For ordinary citizens, it can certainly feel like construction sites are a type of phenomenon. They seem to appear out of thin air overnight and the work being done isn’t apparent on a day to day basis. The site and processes seem to drag on for a time and then, suddenly, everything rapidly appears at once. Heavy equipment riggers are the licensed individuals who set the equipment in these sites up. Without them, nothing gets started. They are the ones who start the process and make sure the equipment based execution goes smoothly. Here are a few safety tips all rigging operators should have down pat.
Safety equipment tends to be consistent among positions and is the most basic precaution an individual can take to ensure their wellbeing. At the very least, you can be certain all personnel should be wearing head protection, eye protection, and hearing protection. Hoists are typically going to be lifted higher than 5ft and so hard hats should be worn at all times in the site.
Preemptive Hoist Safety
Most accidents and mishaps are a result of negligence and not necessarily execution or operation. When dealing with machinery, it is imperative that you perform inspections before any work is done or any equipment is utilized. This can go a long way in preventing any potential problems or prevent accidents. Doing so will create a safer work environment. Since hoisting requires the use of hooks, chains, and slings, inspecting those will help ensure a safe hoist. Many overhead hoist operations result in accidents because of sling failure. As they say, an object is only as strong as its weakest link. Making sure your slings are fitted properly is important. As is using the right sling material type for the job.
Load Testing Your Hoist
Load testing can help you understand how much weight the hoisting equipment can take before it stops functioning optimally. Naturally, before you test the load capacity of the hoist, visual inspections are necessary for the hooks, wires, ropes, and chains. Load testing and inspection can only be performed by a qualified person who has experience with hoists and overhead operations. OSHA makes distinctions between a designated person on-site as compared to a qualified person—who has specific credentials that qualifies them to make inspections.
Hoist Operational Momentum
The rigger operating the hoist must do due diligence in regards to moving loads. When moving a load even in the accepted weight parameters can go south if the operator moves the load too fast which can cause dangerous swinging. Another maneuver which can prove to be the cause of accidents is the quick reversal of the direction of the load. This is often the cause of spills which can be the most immediately dangerous work site accident. Personnel should always be wary of the sounds that the equipment makes while in operation and as a result, steer clear of the area of operation. A worker should never in any circumstances be standing below or around objects being hoisted.
What Qualifications Do Rigging Operators Require?
Rigging is an interesting job in the sense that job qualifications vary. Novice riggers may have only a high school diploma to get their foot in the door—provided they at least can demonstrate knowledge and aptitude towards construction and the use of machinery. It is the adoption of responsibilities that requires additional education in the form of certifications. If the rigger is handling the hooking and unhooking procedures for loads then the rigger must meet OSHA qualifications.
If you have ever worked in the construction or logistics industry, you would know that driving any type of forklift requires certification. Additionally, riggers can obtain certification for crane rigging. Interestingly, while you can obtain certification for becoming a rigging operator, it is not the same as obtaining an OSHA certification for the same title. This just goes to show that there is a multitude of needs that construction sites require and depending on what needs to be done, job qualifications can vary greatly.
For a more comprehensive list of safety protocols, refer to our Safety Forms and Certificates page!
Hoisting Experts In San Francisco Bay Area
Sheedy Crane is a historic and time-tested national leader in providing crane, rigging, hoists and heavy hauling services. We have been in business since 1925 and have decades of experience in dealing with hoisting operations in the Bay Area. Visit our contact page or give us a call at (415)-648-7171 to get in touch with our experts who can find a custom solution for your specific problem.