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What Does OSHA Say About Crane Operator Safety


Crane operations in progress

Short for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA is the most prominent American organization created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The organization’s core responsibilities are to create effective health and safety regimes at different types of workplaces, including construction and mining sites.

OSHA plays a pivotal role in determining, assessing, and improving worksite safety for crane workers. It has several codes and regulations that help crane managers and owners ensure crane operator safety and protect employees who directly or indirectly operate a crane.

In this detailed guide, you will learn all about OSHA’s crane and derrick safety requirements and codes. Our team has highlighted various key points from OSHA’s manual to help beginner and experienced crane operators understand their responsibilities and rights. So let’s get started.



A gigantic crane’s cabin


Crane Operation Standards

The first thing that OSHA talks about is regular crane operation standards. These basic rules and regulations help crane operations, riggers, and signalers maintain and manage their equipment. OSHA’s crane, derrick, and hoist safety documents entail suggestions and instructions for every industry using crane equipment.

Here are the most important highlights from this manual:

  • Crane and derrick’s safety and employee wellbeing must comply with the standard known as Subpart CC of 29 CFR Part 1926. This law applies to crane equipment safety deployed at demolition and underground construction sites.

  • Crane operators and riggers are the primary subjects of the said law. However, every employee working around crane equipment must ensure that they’re not exposed to any hazards posed by the equipment. OSHA extensively addresses all kinds of hazards and issues that may arise at a crane operation site and explicitly maintains crane operator safety and right provision.

  • It’s worth noting that only crane workers’ employers are responsible for meeting OSHA’s crane safety requirements, such as employee safety and crane standards.

OSHA’s Crane Operation Requirements

Now that you know the basics of OSHA’s crane, derrick, and riggers safety program, let’s delve deeper and explore its regulatory requirements. Note that all of these codes apply to crane employers and managers.


Workers busy at a construction site



Crane operators and employees are not responsible for ensuring these crane operational safety requirements.

  • Regardless of the type, industry, and complexity of a crane operation site, crane contractors are responsible for creating a safe ground plan during crane assembly.

  • Municipal committee owners, utility managers, and energy company employees must timely provide voltage details and power line plans to crane managers before an operation.

  • Crane operation managers and contractors must talk to utility personnel if they plan to work in close proximity to electricity lines.

  • The law §1926.1412stipulates that crane inspectors must carry out detailed assessments of their equipment before and after each operation. Inspections must


include modified and non-modified equipment, repaired, adjusted, annual, service, post-replacement, and shift-based assessments. The law also maintains that all inspections must be carried out by a qualified person.

Crane Assembly and Disassembly Codes

Crane operators’ safety also depends on how well crane contractors assemble and disassemble the equipment before and after each shift. Signalers are responsible for helping crane operators and riggers during these procedures.

OSHA suggests crane employers invest in crane safety equipment like ATB systems, RCI and LMI, and wind speed indicators to improve their crane’s operational performance and safety.

Crane Operator’s Safety Points

OSHA stipulates that crane employers must look for and hire competent and qualified crane operators. They should run comprehensive background checks and also assess candidates with


practical tests. The organization has created a “federal floor” criterion that allows crane operators to work for any employer in any state.



Cranes installed at a construction site


However, crane operators are required to apply for a local certification if the jurisdiction meets the federal floor. Employers cannot hire crane operators who are not certified by either federal or local bodies unless they hold a military-level certification to work as crane operators.

Crane Hazards and Safety Management


Working as a crane operator is challenging. It may also be frightening if the worksite conditions aren’t managed well or have several safety loopholes. OSHA combats this danger by outlining a detailed code manual about crane safety hazards and their solutions.

The organization emphasizes health and safety topics for crane operators, such as fall prevention, machine guarding, and scaffolding safety. It also stipulates that crane employers and employees should stay in touch with the DOE to ensure worksite safety conditions. It’s especially important for crane equipment deployed at DOE sites.

Crane Operator PPE and Weather Safety

OSHA requires that crane operators must have proper PPE when they’re working outdoors in extreme weather conditions. These codes help employers prevent common employee safety hazards like heat strokes, frost bite, and heat exhaustion.





A crane operator’s helmet on the floor


For hurricane preparedness and response, OSHA says that employers must have effective evacuation kits for crane operators. You can check out their Hurricane eMatrix to learn more about the specific hazards and solutions for a hurricane response plan.

Buy Robust and Branded Crane Safety Products in the US

Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is a one-of-a-kind crane systems products distributor in the US. We strive to bring the best and most advanced crane safety equipment to your disposal. Our range includes but isn’t limited to rated capacity indicators, load moment indicators, wired and wireless ATB systems, and Wind Speed Indicator.

Some of our best-selling products are the i4300 LMI system, the R147 Anti-Two Blocking system, and the R180 crane anemometer. All of these and many other products are available on our website. At Crane Warning Systems Atlanta, we’re on a mission to help crane operators, riggers, owners, and signalers comply with OSHA’s work safety requirements and increase their equipment’s useful life and reliability.

For more details, contact our team today or check out our latest product manuals here.


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