Basic Guidelines for Hoisting and Rigging
Because construction sites are dangerous environments, everyone on location is required to be trained on safety protocols to prevent accidents that could cause harm or damage. From fall protection safety to proper scaffold erection, each aspect of a jobsite requires clearly established standards to be in place so that workers’ lives are not at risk. To ensure the safety of everything and everyone on your jobsite, be sure to adhere to the following basic guidelines for your hoisting and rigging operations.
Select the Correct Slings
Before starting a project, determine which style sling will get the job done best. Slings are available in several different materials, so consider the magnitude of your application and choose a sling with the proper size, thickness, length, and diameter.
Select the Correct Hook
Your slings must connect to a hook; therefore, you must choose hooks that will suitably support your chosen sling and always use the safety latches.
Inspect Your Equipment for Defects
Before use, examine your equipment including all hooks, slings, and hardware. If any component is defective, destroy and dispose of it properly so that it is taken out of rotation. Equipment that is questionable should be shelved until it can be inspected by competent person and deemed safe for use.
Don’t Use Slings Incorrectly
Be sure to attach the slings in the proper manner that is specified. Never tie a knot in a sling to reduce its length or secure a sharp load with an unprotected sling. When using multiple leg slings, be sure to equalize your load and allow for increased tension that can be caused by the angle of the slings.
Know Your Rigging Equipment’s Safe Working Load Limits
An entire operation could be compromised if its rigging system is overloaded, so knowing and understanding the limits of your rigging gear is imperative. Always double-check the safe working load limits of your equipment prior to use to be sure it can handle each load.
Know Your Lifting Device’s Safe Working Load Limit
In addition to your rigging equipment, you must also understand the limitations of your lifting device. Accurately measure the weight of your load to ensure that it can be safely and securely supported by your crane or winch.
Make Sure Your Hoist Line Is Plumb
If a plumb hoist line does not freely suspend a load, its equipment can easily fail due to side loading. This failure can cause loads to catastrophically shift, destabilize, or tip over unexpectedly.
Prevent Load Swinging With Taglines
To maintain control while hoisting, attach tag lines to your load before a lift. Taglines can prevent cumbersome loads from swaying, twisting, or turning during the hoisting process.
Determine Your Load’s Center of Gravity
Locating your load’s center of gravity will prevent equipment failure and ensure a securely balanced and smooth lift.
Scan the Lift Area for Hazards
Before hoisting, take inventory of the condition of your hoisting site and its surrounding area and chart your lift path. Be sure that you are a safe distance away from obstructions that could affect your hoist, such as neighboring structures, sharp surfaces, and uneven terrain. Workers should be especially cautious of power lines, as electrocution from electrical contact with machinery is one of the top causes of death for riggers. Also, take note of changing environmental conditions to avoid lifting during severe weather.
Clear the Area Before Lifting
To minimize the chance of injury in the event of an unforeseen accident, make sure the hoisting site is clear of unauthorized personnel and any unnecessary machinery, debris, or potential hazards until the lifting operation is complete.
Do a Test Lift
Before fully hoisting your load, slowly lift it a few inches off the ground and stop. Then, perform an inspection of all your rigging equipment to be sure that everything is attached properly and that the load is securely supported. If adjustments are needed, lower the load back to the ground and repeat the process until everything is safe to lift.
Only Use Workers Trained in Rigging and Hoisting Operations
Whether you’re performing a large scale lift or a smaller one, rigging and hoisting is a delicate process that requires the full attention of trained personnel. After all, a lot can go wrong if even one person is not on the ball. To officially perform a rigging and hoisting operation, workers must gain qualification by completing a training course, written exam, and practical demonstration. Upon successful completion, a trained rigger will be qualified for a period of three years.
Central Florida Hoisting and Rigging Training and Supplies
A trusted provider of top-of-the-line hoisting and rigging equipment, Certified Slings & Supply is the largest sling manufacturer and rigging supplier in the Southeast. Not only do we carry a full inventory of reliable and affordable lifting products, but we also perform rigging inspections and offer monthly courses throughout the state of Florida to help train and qualify riggers on proper hoisting and rigging safety and operation. To learn more about our equipment and services or how we can meet your training needs, please give us a call at 1-800-486-5542.