Cranes and Derricks

A crane is a mechanical device intended for lifting or lowering a load and moving it horizontally, in which the hoisting mechanism is an integral part of the machine. Cranes can be fixed or mobile and are driven manually or by power.

A derrick is an apparatus consisting of a mast or equivalent member held at the head by guys (ropes) or braces, with or without a boom, for use with a hoisting mechanism and operating ropes.

Cranes and Derricks

Tab/Accordion Items

What are the hazards associated with cranes and derricks?

Employees within the swing radius of a crane can be struck by a part of the crane or by the load and suffer serious bodily injury or death. Employees within the hazard area where loads are raised and lowered could be seriously injured or killed by crushing if the load becomes unstable or is not properly secured and falls.

What can I do to protect myself?

Unless authorized to be working in or moving through a crane work area, employees should remain clear of the area. Never walk under a suspended load.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

Example crane inspection checklists are available for employers to customize to suit the equipment that will be used and conditions in which work will be done. In addition,

Training and Outreach Services

The presentations on cranes and derricks and struck by/caught between can be downloaded and customized to meet your training needs.  

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

The NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including a streaming video service) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z safety and health topics page has additional resource information on electrical safety as it relates to cranes and derricks. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to cranes and derricks in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

Maritime, Marine Terminals


Other standards closely related to cranes and derricks include:

General Industry

Maritime, Marine Terminals


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Fact Sheets

Compliance Documents

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to or by calling 919-707-7876.