Cranes have always been used to get construction personnel into hard to reach places.
Before OSHA, a worker riding the crane's hook was common, this is still true in some places today. Until the mid-1980's, hoisting personnel with a crane was one of the main causes of crane-related deaths. With new regulations in place, there are fewer fatalities. Lifting personnel with a crane should be a last resort, after exhausting all other safer possibilities. In fact, in an effort to discourage hoisting personnel with a crane, OSHA has made the requirements time consuming and costly.
The currently approved methods of lifting personnel are hook suspended baskets, boom tip attached baskets, boatswain (bosun's chairs), and marine transfer units (Billy Pughs).