storm warning has been issued, this proposed paragraph would require the competent person to determine whether it is necessary to implement manufacturer recommendations for securing the equipment. This provision was designed to prevent hazards that could arise from severe weather including inadvertent movement and crane collapse. High-speed winds in particular can affect both the crane and the load, reducing the rated capacity of the crane and affecting boom strength. Subpart N does not contain a corresponding requirement.

Paragraph 1417(i). [Reserved.] This proposed paragraph is reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to determine whether “(i)” is being used as a letter or a roman numeral.

Paragraph 1417(j)

This proposed paragraph would require that operators be familiar with the equipment and its proper operation. Furthermore, if adjustments/repairs are necessary, then the operator would have to promptly inform the individual designated by the employer to receive such information as well as inform the next operator in cases where there are successive shifts.

This paragraph addresses the need to identify problems that may develop with the equipment during operations. Early recognition of such problems by the operator would help prevent accidents that could result from continued operation of equipment that needs adjustment and/or repair. Operators who are familiar with the equipment and its proper operation can recognize such equipment anomalies and problems. By requiring that information about needed adjustments and/or repairs be provided to the individual designated by the employer to receive it, this proposed paragraph will facilitate the correction of those problems.

C-DAC did not specify any particular job title for the person to whom the operator would be required to provide this information because different employers may assign the responsibility of receiving such information to different job classifications.

Providing this information to the next operator in cases where there are successive shifts (that is, shifts that have no break between them) would ensure that the next operator is aware of this information and will be able to take appropriate action.

This provision is comparable to section 5-3.1.3j of ANSI B30.5-1968, incorporated by reference in Subpart N, which requires operators of crawler, locomotive and truck cranes to familiarize themselves with the equipment and its proper care, to report any needed adjustments/repairs or defects to a responsible person, and to notify the next operator of any such problems when changing shifts.

Paragraph 1417(k)

This proposed paragraph would prohibit safety devices and operational aids from being used as a substitute for the exercise of professional judgment by the operator. The Committee agreed that such devices and aids do not displace the need for operators to apply their professional judgment because the devices and aids can malfunction and lead to the types of safety hazards they are designed to prevent. Subpart N contains no corresponding provision.

Paragraph (l). [Reserved.] This proposed paragraph is reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to distinguish the letter “l” from the number “1.”

Paragraph 1417(m)

If the competent person determines that there is a slack rope condition requiring re-spooling of the rope, this proposed paragraph would require that before starting the lift, it shall be verified that the rope is seated on the drum and in the sheaves as the slack is removed. This would prevent a loose coil of rope from becoming cross-coiled on the drum, a portion of the rope coming off the drum altogether, or the rope being pulled alongside (instead of seating in) a sheave. Each of these conditions can lead to sudden failure of the rope.

Section 5-3.2.3a.4 of ANSI B30.5-1968, incorporated by reference in Subpart N, has a provision stating: “If there is a slack rope condition, it should be determined that the rope is properly seated on the drum and in the sheaves.” The term “should” has been interpreted by the courts of appeals as meaning that the provision is non-mandatory. The provision in paragraph (m) of this section uses language making clear that the provision is mandatory.

Paragraph 1417(n)

This proposed paragraph addresses the hazards posed by wind, ice and snow on equipment capacity and stability. Wind can reduce capacity by imposing loads on the equipment, which can also reduce stability. Ice and snow can also reduce capacity and stability when it accumulates on the equipment. There are numerous variables involved in determining the effects of wind, ice and snow in any particular circumstance, (for example, the extent to which the crane is operating below its rated capacity, the sail effect presented by the load, the rate at which ice or snow is accumulating, and whether the snow is wet or light). C-DAC concluded that the most effective approach would be to require the competent person to consider their effect on equipment stability and rated capacity. 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N currently has no similar provision.

Paragraph 1417(o) Compliance With Rated Capacity

Paragraph 1417(o)(1). This proposed paragraph would require employers to ensure that equipment is not operated beyond its rated capacity. Overloading a crane or derrick can cause it to collapse, with potentially catastrophic consequences. This basic safeguard has long been recognized in the industry as crucial and is designed to prevent such accidents. A comparable requirement is contained in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N through incorporation by reference of section 5-3.2.1a of ANSI B30.5-1968.

Paragraph 1417(o)(2). This proposed paragraph would require employers to ensure that operators are not required to operate the equipment in a manner that would exceed its rated capacity, in violation of proposed § 1926.1417(o)(1) above. This proposed provision reinforces the general prohibition of proposed § 1926.1417(o)(1) by making it a separate violation for an employer to expressly require an operator to exceed the equipment's rated capacity. 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N currently has no provision comparable to proposed paragraph (o)(2) of this section.

In the Committee's experience, a significant problem in the construction industry is that some employers pressure operators to conduct lifts that exceed the equipment's rated capacity. Such employers seek to avoid the time and expense associated with bringing in larger capacity equipment.[51]

Start Printed Page 59793

The Committee believed that in many of these instances the employer knows that the load exceeds the crane's rated capacity but acts on the belief that the rated capacity is sufficiently conservative to perform the lift. In some such cases the exact weight of the load is unknown, and the employer pressures the crane operator in the belief that even if the operator is right about the weight exceeding the capacity rating, the safety factor that the employer assumes is built into the capacity rating will enable the crane to perform the lift anyway.

In the C-DAC discussions of this issue, members explained that while equipment capacity ratings are developed with consideration of a safety factor, that safety factor is not intended by the manufacturer to be treated as excess capacity. There are numerous, complex considerations used by manufacturers in setting the capacity rating. Employers cannot safely assume that, in any particular situation, they will not need the benefits conferred by the safety factor.

There continue to be a significant number of injuries and fatalities resulting from equipment overturning. Although it has long been a requirement not to exceed the equipment's rated capacity, in the Committee's experience, a significant number of overturning incidents are caused by exceeding rated capacity. A study of fatal accidents involving cranes in the U.S. construction industry for 1984-1994, based on investigations of reported accidents conducted by OSHA and states with OSHA-approved safety and health programs, showed that 22 deaths resulted from overloaded cranes. A. Suruda, M. Egger, & D. Liu, “Crane-Related Deaths in the U.S. Construction Industry, 1984-94,” p. 12, Table 9, The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (Oct. 1997). (OSHA-2007-0066-0013).

The Committee believed that there are several root causes of this problem, including lack of operator qualification/certification requirements, insufficient ground conditions, reliance on unreliable information regarding load weight, and operators being pressured into exceeding rated capacity. The Committee concluded that this additional measure is needed to help counteract the persistent problem of operators being pressured into exceeding rated capacity.

Paragraph 1417(o)(3). Load weight. As discussed above, another cause of injuries and fatalities from overturning equipment is the use of unreliable information on load weight. The Committee concluded that one of the ways these incidents can be reduced is to require that load weight be verified by a reliable means.

Under this proposed paragraph, the operator would be required to verify that the load is within the rated capacity of the equipment by using the procedures in either proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3)(i) or (ii). Under § 1926.1417(o)(3)(i), the weight of the load would have to be determined in one of three ways: From a reliable source, from a reliable calculation method, or by other equally reliable means. An example of verifying the load weight from a reliable source would be where the load is mechanical equipment and the weight is obtained from its manufacturer.

An example of a reliable calculation method would be the following: The load is a steel I-beam. After measuring the thickness of the steel and the I-beam's other dimensions, the operator uses an industry table that shows weight per linear foot for a beam of these dimensions. The operator then calculates the beam's weight using that information. If the weight of the load is determined under proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3)(i), the information about how the load weight was determined must be provided to the operator, prior to the lift, upon the operator's request. This provision is included to help ensure that the operator has the information necessary to verify that the load is within the rated capacity of the equipment.

Under proposed paragraph (o)(3)(ii), the operator would have to begin hoisting the load to determine if it exceeds 75 percent of the maximum rated capacity at the longest radius that will be used during the lift operation, using a load weighing device, load moment indicator, rated capacity indicator, or rated capacity limiter. If the load does exceed 75 percent of the maximum rated capacity, then the operator would be prohibited from proceeding with the lift until he/she verifies the weight of the load in accordance with proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3)(i).

The Committee concluded that as long as one of these devices shows that the load does not exceed 75% of the rated capacity (at the longest radius that will be used), it is not necessary to determine the actual weight of the load. Its conclusion is based on the belief that this verification procedure [52] incorporates a sufficient margin of error and would be adequate to ensure that the crane's rated capacity would not be exceeded.

In contrast, the Committee believed that if the device shows that the load exceeds 75%, there is an insufficient margin of error to proceed without a more accurate determination. In such instances a verified determination of the actual weight, in accordance with proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3)(i), is needed to ensure safety.

Currently, the only Subpart N requirement for determining or verifying the weight of the load is found in section 5-3.2.1b of ANSI B30.5-1968, which states: “When loads which are limited by structural competence rather than by stability are to be handled, the person responsible for the job shall ascertain that the weight of the load has been determined within plus or minus 10 percent before it is lifted.” The Committee believed that the more detailed procedures in proposed § 1926.1417(o)(3) and the greater margin of safety provided by the 75% limit are needed to prevent the crane's capacity from being exceeded.

Paragraph 1417(p)

This proposed paragraph would require that the boom or other parts of the equipment not contact any obstruction. The Committee agreed on this provision because of its understanding that boom contact with an obstruction can deform, misalign or otherwise damage the equipment. Such damage can cause unintended movement, prevent intended movement, or a collapse. 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N currently has no similar provision.

Paragraph 1417(q)

This proposed paragraph would require that the equipment not be used to drag or pull loads sideways. The Committee intended this provision to prevent the sideloading that occurs when a load is dragged or pulled sideways. Sideloading can buckle the boom, damage the swing mechanism, or overturn the crane (such as when the boom is at a high angle). Currently, section 5-3.2.3c.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968 contains a similar requirement, providing: “Side loading of booms shall Start Printed Page 59794be limited to freely suspended loads. Cranes shall not be used for dragging loads sideways.” (As discussed below, proposed paragraph (v) addresses sideloading of freely suspended loads by restricting the speed of rotation).

Paragraph 1417(r)

On wheel-mounted equipment, this proposed provision would require that no loads be lifted over the front area, except as permitted by the manufacturer. The Committee agreed on this provision because wheel-mounted equipment typically is not designed to lift loads over the front area without tipping over unless it is specifically designed to do so (such as where equipped with a front outrigger for support and stabilization for this purpose). Equipment that is not so designed will likely tip over or otherwise fail when lifting loads over the front area. This proposed paragraph continues the requirement of section 5-3.2.3g of ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated by reference in Subpart N.

Paragraph 1417(s)

In many circumstances an operator may use equipment that has not recently been used to handle a load that is 90% or more of the maximum line pull. The condition and adjustment of the brakes may be sufficient to handle lesser loads, but insufficient to handle loads closer to their design capacity. Consequently, the operator may not know that the brakes are insufficient until after the load is hoisted. In such a case the load could be dropped, posing a struck-by hazard.

This proposed paragraph would address that hazard by requiring that the operator test the brakes each time a load that is 90% or more of the maximum line pull is handled by lifting the load a few inches and applying the brakes. In duty cycle and repetitive lifts where each lift is 90% or more of the maximum line pull, this requirement would apply to the first but not to successive lifts, since the operator would have already determined from the initial test that the brakes are sufficient.

