Caught between and struck by injuries can be caused by rigging failure, due to gear and equipment not being properly inspected, and using defective gear and equipment. Injuries are also caused by moving parts and equipment, allowing hands to be caught in pinch points and lack of PPE. Struck by injuries can be caused by loads not properly rigged before being hoisted, working underneath a suspended load, and improper use of tag lines.
Electrical hazards are caused by handling loads too close to power lines. Most power lines are not insulated, only the ones closest to the ground. A crane needs to maintain at least 20 feet of distance, all other activities need at least 10 feet of clearance. This distance increases as the voltage in the power line increases. Injuries occur through direct contact, such as the use of hoisting and hauling equipment near energized lines.
Rigging is a specialized task and requires training. We have sent approximately 35 people to training in the last year. Only trained people who are authorized by Delta can rig loads. Some items to remember prior to using rigging and moving loads.
- Know the weight of the load before you pick it up, don’t guess.
- Use rigging that has enough capacity for the load.
- Inspect the rigging prior to use. Make sure the label is legible and shows capacities. Look for damage such as worn areas, kinks in wire rope, burns, deformities, bent hooks, missing gates, broken wires, cuts or wear on slings.
- Rig the load using the rigging as the manufacturer intended. Do not alter the rigging.
- Do not use material that is not intended as rigging. No fall protection straps or other wire or hooks. Rigging has a safety factor engineered into it.
- Rig the load so that the weight balances and the load won’t roll.
- Use a tag line. No handling or walking of live loads. No touching the load until it is ready to be placed.
- No swinging load over workers or allow them to remain near the moving load.
- Have one signal person directing movement. That person must be trained.
- Report any damaged or defective equipment to your supervisor, do not use the damaged rigging, even once.
If there is immediate danger, know the emergency stop signal. Anyone can give this signal. Don’t assume others see the hazard.