Friday, August 31, 2007

OSHA releases 2007 edition of construction standards

originally posted on
By Barbara Ibrahim

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released its 2007 guide to construction industry standards, effective immediately.

Available in English or Spanish versions, the 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926 features 470 pages of the newest regulations, in addition to special references for the 29 CFR 1903 on inspections, citations and proposed penalties; the 29 CFR 1904 on recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses; and the 29 CFR 1910 – or the general industry version.

To obtain a copy, call National Safety Compliance at
1-877-922-7233 or visit

OSHA Aerial Lift Training Requirements

OSHA Regulations regarding training of operators of aerial devices and digger derricks.

1910.67 (c)(2)(ii)
Only trained persons shall operate an aerial lift.

1926.453 (b)(2)(ii)
Only authorized persons shall operate an aerial lift.

OSHA Training Requirements
  • Employers shall provide training in the various precautions, safe work practices, and use of personal protective equipment needed to perform the job.
  • The employer shall certify and maintain records that employees have been trained.
  • Formal training shall consist of classroom type training and/or on the-job training. Proficiency testing of classroom and "hands-on" skills is required.
OSHA 1910.67 (b)(1) and 1926.453 (a)(1) Incorporate ANSI A92.2 by reference

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Safety Bulletin: Electrical Continuity Hazard

Always wear insulated protective equipment, use conductor cover-ups, and maintain required clearances when in the vicinity of energized conductors. Aerial devices and digger derricks with insulated booms can only isolate the operator from grounding through the boom and vehicle. They cannot provide protection against phase-to-phase or phase-to-ground contacts occurring at the boom-tip, above the insulated boom sections. Boom-tips of aerial devices and digger derricks, of necessity, must contain metal components. Metal conducts electricity. Moreover, under certain circumstances, and to varying degrees, electricity will track across or through non-metallic components (fiberglass covers and structures, hoses, etc.). Electricity can even arc through air. Thus, the boom-tip of an aerial device or a digger derrick must be considered conductive! If any part of the boom-tip contacts an energized conductor, the entire boom-tip, including the control handle, must be considered energized. If any part of the boom-tip contacts a grounded object, the entire boom-tip, including the control handle, must be considered grounded. Hydraulic fluid is flammable. If electricity flows through the boom-tip, it can cause the hydraulic fluid to burn or to explode. Contact by any part of the boom-tip with an energized conductor while the boom-tip also is in contact with another energized source or a grounded object can cause the hydraulic fluid at the boom-tip to burn or explode. These are among the reasons aerial devices1 and digger derricks are never considered primary protection for the operator from electrical contact. An operator’s primary protection comes through use of protective equipment (insulated gloves, insulated sleeves, conductor cover-ups) and maintenance of appropriate clearances. Do not rely on the boom-tip of an aerial device or digger derrick to protect you from an energized conductor or a ground. It cannot do so. Rely, instead, on the only things that can protect you, use of appropriate protective equipment and maintenance of appropriate clearances. 1 Except ANSI Category A units

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Altec Boom Tip Cover Program

Altec is committed to helping our customers work “safer and smarter”. This commitment to safety is reflected in our ongoing efforts to work closely with customers to develop products that help you protect your employees from the hazards of working around energized lines.

As you know, contact of conductive portions of an aerial device above the insulated upper boom (that is , contact at the boom tip) with energized conductors or grounded objects may result in serious injury. This is especially true when workers violate OSHA regulations by not covering conductors, not covering other potentially energized components or not wearing rubber gloves. Line crews should never rely on the boom-tip of an aerial device or digger derrick to protect them from an energized conductor or ground. The only real protection available is the use of appropriate protective equipment while maintaining appropriate clearances to energized conductors.

In an effort to provide at least some protection when line crews fail to use these proper work practices , Altec has developed boom tip covers in a kit form for field retrofit to Altec insulated aerial devices. These covers are compact, attractive and similar to existing covers on your aerial devices. The covers are not dielectrically rated and you should consider them to be conductive in your work methods. However, these covers may provide some protection against electrical hazards in the event that contact is made with uncovered conductors or other potentially energized components when crews fail to use correct work practices. As with all covers, they must be kept clean and in good condition to provide any protection.

Altec’s new cover kits are now available on a wide range of Altec models that are equipped with standard boom tip options. Cover kits will become available on additional models in the near future. In some instances, a special customized cover kit unique to a particular customer’s unit may be required. Please allow three to five weeks for delivery on completed cover kits.

In an effort to minimize the financial impact on our customers while raising the level of safety awareness , Altec is offering these new cover kits at a price that is at or below our cost. To learn more about cover kits and when kits for additional Altec models will become available, please visit Altec’s web site at and click on the “Safety First” icon from the home page. You can also contact Altec toll free at 1-877-GO ALTEC. Your Altec account manager will also be able to help you with additional information about cover kits.

If there is any way Altec can assist you in improving operator safety, please feel free to let us know.

Altec Industries, Inc .
Attn: Prevention & Product Safety
210 Inverness Center Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242
Email: josh.chard@altec .com

Friday, August 24, 2007

Toyota develops fuel cell lift truck

Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. displayed a prototype of a fuel cell lift truck at ProMat 2007 in Chicago. The prototype, called the Toyota FCHV-F, was developed by Toyota Industries Corporation in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation.

“ Toyota’s commitment to the environment is widely illustrated through its vast motor vehicle and truck applications,” said Shankar Basu, president and CEO of TMHU. “However, this is the first example of a fuel cell lift truck that is designed to significantly reduce emissions.”

Using hydrogen as its main power source, the Toyota FCHV-F produces electricity without combustion and generates zero carbon dioxide emissions. Overall operating costs are reduced due to less fuel consumption and lower maintenance.

