In an earlier life I was a welder making offshore oil platforms and
deck sections. These things were loaded on barges using two bridge
cranes that had two hoists each at 250 tons capacity each so 1000 tons
total capacity The hooks were very large as were the cables that
attached to them.
Crane hooks are required by OSHA to have spring loaded safty latches,
that is they spring out of the way when you push on the cable loop and
spring back when you get the cable on. Picture cables as large as your
upper arm with a swedged loop that required two men to lift onto the
hook. The hook latches were so large the spring back was mashing
peoples hands. So we took the latches off. Got cited by OSHA. Asked
the OSHA inspector to demonstrate how to get the cables on with the
saftey latches without getting hurt. He declined, admitted that
logically we were right, but had to cite us anyway "got to go by the
book". We also were curious as to how a crane hook loaded to 250 tons
could have a cable slip off the hook if there were no latch. Our
limited knowledge of physics could not fathom that happening. He
declined to explain or to cite any specific statistics.
Overhead blade guards, however, are very good safety devices (provided
you can get them on without getting hurt in the first place).
On Tue, 05 Jun 2007 11:58:58 -0500, Frank Boettcher
Load shifts resulting in slack in the line? I'd imagine any siuation
with multiple cranes if that is happening you're pretty much screwed
regardless. Maybe even better off if it does slip off. One less
crane destroyed and able to start picking up the mess.
But in theory if there's no pressure on you to use the thing then
there's no pressure going back to the manufacturer from you to make
something that actually works.
"safety" device before either OSHA or the manufacturer would be moved
to specify or make something that works?
My point is that on very large hooks, no latch is the safest method.
Nobody got hurt without the latch, many with it (including me). Hard
to argue that it is appropriate. Maybe you have to be there,
wrestling one of those super cables onto a hook to fully understand
the difference and the problems the latches created.
I am betting that the "latch" is misnamed. I believe that the "latch" was
intended to be more of a convenience feature in that during instances when
the line with the hook is "slack" the item hooked on it does not fall or
slide off. Somewhere along the line it was probably misinterpreted by OSHA
as a safety feature.
Not totally unlike the hook on a dog leash.
In my previous life in the (nuclear and fossil) power generation and
coal mining/preparation industries, only one. Any lost time accident or
injury requiring medical treatment was fully investigated for root cause
and mitigative or corrective action(s). If there was a problem w/ a
design of equipment, it or a procedure would be modified to alleviate
The poster indicated that following a bad reg because it is in the
OSHA federal register would provide the pressure to get something
changed. Therefore my question, because I think not.
Most were first aid cases, not lost time or recordables. For it to be
a recordable it would have to required off premises medical attention
or a prescription. And recordables wether they be lost time or not,
were investigated. Root cause was the use of "safety" latches on a
250 ton hook. latches removed, problem solved......However, that
solution was not going to satisfy the OSHA people.
My perspective is from the point of view of one who handled the
cables, and later as one who was responsible for making those lifts in
a safe manner.
You ever try to modify a crane component to make it better. You have
just relieved the manufacturer from all liability for any future
incidents. On one particular lift, I worked with the manufacturer of
those bridge cranes to do some modifications to make a single lift
that would be over capacity. They did all the Engineering
calculations and work, supervised the modifications, then on the day
of the lift, they faxed in a disclaimer for anything that might happen
as a result of the lift. Took the money though.
Who were you with BTW. could it have been Combustion Engineering?
I agree on the previous that OSHA tends not to change w/o massive push.
Am surprised could have gotten the "remove latch" solution through a
safety committee even though understand that certainly removed the
proximate cause. Would have thought the solution more likely to have
been regarding alternate lifting procedure to remove hands from direct
Also agree that no engineering firm would accept any responsibility for
a modified piece of safety equipment, no matter how minor nor benign the
modification appeared. Liability just too great and the lawyers and/or
field inspectors for OSHA, etc., have _no_ sense of humor (or
perspective, often, either). NRC didn't, either... :)
My vendor experience was w/ Babcock & Wilcox although knew a bunch of
guys from C-E.
On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 09:20:48 -0500, Frank Boettcher
Well ideally there would be enough pressure for your company to be
going straight to the manufacturer saying your latch doesn't work for
us, on one side of me I've got my guys bitching they get hurt if they
use it and on the other I've got OSHA bitching if I don't use it. Do
something. But yes in reality it's just easier to pay the fine and
nothing changes until somebody gets killed.
I'm sure Mike Rowe will be along to show us at some point.
inherent danger without the latches, and that somebody is more likely
to get killed with them removed. Certainly, my opinion would not be
the same. Maybe I don't share your confidence that the bureaucrat who
wrote the regulation was competent to do so.
On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 07:45:32 -0500, Frank Boettcher
No the last sentence I was talking more in general, that the status
quo gets maintained until something terrible happens and then everyone
wonders why no one did anything about it.
But you can imagine a situation where the latches were removed and an
accident happened that had nothing to do with the latches not being
there, but the media would get a hold of OSHA citing you for not
having them and be all over it but have lost interest in the story by
the time anyone actually figured out what really happened.
