Skip to Main Content

This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at
Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 15. Cranes and Derricks in Construction
Return to index
New query

§ 1610.3. Definitions.

A/D Director (Assembly/Disassembly Director). An individual who meets this section's requirements for an A/D director, irrespective of the person's formal job title or whether the person is non-management or management personnel.

Accessory gear. Those items specified by the crane manufacturer as being authorized for use on the load chart such as jibs, blocks, and hooks.

Articulating Crane. A crane whose boom consists of a series of folding, pin connected structural members, typically manipulated to extend or retract by power from hydraulic cylinders.

Assembly/Disassembly. The assembly and/or disassembly of equipment covered under this standard. With regard to tower cranes, “erecting and climbing” replaces the term “assembly,” and “dismantling” replaces the term “disassembly.” Regardless of whether the crane is initially erected to its full height or is climbed in stages, the process of increasing the height of the crane is an erection process.

Assist Crane. A crane used to assist in assembling or disassembling a crane.

Attachment(s). Any device that expands the range of tasks that can be done by the equipment. Examples include, but are not limited to: An auger, drill, magnet, pile-driver, and boom-attached personnel platform.

Audible Signal. A signal made by a distinct sound or series of sounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, sounds made by a bell, horn, or whistle.

Blocking (also referred to as “cribbing”) is wood or other material used to support equipment or a component and distribute loads to the ground. It is typically used to support lattice boom sections during assembly/disassembly and under outrigger and stabilizer floats.

Boatswain's Chair. A single-point adjustable suspension scaffold consisting of a seat or sling (which may be incorporated into a full body harness) designed to support one employee in a sitting position.

Bogie. See “Trolley (Travel Bogie),” which is defined below.

Boom. A member section of a crane or derrick, the lower end of which is affixed to a mast, base, carriage, or support, and the upper end supports a hook or other end attachment. The length of the boom shall be taken as the straight line distance between the axis of the foot pin and the axis of the end sheave pin.

Boom (equipment other than tower crane). An inclined spar, strut, or other long structural member which supports the upper hoisting tackle on a crane or derrick. Typically, the length and vertical angle of the boom can be varied to achieve increased height or height and reach when lifting loads. Booms can usually be grouped into general categories of hydraulically extendible, cantilevered type, latticed section, cable supported type or articulating type.

Boom (tower cranes): On tower cranes, if the “boom” (i.e., principal horizontal structure) is fixed, it is referred to as a jib; if it is moveable up and down, it is referred to as a boom.

Boom angle indicator. A device which measures the angle of the boom relative to horizontal.

Boom hoist limiting device. Includes boom hoist disengaging device, boom hoist shut-off, boom hoist disconnect, boom hoist hydraulic relief, boom hoist kick-outs, automatic boom stop device, or derricking limiter. This type of device disengages boom hoist power when the boom reaches a predetermined operating angle. It also sets brakes or closes valves to prevent the boom from lowering after power is disengaged.

Boom length indicator. Indicates the length of the permanent part of the boom (such as ruled markings on the boom) or, as in some computerized systems, the length of the boom with extensions/attachments.

Boom stop. Includes boom stops, (belly straps with struts/standoff), telescoping boom stops, attachment boom stops, and backstops. These devices restrict the boom from moving above a certain maximum angle and toppling over backward.

Boom suspension system. A system of pendants, running ropes, sheaves, and other hardware which supports the boom tip and controls the boom angle.

Builder. The builder/constructor of equipment.

Center of gravity: The center of gravity of any object is the point in the object around which its weight is evenly distributed. If you could put a support under that point, you could balance the object on the support.

Certificating Agency. Certificating agencies are qualified agencies, and/or persons, licensed by the Division to examine, test and certify cranes and derricks in accordance with Sections 344.60 through 344.67 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

Certified Agent. The manufacturer, or a person who is currently registered as a professional civil, mechanical, or structural engineer by the State of California and is knowledgeable in the structure and use of the equipment.

Certified welder. A welder who meets nationally recognized certification requirements applicable to the task being performed.

Climbing. The process in which a tower crane is raised to a new working height, either by adding additional tower sections to the top of the crane (top climbing), or by a system in which the entire crane is raised inside the structure (inside climbing).

Come-a-long. A mechanical device typically consisting of a chain or cable attached at each end that is used to facilitate movement of materials through leverage.

