Choosing lifting and rigging equipment
Every large-scale job differs from the previous one. The equipment used to haul a sailboat out of the water for inspection, cleaning, and painting, for example, is different from the rigging equipment used to set up the stage for the next big rock concert. Both instances require a specific set of equipment that guarantees the safety of everyone involved. That’s what we’re going to discuss today – different types of lifting and rigging equipment for seriously heavy lifting.
Factors to Consider
Several factors must be taken into consideration when choosing lifting and rigging equipment. One wrong move and accidents happen. This means that every single piece of equipment must be carefully chosen to ensure a safe lift. Here are a few significant factors to consider:
- The weight of the load vs. lift capacity of equipment. Each individual piece of equipment has to be able to handle the weight of the load; otherwise the weak area puts the entire operation at risk.
- The type of hoist. Rigging chain hoists and other types of hoists are used depending on the item(s) being lifted. Hoists must be weight and material appropriate in order to work effectively.
- The type of control used during the lift. Every lift will be controlled in some way for the duration of the lift. You may need lift slings, taglines, or some other type of control mechanism to promote a safe lift.
- Protection required for sharp corners. Sharp corners of very heavy objects can do serious damage if they come into contact with other objects by accident.
- The center of gravity. A balanced load is the ticket to a successful lift. Hoists and load binders may be needed in multiple locations to achieve the proper balance.
- Nearby obstacles or obstructions. You should always strive to work in an open area, but this isn’t a perfect world, and we often have to lift heavy objects in the confines of an alley or street. You must keep an eye out for obstacles or obstructions that may require special attention during the lift.
- Regulations set by local officials or the customer. Local ordinances may require specific safety equipment for a heavy lift. The customer may also have a specific set of rules to follow to ensure the safety of nearby structures or for any host of other reasons. These regulations must be met.
- Weather conditions on the day of the lift. Wind, rain, and other weather conditions must be taken into consideration. Wind may require the addition of control mechanisms or you may have to postpone the lift for another day if weather conditions make the job too risky.
Moving Heavy Loads Safely
Commercial construction materials, heavy machinery, and other heavy items require a highly specialized skill set and experience lifting heavy items to move safely. You need the proper equipment in addition to your knowledge and experience in order to make a job a true success. The proper equipment for the job can make the heaviest lift look nearly effortless to the untrained eye.
Replace Worn Equipment
Metal rusts; that’s just a fact of life. Even metal that has been properly stored and taken care of will develop some rust or wear out over time. Thoroughly inspect your lifting and rigging equipment before each use and make sure it is properly stored after each use. Proper care will ensure that your equipment will last for a very long time, but always choose safety over everything else. When a piece of equipment looks worn out or shows signs of weakness, replace it.