Oregon OSHA Construction Depot Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

April 20, 2017

Derrick truck operators face hazards when climbing up and down a derrick with the boom rotated

A recently published Oregon OSHA hazard alert highlights the risks of climbing a digger derrick boom when it is in a rotated position. Access to handholds is adequate when the boom is in a stowed position, but not when it is in a rotated position. In a recent incident, an employee fell when he lost his grip and footing while climbing up to an elevated seat. The boom was not in the forward position.

In addition, the employee did not follow the operator training procedures, which included maintaining three points of contact, using access ladders and steps to climb up and down, and not leaving the seat when there is a suspended load.

The hazard alert recommends that employers do the following to keep their employees safe:

  • Educate employees about hazards of getting on and off the equipment.
  • Instruct employees that if it is necessary to climb down off the operator seat, ask for help or return the seat to the normal position where handholds are available.
  • When the equipment needs to be replaced, ask the manufacturer about safer ways to get off the equipment when the boom is operating.