OSHA Critical Lift Safety Program
This section includes guidelines and requirements applicable to critical
lifts and describes the planning and documentation required to perform a
29 CFR 1926, SUBPART N
ANSI/ASME B-30.7 SERIES
determinations of critical lifts
supervisor & employee training
safe and proper equipment for critical lifts
guidelines and inspection procedures
all critical lifts
employees have adequate operational knowledge & experience
remove from service any equipment that fails inspection
lifting & rigging procedures
report any problems with equipment of procedures
attempt any critical lifts unless authorized & approved
The decision to designate a lift as a critical lift is a management
decision. Guidelines provided here are intended to aid in making that
decision. A lift should be designated as a critical lift if dropping,
upset or collision could cause or result in any one of the following:
that would result in serious economic consequences.
that would result in unacceptable delay to schedule or other
significant deleterious programmatic impact (such as loss of vital
damage that would jeopardize future operations or safety of a
release of radioactive or other hazardous material to the environment
or creation of an undesirable condition.
injury or significant adverse health impact, either onsite or offsite.
addition, a lift that meets one of the following criteria shall be
designated as a critical lift:
lift that requires the use of multiple cranes.
lift that exceeds 80% of the crane’s rated capacity within the
lift configuration of the crane.
item to be lifted requires exceptional care in handling because of
size, weight, close-tolerance installation, high susceptibility to
damage or other unusual factor.
item, although non-critical, requires exceptional care in handling
because it is being lifted above a critical item.
manager who has the responsibility for the item being lifted has the
authority to require that it be handled as a critical lift. In addition,
the manager at the facility where the lift will be performed also has the
authority to require that it be handled as a critical lift. The manager
who designates the lift as a critical lift shall ensure that a
person-in-charge (PIC) is assigned. (The PIC need not be in the
The PIC shall ensure that a step-by-step procedure is prepared for
critical lifts. Although individual procedures are prepared for one-time
critical lifts, general procedures may be employed to accomplish routine
recurrent critical lifts, For example, a general procedure may be used to
lift an item or series of similar items that are frequently lifted or
repeatedly handled in the same manner. A critical lift procedure should
contain the following, as applicable:
Identify the items
to be moved.
precautions, if any (such as outrigger or track cribbing for mobile
Weight of the item
and total weight of the load (For mobile cranes, see the manufacturer’s
instructions regarding components and attachments that must be considered
as part of the load).
Center of gravity
A list of each
piece of equipment (e.g., crane, hoist, fork truck), accessory, and
rigging component (e.g., slings, shackles, spreader bars, yokes) to be
used for the lift. (This list shall identify each piece of equipment by
type and rated capacity).
checkpoints and holdpoints and estimated instrument readings, as relevant,
so that job progress can be checked against the plan.
Sign-offs in the procedure are generally appropriate. For example, initial
and time/date the procedure as key steps are completed. Hold points or
sign-off points should be provided for personnel assigned to witness the
which include the following:
Lift point identification.
Method(s) of attachment.
Other factors affecting the equipment capacity.
Rated capacity of equipment in the configuration(s) in which it will
be used. (For mobile cranes, many factors affect rated capacity,
including boom length, boom angle and work area).
A load-path sketch
that shows the load path and height at key points in the job. (For lifts
with mobile cranes, include the crane position(s) relative to the load and
relative to surrounding obstructions. Where appropriate, include
A sketch indicating
lifting and travel speed limitations. (This may be noted on the load path
sketch or on a separate sketch).
A sign-off sheet to
verify that equipment and tackle inspections or tests are current.
lifts are recommended. (If used, requirements for the practice lift should
be documented in the procedure).
of Critical Lifts
The critical lift procedure should be approved as required by the
responsible contractor’s procedures. In the absence of direction from
the contractor’s procedures, a critical lift procedure shall be approved
(signed and dated) by the following:
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