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OSHA Rigging Requirements: What You Need to Know

Workplace safety is paramount, especially in dangerous occupations such as construction and the use of machinery like overhead cranes. 

But what happens if an accident involving your overhead crane occurs and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is contacted? How can you prevent it from happening again, and what do you do to make things right? Understanding an overhead crane's safety, maintenance, and operation regulations is critical.

When determining whether your overhead crane program complies with OSHA requirements, there are several factors to consider, such as the extent to which your programs for inspection, preventative maintenance, repairs, and training for riggers and crane operators adhere to industry best practices.

This article will discuss the main OSHA rigging requirements for OSHA fall protection, as well as the standard fall protection requirements for businesses operating with overhead cranes.

OSHA Fall Protection Safety

Several fall safety technologies and techniques can be applied when performing specific tasks. For instance, a positioning device system could be employed when working on formwork. OSHA advises companies to choose fall-prevention measures like guardrails that protect employees from going down the side of a building.

In general, guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest devices can be used to provide fall protection. These equipment items are referred to as conventional fall protection by OSHA. 

Importance of Fall Protection

Working with heavy machinery at high altitudes makes fall protection safety much more important. One of the most frequent reasons for fatal and catastrophic workplace accidents is falls. Employers must set up the workplace so that no one can fall off of raised workstations, above platforms, or into gaps in the floor or walls.

Every time a worker is at risk of falling, fall protection systems are necessary.

Ways to Reduce Falls

  • Secure all floor holes that workers could unintentionally walk into (either with a floor hole cover or a guardrail and toeboard
  • Employers must provide guardrails and toe boards, regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto hazardous machinery or equipment (such as an acid vat or a conveyor belt) to prevent injuries.
  • Wherever there is an elevated, open-sided platform, runway, or floor, a guard rail and a toe board are necessary. 
  • Safety harnesses and lines, safety nettings, stair railings, and handrails are other fall prevention tools that may be needed for specific operations.
Rigging equipment

OSHA Requirements for Employers

OSHA poses an obligation for employers to secure the workplace and ensure employee safety through the following requirements:

  • Use color codes, posters, labels, or signs to warn employees of possible hazards.
  • Inspect the workplace conditions to ensure they align with applicable OSHA standards.
  • OSHA recommends all employers implement a safety and health program. These are known by different names and are universal mediation acts that can help decrease the incidence and severity of workplace injuries.
  • Ensure the workplace is free from serious health hazards and complies with OSHA standards, rules, and regulations stated in the Act.

You can look at the OSHA Standard 1910.179 Act and see all the requirements needed.

OSHA Crane Inspection

When under OSHA inspection for overhead cranes, or other lifting equipment, the inspectors will look for the following:  

  • Damage to wire ropes;
  • The labels and condition of pendants;
  • Capacity markings that are difficult to read;
  • The markings and conditions of the below-the-hook lifting devices;
  • Incomplete documentation for periodic or frequent inspections;
  • The condition and markings on the bottom block capacity;
  • The markings and state of the rigging gear;
  • Non-compliant grounding for electrified overhead crane systems

Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) Classes

CMAA is the Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Inc., an independent trade association affiliated with the Material Handling Industry (MHI). CMAA is the leading promoter of safe handling overhead traveling crane equipment and similar gear. 

CMAA has established crane service classes to help assess the most convenient crane type for the environment where it’s intended to be used. These classifications are based on the crane's number of lift cycles and average load intensity.

Three Yellow and Red Tower Cranes Under Clear Blue Sky

Types of OSHA Inspections

Whether talking about frequent OSHA inspections or periodic ones, one thing is certain: they will happen. OSHA’s daily crane inspection requirements include inspecting the gear before its first use. 

  • Frequent inspections are typically conducted every day or as frequently as every month, including a visual and operational examination. Inspection frequency is determined by a certified person and depends on service, environmental, and application conditions.
  • Periodic inspections are thorough visual and functional inspections during which each component is evaluated to ascertain its state. The frequency of inspections depends on the service, environmental, and application conditions, as determined by a certified person, and can range from weekly to annually.

Southeast Rigging Inc.: Find Reliable Lifting and Rigging Training in Florida

Southeast Rigging is the leading rigging company in the Southeast. Whether you need slings, rigging hardware, material handling, or load securement equipment, you can find all of that at Southeast Rigging and at affordable prices.

Our fall protection systems will make your day-to-day tasks easier, safer, and OSHA-compliant. Want to know more? Let’s talk! 

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