4 Safety Tips for Industrial Rigging
When professionals in mechanical industries need to hoist heavy loads, they do so through industrial rigging. Hoisting requires a skilled operator, heavy lifting equipment and various rigging components. You may use industrial rigging during a typical day if you work in one of these industries:
- Emergency/first response (firefighters and rope rescue teams)
- Manufacturing and transportation
For each of these applications, paying attention to the load and your surroundings is essential. Combined with thorough knowledge about industrial rigging, watching out for minor details ensures the safety of everyone on the job site.
For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires operators to have training and certification before they use the equipment. Other workers must have similar training for industrial rigging safety.
Paying attention and having the proper training is crucial to successfully hoisting large loads without endangering other workers. Equip Trucking & Warehousing has more than 30 years of experience with industrial rigging, and we want to share our best tips and practices with you.
Here are four more of the most important rigging safety basics:
1. Know Your Weight
Your lifting equipment has a maximum weight capacity that you must never exceed. However, loads that weigh 70% to 80% of the machinery’s capacity are critical lifts, which require more experienced professionals and increased safety measures. Even under that percentage, the weight of your load determines the best rigging, so you’ll need to be aware of how much your machinery is lifting.
Some objects, like HVAC equipment, have their weight listed on them. Other products’ specifications are available online or from the manufacturer. For some loads, you may need to do some math for a clear answer.
2. Choose the Right Hitch
Your hitch connects the sling to the objects you’re lifting. The number of items that make up your load and their basic shapes are two major factors that determine the right hitch for your load. Options include basket, vertical and choker hitches.
Falling pieces can get damaged, and they risk the safety of nearby workers. Prevent workplace accidents by choosing hitches that secure your load and keep it from shifting when you lift it.
3. Adjust Angles to Reduce Tension on Slings and Hardware
Another way to reduce the dangers associated with industrial rigging is to reduce tension on slings and hardware. Low angles put stress on your slings. By raising the angle formed between the sling and the load, you reduce the tension on your sling.
When your hardware hoists your load from an angle, that angle compromises the hardware’s weight capacity. To maximize its lifting power, always rig your loads so that any tension on your hardware is vertical.
4. Choose the Best Slings and Hardware Available
Consider how much weight your slings and hardware must hoist and how you’ll distribute it. Many slings have multiple legs that share the load for more strength. You can also choose a sling based on weight capacity and materials, like wire, steel alloy and synthetic fiber.
Once you’ve chosen slings, decide which hardware is compatible with them. Manufacturers rate hooks, eye bolts, shackles and other components for capacity. Ensure the parts you choose will keep the load secure without damaging it.
Inspect your slings and hardware before every use. Weakened fibers, heat damage and knots can all cause your sling to malfunction mid-lift. Broken wires, stretching and corrosion are signs you should replace your hardware.
One way to avoid replacing slings so often is to prevent them from sustaining damage. Many loads have sharp edges, and the force of lifting them may stress or cut into the fibers. Put thick padding between the load and sling to avoid tears.
Industrial Rigging Services From Equip Trucking
Rigging large loads safely is a challenge for many manufacturers and other businesses. Equip Trucking and Warehousing offers industrial rigging and transportation service to a number of industries in the tri-state area. We combine our team’s years of experience rigging and relocating machinery with equipment like our 100-ton bridge crane, so you know we can help you complete any project.
Fill out our online contact form or call us today at 610-521-8527 for more information.