WSR 04-09-099




[ Filed April 20, 2004, 4:43 p.m. , effective September 1, 2004 ]

Date of Adoption: April 20, 2004.

Purpose: Chapter 296-829 WAC, Helicopters used as lifting machines; chapter 296-24 WAC, General safety and health standards; and chapter 296-155 WAC, Safety standards for construction workers.

The helicopter rules in chapter 296-24 WAC, General safety and health standard and chapter 296-155 WAC, Safety standards for construction workers, were rewritten and reorganized for clarity and ease of use for employers and employees. The two sections have become one rule and placed into new chapter 296-829 WAC, and repealed from chapters 296-24 and 296-155 WAC. This rule making is part of our clear rule-writing initiative to rewrite for clarity all of the safety and health rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 296-24-260, 296-155-575, and 296-155-576.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 04-01-157 on December 22, 2003.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Corrected a typo to the word turbine.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 3.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 3.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 3.
Effective Date of Rule: September 1, 2004.

April 20, 2004

Paul Trause



Chapter 296-829 WAC


WAC 296-829-100   Scope.   Chapter 296-829 WAC applies to helicopters when used to carry loads, suspended with a cargo sling, powered hoist, or other attaching methods.

Exemption: This chapter does not apply to the use of helicopters:
In the logging industry.
For rescue operations when a winch or hoist is used.


WAC 296-829-200   Design and installation requirements for helicopters.  


Your responsibility:

To make sure your helicopters meet design specifications and are equipped properly.

You must:

Follow Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements

WAC 296-829-20005.

Install and test hooks on helicopters correctly

WAC 296-829-20010.


WAC 296-829-20005   Follow Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.  

You must:

Make sure helicopter cranes and their use meet the applicable requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


WAC 296-829-20010   Install and test hooks on helicopters correctly.  

You must:

Make sure electrically operated cargo hooks are:

Designed and installed to prevent accidental operation.

Equipped with an emergency mechanical control to release the load.

Make sure a competent person tests all hooks before each day's operation to make sure both the electrical and mechanical releases work properly.


WAC 296-829-300   Maintenance.  


Your responsibility:

To keep helicopters in safe operating condition.

You must:

Keep landing and deposit areas safe

WAC 296-829-30005.

Follow safe refueling procedures

WAC 296-829-30010.


WAC 296-829-30005   Keep landing and deposit areas safe.  

You must:

(1) Make sure precautions are taken to prevent loose objects from being caught in the downwash and flying around.

Secure or remove all loose gear:

Within one hundred feet of lift and deposit areas.

In all other areas affected by rotor downwash.

(2) Make sure employees do not work under hovering craft, except where necessary to hook or unhook loads.

(3) Make sure safe access and exit, including an emergency escape route, is provided for employees who hook or unhook loads.

(4) Prohibit open fires in any area that could be affected by the rotor downwash.

(5) Make sure unauthorized people do not go within fifty feet of the helicopter when the rotor blades are turning.

(6) Make sure all employees:

Stay in full view of the pilot, in a crouched position, when approaching or leaving a helicopter with rotating blades.

Stay away from the area behind the cockpit or cabin unless the operator authorizes them to work there.

(7) Take precautions to eliminate reduced visibility.

(8) Make sure ground personnel take special care to stay clear of rotors when visibility is reduced by dust or other conditions.


WAC 296-829-30010   Follow safe refueling procedures.  

You must:

Make sure refueling areas are safe.

Post "NO SMOKING" signs at all entrances to the refueling area.

Provide at least one thirty-pound fire extinguisher, or a combination totaling thirty pounds, good for class A, B, and C fires, within one hundred feet on the upwind side of the refueling operation.

Reference: For additional requirements relating to portable fire extinguishers, see WAC 296-800-300 in the safety and health core rules.
You must:

Make sure workers involved in refueling are trained in both:

The refueling operation;


The use of fire extinguishing equipment they may need.

