Roger Ohman III is the director of engineered solutions at Crosby.
Does OSHA require the use of latches on hooks?
It depends. There is no specific language that states you must always use a latch. OSHA 1910.181(j)(2)(ii) Derricks states, “Safety latch type hooks shall be used wherever possible.” 1910.184(c)(6) states, “Slings shall be securely attached to their loads.”
Using a latch would be one way of securely attaching a sling to its load. Other methods may be to use a shackle, or to “mouse” the hook using wire, but a latch is likely much more convenient.
We also should be aware of the OSHA General Duty Clause (Section 5(a)(1)), which requires employers to protect employees from serious recognized hazards.
Does ASME require the use of latches on hooks?
Yes, specific guidance on latches is offered in several volumes, a small sample of examples are as follows:
ASME B30.2 Overhead and Gantry Cranes states, “Latch-equipped hooks shall be used unless the application makes the use of the latch impractical or unnecessary.”
B30.5-2018, Mobile Cranes states, “Hooks shall be equipped with latches unless the application makes the use of a latch impractical.”
B30.16 states, “Hooks shall be equipped with latches unless use of the latch creates a hazardous condition.”
Does Crosby require the use of latches on hooks?
Crosby recommends that latches are always to be used except in situations where the use of a latch is somehow less safe.
Which type of latch is best to use?
Crosby offers a variety of hook and latch types, and proper selection depends on application and user preference. The full spectrum of options is available from latch-less type hooks (Foundry), through self-closing types (Shur-Loc). If the hook is used in personnel lifting then the choice is clear, you must use a type of latch with secondary securement ability.
What does secondary securement mean?
For a typical latch, there is a spring that holds the latch closed. You can open the latch by pressing against it and compressing the spring. If there is a bolt or cotter pin that must be removed prior to being able to open the latch, then there is secondary securement. It means there is redundancy, and that there is less likelihood of inadvertent opening.
If I use a latch I am safe, right?
The use of a latch can only reduce the possibility of something going wrong. A safe lift depends on many factors, including: the use of quality hardware that is maintained and inspected, that qualified riggers are planning and doing the work, that all applicable regulations and standards are understood and followed, and that everyone is vigilant and observant during the lift.