Competent person. A person who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Controlled load lowering. Lowering a load by means of a mechanical hoist drum device that allows a hoisted load to be lowered with maximum control using the gear train or hydraulic components of the hoist mechanism. Controlled load lowering requires the use of the hoist drive motor, rather than the load hoist brake, to lower the load.

Controlling entity. An employer that is a prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager or any other legal entity which has the overall responsibility for the construction of the project - its planning, quality and completion.

Counterweight. A weight used to supplement the weight of equipment in providing stability for lifting loads by counterbalancing those loads.

Crane. A machine for lifting or lowering a load and moving it horizontally, in which the hoisting mechanism is an integral part of the machine. It may be driven manually or by power and may be a fixed or a mobile machine, but does not include stackers, lift trucks, power shovels, backhoes, or excavators. Some of the common types of cranes are defined as follows:

(A) Boom-Type Mobile Crane. A self-propelled crane equipped with a boom and mounted on a chassis which is supported on either rubber tires, crawler treads or railway wheels running on railroad tracks.

(B) Cantilever Gantry Crane. A crane in which the bridge girders or trusses are extended transversely beyond the crane runway on one or both sides. Its runway may be either on the ground or elevated.

(C) Crawler Crane. A crane consisting of a superstructure with power plant, operating machinery and boom, mounted on a base, equipped with crawler treads for travel.

(D) Floor Operated Crane. A crane which is pendant or nonconductive rope controlled by an operator on the floor or an independent platform.

(E) Gantry Crane. A crane similar to an overhead traveling crane, except that the bridge for carrying the trolley or trolleys is rigidly supported on two or more movable legs running on fixed rails or other runway.

(1) Container Handling Yard Crane. Rubber tired gantry crane.

(F) Hammerhead Crane. A rotating, counterbalanced cantilever, equipped with one or more trolleys and supported by a pivot or turntable on a traveling or fixed tower.

(G) Jib Crane. A fixed crane consisting of a supported vertical member from which extends a horizontal swinging arm carrying a trolley hoist or other hoisting mechanism.

(H) Locomotive Crane. A crane mounted on a base or car equipped for travel on a railroad track.

(I) Monorail Crane. A crane whose hoisting mechanism is suspended from, and is an integral part of, one or more trolleys mounted on a single track.

(J) Motor Truck Crane. A boom-type mobile crane mounted on a motor truck frame or rubber-tired chassis. It consists of a rotating superstructure with power plant, operating mechanism and boom.

(K) Overhead Traveling or Bridge Crane. A crane on a pair of parallel elevated runways, adapted to lift and lower a load and carry it horizontally parallel to, or at right angles to, the runways or both; and consisting of one or more trolleys operating on the bridge which in turn consists of one or more girders or trusses mounted on trucks operating on the elevated runways, with its operation limited to the area between the runways.

(L) Pillar Crane. A fixed crane consisting of a vertical member held in position at the base to resist overturning moment with constant-radius revolving boom supported at the outer end by a tension member.

(M) Pillar Jib Crane. A fixed crane consisting of a vertical member held at the base with a horizontal revolving arm carrying a trolley.

(N) Polar Crane. A bridge or gantry type crane which travels on a circular track.

(O) Portal Crane (Whirly Type). A type of crane consisting of a rotating upperstructure, hoist machinery, and boom mounted on top of a structural gantry which may be fixed in one location or have travel capability. The gantry legs or columns usually have portal openings in between to allow passage of traffic beneath the gantry.

(P) Power Operated Crane. A crane whose mechanism is driven by electric, air, hydraulic or internal combustion means.

(Q) Pulpit-Operated Crane. A crane operated from a fixed operation station not a hazard to the crane.

(R) Remote-Operated Crane. A crane controlled by an operator not in a pulpit or in a cab hooked to the crane, by any method other than pendant or rope control.

(S) Standby Crane. A crane which is not in regular service but which is used occasionally or intermittently as required.

(T) Semi-Gantry or Single Leg Crane. A gantry crane with 1 end of the bridge rigidly supported on one or more movable legs, running on a fixed rail or runway, the other end of the bridge being supported by a truck running on an elevated rail or runway.

(U) Semi-Portal Crane. A portal crane mounted on a semi-gantry frame instead of a gantry frame.

(W) Traveling Jib Crane. A jib crane with the vertical member running on a track, its upper end guided by a parallel overhead track.