Maintenance is lower than electric lift trucks, whose batteries must be periodically charged, refilled with water and replaced. In addition, the fuel cell hybrid system ensures constant power delivery and performance, eliminating the reduction in voltage output that occurs as batteries discharge.

These and other features make fuel cell lift trucks ideally suited to conditions found at large distribution centers, where lift trucks often run continual 24-hour shifts. These individual plants will be able to establish their own hydrogen fueling stations and achieve significantly lower total logistics costs.

Toyota plans to continue to advance its fuel cell technology and bring a fuel cell lift truck to market in the next few years.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

UpRight aerial lifts to be rebranded Snorkel

By Amy Materson, originally posted on

Following acquisition for $100 million earlier this year by the Tanfield Group, Snorkel has expanded its line of aerial work platforms, adding eight former UpRight models to the company’s line. The models include electric scissor, mast and articulated boom lifts.

The move allows Snorkel to expand into a full-line manufacturer and offer smaller electric lifts as well as rough terrain scissors and big booms, says Darren Kell, chief executive of the Tanfield Group. Kell says Tanfield will benefit two ways, in fulfilling demand for these machines with Snorkel’s customer base and allowing Tanfield to compete for large rental fleet business.

Some of the new lifts will be produced at Snorkel’s Elwood and Wathena, Kansas, facilities.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rockfall is a danger Manitou knows all too well

August 6, 2007 - 2:19PM

MANITOU SPRINGS - Rockfall is not just a threat along mountain highways. In this mountain hamlet, 30-ton boulders have made headlines crashing into buildings.

There’s even a monster dangling over a row of houses and the Mason Lodge on El Paso Boulevard, lashed to the mountainside by steel cables.

Marsha Williams is well aware of it. The huge slab tilts at a frightening angle about 200 feet above the house she rents.

“I think about it at times,” Williams said. “But you can’t go through life worrying about that stuff.”

The boulder looks like any of a dozen or so on a ledge above the boulevard. It slipped in 1995 after a heavy rain.

Bruce Brian, who owns the 5 acres adjoining the cliff, recalls the incident, which led authorities to evacuate the home Williams rents, along with three others.

“At the time, people got pretty anxious about it,” Brian said, recalling how 92-year-old Homer Sharpton lived in the Mason Lodge for a time.

“When you’re told you have to leave your house because you might get crushed by a boulder, it creates anxiety,” Brian said.

Mining experts were hired to secure the boulder by lashing it with inch-thick steel cable anchored to bolts drilled deep into adjacent cliffs.

“They engineered it really well,” Brian said. “I’ve been watching it for years. It hasn’t moved since.”

Leonie Theelen and her son, Joe, have lived next door for 20 years. They don’t worry about the lassoed rock as much as the ones around it.

“They only cabled one,” Joe Theelen said. “Look at the others. There’s a hell of a big one up there that didn’t get cabled. Sooner or later, that’s going to go. I can’t think about it.”

Manitou’s public works director, Kelly McMinn, thinks constantly about rockfall.

There are streets in town where he won’t park — such as Lafayette Road and Lovers Lane just off Canon Avenue. He and his crews regularly scoop up chunks of rock that sheer off the cliffs above.

“In 2001, a big rock came off on Lovers Lane and squashed a little red car like a bug,” McMinn said.

“We’ve got a number of rocks we are concerned about. Unfortunately, none of them are on city property. There’s nothing we can do but tell the owners. They usually just shrug their shoulders at us.”

Actually, the city in 2001 bought two houses on Washington Avenue, above Lovers Lane and City Hall, after cracks developed in the street.

“A geologist said the hillside was starting to move toward City Hall,” McMinn said.

Experts said the weight of the two houses was contributing to the slide so the city bought and demolished them. It installed an inclinometer on the hillside to watch for movement.

The most spectacular series of falls may have been 20 years ago, when heavy rains loosed the hillside behind the 900 block of Manitou Avenue, across from the Arcade.

On June 30, 1987, a 6-foot-diameter boulder, estimated at more than 30 tons, rolled down and punched a hole through the wall of Dr. Horace Gardner’s ophthalmology office.

“We were lucky. It ended up a couple inches from the natural gas pipe,” Gardner said.

Days later on July 2, another rock came to rest against a gift shop next door.

Both buildings were evacuated and closed for weeks while miners and a giant crane broke up and removed the rocks and then went to work securing the cliffs behind the buildings with rock bolts.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Manitowoc pledges to tackle fake crane parts

Manitowoc has joined the war on counterfeit crane components and is determined to see the practice stamped out.

It is the second company to raise concern about counterfeit parts after it identified Asian companies building unlicensed mast and jib sections for its Potain tower cranes. According to the company, counterfeit parts were on display at Bauma.

It is in no doubt that these items are not being sold as an alternative component, but passed off as original parts. Frans Vanwinkel, vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc in Europe, said: "They are copied to mirror as closely as possible an original Potain part, including designation and identification plate."

The company's engineers have "grave concerns" about the manufacturing quality of a number of the counterfeits. "There is a risk that they are not fit for task," said Vanwinkel.

While no counterfeit parts have been detected with European operators, Vanwinkel said: "The suppliers are now looking at Europe and customers will be tempted by the lower purchase cost without realising the potential risks involved."

Manitowoc has created an internal task force to tackle the problem and is raising awareness of the potential dangers with customers.

It has also reiterated its recommendation that customers source parts from an approved source. Vanwinkel stresses that this is not a ploy to increase parts sales and said: "With this counterfeit issue, people's safety is at stake and safety is the primary value of Manitowoc Crane Group.

"Consequently, we are determined to undertake any action that can help our customers and crane users to protect themselves and that can lead to the shut down of the counterfeit operation." He said the company is "actively leading initiatives within industry trade associations, whether at a European level or globally".