Tuesday, July 1, 2014

OSHA Compliance for Lifting Systems

Lately, my company has been asked to review numerous lifting systems for compliance to safety standards. I have been asked to review equipment that is a derived version of an existing device where the existing system DOES NOT meet the OSHA/ASME standards. Surprisingly, I find that the purchaser doesn't realize that they will be held accountable by OSHA for applicability of the lifting system usually resulting from an accident investigation or safety complaint. Did you know OSHA holds the employer responsible for design and applicability of lifting tools?

Handling and moving materials and products often requires special lifting equipment. Heavy lifting applications are found in both construction and maintenance applications. As the employer, you are responsible to ensure that all lifting devices are used appropriately and in compliance with the OSHA standards. Are you sure your lifting devices are in compliance?

OSHA 1926 provides clear instructions regarding the usage of lifting devices. Sadly, some companies find out too late that their lifting systems are not in compliance. How can you be sure that your system is safe and meets the OSHA requirements? To start:
  • Ensure that all purchased products are designed to applicable industry standards, require a statement of compliance
  • Ensure that each device includes operating instructions approved by a qualified engineer.
  • Specifically applicable to below the hook devices (Ref: ASME B30.20, ASME BTH‐1, ASME B30.9):
    • Require proof that the system was designed to meet the applicable standards.
    • Devices shall include placards that list maximum rated load, serial number, design category (ASME BTH‐1), and device weight, device manufacturer.
    • Devices shall include a placard that specifies date of last proof load test, date of lastinspection, and required date for next proof load test.
    • Request the proof load inspection report.
    • Require that all devices include maintenance and inspection plans.
  • Use the device only in accordance with approved procedures, all deviations must be reviewed and approved by a qualified engineer.
  • Any deviations or modifications to the lifting devices must be approved in writing by a qualified professional engineer
OSHA 1926.32 defines a qualified person as:
  • One who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.
Most states define a qualified engineer as one that is licensed to practice in that state (Professional Engineer). Please consult the laws of your state.

KTM Solutions is an engineering services company that specializes in lifting devices and material handling systems. All lifting designs are approved by licensed engineers (PE). Manufacturing services are available as well.

Need assistance ‐ Contact us at info@ktmsolutions.com