(X) Wall Crane. A crane having jib with or without a trolley and supported from a side wall or line of columns of a building.

(Y) Wheel Mounted Crane. A crane consisting of a rotating superstructure with power plant, operating machinery and boom, mounted on a base or platform equipped with axles and rubber-tired wheels for travel. The base is usually propelled by the engine in the superstructure, but it may be equipped with a separate engine controlled from the superstructure. Its function is to hoist and swing loads at various radii.

Crossover points. Locations on a wire rope which is spooled on a drum where one layer of rope climbs up on and crosses over the previous layer. This takes place at each flange of the drum as the rope is spooled onto the drum, reaches the flange, and begins to wrap back in the opposite direction.

Dedicated channel. A line of communication assigned by the employer who controls the communication system to only one signal person and crane/derrick or to a coordinated group of cranes/derricks/signal person(s).

Dedicated drilling rig. A machine which creates bore holes and/or shafts in the ground.

Dedicated pile-driver is a machine that is designed to function exclusively as a pile-driver. These machines typically have the ability to both hoist the material that will be pile-driven and to pile-drive that material.

Dedicated spotter (power lines): To be considered a dedicated spotter, the requirements of Section 1618.2 (Signal person qualifications) must be met and his/her sole responsibility is to watch the separation between the power line and the equipment, load line and load (including rigging and lifting accessories), and ensure through communication with the operator that the applicable minimum approach distance is not breached.

Derrick. An apparatus consisting of a mast or equivalent member held at the top by guys or braces, with or without a boom, for use with a hoisting mechanism and operating rope, for lifting or lowering a load and moving it horizontally.

(A) A-Frame Derrick. A derrick in which the boom is hinged from a cross member between the bottom ends of two upright members spread apart at the lower ends and joined at the top; the boom point secured to the junction of the side members, and the side members are braced or guyed from this junction point.

(B) Breast Derrick. A derrick without a boom. The mast consists of two side members spread farther apart at the base than at the top and tied together at top and bottom by rigid members. The mast is prevented from tipping forward by guys connected to its top. The load is raised and lowered by ropes through a sheave or block secured to the top crosspiece.

(C) Gin Pole Derrick. A derrick without a boom. Its guys are so arranged from its top to permit leaning the mast in any direction. The load is raised and lowered by ropes reeved through sheaves or blocks at the top of the mast.

(D) Guy Derrick. A fixed derrick consisting of a mast capable of being rotated, supported in a vertical position by guys, and a boom whose bottom end is hinged or pivoted to move in a vertical plane with a reeved rope between the head of the mast and the boom point for raising and lowering the boom, and a reeved rope from the boom point for raising and lowering the load.

(E) Stiffleg Derrick. A derrick similar to a guy derrick except that the mast is supported or held in place by two or more stiff members, called stifflegs, which are capable of resisting either tensile or compressive forces. Sills are generally provided to connect the lower ends of the stifflegs to the foot of the mast.

(F) Shearleg Derrick. A derrick without a boom and similar to a breast derrick. The mast, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, is hinged at the bottom and has its top secured by a multiple reeved guy to permit handling loads at various radii by means of load tackle suspended from the mast top.

Designated Person. A person selected or assigned by the employer or the employer's representative, qualified to perform specific duties.

Directly under the load. A part or all of an employee is directly beneath the load.

Dismantling. Includes partial dismantling (such as dismantling to shorten a boom or substitute a different component).

Drum rotation indicator. A device on a crane or hoist which indicates in which direction and at what relative speed a particular hoist drum is turning.

Electrical contact. Occurs when a person, object, or equipment makes contact or comes in close proximity with an energized conductor or equipment that allows the passage of current.

Employer-made equipment. Floating cranes/derricks designed and built by an employer for the employer's own use.

Encroachment. Where any part of the crane, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) breaches a minimum clearance distance that this Article 15 requires to be maintained from a power line.

Equipment criteria. Instructions, recommendations, limitations and specifications.

Fall protection equipment. Guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or fall restraint systems.

Fall restraint system. A fall protection system that prevents the user from falling any distance. The system is comprised of either a body belt or body harness, along with an anchorage, connectors and other necessary equipment. The other components typically include a lanyard, and may also include a lifeline and other devices.

Fall zone. The area (including but not limited to the area directly beneath the load) in which it is reasonably foreseeable that partially or completely suspended materials could fall in the event of an accident.

Flange points. Points of contact between rope and drum flange where the rope changes layers.

