OSHA Regulations

Important Details of OSHA 1926

Understanding the details of OSHA 1926 is essential information for outrigger pad and crane pad operators. It covers fundamental ground conditions and supporting material definitions as well as who is the controlling entity of a site and the responsibilities of companies operating a crane.

OSHA 1926.1400

1926.1400(a)

  • This standard applies to power-operated equipment, when used in construction, that can hoist, lower and horizontally move a suspended load. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to: Articulating cranes (such as knuckle-boom cranes); crawler cranes; floating cranes; cranes on barges; locomotive cranes; mobile cranes (such as wheel-mounted, rough-terrain, all-terrain, commercial truck-mounted, and boom truck cranes); multi-purpose machines when configured to hoist and lower (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load; industrial cranes (such as carry-deck cranes); dedicated pile drivers; service/mechanic trucks with a hoisting device; a crane on a monorail; tower cranes (such as a fixed jib, i.e., “hammerhead boom”), luffing boom and self-erecting); pedestal cranes; portal cranes; overhead and gantry cranes; straddle cranes; sideboom cranes; derricks; and variations of such equipment. However, items listed in paragraph (c) of this section are excluded from the scope of this standard.
OSHA 1926.1401

Blocking (also referred to as “cribbing”) is wood or other material used to support equipment or a component and distribute loads to the ground. It is typically used to support lattice boom sections during assembly/disassembly and under outrigger and stabilizer floats. Nonconductive 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). Rated capacity means 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.

Nonconductive 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).

Rated capacity means 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.

OSHA 1926.1402

1926.1402(a)(1)

  • Ground conditions means the ability of the ground to support the equipment (including slope, compaction, and firmness).

1926.1402(a)(2)

  • Supporting materials means blocking, mats, cribbing, marsh buggies (in marshes/wetlands), or similar supporting materials or devices.

1926.1402(b)

  • The equipment must not be assembled or used unless ground conditions are firm, drained, 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. The requirement for the ground to be drained does not apply to marshes/wetlands.

1926.1402(c) The controlling entity must:

  • Ensure that ground preparations necessary to meet the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section are provided.
  • Inform the user of the equipment and the operator of the location of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) that are in the possession of the controlling entity (whether at the site or off-site) or the hazards are otherwise known to that controlling entity.
  • If there is no controlling entity for the project, the requirement in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must 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.
  • If the A/D director or the operator determines that ground conditions do not meet the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section, that person’s employer must have a discussion with the controlling entity regarding the ground preparations that are needed so that, with the use of suitable supporting materials/devices (if necessary), the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section can be met.
  • This section does not apply to cranes designed for use on railroad tracks when used on railroad tracks that are part of the general railroad system of transportation that is regulated pursuant to the Federal Railroad Administration under 49 CFR part 213 and that comply with applicable Federal Railroad Administration requirements.

OSHA 1402 “Guide”

  • Importance of Ground Conditions: Adequate ground conditions are essential for safe crane operations because the crane’s capacity and stability depend on such conditions being present. If, for example, the ground is muddy or otherwise unstable, a crane could overturn even if operated with the load limits specified by the manufacturer.
  • Basic Rule: You must not assemble or use a crane unless ground conditions are firm, drained, and graded to a sufficient extent so that, in conjunction (if necessary) with the use of supporting materials (such as blocking, mats, cribbing, or marsh buggies (in marshes/wetlands)), the equipment manufacturer’s specifications for adequate support and degree of level of the equipment are met. The requirement for the ground to be drained does not apply to marshes/wetlands.
  • Responsibilities of Controlling Entity: A contractor operating a crane on a construction site may not have the ability or authority to provide for adequate ground conditions at the site. The standard therefore places the responsibility for ensuring that the ground conditions are adequate on the “controlling entity” at the site, that is the prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager, or other legal entity with overall responsibility for the project’s planning, quality, and completion.
    • The controlling entity must also inform the user and operator of the equipment of hazards beneath the equipment set-up area (such as voids, tanks, utilities) if those hazards are identified in documents (such as site drawings, as-built drawings, and soil analyses) in the possession of the controlling entity (whether at the site or off-site) and of any other hazards known to the controlling entity.
    • If there is no controlling entity for the project, the responsibility for providing adequate ground conditions rests on the employer that has authority at the site to make or arrange for ground preparations.
  • Responsibility of Company Operating Crane: Although the controlling entity is responsible for providing adequate ground conditions, the company operating the crane will often be better able than the controlling entity to determine whether those conditions are adequate. If you are operating a crane and decide that ground conditions are inadequate, you must discuss the problem with the controlling entity and see that the problem is corrected before beginning or continuing operations.