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Subchapter 20. Tunnel Safety Orders
Article 19. Shafts and Hoisting Systems

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§8495. Hoisting Equipment and Systems.

(a) General Requirements.

(1) When a shaft is used as a means of egress, the employer shall make advance arrangements for power-assisted hoisting capability to be readily available in an emergency, unless the regular hoisting means can continue to function in the event of an electrical power failure at the jobsite. Such hoisting means shall be designed so that the load hoist drum is powered in both directions of rotation and so that the brake is automatically applied upon power release or failure.

(2) Material hoists shall conform to applicable sections of this article and the requirements of Section 1605.14 of the Construction Safety Orders relative to mine-type hoisting machines.

(3) There shall be two safe means of access in shafts at all times. This may include a ladder and acceptable hoisting system.

(4) Where any shaft conveyance may swing, bump, or snag against the shaft sides or other structural protrusions, the conveyance shall be guided by fenders, rails, ropes, or equivalent means.

(5) Cranes used for hoisting shall comply with the applicable sections of this article and the requirements of Group 13 of the General Industry Safety Orders; and shall be proof load tested in accordance with Section 5021 prior to being placed into service and at least annually thereafter.

(6) Cranes shall be of such design that the load is powered up and down, and so arranged that the load stops or creeps slowly if the motor stops. A system shall be used to prevent the drum from being accidentally disengaged from the mechanical drive (freewheeling) while in use at a shaft.

(7) Crane and hoist drum control levers shall be of a type that return automatically to the “stop” position when the operator's hand is removed.

NOTE: Cranes may have a drum throttle control that automatically stops or slows the engine to idling speed when the throttle is released.

(8) All cranes used for hoisting shall be provided with a limit switch to prevent a two-block condition.

(9) Limit switches are to be used only to limit travel of loads when operational controls malfunction, and shall not be used as a substitute for other operational controls.

(10) The maximum rate of speed at which material and personnel can be hoisted shall be determined by a qualified person, posted at the hoist controls and shall not be exceeded.

(A) When a hoist is used for both personnel hoisting and material hoisting, load and speed ratings for personnel and for material shall be assigned to the equipment.

(11) A non-combustible hoist house shall be constructed and wherever possible, provide a clear and unobstructed view of the shaft collar. Physical protection shall be provided for the hoistman, hoist drum(s), braking system and drive motors.

(A) A fire extinguisher that is rated at least 2A:10B:C (multi-purpose, dry chemical) shall be mounted in each hoist house.

(12) Whenever glazing is used in a hoist house, it shall be safety glass, or its equivalent, and be free of distortions and obstruction.

(13) All hoists shall be equipped with landing level indicators at the operator's station. Marking of the hoist rope and belt-driven indicators shall not satisfy this requirement.

(14) Hoisting ropes used on cranes shall be accurately marked or equivalent steps taken to indicate when the load has reached certain important positions including top and bottom landings.

(15) Hoist controls shall be clearly labeled and arranged so that the operator can perform all operating cycle functions and reach the emergency cutoff without having to reach beyond the operator's normal operating position.

(16) The Hoists shall be designed so that the load hoist drum is powered in both directions of rotation and so that brakes are automatically applied upon power release or failure. There shall be no friction gearing or clutch mechanism by which the motor or other power source can be disconnected from the hoisting drum.

(17) Makeshift hoisting operations shall not be permitted for personnel or materials.

(18) Construction elevator-type hoists as defined in the Construction Safety Orders shall comply with the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Article 14 of the Construction Safety Orders.

(b) Personnel Hoisting Systems.

(1) The hoist control shall be of such design that it will return to the “stop” position when the hand of the operator is removed from the control lever. The brakes shall be automatically applied and the power cut off whenever the control lever is in the “stop” position.

(2) Hoists shall be equipped with limit switches to prevent over travel at the top and bottom of the hoistway.

(3) Hoists utilized in shafts over 100 feet in depth shall be provided with overspeed devices which disconnect the power and apply the brake at 120 percent of the maximum rated speed.