Floating cranes/derricks. Equipment designed by the manufacturer (or employer) for marine use by permanent attachment to a barge, pontoons, vessel or other means of flotation.

For example means “one example, although there are others.”

Free fall (of the load line) means that only the brake is used to regulate the descent of the load line (the drive mechanism is not used to drive the load down faster or retard its lowering).

Free surface effect is the uncontrolled transverse movement of liquids in compartments which reduce a vessel's transverse stability.

Hoist. A mechanical device for lifting and lowering loads by winding a line onto or off a drum.

Hoisting. The act of raising, lowering or otherwise moving a load in the air with equipment covered by this standard. As used in this standard, “hoisting” can be done by means other than wire rope/hoist drum equipment.

Include/including means “including, but not limited to.”

Insulating link/device. An insulating device listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.

Jib stop (also referred to as a jib backstop), is the same type of device as a boom stop but is for a fixed or luffing jib.

Land crane/derrick. Equipment not originally designed by the manufacturer for marine use by permanent attachment to barges, pontoons, vessels, or other means of floatation.

List. The angle of inclination about the longitudinal axis of a barge, pontoons, vessel or other means of floatation.

Load refers to the object(s) being hoisted and/or the weight of the object(s); both uses refer to the object(s) and the load-attaching equipment, such as, the load block, ropes, slings, shackles, and any other ancillary attachment.

Load moment (or rated capacity) indicator. A system which aids the equipment operator by sensing (directly or indirectly) the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and indicates to the operator the percentage of capacity at which the equipment is working. Lights, bells, or buzzers may be incorporated as a warning of an approaching overload condition.

Load moment (or rated capacity) limiter. A system which aids the equipment operator by sensing (directly or indirectly) the overturning moment on the equipment, i.e., load multiplied by radius. It compares this lifting condition to the equipment's rated capacity, and when the rated capacity is reached, it shuts off power to those equipment functions which can increase the severity of loading on the equipment, e.g., hoisting, telescoping out, or luffing out. Typically, those functions which decrease the severity of loading on the equipment remain operational, e.g., lowering, telescoping in, or luffing in.

Locomotive crane. A crane mounted on a base or car equipped for travel on a railroad track.

Luffing jib limiting device. Similar to a boom hoist limiting device, except that it limits the movement of the luffing jib.

Marine hoisted personnel transfer device. A device, such as a “transfer net,” that is designed to protect the employees being hoisted during a marine transfer and to facilitate rapid entry into and exit from the device. Such devices do not include boatswain's chairs when hoisted by equipment covered by this standard.

Marine worksite. A construction worksite located in, on or above the water.

Mobile crane. A lifting device incorporating a cable suspended latticed boom or hydraulic telescopic boom designed to be moved between operating locations by transport over the road.

Moving point-to-point means the times during which an employee is in the process of going to or from a work station.

Multi-purpose machine. A machine that is designed to be configured in various ways, at least one of which allows it to hoist (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load. For example, a machine that can rotate and can be configured with removable forks/tongs (for use as a forklift) or with a winch pack, jib (with a hook at the end) or jib used in conjunction with a winch. When configured with the forks/tongs, it is not covered by this standard. When configured with a winch pack, jib (with a hook at the end) or jib used in conjunction with a winch, it is covered by this standard.

Nonconductive means that, because of the nature and condition of the materials used, and the conditions of use (including environmental conditions and condition of the material), the object in question has the property of not becoming energized (that is, it has high dielectric properties offering a high resistance to the passage of current under the conditions of use).

Operational aids. Devices that assist the operator in the safe operation of the crane by providing information or automatically taking control of a crane function. These include, but are not limited to, the devices listed in Section 1615.2 (“listed operational aids”).

Operational controls. Levers, switches, pedals and other devices for controlling equipment operation.

Operator. A person who is operating the equipment.

Overhead and gantry cranes. Includes overhead/bridge cranes, semi-gantry, cantilever gantry, wall cranes, storage bridge cranes, launching gantry cranes, and similar equipment, irrespective of whether it travels on tracks, wheels, or other means.


(A) Wire type: A fixed length of wire rope with mechanical fittings at both ends for pinning segments of wire rope together.

(B) Bar type: Instead of wire rope, a bar is used. Pendants are typically used in a latticed boom crane system to easily change the length of the boom suspension system without completely changing the rope on the drum when the boom length is increased or decreased.