Make sure the following precautions are taken before and during refueling:

Keep unauthorized people at least fifty feet away from the refueling operation or equipment.

Prohibit smoking and open flames within fifty feet of the refueling area or fueling equipment.

Make sure helicopter engines are shut down before refueling, if using aviation gasoline or jet B type fuel.

Pump fuel, either by hand or power.

Use self-closing nozzles or deadman controls:

&sqbul; Do not allow these to be blocked open.

Make sure nozzles are not dragged along the ground.

Make sure the helicopter and the fueling equipment are grounded.

Electrically bond the fueling nozzle to the helicopter:

&sqbul; Do not use conductive hose for this bonding.

Make sure all grounding and bonding connections are:

&sqbul; Electrically and mechanically firm.

&sqbul; On clean unpainted metal parts.

Stop fueling immediately if there is a spill:

Do not continue operation until the person in charge has determined it is safe.


WAC 296-829-400   Operating the helicopter.  


Your responsibility:

To make sure helicopters are operated safely.

You must:

Hold daily briefings

WAC 296-829-40005.

Make sure employees are dressed correctly

WAC 296-829-40010.

Make sure loads are attached correctly

WAC 296-829-40015.

Make sure the load is handled correctly

WAC 296-829-40020.


WAC 296-829-40005   Hold daily briefings.  

You must:

Make sure the helicopter pilot and ground personnel hold a briefing before each day's operation to discuss cargo-handling plans.


WAC 296-829-40010   Make sure employees are dressed correctly.  

You must:

Make sure employees receiving the load:

Do NOT wear loose-fitting clothes that could snag on the hoist line.

Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including complete eye protection and hard hats that are secured by chin straps.

Reference: For other requirements relating to PPE, see WAC 296-800-160 in the safety and health core rules.


WAC 296-829-40015   Make sure loads are attached correctly.  

You must:

Make sure loads are properly slung so tag lines cannot be drawn up into rotors.

Make sure precautions are taken on all freely suspended loads to keep hand splices from spinning open or cable clamps from loosening, such as using pressed sleeves or swedged eyes.

Make sure the weight of the load does not exceed the manufacturer's load ratings.

Make sure hoist wires and other gear are not attached to or allowed to catch on any fixed structure.

Exemption: This requirement does not apply to pulling lines or conductors that "pay out" from a container or reel.


WAC 296-829-40020   Make sure the load is handled correctly.  

You must:

Make sure signal systems, whether radio or hand signals, are checked before hoisting the load:

When using hand signals, use those shown in Figure 1.

Make sure workers on the ground do either of the following before touching the suspended load:

Use a ground device to safely discharge any static charge;


Put on and wear rubber gloves.

Make sure there are enough employees for safe loading and unloading operations.

Make sure constant communications are maintained between the pilot and signal person:

The signal person must be distinctly recognizable from other ground personnel.


Height=583 valign="center">Place illustration here.


WAC 296-829-500   Definitions.  

Aviation gasoline

Gasoline fuel for reciprocating piston engine helicopters, also known as avgas.

Cargo hook

A device attached to a helicopter that is used to hold suspended loads.

Competent person

One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Deadman controls

A control, switch or device that will automatically shut off whenever the operator releases it.

Deposit area

An area that is designated for dropping off and picking up suspended loads.


The wind created by the rotating blades of a helicopter.

Ground device

A device used to dissipate the static electricity charge that has built up on a suspended load.

Helicopter crane

A helicopter that carries cargo or equipment suspended underneath it.

Jet A type fuel

A kerosene grade fuel suitable for helicopters with turbine engines.

Jet B type fuel

A blend of gasoline and kerosene fuel.

Powered hoist

A powered device designed to lift and lower equipment and cargo.

Tag line

A line or rope used to control suspended loads that can swing freely.




     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 296-24-260 Helicopters.



     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 296-155-575 Helicopters and helicopter cranes.
WAC 296-155-576 Figure L-1.

Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office