EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Marco Crane & Rigging – Decision after reconsideration

The employer was cited for a serious violation of section 4999(h)(1) [holding the load] because the employer’s crane operator suspended a load for a considerable time without the application of a drum holding mechanism. Although held static for only a few seconds by the crane operator, the load slipped, causing injury to iron workers who were using the load to construct a tower crane. The board rejected the employer’s argument that section 4999(h)(1) was so vague as to be unenforceable because the regulation provided employers fair warning of the conduct required to avoid a violation. Additionally, in interpreting the language of the regulation, it was found that section 4999(h)(1) would apply based not on the actual time of suspension, but on whether a crane operator could have reasonably anticipated, under the circumstances, that the load would be held for a “considerable time”. However, in reversing the ALJ and setting aside the citation, the board held that the employer was not in violation of section 4999(h)(1) because the facts established that the crane operator could not have reasonably anticipated, under the circumstances, that the load would be suspended for a “considerable time”.

Marco Crane & Rigging, 01-3329 (Word)
Marco Crane & Rigging, 01-3329 (Adobe Acrobat)

August 17, 2004