Sto-Away Power Cranes
Sto-Away Power Cranes

Confined space and power hoisting...

Sto-away Power Cranes, Inc.® - A growing company with growing goals

Manufacturing telescoping bumper cranes from a Northwest Indiana headquarters, Sto-away Power Cranes, Inc. has been in the metal fabrication industry since 1982. With nearly 40 years of experience, our core business focuses on manufacturing a reliable, affordable telescoping bumper-mounted power lift crane to meet our client's needs for a portable bumper-mount boom crane.

Confined space and power hoisting

Power hoisting for confined space? Can it be done? Should it be done? Is it being done? If so, how...

Can it be done?

Have you ever tried to raise a 250-lb person 50 feet vertically in five minutes or less using any of the current man lifts?

It's extremely difficult even for a man in his mid-20's. That's 1 foot of vertical lifting every 6 seconds for five minutes.

Should it be done?

What about the possibility of excessive force causing crippling injuries? OSHA clearly addresses that and states no boom crane, overhead crane, backhoe, or fork life can be used to lift personnel for confined space because these lifting devices can and will lift with active force and can cause injuries. Some ask, "Why can't I use a simple boat hand winch?" Because it, too, can lift with excessive force. Man lift winches have been designed to limit the force through mechanical means. One mean s is the use of a slip clutch or special gear reduction

Is it being done?

Yes, and for many years the window washing industry, ship-building yards, and the mining industry have been power-hoisting their personnel. There is no way a person could be raised from a 1,000-foot vertical shaft using a hand-operated hoist.

How is it done?

We contacted J. Nigel Ellis, Ph.D., P.E., CSP, CPE, founder of RTC Corp., and author of Federal Standard 1910.146 (Confined Space). We asked him about the standards, the hazards of power hoisting, and for his thoughts on addressing these issues, and have instituted these six innovations.

Here's what Sto-Away Power Cranes did...

Sto-Away Power Crane Load Limiter

First: we developed our Load Limiter which pins to the end of the bumper's davit arm, senses the weight on the lifting cable, and can shut off the hoist's lifting signal at 350 pounds of payload.

Second: we have a special hoist drum - a B.L.G.L. unit capable of meeting the 3,200-pound minimum anchoring point that is required for man rating.

Sto-Away Power Crane Manual Winch

Third: we have a back-up manual winch system that is also required should the power hoist become unresponsive.

This back-up system is mounted away from the edge of the manhole in order to reduce the risk of the rescuer's falling into the manhole.

Fourth: the Sto-Away also has a built-in fall protection that will catch the entrant in 2 feet or less should they slip and fall while they are climbing out of the manhole, or if they encounter a broken or missing step.

Sto-Away Keyed Entry

Fifth: a "keyed authorized/two-handed" override switch should the hoist need to raise two people at once.

Sixth: a custom steering wheel lock-out and tag-out system, so the entrant can lock out the truck when the Sto-Away is being used as a man lift.

Is Sto-Away Power Crane's bumper crane OSHA certified?

OSHA certifies nothing.

OSHA is a regulatory branch of the Federal Government. OSHA sets the minimum standards that must be met for occupational health and safety in workplaces within the United States. OSHA can and will fine a company, and may even shut a company down if they do not meet these standards.

Since OSHA doesn't certify equipment, nobody can say they are OSHA certified. What they can say is that their equipment and/or procedures are OSHA compliant, and state the regulation standards they meet.

OSHA clearly states that no crane can be used to lift personnel regardless of whether it is powered or a manual hand crank. Period. Cranes have no safeguards for protecting the worker from being pulled apart. Without a load limiting system on the hoist, you can't use it. And it only makes sense; a crane is designed to lift to its maximum capacity and nothing less.

How do Sto-Away power cranes address this OSHA standard?

There are manual hand-powered retrieval systems in use today that utilize a slip clutch or special gear reductions (or both) to control the maximum lifting force that is placed on the worker. This is how the manufacturers of such equipment comply with the OSHA standards. The current Tripod system are a good example of this.

Sto-Away's Confined Space package (CSR-A series cranes) complies with the OSHA standards with a special load cell system that pins to the Sto-Away's davit arm's tip, and can measure the amount of lifing force the hoist is exerting at the hook. This achieves the same end result as a slip clutch or special gear reduction of the tripods. At 350 pounds or less, the load cell shuts down the upward movement of the hoist, thus protecting the worker.

The best way to protect yourself and your employees is with knowledge. We strongly recommend you visit www.OSHA.org and your own state's OSHA website for more information before you invest in any product for lifting your personnel.

Learn. Evaluate. Then invest.

Sto-Away's CSR Series cranes are equipped with our confined space package that meets and exceeds current federal OSHA and ANSI standards

Sto-Away Power Crane's retrieval/rescue system is capable of a vertical retrieval rate of nearly 1 foot per second, and is equipped with Sto-Away's unique load sensor that will shut down the hoist if excess lifting force is placed on the worker.

This safety feature prevents any unnecessary back and neck injuries during the rescue.

Every CSR-A Series bumper crane has a manual back-up retrieval system that can be activated in two seconds to complete the rescue should you lose electrical power.

A built-in fall arrest system will catch a falling worker in two feet or less.

Every Sto-Away confined space/man lift hoist has a positive cable attachment good for 3,200 pounds, because it is equipped with our below level ground lifting system (B.L.G.L.). All other bumper cranes will lose their load when they reach the end of the cable.