On September 5, 2013 UL (“Underwriters Laboratories”) announced the withdrawal of its Standard for Crane Insulators, UL2737. No immediate reason was given for the withdrawal of UL2737. Miller Lifting Products and H.J. Hirtzer & Associates, another US-based insulating link manufacturer, had voiced concern that UL2737 was highly reflective of the unique design features of a single manufacturer’s product and that it was a new standard, developed without the involvement of peer manufacturers.
Currently, an ASTM committee, including the three manufacturers who are active in the US market for crane insulators, and a number of independent experts, is in the final stage of developing a definitive test standard for Insulating Lifting Links for Load Lifting Equipment Working near Energized Power Lines. It is intended that this consensus-based ASTM standard will be applied by an OSHA-approved NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) to qualify insulating links for use in compliance with recent changes to the OSHA crane safety standard concerning cranes operating near power lines. “We are hopeful that the construction industry will soon have a test standard which can used by an NRTL to qualify these important safety devices for the benefit of workers involved in crane operations near power lines”, said Paul Jankovic, president of Miller Lifting Products.
Accidental contacts with overhead power lines causing electrocution are the main cause of construction site deaths involving crane operations. Use of an insulating link is one of a number of actions employers must consider in order to comply with recently updated OSHA crane safety regulations addressing power line safety in construction.
Miller Lifting Products, founded in 1935, is a manufacturer of lifting accessories primarily for use with cranes and hoists in the construction, industrial, offshore and energy sectors and has produced insulating links for a wide range of industrial applications for over four decades. For more information see www.millerproducts.net or call 800-733-7071.