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The Importance of Safer Rigging Techniques

Safety | June 27, 2017

There is always a lot of planning and decision making involved in lifting heavy objects on a worksite. While most of the attention is usually focused on the crane, hoist, or other device that will be making the lift, to verify that it has sufficient capacity, most people forget to consider the important role that proper rigging has in safe load handling. At Western Equipment, we want to ensure that everyone fully understands that importance of safer rigging techniques.

Evaluating the Rigging Environment

Evaluating the environment of your rigging equipment means more than just ensuring that the ground is level and solid. Riggers also need to make sure that there are no obstructions or items that might be knocked aside, and the area needs to be examined for any potential hazards, including power lines, electrical equipment, or moving machinery. If there is a possibility that a boom or sling could come in contact with one of these hazards, the hoist or crane operator and the rigger should work together to identify the safest way to proceed.

Inspecting the Rigging Equipment

The rigger is responsible for thoroughly inspecting the condition and function of the rigging equipment. This includes examining the slings, chains, pulleys, hooks, and pad eyes for any damage or distortion.

In most cases, the safest approach for lifting heavy items is to use a sling rather than attach the crane/hoist cable, chain, or rope directly to the load. There are many different types of slings that you can choose from, but the best one for your job will depend on a variety of factors (size and shape of the load, environmental conditions, and the potential for damaging the surface of the load). Yet, no matter what type of sling you use, it should always be examined to ensure that there is no damage that would impair the integrity of the job.

Choosing a Hitch

Just like with picking the right sling for your job, you will also have to choose the best hitch. The type of hitch that will work best for your job will depend on the weight of the load and the nature of the lift. There are three common types of hitches that you can choose from:

  1. Basket hitch – the sling goes around the load and the sling’s ends are placed over the hook.
  2. Choker hitch – after placing the sling around the load, one end is fed through the end of the other to create a tight hold.
  3. Vertical hitch – the sling is connected to the attachments and to the hook on the hoist or crane.

Safety Training With Western Equipment

There is nothing more important on any worksite than making sure that everyone goes home safely at the end of every work day/shift. That is why Western Equipment is proud to offer customers proper safety training for rigging, so that you can be confident that the work is being done safely and properly at all times.

If you have any questions about the importance of safer rigging techniques, or if you are interested in one of our products, please contact Western Equipment by filling out a contact form on our website.