Safety Specifics for Monorail Hoists

hoistMonorail hoists, which are often used on construction sites for moving small to large loads, are usually installed on existing ceiling structures to eliminate the need to install columns, especially when space is at a premium.

Although monorail hoists were previously categorized with cranes and derricks in terms of safety regulations, OSHA has recently announced a new enforcement policy that excludes monorail hoists from the requirements of Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction, as long as employers meet other OSHA requirements.

The policy change was made specifically for fixed monorails mounted on equipment such as trucks, trailers, or scaffolding systems and is significantly different from other cranes and derricks in construction.

Some monorail hoists can be extended and contracted in only a fixed horizontal direction. They do not rotate, swing on a hinge, or boom out much farther than the equipment on which they are mounted. They are often used in construction to hoist precast concrete components, storage tanks, and mechanical equipment.

Under the new policy, the agency will not cite employers for failing to meet the requirements of Subpart CC if they meet the requirements of the overhead hoists and general training standards.

The general industry requirements for monorail hoists remain intact. OSHA’s longstanding policy regarding monorail hoists in general industry work is that they are not covered by a specific general industry standard, so employers must protect employees from the hazards of this equipment in accordance with Section 5(a)(1) (the general duty clause) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

As with any construction equipment, safety for these hoists require diligent employee training, equipment maintenance and inspections. Other safety measures include:

  • Never carry a load over other workers.
  • Always use warning signals before and during moves.
  • Never allow anyone to ride on the load or hooks.
  • If a load appears to be slung improperly, lower it and have it adjusted.
  • When oiling, adjusting or repairing the equipment, always lock the main control in the off position or have someone guard it.

For these and other safety measures, contact our offices at Diversified Safety Services.


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Nina McGinley

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