Currently, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N contains a similar requirement through section 5-3.2.3h of ANSI B30.5-1968, which states: “The operator shall test the brakes each time a load approaching the rated load is handled by raising it a few inches and applying the brakes.” C-DAC believed that additional clarity than that found in the ANSI provision is needed to give employers notice of when a brake test was required and therefore proposed in § 1926.1417(s) to require testing when the load is 90% or more of the maximum line pull.

Paragraph 1417(t)

This proposed paragraph would require that neither the load nor the boom be lowered below the point where less than two full wraps of rope remain on their respective drums. This provision is designed to ensure that the rope is not unspooled to the point where the rope would become disconnected from the drum. It continues the current Subpart N requirement found in section 5-3.2.3j of ANSI B30.5-1968.

Paragraph 1417(u) Traveling With a Load

Paragraph 1417(u)(1). This proposed paragraph would prohibit traveling with a load if the practice is prohibited by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not prohibit this practice, the equipment may travel with a load, but only if the requirements of proposed § 1926.1417(u)(2) are met. 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N does not prohibit traveling with a load if the practice is prohibited by the manufacturer but, through incorporation of section 5-3.2.3n of ANSI B30.5-1968, permits traveling with a load whenever conditions similar to those in proposed § 1926.1417(u)(2)(i) are satisfied.

The dynamic effects of traveling with a load impose additional and/or increased forces on crane components. Unless the crane has been designed to handle these types of forces and force levels, they can cause component failure, collapse, instability or overturning. The Committee believed that the manufacturer has the expertise to ascertain its equipment's capabilities. Therefore, the Committee believed that where the manufacturer has prohibited traveling with the load, such a determination needs to be complied with to ensure safety.

Paragraph 1417(u)(2). If the manufacturer does not prohibit traveling with a load, the equipment may travel with a load if the requirements of proposed § 1926.1417(u)(2) are met. This proposed paragraph sets forth three procedures that employers would have to follow when traveling with a load.

Paragraph 1417(u)(2)(i). Pursuant to this proposed paragraph, a competent person would have to supervise the operation, determine if it is necessary to reduce crane ratings, and make determinations regarding load position, boom location, ground support, travel route, overhead obstructions, and speed of movement necessary to ensure safety. Under proposed § 1926.1417(u)(2)(ii), the determinations of the competent person must be implemented. These provisions are similar to section 5-3.2.3n of ANSI B30.5-1968, which is incorporated in 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N.

As discussed above, traveling with a load imposes types and levels of forces on the equipment that are not present when the equipment is stationary, and conditions such as load position and boom location can affect the magnitude of those forces. Some of the criteria in proposed § 1926.1417(u)(2)(i) address this type of effect. Other criteria in this paragraph are intended to ensure that other hazards—those posed by the crane being in changing locations (such as ground support, travel route and overhead obstructions)—are addressed by the competent person. When traveling with a load, a crane may encounter hazards such as power lines, insufficient ground support, uneven or slippery ground conditions, and obstructions that the equipment could strike.

A competent person must address these issues before the equipment begins to travel with a load. The competent person must also supervise the operation as it proceeds so that problems that arise that were not foreseen at the outset can be properly addressed. In sum, the Committee designed these provisions to ensure that the employer plans and implements a travel operation so that the various effects and changeable conditions associated with travel are properly identified, assessed and addressed.

Paragraph 1417(u)(2)(iii). For equipment with pressurized tires, this proposed paragraph would require that tire pressure specified by the manufacturer be maintained. Subpart N currently has no corresponding provision.

The Committee agreed on this provision to address the hazards posed by improper tire pressure when traveling with a load. Where pressure varies among the tires, the equipment may be out of level, reducing capacity and causing instability. Uniform but improper pressure can reduce capacity or lead to tire failure. Each of these circumstances can lead to unintended movement, loss of the load, overturning and/or collapse.

Paragraph 1417(v)

This proposed paragraph would require that rotational speed of the equipment be such that the load does not swing out beyond the radius at which it can be controlled. As noted above in relation to proposed § 1926.1417(q), 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N currently permits sideloading Start Printed Page 59795of freely suspended loads with no restriction comparable to that in proposed § 1926.1417(v).

The Committee intended this provision to prevent the hazard of sideloading, which occurs when the load swings to either side of the boom tip, rather than its appropriate position directly beneath the boom tip. When the load is not directly under the boom tip, sideloading occurs and decreases capacity. This hazard can lead to tip-over or boom failure.

Paragraph 1417(w)

This proposed paragraph would require that a tag or restraint line be used if necessary to prevent rotation of the load that would be hazardous. The Committee agreed on this provision in order to prevent the hazard of an unstable or uncontrolled load which could in turn destabilize other parts of the crane or the crane itself. This condition can also result in the load posing a struck-by hazard. Section 5-3.2.3p of ANSI B30.5-1968 contains a comparable requirement.

Paragraph 1417(x)

This proposed paragraph would require that the brakes be adjusted in accordance with manufacturer procedures to prevent unintended movement. This requirement would apply to all brakes on equipment covered by this standard, including brakes used to control the lowering of the load and those used to stop the equipment while it is traveling. Improper adjustment can cause a delay in the onset of braking after the operator attempts to activate the brake and can also diminish the brake's capacity. Brakes are critical to the safe operation of the equipment and must be properly adjusted to serve their safety function.

Currently, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N does not specifically address brake adjustment. However, section 5-2.3.1a of ANSI B30.5-1968 requires a preventive maintenance program based on the manufacturer's recommendations, and section 5-2.3.3b requires that all components and operating mechanisms be adjusted to ensure their correct functioning. In light of the critical role that brakes play in ensuring equipment safety, these provisions of ANSI B30.5-1968 can be read to include brake adjustments. The Committee concluded that the more explicit approach to this issue taken in proposed § 1926.1417(x) requirement would help enhance employee safety.

Paragraph 1417(y)

This proposed paragraph would require that the operator obey a stop or emergency stop signal, regardless of who gives the signal. Any person on a worksite may observe a hazardous condition that is not visible to or recognized by the crane operator and that can only be avoided if the equipment stops immediately. Therefore, the operator must obey a stop signal given by anybody on the worksite. Section 5-3.1.3c of ANSI B30.5-1968 contains a comparable requirement.

Paragraph 1417(z) Swinging Locomotive Cranes

Pursuant to this proposed paragraph, a locomotive crane shall not be swung into a position where it is reasonably foreseeable that railway cars on an adjacent track could strike it, until it is determined that cars are not being moved on the adjacent track and that proper flag protection has been established. A comparable requirement is contained in section 5-3.4.4 of ANSI B30.5-1968.

Paragraph 1417(aa) Counterweight/Ballast

Paragraph 1417(aa)(1). This proposed paragraph contains counterweight/ballast requirements that would apply to equipment other than tower cranes. Pursuant to proposed § 1926.1417(aa)(2), requirements regarding counterweight/ballast for tower cranes are found in proposed § 1926.1435(b)(7).

Paragraph 1417(aa)(1)(i). This proposed paragraph would require that equipment not be operated without the counterweight or ballast in place as specified by the manufacturer. Failure to follow the manufacturer's specifications for use of counterweights and ballast could result in a tipover or collapse.

Paragraph 1417(aa)(1)(ii). Under this proposed provision, the employer would be prohibited from exceeding the maximum counterweight or ballast specified by the manufacturer for the equipment. Exceeding that maximum could result in component failure, which could cause unintended movement, tipover or collapse.

Requirements similar to those in § 1926.1417(aa)(1)(i) and (ii) are currently contained in Subpart N through incorporation by reference of section 5-3.4.2 of ANSI B30.5-1968.

The C-DAC draft of this provision stated that the maximum counterweight or ballast “approved” by the manufacturer shall not be exceeded. Upon reviewing the draft, OSHA determined that a term that more accurately reflects the Committee's intent in this regard is “specified.” Therefore, the Agency has modified the C-DAC language so that proposed § 1926.1417(aa)(1)(ii) reads:

The maximum counterweight or ballast specified by the manufacturer for the equipment shall not be exceeded.

Paragraph 1417(aa)(2). This proposed paragraph complements proposed § 1926.1417(aa)(1) by noting that the counterweight and ballast requirements for tower cranes are found in proposed § 1926.1435(b)(8).

Section 1418 Authority To Stop Operation

This proposed section provides: “Whenever there is a concern as to safety, the operator shall have the authority to stop and refuse to handle loads until a qualified person has determined that safety has been assured.” Subpart N incorporates pre-1971 industry consensus standards that require operators to have comparable authority, and current industry consensus standards contain similar provisions. An appropriately capable equipment operator is highly knowledgeable in matters affecting equipment safety and is well qualified to determine whether an operation presents a safety concern. C-DAC believed that it continues to be necessary for the employer to provide this authority to the operator.

Current consensus standards specify that an operator with a safety concern must raise that concern with a supervisor before proceeding with a lift. For example, section 5-3.1.3(d) of ANSI B30.5-2004, “Mobile and Locomotive Cranes,” provides: “Whenever there is any doubt as to safety, the operator shall consult with the supervisor before handling the loads.” Similar provisions are included in section 2-3.1.7 of ASME B30.2-2001, “Overhead and Gantry Cranes,” section 3-3.1.3(d) of ASME B30.3-1996, “Construction Tower Cranes,” section 6-3.2.3 of ASME B30.6-2003, “Derricks,” and other standards in the ASME B30 series.

The proposed section reflects C-DAC's belief that it is necessary to clearly delineate the circumstances under which it would be permissible to resume operations after the operator has exercised this authority. Under the proposed provision, operations would be prohibited from resuming “until a qualified person had determined that safety has been assured.”

In accordance with the proposed definition of a qualified person (see the discussion above of this term in proposed § 1926.1401), that person would, “by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional Start Printed Page 59796standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work or the project.” For example, operations could resume only after the qualified person either: (1) Assesses the factors that led the operator to stop and refuse to handle the load and determines that there is not, in fact, a safety hazard, or (2) after corrective action has been taken, determines that there is no longer a safety hazard.

An illustrative example of this is the following: A large steel cylinder, which is lying lengthwise on the ground, is to be lifted into the vertical position and then up to the top of a structure. As the crane operator prepares to lift the cylinder into the vertical position, the operator sees that the rigging is attached at a point that is more than halfway down from the top of the cylinder. This indicates to the operator that the rigging has been attached below the cylinder's center of gravity. Rigging such a load below the center of gravity could cause it to flip over when it is lifted. As a result of this concern, the operator exercises his/her authority to stop and refuse to handle the load.

After the operator explains his/her concern to the employer, the employer consults with an individual who is a qualified person with respect to the rigging of the load. The qualified person finds that the wall of the steel cylinder is much thicker near its base than at the top. After calculating the cylinder's center of gravity, the qualified person determines that it is well below the midpoint of the cylinder. The qualified person then determines that the rigging is, in fact, attached above the cylinder's center of gravity, and that safety is assured. The lifting operation is then resumed.

In this example the operator appropriately exercised his/her authority to stop and refuse to handle the load, since there were indications of an unsafe condition. A qualified person then appropriately found that safety was assured after examining those indications, assessing the relevant factors, and determining that the load was in fact rigged in a safe manner.

Signals

Proposed §§ 1926.1419 through 1926.1422 address the circumstances under which a signal person must be provided, the type of signals that may be used, criteria for how signals are transmitted, and other criteria associated with the use of signals.

Section 1419 Signals—General Requirements

This proposed section would set requirements regarding signals when using equipment covered by this proposed standard.

