Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

34 Pa. Code § 25.45. Operators.

§ 25.45. Operators.

 (a)  Authorized operators. Cranes, derricks and hoists shall be operated only by experienced operators, learners under the supervision of an experienced operator, a crane repair man, or an inspector. Only an authorized person shall enter a crane cab.

 (b)  Mental requirements. No crane shall be operated by any person who is unable to read and understand the signs, notices, and operating instructions and who is not familiar with the signal code used by the floormen.

 (c)  Physical requirements. Cranes shall not be operated by any person having seriously defective eyesight or hearing or suffering from heart disease or similar ailments that may cause fainting as determined by the examining physician. All regular crane operators shall be examined by a physician at least annually.

 (d)  Ascending and descending ladders. Hands shall be kept free when going up and down ladders. Articles which are too large to go into pockets or belts shall be lifted to or lowered from the crane by hand line, except where stairways are provided.

 (e)  Cages. Cages shall be kept free of clothing and other personal belongings. Tools, extra fuses, oil cans, waste and other articles necessary in the crane cage shall be stored in a tool box.

 (f)  Crane rules. The operator shall completely familiarize himself with all crane rules and with the crane mechanism and its maintenance. If adjustments or repairs are necessary, he shall report them at once to the proper authority.

 (g)  Eating, reading while on duty. The operator may not eat or read while actually engaged in the operation of a crane, nor may he operate the crane when he is physically or mentally unfit.

 (h)  Lubrication. The operator or someone specially designated shall properly lubricate all working parts of the crane.

 (i)  Daily inspection. On each day of use, cranes shall be examined by the operator for loose parts or defects.

 (j)  Cleaning cranes. It shall be the responsibility of the operator to clean his respective crane.

 (k)  Carrying loads over people. Operators shall avoid, as much as possible, carrying loads over people. Carrying molten metal or metal with a magnet over people shall be absolutely avoided. If loads have to be carried over people, a warning shall be given. No person may be permitted to stand or pass under an electric magnet in use.

 (l)  Closing emergency switch. When the operator finds the main or emergency switch open, he may not close it, even when starting on regular duty, until he has made sure that no one is on or about the crane. If there is a ‘‘Man Working’’ sign on the switch, he shall not remove it unless placed there by himself; he may not close the switch unless the warning sign has been removed by the man placing it there. He may not oil or repair the crane unless the main switch is open.

 (m)  Power off. If the power goes off, the operator shall immediately throw all controllers to ‘‘off’’ position until power is again available.

 (n)  Closing main switch. Before closing the main switch the operator shall make sure that all controllers are in ‘‘off’’ position until power is again available.

 (o)  Tripping limit switches. When long hitches are made, the operator shall pay special attention to the block, to avoid tripping the limit switch. The operator shall never depend on the limit switch to stop the hoists, but shall control the movement from the cab. At the beginning of his tour of duty, the operator shall test the upper limit switch, under no load. If it does not operate properly, he shall immediately notify the foreman or inspector.

 (p)  Signals. If a warning gong is furnished, it shall be sounded each time before traveling.

 (q)  Trolley placement. Before starting to hoist, the operator shall place the trolley directly over the load to avoid swinging it when being hoisted. This precaution is especially important in the handling of molten metal.

 (r)  Side pulls. Cranes may not be used for side pulls unless authorized by a responsible person who has determined that the stability is not thereby endangered and that the various parts of the crane will not be overstressed. A monorail hoist shall never be used for this purpose.

 (s)  Testing hoist brakes. When handling maximum loads, particularly ladles of molten metal, the operator shall test the hoist brakes after the load has been lifted a few inches; if the brakes do not hold, the load shall be lowered at once and the brakes adjusted or repaired.

 (t)  Bumping runway stops or cranes. Bumping into runway stops or other cranes shall be avoided. When the operator is ordered to engage with or push other cranes, he shall do so with special care for the safety of persons on or below cranes.

 (u)  Lowering loads. When lowering a load, the operator shall proceed carefully to insure that he has the load under safe control.

 (v)  Leaving the cage. When leaving the cab or cage of any equipment referred to in this subchapter, the operator shall place all controls in neutral or ‘‘off’’ position and shall open the main switch or disengage the master clutch.

 (w)  Locking the crane. Before leaving a crane unattended, the operator shall lock the crane to prevent movement in any direction. This requirement may not apply to overhead traveling cranes inside industrial buildings.

 (x)  Riding on hooks. Operators may not permit anyone to ride on the load or hooks.

 (y)  Age and sex requirements. A male under 18 years of age or female under 21 years of age may not be permitted to operate a crane. Application for permission to employ women as crane operators shall be filed with the Department.

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