Riding the Hook
I'm looking for infromation/rules for a rescuer or an stokes basket being raised or lowered with an construction crane. I know there has been a thread on the use of an aerial, I'm looking for infromation pertaining to using a crane. This has been a topic for several years and the closest I have heard of that says yes or no is "if the operator can see the hook it can be done, if the operator can't see the hook at all times no" and if they can't see the hook an signaler is not allowed, due to reaction times if the stokes or rescuer hangs on something. Now I'm told this may not be so. I have looked at OSHA and the only thing I see is a section on "man baskets" being rasised or lowered. Thanks in advance for your help.
Not sure if this helps. Also see link at end of this post.
From OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1501
General requirements. The use of a crane or derrick to hoist employees on a personnel platform is prohibited, except when the erection, use, and dismantling of conventional means of reaching the worksite, such as a personnel hoist, ladder, stairway, aerial lift, elevating work platform or scaffold, would be more hazardous or is not possible because of structural design or worksite conditions.
You might read here.
Here is what OSHA has to say about riding a hook:
While it doesn't address using them for rescue purposes, the regulation does show that OSHA allows for personnel for riding on a platform beneath a hook. A stokes basket does not meet the design of the allowed platforms, but it does meet the intent of having personnel operating safely.
Given the number of construction sites with deep excavations in the city where I work, "flying out" under a crane hook is our usual way of getting an injured worker out of the excavation quickly.
Riding the ball
The use of a crane for moving FF's and victims is permitted. Most crane operators are not comfortable with the practice however. They trust their own spotters and riggers and will only trust fire personnel if they have worked with them in the past. We have used cranes for both incidents and training and they work well and are very safe.
With this said, you need to train with cranes long before the incident. The crane industry has an 8-hour crane safety class that your personnel will need to attend (bring your calculator). When using a crane, station a FF w/ radio next to the operator so command/operations can communicate directly. Have your personnel learn crane control hand signals.
If given a choice between an FD aerial device and a crane w/ quailfed operator, you can't go wrong with the crane. Good luck!
Here's an incident with a crane used for a high angle rescue last week