Currently, § 1926.550(a)(4) provides: “Hand signals to crane and derrick operators shall be those prescribed by the applicable ANSI standard for the type of crane in use. An illustration of the signals shall be posted at the job site.” C-DAC believed that the current rule is insufficient in several respects. First, the current rule does not establish the circumstances in which there is a need to have a signal person. Second, the current standard refers only to hand signals. C-DAC believed that other means of signaling need to be addressed as well to provide necessary flexibility and reduce the potential for miscommunication (requirements regarding other signaling methods are addressed in proposed §§ 1926.1420 and 1926.1421).

Finally, C-DAC found that hazardous situations arise as a result of signal persons not understanding safety-related aspects of crane operations and dynamics and not knowing how to give appropriate signals. Consequently, it determined that there is a need to establish requirements regarding the qualifications of the signal person; these are addressed in proposed § 1926.1428. In short, C-DAC believed that addressing these issues is one of the means by which the number of injuries and fatalities caused by “struck-by” incidents, in which the equipment or load strikes an employee, can be reduced.

Paragraph 1419(a)

Proposed paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) address the circumstances that would require the provision of a signal person: When the point of operation, meaning the load travel or the area near or at load placement, is not in full view of the operator (§ 1926.1419(a)(1)); when the equipment is traveling and the operator's view in the direction of travel is obstructed (§ 1926.1419(a)(2)); and when, due to site specific safety concerns, either the operator or the person handling the load determines it is necessary (§ 1926.1419(a)(3)). The first two of these circumstances involve an obvious hazard—limited operator visibility.

With respect to the third circumstance, C-DAC believed that other situations arise that, from a safety standpoint, necessitate the use of a signal person. For example, the operator may recognize that the load at one point will move alongside and very close to a structure. Even though the load in this example will remain in view of the operator as it travels, because of the tight tolerances involved, the operator determines that a signal person is needed to help ensure that the load does not come in contact with the structure (which could cause the load to fall).

Another example is where a heavy load, such as a large HVAC unit, has to be placed very precisely on a concrete pad. In this example, as in the previous one, the load remains within the view of the operator at all times. However, the employee handling the load determines that signals need to be given to the operator so that the load handler's work and the operator's movement of the load are properly coordinated. Because of the weight of the load, the employee handling it will have to use both hands to help position it as it is placed on the pad and will not be able to give signals. In such an instance the person handling the load could determine that a signal person is necessary.

Paragraph 1419(b) Types of Signals

Under proposed paragraph (b), signals to crane operators would have to be by hand, voice, audible, or “new” signals. As used in this proposed standard, these terms refer to the type of signal, not the means by which the signal is transmitted. For example, signaling by voice refers to oral communication, not whether the oral communication is done with or without amplification or with or without electronic transmission. The manner of transmission of the signal is addressed separately.

“Audible signal” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a signal made by a distinct sound or series of sounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, sounds made by a bell, horn, or whistle.” Under some circumstances, audible signals are effective means of communicating with an operator, and C-DAC defined the term to make clear the types of sounds that would be permissible.

The criteria for the use of these signal types are set out in proposed § 1926.1419(c)-(m) (additional voice signal requirements are in proposed § 1926.1421, Signals—voice signals—additional requirements). The Committee's intent was to reduce the potential for miscommunication, which can lead to injuries and fatalities, particularly from “struck-by” and “crushed-by” incidents. In setting parameters for the use of the various types of existing signal methods, and for signal methods that may be developed in the future, the Committee sought to Start Printed Page 59797promote a degree of standardization while still allowing appropriate flexibility. In addition, the proposed provisions are designed to ensure that the selection of signal type and means of sending the signals are appropriate under the circumstances and reliable.

Paragraph 1419(c) Hand Signals

Proposed paragraph (c) addresses the use of hand signals. The industry has long recognized the need for consistent, universal hand signals to minimize the potential for miscommunication between signal persons and operators. ANSI B30.5-1968, “Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes,” contains illustrations of hand signals that are the same as the current 2004 edition of ASME B30.5 and that are consistent with hand signals for other types of cranes in ASME B30 standards. Subpart N currently requires that hand signals to crane and derrick operators “be those prescribed by the applicable ANSI standard for the type of crane in use” and that “an illustration of the signals shall be posted at the job site” (§ 1926.550(a)(4)).

Because of the industry's long familiarity with these standard hand signals, C-DAC determined that, when using hand signals, the standardized version of the signals should continue to be required. These signals are referred to as the “Standard Method,” which is defined in proposed § 1926.1401 as “the protocol in Appendix A for hand signals.” The “Standard Method” signals are located in Appendix A. However, the Committee recognized that there are instances when use of the Standard Method is either infeasible or where there is no Standard Method signal applicable to the work being done.

For example, the Standard Method signal for raising the boom is: arm extended, thumb pointing upward and other fingers closed. The signal for lowering the boom is the same except the thumb points down. There are circumstances where back-lighting conditions make it difficult for the operator to see the signal person's thumb and therefore cannot discern whether it is pointing up or down. In such circumstances use of the standard signal would be infeasible.

In such instances, under this proposed paragraph, non-standard signals (examples of which are provided in Appendix B of this proposed rule) may be used. To avoid confusion when non-standard signals are used, proposed § 1926.1419(c)(2) would require that the signal person, crane operator, and lift supervisor (where there is one) meet prior to the operation to agree upon the signals that will be used.

Paragraph 1419(d) New Signals

Proposed paragraph (d) would allow signals other than hand, voice, or audible signals to be used if certain criteria are met. As discussed above under proposed § 1926.1419(b), C-DAC include § 1926.1419(d) to allow for the development of new signals in the future. To ensure that any new signals are as effective as hand, voice, or audible signals, proposed 1926.1419(d)(1) and (d)(2) would require the employer to demonstrate either that the new signals are as effective as existing signals for communicating, or that there is a national consensus standard for the new signals.[53] C-DAC believed it was appropriate to allow reliance on signals in a national consensus standard because their inclusion in such a standard shows a high degree of standardization and widespread acceptance by persons who are affected by the signals, thereby ensuring that the signals can be used safely to control equipment operations.

Paragraph 1419(e) Suitability

Under proposed paragraph (e), the type of signal (hand, voice, audible, or new) and the transmission method used would have to be suitable for the site conditions. For example, hand signals would not be suitable if site conditions do not allow for the signal person to be within the operator's line of sight. Radio signals would not be suitable if electronic interference on the site prohibits the signals from being readily understood.

Paragraph 1419(f)

Proposed paragraph (f) would require the ability to transmit signals between the operator and signal person to be maintained. If that ability is interrupted, the operator would be required to safely stop operations until signal transmission is reestablished and a proper signal is given and understood.

Paragraph 1419(g)

Proposed paragraph (g) would require the operator to stop operations if the operator becomes aware of a safety problem and needs to communicate with the signal person. Operations may only be resumed after the operator and signal person agree that the problem has been resolved.

Most signal systems permit only one-way communication, from the signal person to the operator. In addition, most two-way systems, such as a typical two-way radio system, only permit one person to speak at a time. When using such systems, circumstances may arise in which the operator, while receiving signals, becomes aware of a safety problem that is of a nature that necessitates that the operator communicate with the signal person. For example, the signal person signals to the operator to lower the load. However, the operator sees that an employee has moved under the load in an area that is out of the view of the signal person. Under this proposed provision the operator would have to safely stop lowering the load and communicate the problem to the signal person.

Another example is where the signal person gives a hand signal but it appears to the operator that the signal person is using the wrong signal. The operator would be required to safely stop operations and communicate with the signal person to resolve the problem.

Paragraph 1419(h) and (j)

Proposed paragraph (h) would require that only one person at a time signal the operator. C-DAC believed this provision was needed to prevent confusion with respect to which signals the operator is supposed to follow. An exception is provided when, as provided in proposed § 1926.1419(j), somebody becomes aware of a safety problem and gives an emergency stop signal. Under proposed § 1926.1417(y), the operator would be required to obey such a signal.

Paragraph 1419(i) [Reserved.] Paragraph (i) is reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to determine whether “(i)” is being used as a letter or a roman numeral.

Paragraph 1419(k)

Proposed paragraph (k) would require that all directions given to the operator by the signal person be given from the operator's direction perspective. In the Committee's experience, the operator will tend to react to a directional signal, such as “forward,” by acting on the signal from the operator's perspective. This provision would ensure that the signal that is given will be consistent with that natural tendency.

Paragraph 1419(l) [Reserved.] Paragraph (l) is reserved because it is inconvenient for readers to whether “l” is being used as a letter or a number. Start Printed Page 59798

Paragraph 1419(m) Communication With Multiple Cranes/Derricks

Proposed paragraph (m) addresses a situation where the signal person is in communication with more than one crane or derrick. It would require the signal person to use an effective means of identifying the crane or derrick the signal is for before giving the signal. Proposed § 1926.1419(m)(i) and (ii) set out alternate means of complying with this requirement. Under proposed § 1926.1419(m)(i), for each signal, prior to giving the function/direction, the signal person must identify the crane/derrick for which the signal is intended. Alternatively, under proposed § 1926.1419(m)(ii), the employer could implement a method of identifying which crane/derrick for which the signal is intended that is as effective as the system in proposed § 1926.1419(m)(i). Because of the potential for confusion, it is essential that an alternative system under proposed § 1926.1419(m)(ii) be equally effective as § 1926.1419(m)(i) in clearly conveying, on a consistent basis, the crane/derrick to which each signal is directed.

Section 1420 Signals—Radio, Telephone, or Other Electronic Transmission of Signals

C-DAC concluded that certain criteria are needed to ensure the reliability and clarity of electronically transmitted signals; these criteria are listed in proposed paragraphs § 1926.1420(a) through (c). Proposed paragraph (a) would require the testing of the transmission devices prior to the start of operations to ensure that the signals are clear and that the devices are reliable. This will help ensure that the operator receives and can understand the signals that are given and will prevent accidents caused by miscommunication.

Proposed paragraph (b) would require that such signals be transmitted through a dedicated channel. As defined in § 1926.1401, a “dedicated channel” is “a line of communication assigned by the employer who controls the communication system to only one signal person and crane/derrick or to a coordinated group of cranes/derricks/signal person(s).” Use of a dedicated channel would ensure that the operator and signal person are not interrupted by users performing other tasks or confused by instructions not intended for them.

An exception to § 1926.1419(b) would allow more than one signal person and more than one crane/derrick operator to share a dedicated channel in multiple crane/derrick situations for coordinating operations. The Committee believed that this exception is needed because, in those situations, it may be advantageous to share a single dedicated channel. For example, in some situations several cranes may be operating in an area in which their booms, loads or load lines could come in contact with each other. In such cases it is crucial that the movements of each crane be properly coordinated. By sharing a single channel, each operator can hear what each crane is being asked to do, which can facilitate that coordination.

Proposed paragraph (c) would require that the operator's reception be by a hands-free system. In other words, the operator must not have to depress a button, manipulate a switch, or take any action in order for the incoming signal to be received. C-DAC believed that this provision is needed because the operator must have both hands free to manipulate the equipment's controls.

Paragraph 1421 Signals—Voice Signals—Additional Requirements

C-DAC considered whether the proposed rule should include a standardized set of voice signals. Unlike hand signals, which have become standardized to a large extent within the industry, in the Committee members' experience there is significant variation in the phrases used to convey the same instructions. Consequently, words or phrases that the Committee might choose to propose to be required as voice signals could be unfamiliar to many employees in the industry or contrary to common usage in some parts of the country. In light of this, the Committee determined that it would be better to use a different approach to address the problem of miscommunication when using voice signals. This approach, which establishes criteria for whatever voice signals are used, is set out in proposed § 1926.1421(a)-(c).

