Cranes: Hoisting Personnel

HOISTING PERSONNEL IS GENERALLY PROHIBITED: Cranes and derricks may not be used to hois employees except where the employer demonstrates that the erection, use, and dismantling of conventional means of reaching the work area, such as a personnel hoise, ladder, stairway, aerial lift, elevating work platform, or scaffold, would be more hazardous, or is not possible because of the project's structural design or worksite conditions.
This section contains stringent criteria to assure the safety of personnel who must be hoisted by a crane or derrick.

USE OF PERSONNEL PLATFORM: A personnel platform must be used when hoisting employees except when hoisting them:
  • Into and out of drill shafts that are 8 fee in diameter or smaller.
  • In pile driving operations.
  • Solely for transfer to or from a marine worksite in a marine-hoisted personnel transfer device.
  • In storage tank (steel or concrete), shaft, and chimney operations.
Where these exceptions apply, the employee may be hoisted in either a personnel platform or a boatswain's chair. See the standard for rulese applicable to these special types of lifts.

PERSONNEL PLATFORM CRITERIA: The personnel platform must conform to the following:
  • A qualified person familiar with structural design must design the personnel platform and attachment/suspension system used for hoisting personnel.
  • The system used to connect the personnel platform to the equipment must allow the platform to remain within 10 degrees of level, regardless of boom angle.
  • The suspension system must be designed to minimize tipping of the platform due to movement of employees occupying the platform.
  • The personnel platform itself (excluding the guardrail system and personal fall arrest system anchorages) must be able to support, without failure, its own weight and at least five times the maximum intended load.
  • All welding of the personnel platform and its components must be performed by a certified welder familiar with the weld grades, types and material specified in the platform design.
  • The personnel platform must be equipped with a guardrail system which meets OSHA criteria and must be enclosed at least from the toeboard to mid-rail with either solid construction material or expanded metal having openings no greater than 1/2 inch. Points to which personal fall arrest systems are attached must meet OSHA anchorage requirements.
  • A grab rail must be installed inside the entire perimeter of the personnel platform except for access gates/doors.
  • If installed, access gates/doors of all types (including swinging, sliding, folding, or other types) must:
    • Not swing outward, However, if due to the size of the personnel platform, such as a 1-person platform, it is infeasible for the door to swing inward and allow safe entry for the platform occupant, then the access gate/door may swing outward.
    • Be equipped with a device that prevents accidental opening.
  • Headroom must be sufficient to allow employees to stand upright in the platform.
  • In addition to the use of hard hats, employees must be protected by overhead protection on the personnel platform when employees are exposed to falling objects. The platform overhead protection must not obscure the view of the operator or platform occupants (such as wire mesh that has up to 1/2 inch openings) unless full protection is necessary.
  • All edges exposed to employee contact must be smooth enough to prevent injury.
  • The weight of the platform and its rated capacity must be conspicuously posted on the platform with a plate or other permanent marking.
  • The personnel platform must not be loaded in excess of its rated capacity.
  • Personnel platforms must be used only for employees, their tools, and the materials necessary to do their work.
  • Materials and tools must be secured to prevent displacement and evenly distributed within the platform.
  • The number of employees occupying the personnel platform must not exceed the maximum number the platform was designed to hold or the number required to perform the work, whicheve is less.

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