Responsibilities or Best Practices?

As many of you know, all footnotes of manufacturer’s load charts have a statement that reads the crane MUST be operated according to all Federal, State and Local standards, regulations and operators manual. They specifically refer to ASME Standards. In 2007, the ASME B30.5 was updated and now contains the responsibilities Triangle of a Crane Lift.  There are three elements involved in any hoisting task that must be considered; the crane, the operation of the crane, and the rigging of the crane. The foundation of the ‘triangle’ is the crane itself, and its condition is paramount to assure it is ready to perform its task.

In November of 2010, OSHA revised the regulations to 1926.1400 Subpart CC.  Some of the items of the Triangle were addressed, specifically in Subpart CC, and many contractors are trying to understand where their responsibilities lay in a crane lift. At Sims Crane & Equipment, in Tampa, FL, they have come up with a crane safety awareness pocket card to assist the contractors in understanding these responsibilities. Bob Berry, Director of Safety for Sims, created the Pocket Safety Card, to help anyone that is on a job site quickly understand not only the anatomy of a lift, but the safety responsibilities and with whom they lay.

This is a great resource, but moreover, it’s important to read the OHSA standards carefully and thoroughly. Pay close attention to words such as  ‘shall’ and ‘should’. It is critical to everyone’s safety that all rules and regulations are fully understood and complied with. The most important thing at the end of the day, is that everyone goes home to their families when a job site shuts down.

If you are the controlling entity, the lift director, the contractor, the crane operator, or sub-contractor then it IS a responsibility - NOT a suggestion or best practice.

It is the responsibility of the controlling entity to be educated with OSHA and ASME B30.5 and understand the organizational structure on a job site. There is a tendency to pass the responsibility on to others – either verbally, or in written agreement such as a contract. You cannot write something into a contract that contradicts an OSHA standard.

OSHA and the Florida Crane Safety Alliance have partnered and are working on ways to help communicate this important message.  They are looking at producing a crane safety awareness card of their own. Please contact local offices of OSHA and share your comments.

Author:  Laura Palmisano, Public Relations and Journalism, Sims Crane

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