Under proposed paragraph (a), prior to beginning operations, the personnel involved with signals—the crane operator, signal person and lift supervisor (if there is one)—would be required to meet and agree on the voice signals that will be used. Because of the lack of standardization and the variety of languages that are in use in the construction industry, the Committee concluded that it is essential that the persons who give and/or receive voice signals agree in advance on the signals that will be used in order to avoid miscommunication. Once the parties have met and agreed on the voice signals, another meeting is not required to discuss them unless another worker is substituted, there is some confusion about the signals, or a signal needs to be changed.

In reviewing the C-DAC draft of this provision, the Agency realized that the adjective “voice” was inadvertently left out when referring to signals. To avoid ambiguity, the Agency has added the term “voice” to clarify that this proposed provision applies to the use of voice signals.

Proposed paragraph (b) would require that each voice signal contain the following three elements, given in the following order: function (such as hoist, boom, etc.), direction; distance and/or speed; Function, stop command. For example: hoist up; 10 feet; hoist stop. As discussed above, the Committee considered it impractical to attempt to standardize the voice signals themselves (that is, to require the use of particular words to represent particular functions, directions or other instructions). However, the Committee concluded that the chance of miscommunication could nonetheless be reduced if certain parameters were established for the type of information and order of information that would be given.

Proposed paragraph (c) would require the crane operator, signal person, and lift supervisor (if there is one) to be able to effectively communicate in the language used. Voice signals will not serve their intended purpose if they cannot be understood, or can be misinterpreted. The inability of these workers to understand each other could lead to accidents caused, for example, by the crane operator moving a load in a different direction than the signal person intends.

Section 1422 Signals—Hand Signal Chart

This proposed paragraph would require that hand signal charts be either posted on the equipment or be readily available at the site. The purpose of this proposed provision is to serve as a reference for operators and signal persons of the mandatory hand signals and thereby help avoid miscommunication.

Section 1423 Fall Protection

This proposed section contains provisions designed to protect workers on equipment covered by this Subpart from fall hazards. (See proposed § 1926.1431, Hoisting Personnel, for fall protection provisions that would apply when equipment is used to hoist personnel). Currently, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N contains certain fall protection requirements but does not address fall protection for cranes and derricks comprehensively. Where Subpart N does not specifically address Start Printed Page 59799a fall protection issue, the general fall protection provisions of 29 CFR part 1926 subpart M apply. As OSHA explained when it issued subpart M, “while Subpart N contains requirements for fall protection when certain cranes are used, it does not address other equipment or working conditions otherwise covered by subpart N which may also expose employees to a fall hazard.”59 FR 40672, 40675 (Aug. 9, 1994).[54]

The fall protection requirements in Subpart M apply where an employee is on a “walking/working surface.” 29 CFR 1926.501. In § 1926.500(b), the definition of walking/working surface excludes “vehicles.” That definition effectively excludes many cranes (for example, mobile cranes would be considered “vehicles”).

The Committee believed that safety would be enhanced by addressing the problem of fall hazards associated with cranes and derricks comprehensively. In addition, it believed that putting all such requirements under the cranes and derricks standard would make it easier for employers to readily determine the applicable fall protection requirements. Accordingly, under this proposed standard, Subpart M would not apply to equipment covered by this proposed subpart except where it incorporates requirements of Subpart M by reference. In this regard, note that the Agency is proposing to amend Subpart M at § 1926.500(a)(2)(ii) to remove the word “certain.”

Definition of Fall Protection Equipment

“Fall protection equipment” is defined in proposed § 1926.1401 as “guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems, or fall restraint systems.” The first four listed systems are described, and their specifications listed, in 29 CFR Part 1926. Subpart M of this part, OSHA's general fall protection standard for construction work. See § 1926.502(b) (guardrail systems); § 1926.502(c) (safety net systems); § 1926.502(d) (personal fall arrest systems); and § 1926.502(e) (positioning device systems).

The fifth category of fall protection equipment, “fall restraint system,” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “a fall protection system that prevents the user from falling any distance. The system is comprised of either a body belt or body harness, along with an anchorage, connectors and other necessary equipment. The other components typically include a lanyard, and may also include a lifeline and other devices.” This definition is found in 29 CFR part 1926. Subpart R of this part, OSHA's steel erection standard.

By defining “fall protection equipment” to include the same types of fall protection equipment required under other OSHA standards, C-DAC sought to ensure that employers would be familiar with the types of fall protection required under this standard and thereby promote compliance.

Paragraph 1423(a) Application

Falls have traditionally been the leading cause of deaths among construction workers. BLS data for 2004 and 2005, the latest years for which complete figures are available, shows 445 fatalities from falls in 2004 (OSHA-2007-0066-0023), and 394 in 2005 (OSHA-2007-0066-0024). In 2004, 20 fatalities resulted from falls from nonmoving vehicles and in 2005, such falls caused 18 deaths. A recent study of crane-related fatalities in the U.S. construction industry found that 2% resulted from falls. J.E. Beavers, J.R. Moore, R. Rinehart, and W.R. Schriver, “Crane-Related Fatalities in the Construction Industry,” 132 Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 901 (Sept. 2006) (OSHA-2007-0066-0012). Falls from cranes, particularly when the operator is entering or leaving the crane, also cause numerous non-fatal injuries to construction workers. (OSHA-S030-2006-0663-0422).

Under proposed paragraph (a), certain proposed provisions in this section (proposed § 1926.1423(c)(1), (f) and (h)) would apply to all equipment, including tower cranes; certain provisions (proposed § 1926.1423(b), (c)(2), (d) and (e)) would apply to all equipment except tower cranes; and certain provisions (proposed paragraph (g) would apply only to tower cranes).

Paragraph 1423(b) Boom Walkways

Proposed paragraph (b) would establish when walkways must be incorporated into lattice booms and the criteria for such walkways. Boom walkways are not currently required by subpart N of this part.

Proposed paragraph (b)(1) would require that equipment manufactured more than one year after the effective date of this standard with a lattice boom be equipped with walkways on the boom if the vertical profile of the boom (from cord centerline to cord centerline) is 6 or more feet. C-DAC believed that the installation of walkways on booms would decrease the number of falls which occur during assembly/disassembly, inspection, and maintenance of booms and attached devices. Without a walkway, employees walking the boom must step from lattice to lattice. C-DAC believed it is safer to walk the boom if the boom is equipped with a walkway.

C-DAC considered the technical difficulty of equipping a boom with a vertical profile of less than 6 feet. Such booms would not accommodate the addition of a walkway into their design because the added weight of the walkway would significantly compromise their hoisting capacity. For that reason, C-DAC limited the requirement for boom walkways to equipment with lattice booms where the vertical profile of the boom is 6 feet or more.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2), Boom walkway criteria, would establish a minimum width for boom walkways and address safety issues associated with guardrails, railings and other attachments.[55] Proposed § 1926.1423(b)(2)(i) would require that walkways on booms be at least 12 inches wide. C-DAC considered requiring boom walkways to be at least 18 inches wide to remain consistent with § 1926.451(b)(2) of the scaffold standard (Subpart L). However, C-DAC determined that there are engineering limitations applicable to booms that are not applicable to scaffolds. Specifically, the Committee found that an 18 inch requirement would present feasibility problems, especially on smaller booms. In such cases an 18 inch walkway's added weight would unduly impinge upon the equipment's capacity.

C-DAC believed that a walkway with a 12 inch width, while not as easy to use as an 18 inch walkway, would provide enough space for an employee to maintain his/her balance while walking from point to point on the boom when the boom is positioned horizontally. This would be a significant improvement over having to step across the open space between the boom's lattice-work and onto the lattice. In sum, the Committee concluded that the benefits obtained by providing a walkway on booms outweigh any drawbacks associated with a minimum width of 12 inches. Note that, in many circumstances, the safety benefits afforded by this walkway would be supplemented by fall protection equipment (see the discussion below of proposed paragraphs (d) and (e)). Start Printed Page 59800

Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii) would address the use of guardrails, railings and other permanent fall protection attachments along walkways. The general fall protection standard for construction work at § 1926.501(b)(6) requires that walkways be equipped with guardrail systems to protect workers against falling 6 feet or more. This proposed section would retain the general requirement for fall protection at or above 6 feet for certain work (see discussion below of § 1926.1423(d)), but C-DAC believed that guardrails should not be a required form of fall protection on boom walkways because of the feasibility constraints discussed below.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(A) states that guardrails, railings and other permanent fall protection attachments along boom walkways would not be required. For some equipment, the added weight of fixed railings, combined with the walkway's weight, would unduly impinge upon the lift capacity of the boom. In addition, as discussed in relation to § 1926.1423(b)(2)(ii)(B) below, in some boom designs pendant ropes and bars (where present) could become snagged on such railings.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(B) would prohibit guardrails, railings and other permanent fall protection attachments along walkways on booms supported by pendant ropes or bars if the guardrails, railings or attachments could be snagged by the ropes or bars. Such snagging could cause instability or a collapse. Whether the potential for snagging is present on a boom supported by pendant ropes or bars would depend on the design of the equipment.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(C) would prohibit removable-type guardrails, railings, and other permanent fall protection along walkways. For purposes of this paragraph, “removable-type” means designed to be installed and removed each time the boom is assembled/disassembled. One of the Committee's concerns was that such devices may be left installed by mistake, which could damage the equipment and cause unexpected movement or a failure during its operation.

Under proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(D), where guardrails or railings are not prohibited, they would be permitted to be of any height up to, but not more than, 45 inches. C-DAC believed that requiring all guardrails and handrails to comply with the height criteria in Subpart M of this part, which generally requires them to be 39 to 45 inches high, could deter manufacturers from equipping their products with guardrails and handrails. That is because meeting Subpart M's height criteria could make the device incompatible with the design and operation of the boom. For boom walkway applications, C-DAC concluded that using guardrails lower than 39 inches when higher guardrails are infeasible was preferable to not having any guardrails at all.

Paragraph 1423(c) Steps, Handholds, Grabrails, Guardrails and Railings

Proposed paragraph (c) would specify criteria for the use and maintenance of steps, handholds, grabrails, guardrails and railings.

Proposed paragraph (c)(1) would require that the employer maintain originally-equipped steps, handholds, ladders and guardrails/railings/grabrails in good condition. The failure to properly maintain such devices could pose dangers to the employees who use them. For example, a grabrail that has become weakened from rust could fail when an employee uses it, which could cause the employee to fall. Another example is a missing railing. A manufacturer that integrated a railing into its design may have provided a walking surface that would otherwise be too narrow to be safe.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2) would require that equipment manufactured more than one year after the effective date of this standard be equipped to provide safe access and egress between the ground and the operator work station(s), including the forward and rear operator positions, by the provision of devices such as steps, handholds, ladders, and guardrails/railings/grabrails. As discussed below, proposed § 1926.1423(c)(2)(i) would require these devices to meet updated design criteria.

Currently, § 1926.550(a)(13)(i) in Subpart N requires that guardrails, handholds, and steps be provided on cranes for easy access to the car and cab and specifies that these devices conform to ANSI B30.5. The 1968 version of ANSI B30.5, which was in effect at the time Subpart N was issued, specifies that the construction of these devices must conform to the 1946 U.S. Safety Appliance Standard. C-DAC recognized that many pieces of equipment now in use would have been manufactured with handholds and steps but was concerned that the handholds and steps may have been designed to meet outdated criteria.

