OSHA is a statutory document. Whatever is stated within OSHA is a legal requirement. As it pertains to material handling chain, OSHA 1910.184 is the specific standard to reference. If an OSHA inspector determines that there is no requirement within the document itself, then OSHA will revert to ASME and ASMT Standards for reference. If those documents to not answer the question, then the manufacturers recommendation is requested. OSHA has an underlying “clause” that they reference if they decide to issue a citation and cannot ultimately determine and answer. That is the OSH Act of 1970 or the “General Duty Clause”. The OSH Act of 1970 States:
- Shall furnish to each of their employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to their employees.
- Shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
- Shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to their own actions and conduct.
ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers) is a Consensus Document that establishes safety and quality standards within the chain industry. As is pertains to the overhead lifting or material handling industry, the following standards govern the following:
- ASME B30.9 – Slings
- ASME B30.10 – Hooks
- ASME B30.26 – Rigging Hardware
- ASME P30-1 – Planning for Load Handling Activities
These Standards are all copyrighted documents.
ASME committee members are selected from a wide variety of industry related individuals. These various documents are reviewed, updated, and amended on a regular scheduled basis based on developments and changes within the given industry.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is very similar to ASME. The committees are comprised of similar individuals and the scope is similar. Where ASME’s focus is on assembly and application Standards, ASTM’s focus is primarily on the manufacturing of chain. Each grade of chain is governed by an established ASTM Standard that governs the basic requirements for that grade. This involves the metallurgical composition of the rod used, for formation and tolerance required for each size, and any heat treatment and hardness parameter requirements. The ASTM Standards also establish guidelines for the various coatings that are applied to chain.