OSHA’s Final Rule for Safety Standards for Steel Erection was published in 2001, and paragraph (e), Multiple Lift Rigging Procedure, outlines OSHA’s standard for lifting multiple pieces of steel at one time.
Multiple Lift Rigging (Christmas-Treeing), is allowed only for steel erectors and should only be done when the outlined criteria are met. Recently, I have seen erection companies perform multiple lifts with items not approved under OSHA’s final rule. For example, bundles of decking, pallets of CMU blocks and portable toilets are not permitted for multiple lift rigging because it unnecessarily exposes employees to overhead loads.
Multiple lifts should only be performed if the following criteria are met:
It is important to understand the Steel Erection Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committees (SENRAC) original argument captured in the Federal Register persuaded OSHA to allow steel erection employees to work under the load by using multiple lift rigging. This is because multiple lift rigging, when done properly, is a safe and effective method for decreasing the number of total crane swings and employee exposure on the steel while connecting. To be in compliance with OSHA, steel erectors may “tree” steel beams, bar joists, and girders.
Other benefits of multiple lift rigging are:
OSHA’s Final Rule for Safety Standards for Steel Erection
OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction Subpart R
This Safety Flash was contributed by Bryan McClure, Senior Safety Consultant, Trivent Safety Consulting in cooperation with SEAA’s Safety Committee. It is designed to keep members informed about ongoing safety issues and to provide suggestions for reducing risk. Best practices are gathered from a variety of sources. They may be more or less stringent than individual corporate policies and are not intended to be an official recommendation from SEAA. Always get approval and direction from your company officers on any new practice or procedure as these best practices may not work for all situations.
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