The Committee believed that it would be unduly burdensome to require all equipment to be retrofitted with new steps, handholds, and railings simply because the existing design may vary from what would be required under this proposal. Accordingly, the proposal would allow one year from the date of the published final rule for equipment to be manufactured with devices that conform to proposed 1926.1423(c)(2)(i), discussed next. This would give equipment manufacturers adequate time to incorporate the requirements of § 1926.1423(c)(2)(i) into their products.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(i) would require that steps, ladders and guardrails/railings/ grabrails meet the requirements of SAE J185 (May 2003) or ISO 11660-2 (1994). OSHA's construction standards contain specifications for stairways and ladders in 29 CFR Part 1926 subpart X, but C-DAC believed that the Subpart X requirements do not take into account the characteristics of the equipment covered by this proposed standard. The specifications in SAE J185 are referenced in industry consensus standards, such as ASME B30.5-2004, “Mobile and Locomotive Cranes,” and crane manufacturers are familiar with those requirements. C-DAC recommended alternatively allowing compliance with ISO 11660-2 since employers also use equipment built by foreign manufacturers who have been following that standard.

Under proposed paragraph (a) of this section, the requirements in proposed paragraph § 1926.1423(c)(2) do not apply to tower cranes. It is the Agency's understanding that C-DAC excluded tower cranes from these requirements because the SAE and ISO standards referenced in § 1926.1423(c)(2)(i) are designed for, and only address, mobile cranes. The Agency also believes that the lack of a similar provision in the C-DAC document designed for tower cranes was an oversight; tower cranes also need to be equipped with safe stairways and ladders to enable the operator to ascend to the cab and descend safely.[56] Accordingly, OSHA plans to include a requirement similar to § 1926.1423(c)(2) that would be applicable to, and designed for, tower cranes, and requests public comment on this issue.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would require that walking/stepping surfaces, except for crawler treads, have slip-resistant features/properties (such as diamond plate metal, strategically placed grip tape, expanded metal, or slip-resistant paint). Section 1926.550(a)(13)(iii) of Subpart N of this part requires platforms and walkways to have anti-skid surfaces. C-DAC Start Printed Page 59801recommended that OSHA retain this requirement as a complement to the use of guardrails, handholds, grabrails, ladders and other engineered safety features that would be required by this proposed section. OSHA continues to believe that compliance with this provision would minimize the number of slips and falls for employees who must travel point to point to access the operator workstations on equipment covered by this proposed section.

Paragraph 1423(d) Fall Protection Requirements for Non-Assembly/Disassembly Work

Proposed paragraph (d) addresses fall protection requirements for employees engaged in work other than assembly/disassembly work (“non-A/D” work). For such work, in certain circumstances, employers would be required to provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 6 feet above a lower level.

C-DAC discussed different trigger heights for fall protection requirements for particular types of cranes and derricks. Ultimately, C-DAC concluded that the requirements for fall protection should remain consistent with 29 CFR Part subpart M, which generally requires fall protection at heights at and above 6 feet, as much as possible. (As discussed below, for A/D work, the Committee recommended fall protection beginning at 15 feet). C-DAC also believed that, in its view, operators do not need to be tied off while moving to and from their cabs, and the proposal would make this clear by requiring fall protection equipment only when employees are moving point-to-point on booms or while at a work station (with certain exceptions). The Committee believed that the steps, handholds, and railings required under proposed § 1926.1423(c) would protect operators moving to and from their workstations and eliminate the need for additional fall protection equipment.

Paragraph 1423(d)(1) Non-Assembly/Disassembly: Moving Point to Point

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(i) would require employers to provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment at 6 feet and above when an employee is moving point to point on non-lattice booms (whether horizontal or not horizontal). As defined in § 1926.1401, “moving point to point” means “the times during which an employee is in the process of going to or from a work station.”

C-DAC believed that non-lattice booms generally present more hazards to workers who must walk them to reach other work areas, devices, and equipment attached to it than lattice booms. Non-lattice booms are typically of the extensible type. As a result, as members noted, the walking/working surfaces on these types of booms are often oily (from the hydraulic mechanisms). Also, since the boom sections extend and retract, it is typically infeasible to provide boom walkways and other safety features. Because they tend to be slippery from oil, the Committee concluded that they are especially hazardous to move across even when horizontal. Therefore, where an employee is required to move point to point on a non-lattice boom, the proposal would require fall protection above 6 feet in height.

Proposed paragraph (d)(1)(ii) would require employers to provide and ensure the use of fall protection, beginning at 6 feet, when employees must move point to point on lattice booms that are not in a horizontal position. In non-A/D work, an employee may, for example, need to move point-to-point on a lattice boom to inspect a part that is suspected to need repair, or to make a repair (such as replacing a broken or missing cotter pin). In many of these situations, the boom will not be horizontal, since space limitations often make it difficult to lower the boom to do this work.

The Committee believed that it is both necessary and feasible for fall protection to be used in such instances. Typically, the fall protection that would be used would consist of a double-lanyard or similar personal fall arrest system. Since the boom in these instances would be elevated, there would usually be a point on the boom above the level of the employee's feet to which the lanyard could be attached.

It is the Agency's understanding that, in contrast, it is uncommon for an employee to need to move point-to-point on a horizontal lattice boom for non-A/D work. If work does need to be done, such as making an inspection or repair as discussed above, the employee would usually get access to their work station with a ladder. In those instances when the employee must traverse the boom itself, the Committee concluded that it would be inappropriate to require fall protection for the reasons discussed below.

The key difficulty in providing fall protection in such instances stems from the lack of a tie-off point above the level of the employee's feet. Most lattice booms when horizontal would be less than 15 feet above the next lower level. At heights below 15 feet, a personal fall arrest system tied off at the level of the employee's feet, with a lanyard long enough to afford the employee the range of movement necessary for this work, might not prevent the employee from falling to the next lower level. In construction work the problem of providing personal fall protection in this height range, when there is no higher tie-off point, is usually solved in one of three ways (apart from the use of ladders, scaffolds, aerial lifts, and similar devices). One way is to use a restraint system, which is anchored at a point that prevents the employee from moving past an edge. This type of system could not be used while on a boom because the boom is too narrow.

Another method is to set up a personal fall arrest system that would arrest the employee's fall before hitting the next lower level by using stanchions to support an elevated, horizontal life-line. However, such stanchions must be securely fastened and whatever they are fastened to must be able to withstand considerable forces in an arrested fall. On a crane's lattice boom, the stanchions would have to be attached either to the chords or the lacings.

The chords and lacings are engineered to be as light as possible, and an engineering analysis would be needed in each case to determine if the attachment point was sufficiently strong to withstand those forces. Also, the Agency believes that manufacturers would be unlikely to approve clamp-on type systems because of the likelihood of the clamping forces damaging these critical structural components. Similarly, the Agency believes that manufacturers would not approve the repeated weld/removal/re-weld cycles that would be involved in attaching and removing stanchions because this could adversely affect the boom's structural components.

The third method commonly used in construction work is a temporary guardrail system, but that also would require attaching stanchions to the boom, which would be infeasible for these same reasons.

The Committee concluded that, in light of such factors, it would not be appropriate to require fall protection when an employee moves point-to-point on horizontal lattice booms. However, the Agency notes that, although it may rarely be necessary for an employee moving point-to-point on a horizontal lattice boom to be 15 feet or more above the next lower level, there is the possibility of such an occurrence, such as where a horizontal boom spans a large gap in the ground surface. At such heights a personal fall arrest system tied off at the level of the employee's feet would allow sufficient room for the arrest system to operate without Start Printed Page 59802allowing the employee to strike the next lower level. Therefore, the Agency requests public comment on whether proposed § 1926.1423(d)(1)(ii) should be expanded to require fall protection when an employee, engaged in non-A/D work, is moving point-to-point on a boom that is horizontal and the fall distance is 15 feet or more.

Paragraph 1423(d)(2) Non-Assembly/Disassembly: While at a Work Station

Proposed paragraph (d)(2) would require employers to provide and ensure the use of fall protection while an employee is at a work station on any part of the equipment (including the boom, of any type), except when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck. An example of being at a work station is the following: An employee is assigned to replace a cotter pin for a sheave at the end of a boom. The employee's “work station” on the boom for this task will be the point where, after the employee has traversed the boom or climbed on from a ladder, the employee performs that task. Because the employee is using one or both hands to perform the task, there is a heightened risk of falling.

Since the work is typically done while the employee is sitting or lying on or inside the boom and is stationary while doing the task, there is normally no difficulty in setting up the personal fall protection system so that it would prevent the worker from contacting the next lower level. Therefore, this proposed provision does not distinguish between work stations based on boom type or whether the boom is horizontal or elevated. For work stations on other parts of the equipment, the Committee concluded that there is normally some suitable point available to which a personal fall arrest system can be anchored.

Fall protection would not be required near draw-works when the equipment is running because of the danger that moving parts could catch a safety lanyard and pull the worker into moving machinery. This danger is present when parts in the draw works are moving. It is also present when the equipment is running and the draw works parts are not moving because of the potential that someone will activate those parts.

Fall protection would not be required when the employee is in a cab because the employee is not exposed to a fall hazard in that instance. Fall protection would also not be required for employees on decks, since the Committee believed that equipment is typically designed so that employees on the deck are not exposed to a fall hazard.

As discussed earlier, C-DAC was convinced that the steps and railings required by this proposed standard would provide adequate fall protection to operators going to and from their workstations. Therefore, fall protection (apart from those devices) would not be required for operators while moving point-to-point between the ground and the operator work station(s).

Paragraph 1423(e) Assembly/Disassembly

Proposed paragraph (e) would require the employer to provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment during A/D work for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level, except when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck.

The principal problem with the use of fall protection during assembly/disassembly below 15 feet is the difficulty in setting up a personal fall protection system that allows a significant degree of movement on a boom in this height range (which is usually of the lattice type) and also prevents the employee from contacting the next lower level. Unlike employees who work at a stationary work station, employees engaged in assembly/disassembly work typically have to move a significant amount to accomplish the work.

Consequently, the degree of movement that the protection system needs to provide to the employee is more similar to what is needed when moving point-to-point on a boom than working at a work station. As discussed above, the characteristics of lattice booms make it more difficult to set up such systems than in other situations.

The exception to the requirement for fall protection when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck is based on the same considerations discussed above with respect to proposed § 1926.1423(d)(2).

Paragraph 1423(f) Anchorage Criteria

Proposed paragraph (f) would specify criteria for anchorage points used in personal fall protection systems.[57]

Proposed paragraph (f)(1), Anchorages for fall arrest and positioning device systems, contains requirements for anchorage points used in fall arrest and positioning device systems. Proposed § 1926.1423(f)(1)(i) would permit personal fall arrest systems and positioning systems to be anchored to any apparently substantial part of the equipment unless a competent person, from a visual inspection, without an engineering analysis, would conclude that the applicable criteria in § 1926.502 of Subpart M of this part would not be met. The Subpart M criteria include, for personal fall arrest systems, 5,000 pounds per employee or twice the potential impact load of an employee's fall (in addition to other requirements) (§ 1926.502(d)(15)); for a positioning device, 3,000 pounds or twice the potential impact load of an employee's fall, whichever is greater (in addition to other requirements) (§ 1926.502(e)(2)).

Most of the equipment covered by the proposed standard are designed to lift and support weights much heavier than these. Apparently substantial parts of the equipment are, therefore, typically capable of meeting the Subpart M capacities. Consequently, C-DAC believed that the proposed § 1926.1423(f)(1)(i) criteria was appropriate and would avoid burdening employers with what it considered to be the unnecessary expense of obtaining engineering analyses for each part that would serve as an anchor.

