Q: When erecting concrete tilt panels, does it violate OSHA regulations to have a tilt-up panel tilted toward the crane during the erection process? Does the panel have to be tilted away from the crane at all times? I have been working in the tilt-up industry for about 25 years and this is the first time I have heard of this. It is almost impossible to set panels without the panel tilting toward the crane at some time in the process.
A: We checked with Jim Baty, technical director at the Tilt-Up Concrete Association(TCA), and he basically agrees with what you've said. "I would suggest that the reader contact us to discuss it further but no, we are not aware of any restriction like this," Baty says. He also notes there are many picks that require the panel to lean outward toward the crane. "The top of the panel is almost always against the outer perimeter of the slab and an increasing number of clients are requiring the cranes to be off slab. Therefore, as the panel comes up, it would have to be tilted toward the crane."
Further discussion with industry experts confirms that there is no such restriction. "If there were," Baty asks, "how would precast panels ever be lifted from a truck?" The only OSHA document specifically addressing the lifting of concrete panels is its standard number 1926.704, "Requirements for precast concrete," which includes no restrictions on the direction of tilt.