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What Does Derrick Mean?

A derrick is a fixed crane with a tall, tower-like main structure with a boom that can lift, lower, and move heavy loads. They are usually fixed in place and are assembled and disassembled on site.

Given their limited boom radius, derricks are used in locations where materials have to be moved from a common point to nearby locations. They are common sights on shipping platforms and construction projects.

Safeopedia Explains Derrick

Derricks are used to carry heavy loads and materials at a relatively short distance. While they differ from cranes, both are used for similar purposes, are governed by some of the same regulations, and have overlapping personnel qualifications.

While derricks are typically stationary, most cranes are mobile and can move across the jobsite. Unlike cranes, derricks do not require counterweights to accommodate the loads they carry.

A derrick also has a vertical stationary mast and a movable boom with cables and pulleys connected to the base of the mast. Cranes have no vertical mast, but consist of a hoisting mechanism and pulley or sheaves.

OSHA Safety Standards for Derricks

  • Operators must have received appropriate training to operate the equipment
  • A load chart must be present and visible to the derrick operator
  • Derricks must be constructed to meet all stresses they may encounter when installed and operated
  • New hoists must be load tested to at least 110% of rated capacity and not more than 125%, unless recommended.
  • Newly installed derricks must be tested without a hook load to verify their operation
  • The derrick operator must safely stop operations (setting brakes, locking devices, and moving controls to the off position) in the event of a power failure

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