Proposed paragraph (f)(1)(ii) would require that attachable anchor devices (portable anchor devices that are attached to the equipment) meet the applicable anchorage criteria in § 1926.502. These criteria are the same as those discussed in the previous paragraph for fall arrest and fall positioning systems.

Proposed paragraph (f)(2), Anchorages for restraint systems, would require restraint systems to be anchored to any part of the equipment that is capable of withstanding twice the maximum load that a worker may impose on it during reasonably anticipated conditions of use. Since restraint systems do not arrest a worker's fall (instead they prevent a fall from occurring), the anchorage does not need to be able to support the significantly greater force generated during an arrested fall. C-DAC believed that having the anchorage support twice the maximum anticipated load will provide an adequate margin of safety when a restraint system is used. Start Printed Page 59803

Paragraph 1423(g) Tower Cranes

Proposed paragraph (g) would specify fall protection requirements specific to tower cranes. Note that the terminology “erecting” and “dismantling” is used with regard to tower cranes rather than “assembly” and “disassembly”; this terminology reflects the industry's use of these terms.

Paragraph 1423(g)(1) Non-Erecting/Dismantling

Proposed paragraph (g)(1) addresses fall protection requirements for non-erecting/dismantling work. The employer would be required to provide and ensure the use of fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 6 feet above a lower level. The exceptions to this requirement would be when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck.

As discussed above, for equipment other than tower cranes, there were various factors that prompted C-DAC to agree on different requirements for moving point-to-point than when working at a work station. Those factors, however, are not present in tower cranes.

For example, when moving point-to-point on the jib (or boom) or on the tower, there are no feasibility constraints to being protected. There are numerous areas on the jib to which an employee can anchor personal fall arrest equipment as the employee walks out and back on the jib (or boom) on a tower crane. Also, by standard industry practice, the counter-jib [58] is usually equipped with a walkway and railings. If the employee needs to traverse in an area that is off the walkway, other fall protection can be used, such as a personal fall arrest system. Since the jib (or boom) once erected is much higher than 6 feet from the next lower level, there is plenty of room for the arrest system to operate without allowing the employee to strike the next lower level.

Moving point-to-point on the tower is typically done either using the ladder or stair system provided within the tower, or (in some situations) moving on a tower section. When moving on a tower section, because the sections are vertical, there is always a point above the employee's feet to which the arrest system can be anchored. There is therefore no need for stanchions or other equipment to set up the system to prevent the employee from striking the next lower level.

The exception to the proposed provision for fall protection when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck is based on the same considerations discussed above with respect to proposed § 1926.1423(d)(2). The Agency notes that its understanding of the location of “the deck” on a tower crane is the walking/working area on the counter-jib.

Paragraph 1423(g)(2) Erecting/Dismantling

This proposed paragraph specifies that, for erecting/dismantling work, employers must provide, and ensure use of, fall protection equipment for employees who are on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level.

On tower cranes, almost all of the erecting/dismantling work that takes place below 15 feet occurs in connection with erecting or dismantling the sections of the jib (or boom), which is usually done on the ground. In this respect the erecting/dismantling process is similar to the assembly/disassembly of other types of cranes. Therefore, the same reasons for setting a 15-foot threshold for requiring fall protection for assembling/disassembling non-tower cranes (see discussion of proposed paragraph (e) above) are also the basis for proposing to require fall protection beginning at 15 feet for erecting and dismantling tower cranes.

The Agency notes that C-DAC did not include the exceptions that were included in proposed § 1926.1423(g)(1) for when the employee is at or near draw-works (when the equipment is running), in the cab, or on the deck. OSHA is unaware of any reason why these exceptions would not be equally applicable here, and asks for public comment on whether they should be added to proposed § 1926.1423(g)(2).

Paragraph 1423(h) Anchoring to the Load Line

Proposed paragraph (h) would permit an employer, under prescribed conditions, to anchor a fall arrest system to the hook or other part of a load line of a crane or derrick. Currently, in Subpart M of this part, § 1926.502(d)(23) prohibits personal fall arrest systems to be attached to “hoists except as specified in other subparts of this part.” Subpart N does not contain any provisions specifically addressing this issue. Therefore, since the hook or other part of a load line is connected to a hoist in the crane or for the derrick, attaching a personal fall arrest system in this manner is currently prohibited by Subpart M.

OSHA has received a number of inquiries asking whether a crane's hook or load line may be used as an anchorage point for fall protection. Using a crane for such purpose would be particularly useful in many situations, especially where establishing a suitable anchor point would be otherwise very difficult. OSHA asked C-DAC to consider whether there is any reason to prohibit using a crane or derrick for such purpose. C-DAC believed that the hook or load line of a crane could be used safely as an anchor point under the conditions proposed in the rest of this paragraph.

Proposed paragraph (h)(1) would allow the hook or load line to be used as an anchorage point when a qualified person has determined that the set-up and rated capacity of the crane/derrick (including the hook, load line and rigging) meets or exceeds the requirements in § 1926.502(d)(15). C-DAC concluded that, as long as the crane or derrick had sufficient capacity to meet those criteria, there is no reason to prohibit its use for this purpose.

The criteria in § 1926.502(d)(15) were developed to ensure that fall protection anchorages provide adequate employee protection. A number of factors related to the crane's capacity in the particular configuration and set-up involved would need to be considered, including, in some cases, the angle of the fall arrest lanyard to the boom if a fall were to occur. In C-DAC's view, determining whether those criteria are met when anchoring to the hook or load line requires the expertise of a qualified person.

Proposed paragraph (h)(2) would require that the equipment operator be at the work site and informed that the equipment is being used to anchor a fall arrest system. This would ensure that the operator is available to make any necessary adjustments, such as moving the boom or load lines. Further, in the event of an emergency that results in a tied-off employee being suspended from the hook or load line, the operator would be available to bring the worker to the ground safely.

Section 1424 Work Area Control

Proposed paragraph (a) addresses the hazard of employees being struck, pinched-between or crushed when within the swing radius of the equipment's rotating superstructure. Proposed 1926.1424(a)(1) states that the precautions in § 1926.1424(a)(2) must be Start Printed Page 59804taken when there are accessible areas in which the equipment's rotating superstructure (whether permanently or temporarily mounted) poses a reasonably foreseeable risk of either: (i) Striking and injuring an employee; or (ii) pinching/crushing an employee against another part of the equipment or another object.

Currently, § 1926.550(a)(9) provides: “Accessible areas within the swing radius of the rear of the rotating superstructure of the crane, either permanently or temporarily mounted, shall be barricaded in such a manner as to prevent an employee from being struck or crushed by the crane.” In proposed § 1926.1401, “superstructure” is defined as a synonym for “upperworks” and “upperstructure.” Under this definition, all three terms mean the following: “the revolving frame of equipment on which the engine and operating machinery are mounted along with the operator's cab. The counterweight is typically supported on the rear of the upperstructure and the boom or other front end attachment is mounted on the front.”

The Committee agreed that barriers around danger areas are a viable, safe option, but they also agreed that such barriers are not always feasible and that, in such cases, there needs to be alternative means of protecting the employees. In addition, C-DAC was concerned that the language “accessible areas within the swing radius . * * *” would require that all areas accessible to an employee within the swing radius would have to be protected, irrespective of whether an employee could be injured while in such an area. C-DAC viewed such a requirement as overly broad and unnecessary.

The Committee drafted the proposed requirement so that protective measures would be required for accessible areas that pose a “reasonably foreseeable risk” that an employee would be struck or pinched/crushed. The principle of reasonably foreseeable risk is one that is well established in Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission caselaw and in the courts of appeals. For example, in Pete Miller Inc., 19 O.S.H.C. (BNA) 1257, 1258 (Rev. Comm'n 2000), the Review Commission stated that a violation occurs when “it is reasonably predictable either by operational necessity or otherwise (including inadvertence), that employees have been, are, or will be in the zone of danger.” [59] The following are two illustrative examples of the application of this principle to the swing radius provision:

Illustrative example #1:

The bottom of the rear of the rotating superstructure of crane A is 12 feet above the ground. An employee standing on the ground within that swing radius could not be struck by the rotating superstructure since the rotating superstructure would swing well above him/her. There is nothing within that area on which the employee could stand. In this example the area does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk of the employee being struck or pinched/crushed.

Illustrative example #2:

Same scenario as example #1 above, except that a truck with material that is to be unloaded from its bed is within the swing radius. If an employee were to stand on the truck bed the employee would be within the swing radius. In this example there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of an employee being struck or pinched/crushed.

Under proposed paragraph (a)(2), the employer would be required to institute two types of measures to prevent employees from entering these hazard areas. Specifically, under proposed § 1926.1424(a)(2)(i), the employer would have to train employees assigned to work on or near the equipment in how to recognize these areas. The Committee believed that employees need to understand and appreciate the risk posed by the rotating superstructure for the other precautions required by § 1926.1424(a)(2)(ii) to be effective.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(ii) would require the employer to erect and maintain control lines, warning lines, railings, or similar barriers to mark the boundaries of the hazard areas, but contains an exception when such a precaution is infeasible. If it is neither feasible to erect such barriers on the ground nor on the equipment, the employer would be required to mark the danger zone with a combination of warning signs and high visibility markings on the equipment that identify the hazard areas. In addition, the employer would have to train employees to understand what those markings signify.

To help prevent struck-by and crushed-by injuries and fatalities, C-DAC concluded that it is necessary to address the protection of employees who must sometimes enter the hazard area to perform work. Proposed § 1926.1424(a)(3) is designed to help protect such employees by ensuring that there is adequate communication and coordination between the operator and the employee in the danger area.

Under proposed paragraph (a)(3)(i), if an employee is going to go to a location in a hazard area that is out of view of the operator, before that employee goes in that area the employee (or someone instructed by the employee) would have to ensure that the operator is informed that the employee is going to that location. Since the operator will typically be under the assumption that no one is in that area, informing the operator that an employee is going to enter the hazard area is an essential first step in preventing the operator from moving the superstructure and causing injury to that employee.

Under proposed paragraph (a)(3)(ii), once informed that an employee is going to enter a hazard area out of the operator's view, the operator would be prohibited from rotating the superstructure unless and until he/she gives a warning that the employee understands is a signal that the superstructure is about to be rotated and gives the employee time to get clear.

Alternatively, the operator may rotate the superstructure if informed in accordance with a pre-arranged system of communication that the employee is in a safe position. An example of such a system would be the use of a signal person who gives an all-clear signal to the operator once the signal person sees that the employee has exited the hazard area. Another example would be where the employee in the hazard area is equipped with a portable air horn and, in accordance with a pre-arranged horn signal system, sounds an appropriate signal to the operator that the employee has exited the hazard area. To be effective, the pre-arranged signal system would need to be designed so that this all-clear signal could not be confused with a horn signal from some other employee for another purpose.

Proposed paragraph (b) addresses situations where multiple pieces of equipment are located in such proximity that their working radii overlap. Such situations pose the danger of employees being pinched/crushed between the equipment and being injured as a result of unintended movement or collapse when pieces of equipment collide. To prevent such accidents, the controlling entity would be required to coordinate the operations of these pieces of equipment. In the event that there is no controlling entity, the employer or employers operating the equipment would be required to institute a coordination system.

