FAQ about Tag Lines for Lifts

Definition:  Tag lines, per 1926.1401, means a rope (usually fiber) attached to a lifted load for purposes of controlling load spinning and pendular motions or used to stabilize a bucket or magnet during material handling operations.

  • 1910.180(h)(3)(xvi)  states “…A tag or restraint line shall be used when the rotation of the load is hazardous.”
  • 1926.1417(w) says “A tag or restraint line must be used if necessary to prevent rotation of the load that would be hazardous.”
  • 1926.1431(k)(5) regulates “tag lines must be used when necessary to control the platform.”

When to use:

  • The load suspended by the crane is likely to swing back and forth (due to wind or other external factors) creating a control hazard.
  • The movement or rotation of the load causes a hazardous condition.
  • To help orient a load for proper placement or connection upon landing

When to not use:

  • Not having enough clearance for the tag line handler to keep out of the fall zone.
  • They would cause the handler to be placed near a pinch point.
  • There is not a clear travel path for the handler to be able to walk through without trip hazards or without causing snagging hazards.
  • When load rotation is excessive and cannot be controlled via taglines.


  • Only work in tension
  • Work best in near horizontal, and less effective at more vertical

Other thoughts

  • Should be affixed while load is on the ground
  • Use as many taglines as necessary to control the load