Power lines. Electric transmission and distribution lines.

Procedures. Include, but are not limited to: Instructions, diagrams, recommendations, warnings, specifications, protocols and limitations.

Proximity alarm. A device that provides a warning of proximity to a power line and that has been listed, labeled, or accepted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7, or approved in accordance with Section 1505.

Qualified evaluator (not a third party). A person employed by the signal person's employer who has demonstrated that he/she is competent in accurately assessing whether individuals meet the Qualification Requirements in this Article 15 for a signal person.

Qualified evaluator (third party). An entity that, due to its independence and expertise, has demonstrated that it is competent in accurately assessing whether individuals meet the Qualification Requirements in this Article 15 for a signal person.

Qualified rigger is a rigger who meets the criteria for a qualified person.

Radius (Load). The horizontal distance from the center of rotation of a crane or derrick to the center of the vertical hoist line, hook shank or pin, or tackle with load applied.

Range control limit device. A device that can be set by an equipment operator to limit movement of the boom or jib tip to a plane or multiple planes.

Range control warning device. A device that can be set by an equipment operator to warn that the boom or jib tip is at a plane or multiple planes.

Rated capacity. The maximum working load permitted by the manufacturer under specified working conditions. Such working conditions typically include a specific combination of factors such as equipment configuration, radii, boom length, and other parameters of use.

Rated capacity indicator: See load moment indicator.

Rated capacity limiter: See load moment limiter.

Registered Professional Engineer (RPE). A person who is registered as a professional civil, mechanical, or structural engineer by the State of California and is knowledgeable in the structure and use of the equipment.

Repetitive pickup points refer to, when operating on a short cycle operation, the rope being used on a single layer and being spooled repetitively over a short portion of the drum.

Running wire rope. A wire rope that moves over sheaves or drums.

Runway. A firm, level surface designed, prepared and designated as a path of travel for the weight and configuration of the crane being used to lift and travel with the crane suspended platform. An existing surface may be used as long as it meets these criteria.

Sideboom crane. A track-type or wheel-type tractor having a boom mounted on the side of the tractor, used for lifting, lowering or transporting a load suspended on the load hook. The boom or hook can be lifted or lowered in a vertical direction only.

Special hazard warnings. Warnings of site-specific hazards (for example, proximity of power lines).

Stability (flotation device). The tendency of a barge, pontoons, vessel or other means of flotation to return to an upright position after having been inclined by an external force.

Standard Method means the protocol in General Industry Safety Orders, Section 5001, Plate I for hand signals.

Superstructure: See “Upperworks.”

Tagline. A rope (usually fiber) attached to a lifted load for purposes of controlling load spinning and pendular motions or used to stabilize a bucket or magnet during material handling operations.

Tender. An individual responsible for monitoring and communicating with a diver.

Tilt up or tilt down operation. Raising/lowering a load from the horizontal to vertical or vertical to horizontal.

Trolley (Travel bogie). A truck or carriage supporting the load mounted on an overhead beam, bridge, cableway or track.

Trim. Angle of inclination about the transverse axis of a barge, pontoons, vessel or other means of floatation.

Two-Blocking. A condition in which the lower load block or hook assembly comes into contact with the upper load block or boom point sheave assembly. This binds the system and continued application of power can cause failure of the hoist rope or other component.

Unavailable procedures. Procedures that are no longer available from the manufacturer, or have never been available, from the manufacturer.

Upperstructure: See “Upperworks.”

Upperworks. The revolving frame of equipment on which the operating machinery (and many cases the engine) are mounted along with the operator's cab. The counterweight is typically supported on the rear of the upperstructure and the boom or other front end attachment is mounted on the front.

Up to means “up to and including.”

Wire rope. A flexible rope constructed by laying steel wires into various patterns of multi-wired strands around a core system to produce a helically wound rope.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New section filed 7-7-2011; operative 7-7-2011. Exempt from OAL review pursuant to Labor Code section 142.3(a)(3) (Register 2011, No. 27).

2. New definitions of “Accessory gear,” “Dedicated drilling rig,” “Designated person” and “Registered Professional Engineer (RPE)” filed 10-2-2012; operative 11-1-2012 (Register 2012, No. 40).

3. New definition of “Radius” filed 1-28-2013; operative 4-1-2013 (Register 2013, No. 5).

Go BackGo Back to Article 15 Table of Contents