C-DAC's language for proposed paragraph (b) refers to “employers operating the equipment” but does not address a situation in which only one employer is operating the multiple pieces of equipment. It appears to the Agency that a coordination system is also needed in that situation. OSHA is considering revising the C-DAC Start Printed Page 59805language to make clear that such an employer would be required to institute a coordination system. Proposed § 1926.1424(b) could be revised in this regard as follows:

(b) Multiple equipment coordination. Where any part of a crane/derrick is within the working radius of another crane/derrick, the controlling entity shall institute a system to coordinate operations. If there is no controlling entity, the employer (if there is only one employer operating the multiple pieces of equipment), or employers, shall institute such a system.

OSHA requests public comment on whether such a revision should be made.

Section 1425 Keeping Clear of the Load

Currently, 29 CFR part 1926 subpart N at § 1926.550(a)(19) states: “All employees shall be kept clear of loads about to be lifted and of suspended loads.” C-DAC believed that compliance with this provision is infeasible in certain circumstances. For example, many urban construction sites have a relatively small footprint with numerous construction employees throughout the site. These sites are typically bounded on all sides by roads and sidewalks with high concentrations of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. In such circumstances it is not always possible to route a suspended load in such a way that all employees will be clear of the load at all times. In addition, meeting that objective may sometimes conflict with meeting local requirements regarding public safety.

C-DAC also believed that employers have a greater ability to avoid having static suspended loads over employees than moving loads, since a static suspended load usually affects a much smaller area. Furthermore, in a static situation, it is possible to limit the number of employees in the fall zone to only those whose jobs involve the handling of the load and therefore require them to be in that area at that time. Accordingly, this proposed section is designed to account for these considerations and protect employees to the extent feasible.

Paragraph 1425(a)

Proposed paragraph (a) would require the employer to use hoisting routes that minimize employee exposure to hoisted loads to the extent consistent with public safety. This provision addresses the fact that in many situations, especially urban construction sites with high concentrations of employees throughout the site, it is not feasible to prevent all employees from being exposed to hoisted loads that are moving at all times (see discussion above).

Also, C-DAC recognized that there could be situations where minimizing employee exposure to hoisted loads would be in conflict with local requirements regarding public safety, as when an alternative route would take the load over a street with public traffic. The Committee wanted to make clear that choosing a route that would endanger the public was not required.

Paragraph 1425(b)

Proposed paragraph (b) addresses those situations where the equipment operator is not actually engaging the controls to move the load. In such situations, the load affects a more limited area then when it is moved up or horizontally. Consequently, C-DAC determined that, in these static situations, it is feasible to preclude most employee exposure to the load's fall zone. The only exceptions are employees engaged in the types of activities specified in proposed § 1926.1425(b)(1) through (3).

“Fall zone” is defined in § 1926.1401 as “the area (including but not limited to the area directly beneath the load) in which it is reasonably foreseeable that partially or completely suspended materials could fall in the event of an accident.” The “fall zone” thus includes both the area directly under the load as well as other areas into which it is “reasonably foreseeable” that suspended materials could fall. For example, if wind is causing the load to swing, the employer would need to consider the extent to which the load is or may swing in determining the extent of the fall zone. Another example is where a bundle of materials is suspended, and some loose materials at the top of the bundle may slide off sideways. In such a case those materials would foreseeably fall outside the area directly beneath the load. As discussed above in relation to § 1926.1424, Work area control, the concept of “reasonably foreseeable” risk is well established in OSHA law.

Proposed paragraph 1425(b)(1) would permit employees engaged in hooking, unhooking or guiding a load to be within the fall zone while engaged in these activities. Hooking or unhooking a load sometimes requires an employee to be within the fall zone of a load. For example, where a lifting accessory is used, the employee will typically be under the fall zone of the lifting accessory when attaching or unhooking the load. Also, guiding a load, even with a tag line, sometimes necessitates that the employee be positioned within the fall zone, especially when the work area below is restricted in size.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would permit employees engaged in the initial attachment of the load to a component or structure to be within the fall zone. One example is the following scenario: A subassembly of steel members is hoisted for attachment to a structure. When initially attaching the lower portion of that subassembly, an employee is within the fall zone of the load. In this example, the employee engaged in the initial attachment of the subassembly to the structure would be permitted to be within the fall zone; that work cannot be done otherwise.

Proposed paragraph (b)(3) would allow workers to be present in the fall zone when operating a concrete hopper or concrete bucket. The employee operating the hopper or bucket is necessarily in the fall zone since the hopper or bucket is suspended while the employee operates the releasing mechanism.

Paragraph 1425(c)

Proposed paragraph (c) deals with the situations addressed in paragraphs 1425(b)(1) and (b)(2). The Committee felt that additional requirements were necessary to ensure employee safety in these situations, given the additional risks posed while loads are being connected to equipment or structures.

Proposed paragraph (c)(1) would require that the load be rigged to prevent unintentional displacement, so that workers in the fall zone are less likely to be struck by shifting materials.

Proposed paragraph (c)(2) would require the use of hooks with self-closing latches or their equivalent be used, to prevent accidental failure of the hooks. However, “J” type hooks would be permitted for setting wooden trusses. This exception is designed to enable the truss to be unhooked without the need for an employee to go out on the truss. This avoids the additional exposure to fall hazards that would otherwise occur from going out on the truss to release a latched hook.

Proposed paragraph (c)(3) would require the use of a qualified rigger in the rigging of materials in the situations addressed by proposed § 1926.1425(c). By ensuring that the load is rigged in as safe a manner as possible, this requirement serves to reduce the risk of injury to workers who cannot perform their duties outside of the fall zone, and reduces the potential size of the fall zone.

Section 1401 of this proposed standard defines a “qualified rigger” as a rigger who meets the criteria for a qualified person. The same definition is Start Printed Page 59806found in subpart R of 29 CFR Part 1926, Steel Erection at § 1926.753(c)(2).

Paragraph 1425(d) Receiving a Load

Proposed paragraph (d) would prohibit all employees except those needed to receive a load from being in the fall zone when it is being landed. An employee receiving a load will typically need to be within the fall zone when it is being landed because that is the time when the load needs to be guided to a specific landing point.

Paragraph 1425(e)

Proposed paragraph (e) concerns tilt-up and tilt-down operations. In these operations, one end of a component, such as a precast panel, is either raised, tilting the component up, usually from a horizontal position (often on the ground) to a vertical position; or lowered, tilting the component down, usually from a vertical position to a horizontal position on the ground or other surface.[60] Note that the requirements in this proposed paragraph would not apply when receiving a load.

As with any other suspended load, it is dangerous to be directly beneath the load because of the possibility of a failure or error that would cause the load to fall or be accidentally lowered onto an employee. To minimize the risk of such accidents, proposed § 1926.1425(e)(1) provides that no employee shall be directly under the load during a tilt-up or tilt-down operation. Section 1926.1401 defines “directly under the load” to mean “a part or all of an employee is directly beneath the load.” This provision will avoid having employees in the area that presents the greatest danger in the event of a loss of control of the load.

While C-DAC determined that tilt-up and tilt-down operations can be accomplished without anyone being directly under the load, it also found that the operation is at times infeasible unless one or more employees “essential to the operation” needs to be elsewhere within the fall zone. Proposed § 1926.1425(e)(2) therefore provides that employees “essential to the operation” may be in the fall zone (but not directly under the load) during a tilt up or tilt down operation.

The C-DAC document does not contain a definition of “essential to the operation.” Consequently, the proposed provision does not specify what job functions would be permitted to be performed from within the fall zone. OSHA believes that examples of an employee “essential to the operation” is an employee who must be within the fall zone because it is infeasible to conduct the following operations from outside the fall zone: (1) Physically guide the load; (2) closely monitor and give instructions regarding the load's movement; and/or (3) either detach it from or initially attach it to another component or structure. OSHA requests public comment on whether there are other activities that are essential to this operation and are infeasible to be done from outside the fall zone, and whether it would be appropriate to add a definition of “essential to the operation” to the standard.

A note to paragraph (e) refers to § 1926.1426, which addresses free fall of the boom and the load. As discussed below, it specifies that employees may not be anywhere in the fall zone of a boom that is designed to free fall, and that employees are never to be directly under the load during free fall of the load line hoist.

Section 1426 Free Fall and Controlled Load Lowering

This proposed section addresses the hazards that can arise from free fall of the boom (live boom) during lifts. Live booms are those in which the rate of lowering can be controlled only by a brake; a failure of the brake will result in a free fall (i.e., unrestricted lowering) of the boom. In contrast, in equipment that has a boom that is not “live,” there is a mechanism or device other than the brake which slows the boom's lowering speed.

The uncontrolled lowering of a boom could result in an accident which could injure or kill workers in proximity of the load or hoisting equipment. This proposed section would prohibit use of live booms in most circumstances. An exception is provided for older equipment manufactured before the ANSI B30.5 series prohibited free fall of the boom for all hoisting operations, but only under limited conditions that do not create hazards to employees. A limited exception is also provided for floating cranes/derricks. This proposed section includes many of the modern protective methods and mechanisms included in ASME B30.5-2004.

This section also, in § 1926.1426(d), would specify the circumstances under which free fall of the load line would be prohibited.

Paragraph 1426(a) Boom Free Fall Prohibitions

Under proposed paragraph (a)(1), the use of equipment in which the boom is designed to free fall would be prohibited under six specified conditions. C-DAC concluded that, in these six circumstances, free fall of the boom needs to be prohibited regardless of what type of equipment is used and when that equipment was manufactured.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(i) would prohibit the use of a live boom when an employee is in the fall zone of the boom or load (see the explanation of “fall zone” in the discussion above of proposed § 1926.1425(b). Section 1926.1425, Keeping clear of the load, of this proposed standard recognizes that there are some situations in which certain employees need to be positioned in the fall zone in order to perform their assigned duties. However, the likelihood that an employee would sustain a serious injury or be killed in the event of a falling boom is very high when an employee is in the fall zone of the boom or load.

Because the likelihood of a falling boom is higher when a live boom is in use, C-DAC believed it was necessary to prohibit employees from being in the fall zone whenever a live boom is being used, without exception. Therefore, the exceptions listed in proposed § 1926.1425 that would permit employees to be in the fall zone in certain circumstances apply only where a non-live boom is being used.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(ii) would prohibit use of a live boom when an employee is being hoisted. This continues the current prohibition in § 1926.550(g)(3)(i)(F) of subpart N of this part, which is designed to prevent hoisted employees from being seriously injured or killed if the boom were to fall.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(iii) would prohibit the use of a live boom where the load or boom is directly over a power line, or over any part of the area extending the Table A ( of proposed § 1926.1408) clearance distance to each side of the power line. The diagram below illustrates a situation in which a load on a live boom is over the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the power line:

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As discussed above in relation to proposed §§ 1926.1407 through 1926.1411, equipment making electrical contact with power lines is one of the primary causes of equipment-related deaths on construction sites and, to prevent such contact, those sections would require equipment to maintain minimum distances from power lines.

C-DAC recognized that a live boom that is over a power line, or that is suspending a load that is over any part of the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the power line, could fall or cause the load to fall into electrical contact with a power line.

The C-DAC draft of this provision stated: “The load or boom is directly over a power line, or over the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the power line.” Since C-DAC's intent was to prohibit the boom or load from being over any part of the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the line, OSHA has changed this language to make clear that the prohibition applies with respect to the boom or load being above “any part of” that area.

In reviewing this provision, OSHA realized that there appears to be another circumstance when a fall of the boom could cause the load or boom to breach the Table A clearance distance. This would occur as follows: Neither the boom nor load is over the power line or over the Table A clearance area. However, the Table A clearance distance is within the radius of vertical travel of the boom or load. This circumstance is depicted in the following illustrations:

Start Printed Page 59808

In Illustration A, neither the boom nor the load is above the power line or any part of the Table A zone. However, if the boom were to fall, the boom would cross into the Table A zone. In Illustration B, neither the boom nor load is above the power line or any part of the Table A zone. However, if the boom were to fall, the load would cross into the Table A zone.

