DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS  
DIRECTOR'S OFFICE  
GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY STANDARDS  
(By authority conferred on the director of the department of licensing and regulatory  
affairs by sections 16 and 21 of 1974 PA 154, MCL 408.1016 and 408.1021, and  
Executive Reorganization Order Nos. 1996-2, 2003-1, 2008-4, and 2011-4, MCL  
445.2001, 445.2011, 445.2025, and 445.2030)  
PART 59. HELICOPTERS  
R 408.15901 Scope.  
Rule 5901. This part provides for the safe use and maintenance of helicopters  
in general industry, such as in aerial photography, aerial survey, fire fighting, rescue  
operations, transportation of personnel to elevated job sites, and delivery of injured  
persons and emergency supplies.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 408.15903 MIOSHA referenced standard.  
Rule 5903. The Michigan occupational safety and health (MIOSHA) standard  
General Industry Safety Standard Part 33 “Personal Protective Equipment,” R 408.13301  
to R 408.13398, is referenced in these rules. Up to 5 copies of this standard may be  
obtained at no charge from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory  
Affairs, MIOSHA Regulatory Services Section, 7150 Harris Drive, Lansing, Michigan,  
quantities greater than 5, the cost, as of the time of adoption of these rules, is 4 cents per  
page.  
History: 2015 AACS.  
R 408.15911 Rescinded.  
History: 1979 AC; 2015 AACS.  
R 408.15914 Briefings; visibility; fires; energized lines or equipment.  
Rule 5914. (1) Briefing shall be conducted prior to each day's operation and shall  
set forth the plan of operation for the pilot in command and ground employees.  
(2) The employer shall insure that, when visibility is reduced by dust or other  
conditions, ground employees are instructed to exercise special caution to keep clear  
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of the main and stabilizing rotors. The employer shall also eliminate, as far as  
practical, the dust or other conditions reducing the visibility.  
(3) Open fires shall not be permitted in areas where they may be spread by the rotor  
downwash.  
(4) A helicopter, or any part of a helicopter, shall maintain the clearances  
prescribed in table 1 from any energized line or equipment, unless the owner or  
operator of the line assures that the line is deenergized and visibly grounded.  
TABLE 1  
Voltage  
Clearance  
50 kilovolts or less  
15 feet  
More than 50 kilovolts  
15 feet plus .4 inch per each kilovolt over 50 kilovolts  
History: 1954 ACS 88, Eff. July 16, 1976; 1979 AC.  
R 408.15915 Personal protective equipment; loose clothing.  
Rule 5915. (1) Except during an emergency operation, eye protection, as prescribed  
in General Industry Safety Standard Part 33 “Personal Protective Equipment,” as  
referenced in R 408.15903, shall be provided and used by a ground crew employee while  
working on an operation covered by these rules when there is exposure to rotor wash.  
(2) Except during an emergency operation, head protection shall be provided and  
used as prescribed in General Industry Safety Standard Part 33 “Personal Protective  
Equipment,” as referenced in R 408.15903, and shall be secured by a chin strap by a  
ground crew employee working on an operation covered by this part when lifting or  
landing a load.  
(3) Loose fitting clothing likely to flap in rotor downwash, and thus be snagged on  
the hoist line, shall not be worn.  
History: 1979 AC; 1983 AACS; 2015 AACS.  
R 408.15916 Housekeeping; loose gear.  
Rule 5916. (1) Good housekeeping shall be maintained in the helicopter loading  
and unloading area. The area shall be kept free of recognized hazards.  
(2) The employer shall take all necessary precautions to protect employees  
from flying objects in the rotor downwash. All loose gear within 100 feet of the place  
of lifting or depositing the load, or within an area susceptible to rotor downwash, shall  
be secured or removed.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 408.15921 Approaching craft by employees.  
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Rule 5921. (1) An employee shall not be permitted to approach within 50 feet of  
the helicopter when the rotor blades are turning, unless the work duties of the  
employee require the presence of the employee within that area.  
(2) The employer shall instruct employees and shall ensure that, whenever  
approaching or leaving a helicopter which has its blades rotating, all employees  
shall remain in full view of the pilot and keep in a crouched position. An employee shall  
not be permitted to work in the area from the cockpit or cabin rearward while blades  
are rotating, unless authorized by the helicopter operator.  
(3) An employee shall not be permitted to perform work under hovering craft  
except when necessary to hook or unhook a load. A safe means of access shall be  
provided for an employee to reach the hoist line hook and engage or disengage a cargo  
sling while under the hovering craft.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 408.15922 Providing and training ground employees; checking size, weight,  
and connection of load; tag line, pressed sleeve, hoist wire, or other gear; static  
charge; rated capacity of load line.  
Rule 5922. (1) Ground employees shall be provided, and they shall be properly  
trained to ensure that helicopter loading and unloading operations can be performed  
safely.  
(2) The size and weight of loads, and the manner in which loads are connected to the  
helicopter, shall be checked by the pilot in command. A lift shall not be made if the  
helicopter pilot in command determines that the lift cannot be made safely.  
(3) A load shall be properly slung. A tag line shall be of a length that does not  
permit it being drawn up into the rotors. A pressed sleeve, swedged eye, or equivalent  
means shall be used for a freely suspended load to prevent a hand splice from spinning  
open or a cable clamp from loosening.  
(4) A hoist wire or other gear, except for a pulling line or conductor that is allowed  
to "pay out" from a container or roll off a reel, shall not be attached to any fixed ground  
structure or allowed to foul on any fixed structure.  
(5) The static charge on the suspended load shall be dissipated with a grounding  
device before ground personnel touch the suspended load, unless protective rubber gloves  
are being worn when touching the load.  
(6) A load line shall have a working load rating of not less than the rated capacity of  
the helicopter.  
History: 1979 AC; 2015 AACS.  
R 408.15923 Cargo hooks.  
Rule 5923. (1) An electrically operated cargo hook shall have the electrical  
activating device so designed and installed as to prevent inadvertent operation.  
(2) A cargo hook shall be equipped with an emergency mechanical control for  
releasing the load.  
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(3) The employer shall ensure that a hook is tested prior to operation each day by a  
competent person to determine that the electrical and mechanical releases function  
properly.  
History: 1979 AC; 2015 AACS.  
R 408.15931 Communication between pilot and signalman; signal systems.  
Rule 5931. (1) There shall be constant, reliable communication between the pilot  
and a designated employee of the ground crew who acts as a signalman during the  
period of loading and unloading. The signalman shall be clearly distinguishable from  
other ground employees.  
(2) The employer shall instruct the aircrew and ground employees on the signal  
systems to be used, and shall review the system with the employees in advance of  
hoisting the load. This applies to both radio and hand signal systems. Hand  
signals, where used, shall be as shown in figure 1.  
Figure for 408.15931  
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History: 1979 AC.  
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