(4) Cranes used for personnel hoisting in shafts under construction shall comply with the applicable sections of this article and the requirements of Group 13 of the General Industry Safety Orders; however, the requirements of Section 5004(c) do not apply.

(5) Personnel hoists shall be equipped with at least two brakes, each of which is capable of stopping and holding 150 percent of the hoist's rated line pull. One shall be an automatic brake that will be applied whenever the power fails, is shut off or when the power control lever is in the “off” position. The other brake shall be a hand or foot brake that operates on the hoist drum. A broken-rope safety, safety catch, or arrestment device is not a permissible means of stopping under this section.

(c) Shaft Conveyances.

(1) Shaft conveyances used for moving personnel in all completed shafts, or in all shafts being used as completed shafts, shall be rope or rail guided for the full length of their travel.

(2) Personnel conveyances operating on guides or guide cable shall be equipped with broken-rope safety devices.

(3) Conveyances used for moving personnel shall be equipped with a bonnet that covers the top in such manner as to protect riders from objects falling in the shaft. It shall be the equivalent of two steel plates three-sixteenths inch in thickness, sloping toward each side. If used in a shaft where emergency egress may be blocked, the bonnet shall be so arranged that it may be readily pushed upward to afford egress.

(4) Conveyances used for the movement of personnel shall be provided with sheet iron or steel side-casings not less than six feet in height and not less than 14 gauge thick or with one-half inch (12.70 mm) wire mesh (not less than No. 14 gauge or equivalent), and with gates of not less than four and one-half feet in height and made of such materials as specified for side-casing, either hung on hinges or working in slides; provided, however, that this safety order does not preclude the use of other materials having equivalent strength and providing equal safety. The conveyance shall have handholds provided so that each person will have a convenient means for steadying themselves.

(A) All personnel conveyances shall be provided with a positive locking door and/or gate that does not open outward.

(5) If buckets or cages without guides are used for handling personnel and material, the arrangements must be such that:

(A) The work bucket shall have all sides enclosed by a heavy screen or equivalent to a height of at least 42 inches, and have a protective canopy top. Shaft crews shall be hoisted or lowered in a conveyance as required in Section 8495(c)(3) and (4). However, when the cage is being used as a work platform the sides may be reduced in height to 42 inches when conveyance is not in motion.

(B) Self-dumping conveyances used for the transportation of personnel shall be provided with a positive means to prevent travel into the dumping position and equipped with a suitable locking device to prevent accidental dumping when persons are transported thereon.

(6) Emergency chains, slings, or double clevis pins shall be used between the lower end of the wire rope and the shaft conveyance so that in the event of ring bolt or clevis-pin breakage, the emergency attachments will prevent the cage or skip from falling.

(d) Broken Rope Safety Device.

(1) Broken-rope safety devices shall be capable of stopping and holding 150 percent of the weight of the conveyance and its maximum rated load in the event the hoisting cable parts.

(2) The safety device shall be mechanically applied. Electric, hydraulic or pneumatic action shall not be used to engage the safeties nor hold them in the retracted position.

(3) The safety device shall be designed not to engage while the conveyance is ascending and after actuation be released only by the upward movement of the conveyance.

(4) The safety device shall be drop-tested at 100 percent of its rated capacity before initial use and the following:

(A) After any repairs or alterations affecting the safety device.

(B) After any unintentional actuation of the safety device during normal operation.

(C) At least annually.

The Division shall witness the required initial and annual drop-tests.

(5) No method of roping shall be used which might interfere with the proper operation of the safety device.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code.


1. Amendment of section heading, repealer of section and new section and Note filed 3-5-96; operative 4-4-96 (Register 96, No. 10).

2. New subsection (a)(11)(A) and amendment of subsections (a)(16), (b)(2), (b)(5) and (c)(4) filed 1-9-2014; operative 4-1-2014 (Register 2014, No. 2).

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