The Agency therefore requests public comment on whether proposed § 1926.1426(a)(1)(iii) should be modified to also prohibit the equipment from being positioned such that the fall path of the boom or load would breach the Table A clearance distance.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(iv) would prohibit use of a live boom where the load is over a shaft. As discussed in relation to § 1926.1426(a)(1)(i) of this proposed section, C-DAC recognized that there are situations where employees must be in the fall zone of a suspended load. One particular scenario is when employees must receive a load that is lowered into a shaft. Such employees would be at a particularly high risk of being killed or injured by a free falling boom because the shaft severely limits or eliminates any ability to get out of the way.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(v) would prohibit free fall of a boom when the load is over a cofferdam, except where there are no employees [61] in the fall zone. Much like employees who must receive a suspended load in a shaft, employees have limited ability to escape a free falling boom or load in a cofferdam. However, because cofferdams are typically much larger work spaces than shafts, the fall zone of a falling boom or load may only affect one part of the cofferdam. Therefore, this provision contains an exception for situations where there are no employees in the fall zone.

Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(vi) would prohibit use of a live boom for lifting operations in a refinery or tank farm. C-DAC was concerned that a free falling boom could strike pipes or a tank in a refinery or tank farm. Such accidental impact could cause a release of toxic materials or conflagration.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2) is an exclusive list of conditions under which the use of cranes with live booms would be permitted. C-DAC believed that cranes with live booms could be used safely under some circumstances and did not believe that the cost of replacing or retrofitting all existing such equipment was justified as long as the use of live boom equipment was limited to those circumstances.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i) would allow the use of equipment with a live boom if that equipment was manufactured prior to October 31, 1984 and none of the circumstances listed in proposed § 1926.1426(a)(1) are present. C-DAC noted that ANSI B30.5 first prohibited live booms in its 1972 version and reiterated the prohibition in the 1982 edition, which was published on October 31, 1983 and became effective on October 31, 1984.

C-DAC concluded that manufacturers would have begun to phase out live-boom equipment when ANSI first prohibited its use in 1972 and that little, if any, live boom equipment would have been manufactured after October 31, 1984. Moreover, during this period, hydraulic hoisting equipment, the design of which typically precluded boom free fall even in its early designs, became more prevalent.

In light of these factors, C-DAC concluded that most equipment manufactured after October 31, 1984 would not have live booms. Proposed § 1926.1426(a)(2) thus allows the older live boom equipment to be phased out safely by restricting its use to situations in which none of the circumstances listed in § 1926.1426(a)(1) are present.

Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(ii) would allow use of a live boom if the equipment is a floating crane/derrick or is a land crane/derrick on a vessel/flotation device and none of the circumstances listed in proposed § 1926.1426(a)(1) are present.[62] C-DAC noted that equipment used on the water commonly has a live boom. This is because the dynamics of load transfer while on water (from side to side), as well as unexpected wave action, which can cause rapid changes in list and trim, sometimes necessitates that the operator have a free fall boom system to compensate for these effects. Non-live systems are not fast enough for this purpose. As a result, C-DAC concluded that there is no need to alter current industry practice in this regard as long as none of the circumstances listed in § 1926.1426(a)(1) are present.

Start Printed Page 59809

Paragraph (b) Preventing Boom Free Fall

Proposed paragraph (b) sets criteria for preventing boom free fall. A boom that meets this criteria is considered to be designed to not free fall. The criteria consist of requirements for a secondary system for controlling the boom's descent in addition to the equipment's primary system. The Committee believed that the hazard posed by a failure of the primary system for holding or regulating the boom is so significant that the availability of a secondary mechanism needs to be required.

Proposed paragraph (b)(1)(i) specifies that a friction drum must have both a friction clutch and a braking device, to allow for controlled boom lowering. These provisions are similar to those in section 5-1.3.2(a)(1) and (a)(4) of ANSI B30.5-1968 and ASME B30.5-2004. Proposed § 1926.1426(b)(1)(ii) would require friction drums to also have a secondary braking or locking device, which is manually or automatically engaged, to back-up the primary brake while the boom is held (such as a secondary friction brake or a ratchet and pawl device). In the view of the Committee these have been well established as effective for this purpose.

Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would require hydraulic drums to have an integrally mounted holding device or internal static brake to prevent boom hoist movement in the event of hydraulic failure. The requirements of this proposed paragraph are similar to those in section 5-1.3.1(d) of ASME B30.5-2004. The hazard presented by this type of hoisting system is that once the hydraulic system fails, the boom hoist drum could free spin and allow the boom to free fall.

Proposed paragraph (b)(3) states that clutches or hydraulic motors do not qualify as brakes or locking devices for purposes of this subpart. C-DAC believed the use of clutches or hydraulic motors for such purposes would accelerate the wear of these systems and increase the risk they will fail when they are needed to control the lowering of the boom.

Proposed paragraph (b)(4) would require hydraulic boom cylinders to have an integrally mounted holding device. An integrally mounted holding device would secure the boom from pivoting down in the event that hydraulic pressure is lost. This requirement is similar to section 5-1.3.1(d) of ASME B30.5-2004.

Paragraph 1426(c) Preventing Uncontrolled Retraction

Proposed paragraph (c) would require hydraulic telescoping booms (which are also referred to as hydraulic extensible booms) to have an integrally mounted holding device to prevent the boom from retracting in the event of hydraulic failure. This proposed provision is similar to section 5-1.3.3(c) of ASME B30.5-2004.

The C-DAC draft of this provision stated that the purpose of this device was “to prevent boom movement in the event of hydraulic failure.” OSHA believes that this language was unintentionally broad in that it refers to any “boom movement.” The purpose of proposed § 1926.1426(b)(4) is, as discussed above, to prevent the boom from pivoting down in the event of hydraulic failure. Therefore, there is no need for proposed § 1926.1426(c) to also require a device to prevent that type of boom movement.

The Agency's understanding is that the purpose of proposed § 1926.1426(c) is, as reflected in C-DAC's heading (“Preventing uncontrolled retraction”), to prevent a telescoping hydraulic boom from retracting in the event of hydraulic failure. Therefore, OSHA has modified the language to state that the purpose of the integrally mounted holding device is “to prevent the boom from retracting” in the event of hydraulic failure. OSHA requests public comment on the appropriateness of this change.

Paragraph1426(d) Load Line Free Fall

Proposed paragraph (d) lists circumstances under which free fall of the load line hoist is prohibited and controlled load lowering is required. “Free fall (of the load line)” is defined in § 1926.1401 to mean “where only the brake is used to regulate the descent of the load line (the drive mechanism is not used to drive the load down faster or retard its lowering).” “Free fall” is contrasted with “controlled load lowering,” which § 1926.1401 defines as “lowering a load by means of a mechanical hoist drum device that allows a hoisted load to be lowered with maximum control using the gear train or hydraulic components of the hoist mechanism. Controlled load lowering requires the use of the hoist drive motor, rather than the load hoist brake, to lower the load.”

As with free fall of the boom, free fall of the load line hoist presents a struck-by hazard to employees. One difference with boom free fall, however, is that free fall of the load line endangers a smaller area. When a boom free falls, its tip (and any attached load) moves both downward and outward. Because the load will moving in at least two directions simultaneously, the area that will be affected by the fall is comparatively large.

In contrast, if a load line free falls, the load will tend to fall in a relatively straight path downward (as long as the boom is not being moved and the load is not significantly affected by winds). Thus the area affected will typically be smaller. C-DAC therefore concluded that it would be appropriate to have a more limited prohibition compared with use of a live boom. This is reflected in the prohibition in proposed § 1926.1426(d)(1) against an employee being directly under the load. That provision is more limited than proposed § 1926.1426(a)(1)(i), which would prohibit an employee from being in the fall zone of the boom or load.

Similarly, unlike the live boom provisions, proposed § 1926.1426(d) does not include a prohibition against use of load line hoist free fall in a refinery or tank farm. Because of the more limited affected area, the operator can more readily set up the equipment so that, in the event of a load line free fall, the affected area will not include safety critical refinery or tank equipment.

However, paragraphs (d)(2), (3), and (4) are similar to the boom free fall prohibitions in that they prohibit free fall of the load line when (1) an employee is being hoisted; (2) the load is directly over a power line or over any part of the area extending the Table A (of proposed § 1926.1408) clearance distance to each side of the power line; and (3) the load is over a shaft or cofferdam.

The C-DAC draft of proposed paragraph (d)(3) stated: “The load is directly over a power line, or over the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the power line.” As discussed above, C-DAC's intent was to prohibit the load from being over any part of the area extending the Table A clearance distance to each side of the line, and OSHA has therefore changed this language to make clear that the prohibition applies with respect to the load being above “any part of” that area.

In reviewing proposed paragraph (d)(4), OSHA noted that it would prohibit load line free fall over a shaft or cofferdam, but contains no exception regarding cofferdams in which there is no employee in the fall zone. In this respect this provision is broader than the live boom provision in proposed § 1926.1426(a)(1)(v), which does contain such an exception. OSHA requests public comment on whether proposed § 1926.1426(d)(4) should be modified to include such an exception. Start Printed Page 59810

Section 1427 Operator Qualification and Certification

Proposed § 1926.1427 addresses the safety concerns created by under-qualified crane operators. In the Committee's experience, human error resulting from insufficient operator knowledge and capability is a significant cause of fatal crane/derrick accidents. It concluded that a verified testing process is essential for ensuring sufficient knowledge and capability of crane/derrick operators and would be an effective and efficient way to reduce these accidents.

The Committee's view was based on the extensive collective experience of the Committee members. Members expressed the belief that crane/derrick safety depends heavily on the operator having the knowledge and ability to implement safe operation practices. For example, an operator who does not know how to properly use load charts could miscalculate the capacity of the crane and inadvertently overload the equipment. An operator who lacks the knowledge and skill to control and manipulate a load could lose control of it, causing other employees to be struck by the load or the equipment.

In addition, knowledge and skill are needed to prevent electrical contact with power lines (see the discussion above regarding proposed §§ 1926.1407-1926.1411). For example, an operator who does not understand an operational/performance characteristic such as dynamic loading may inadvertently allow the boom to get too close to a power line. This could occur where the operator failed to account for the fact that, under certain conditions, the boom would flex and so continue to move towards the line after the operator had stopped the superstructure's rotation.

Similarly, understanding and being able to minimize such effects is important in situations such as blind picks, where the operator will be relying on information relayed to him/her by a signal person.

The Committee considered whether it would be sufficient to set testing criteria without a third-party (that is, independent) verification mechanism, and determined that such an approach was not likely to be effective in ensuring sufficient operator qualifications. During the Committee's deliberations, members expressed a concern that testing conducted without a check on the quality of the test, with respect to both its content and administration, has been ineffective in ensuring that crane operators are qualified to operate the equipment safely. Members noted that operator “certification” cards are easily obtained from various Internet sites without having to pass a credible test. They also noted that the current OSHA standards, which require employers to instruct employees on the hazards involved with crane operation, and require the employer to permit only those employees qualified by training or experience to operate equipment,[63] but do not require testing verified by a third party, have been generally ineffective in ensuring an adequate degree of consistency with respect to crane operator knowledge and ability. The Committee concluded that significant advances in crane/derrick safety would not be achieved unless such testing was required.

The Committee was aware that testin