But my point is just that if the regulation says you gotta have the
latch but there are no serious repurcussions for ignoring the
regulation then there is no reason for anyone to either fix the
regulation or the device.
It doesn't really work that way. I'm thinking you've not worked in an
OSHA-controlled environment... :)
OSHA has the force of law and inspectors to enforce it and power of very
substantial fines with which to be punitive about it. Unfortunately, it
is one of those bureaucratic nightmares which has become the 900-lb
gorilla and often the good intentions are lost in detailed
"letter-of-law" enforcement. Not all inspectors are as qualified as
would be desirable nor are all as interested in working to find a safe
technique for a given operation as in finding violations.
Consequently, manufacturers of equipment have to produce it to OSHA
standards and if, for example in this case, the reg says "there shall be
a hook", then they're going to make the item with a hook because if they
don't they can't sell it as approved. And, unfortunately, Leuf is right
in that it isn't something one can simply tell OSHA "we'd rather do it
this way because..." and get an approval or waiver or any such relief in
a timely fashion.
> But yes in reality it's just easier to pay the fine and
> nothing changes until somebody gets killed.
The above said, however, last sentence doesn't in general reflect the
attitude of many companies on workplace safety, however. There are some
that tend to "not get it", but for the most part it is a serious effort.
On Tue, 05 Jun 2007 11:58:58 -0500, Frank Boettcher
OSHA is one of the greatest BS components of the government today! AND
the principle reasons for companies to outsource!!
I was charged 3500.00 when my people were taking down a tower of
scaffolding FROM a sissor lift and one stepped out on the scaffold to
pick up a walk board. OSHA sent me a picture and the charge for "no
hand rails". We had the best safety record in the industry according
to my insurance co. Our country is destroying itself with political
correctness and lack of personal responsibility.
One place I used to work there was a piece of machinery with a foot
pedal. Was installed before WWII. In the time from its installation to
the day that OSHA first looked at it, there had been _no_ injuries on
that machine of any kind. OSHA decided that the pedal was a tripping
hazard and required that it have an elaborate guard installed. At the
time I left the company there had been five injuries caused by that
Lord have mercy, you are so right. We used to have another wood teacher
at my school until he cut off two fingers (now he runs the tardy
center). OSHA fined the district (if I recall correctly the
amount)$3200, claiming that it insufficiently trained the (state
credentialed wood shop) teacher. Then they sent out some baboon to
inspect the shop while I was teaching. He complained that my drill
press did not have a safety guard on it, thus a student would be able to
injure himself by touching the drill bit. He also complained that the
lathe tools, all in the tool rack, were accessible to the students, thus
could be used as weapons in a fight. I explained that the students
actually use the lathes, and thus the tools are necessary. He answered
that it was still dangerous and I should keep them locked up in my
office and give a student one tool at a time, swapping them out as
necessary. I could continue with this idiot's suggestions, but it would
be just more and more lunacy. I told him he was a horse's ass and asked
him to leave my shop. The district office risk management supervisor
was with him (whom I have known for years) also suggested to the OSHA
guy that he should move along because he had two more shops to inspect.
My supervisor later returned alone and told me that he agreed with me,
but I should try to be a bit more tactful since the district is
appealing the fine. I answered that I would be tactful to anyone who
isn't an idiot.
I've read some of the reviews on the SawStop, and as others say, its a
good quality saw. You could argue about how much extra the safety
feature is costing compared to the extra quality you are purchasing.
With fence, table, 5 hp motor, you are about $3600. About $1000 or so
more than a similar Powermatic 66. Is that too much to pay?
If I were looking to spend $3600 or so for a table saw, I would not
buy a SawStop. I would look at one of the European sliding tablesaw
models. Might have to pay a bit more than $3600, but I think you get
a far more useful saw with the built in next to the blade sliding
table. And the sliding table adds considerable safety. And the
European saws also come with a riving knife like the SawStop. The
cabinet saw (Unisaw) is a product of the 1930s. I can understand why
SawStop chose to make a cabinet saw with their safety feature since
that is the only kind of saw Americans know and buy. But I think they
missed the boat by not putting their safety feature into a far more
usreful, modern sliding table saw.
They didn't miss the boat as it is still on the way over from Europe. Fact
is, a slider would not sell well here. Be it right or wrong, that is a fact
of life and they want to make money so they went for a saw that will have
higher potential sales volume.
If the sawstop TS was available when I bought my TS I would have spent the
money. Think about it the extra cost over the life of the saw, which is
likely a minimum of twenty years. Take the extra cost and divide by twenty.
Still sound like a lot of money. If you need something to push you over
the edge here it is. "Do you ever have children in the house? " Anyone who
thinks they can keep an eye on a kid all the time is a fool. Accident
prevention is the cheapest when done before the accident. Last but not
least ask someone who has lost a body part in a accident if they would
prefer it never happened. Never meet someone who would say no.
I've had 8 1/2 fingers for thirteen yrs now. That experience makes
your question easy for me. Oh and by the way, as far as I can tell,
you can't get around paying at least a $400 s&h fee on top of that
$3600 someone else mentioned. Still worth every penny to me.
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