When you’re lifting anything on a job site, tensions are high. One kink in a plan can mean the safety of an employee is compromised. It can also lead to lost time and money.
However, if a plan is made and made well, anyone on your site can be prepared misstep. If you’re planning a rigging project, these tips and tricks can greatly help you be prepared for anything.
Planning a Rigging Project
A rigging plan should always be built around safety, time and money. By creating a plan you make sure your workers have the safest workspace possible. Having a plan also increases efficiency on the work site, which can help save you time. Providing everyone with the information they will need to execute the best job possible is the goal of planning any rigging project.
Types of lift plan
Arranging a rigging strategy can be placed into three categories of planning; ordinary lifts, critical lifts, and pre-engineering lifts. All three lift types may vary on what information is needed and what information needs to be provided for your crew.
A common lift plan type is the ordinary lift. These are lifts most construction sites do every day. Because they are so common many people on a site will know exactly what needed to be done as soon as a few measurements are taken.
These lifts require a very minimal physical plan and only a few meetings to discuss. Just because ordinary lifts are common doesn’t mean the safety risks are lower; always keep safety as the most important aspect of any plan.
More planning and time needs to go into critical lifts. Although critical lifts may be a bit less common than ordinary lifts, they require a lot more attention to detail. These rigging projects include plans that need to be approved because they include expensive loads, extremely heavy loads or the use of many cranes to lift one load.
The most challenging of the load types are pre-engineering lifts. These types of lifts include other factors other than just lifting an object. Perhaps the object is alive or contains hazardous materials. These type of projects include managing not only the lift but also discussing outside factors with other parties who are not a member of your initial lift team.
Important Things to Consider When Planning a Rigging Project
Now that you know the types of lifting projects to plan for, let’s discuss aspects of planning that should be remembered throughout your planning process. In order to plan a safe and effective lift, these aspects need to be considered from start to finish. Ask yourself:
- What the plan is expected to do? – What outcome would be the best outcome? How will the team work together to execute this task? How long does the project plan to last?
- What could go wrong and how to deal with it? – Will this part of my project cause issues for any other step? Do I have a back-up plan if my crane operator becomes sick? If a storm happens, do I have a workaround? If a wire rope breaks do I have backups?
- What will happen if the plan goes wrong? – One step was missed what does that mean for the following steps? Can I afford a delay in work because the crane operator is sick? If that rope broke, how many people will not be able to work today?
- Precautions to take in order to lessen risks – I will make sure the entire crew has a list of steps they need to take so someone doesn’t miss a step. I will hire a crew member who can be a back up if our main crane operator is sick. I’ll plan two extra days to get the job done because it may rain this weekend.
Important Aspects of a Rigging Plan Template
Rigging plans can be very detailed depending on the type. However, all lift plans involve gathering information, visiting the site, calculations, buying equipment, and educating and communicating with your team. These steps are very important to keep track so that everyone is on the same page, thus ensuring the safety of your crew and the efficiency of the project.
Assessing the situation and gathering data
There are many numbers and steps to consider when planning a rigging project. You’ll need as much information as you can in order to calculate what equipment and trained crew would best fit the project. Consider the following:
- Timeline – Not only for the project but for assessing the data, buying the equipment, meetings, loading and unloading the project
- Weight of lifted object – What is the weight of the objects being lifted? What kind and how many cranes are needed for said weight and objects?
- Dimensions of the objects – Know the measurements of an object. This will be important when considering the space you’re working in
- Crane capacity and charts – Every crane is different, some have different ground bearing pressure, some had a different center of gravity. Some are taller than others or wider. Consider these factors when deciding on a crane to consider for space and project
Visiting the site
When visiting the site you are looking for what issues you could run into and how you can work your plan in the space. When you visit the site, you may realize you have to re-evaluate some data you’ve collected, but this is fine as it’s important to the project’s bottom line.
- Location and its space – Once on location measuring the space you have to work with is important to figure out how many crew members are needed and if the cranes you had planned can fit. Here you can figure out the safest crane lift plan OSHA would approve of as well.
- Evaluate hazards – When you get to space there might be a tree in the way, or perhaps a part of a building you’ll be lifting over. Taking that into consideration will help you pick crane options and equipment options. You can also plan ahead for what can be done about these obstacles.
- Ground conditions – Is the ground flat, is it rocky? Does it shift when you walk over it? These are important issues to address when considering the cranes you want for space.
- Weather – If you’re working outside you’ll need to know the weather and possible weather conditions. If you’re working in a place that rains all the time, will you have to buy materials to store equipment? If you’re working where it’s hot, will you have to plan more breaks for water?
Adding up the numbers
The next step in the process is to put all the information you’ve gained thus far to use. Calculating important numbers so that your staff is aware of all aspects of the process is essential. This is also a step where you can be proactive, acquiring numbers for your crew to look out for to prevent accidents.
- Organization – Come up with an organized way to show off your numbers and your equations. The easier it is to read the more likely everyone working on the project can understand it.
- Make calculations – After you know how you’re going to organize it, get to crunching those numbers. A good rule of thumb is to look them over a few times and then go back to them again later to make sure they are still correct.
- The radius of load placement – These calculations will directly affect which crane you decide dot buy for the project. Knowing how much room they need can help determine where they can go in the space and if they will need to be moved
- Ground Bearing Pressure – Another calculation very important to decide your crane. How much can the crane hold and how steady the ground is important in determining equipment and crane placement?
- Wind Speed Study – When you lift objects into the air on a wire rope, you’ll need to know what kind of resistance it’s going up against. Recognizing which wind speeds are dangerous to your load so that can be documented is important.
Rigging and equipment
Now that you know the number and weight requirements for your job, you can go about researching and purchasing the right kinds of equipment. Keep in mind your plan’s ability to explain what equipment is used where.
- Rigging – Based on the numbers, what rigging equipment would be the most useful for your site? What sort of materials will best hold your load? Will you have to think of wind resistance and weight when picking out the proper wire rope?
- Slings, shackles, and etc – Based on the load weight and how the crane will have to hold the load in order to lift it, which sling will hold it best. What sort of shackles are needed? Will you need a ground bearing pressure pad?
- Boom length – You’ll need to decide what length will be needed based on the weight of the load and the height it needs to be lifted to. You’ll also have to keep in mind how much space you have to work with.
- Attachment points – Include in the plans how all the equipment and rigging go together. If every member of the staff knows how to assemble your plan or has access to that plan, it will be a much safer work environment.
Drawing up your plan
When your equipment is purchased and your numbers are organized, it’s time to start your technical drawings. As described above, these technical drawing as a manual for how everything goes together on a project.
This step can get very technical as you’ll want to draw up detailed rigging diagrams, sling angles based on your loads and overall lift plans. Making sure to document how a sling is properly connected to a certain type of wire rope is important as not everyone has worked with all kinds of rigging equipment and sometimes it hard to see the difference between ropes. The better the plan is the more cost-effective will be time.
Inspection and communication
The final step is making sure all the above steps are understood by your staff and your clients. This will ensure a safe work zone and a cost-effective rigging project. The following must be decided and discussed while communicating before the start of a project:
- Who’s doing what job and what part of the plan
- Who needs training on elements of the project they may not be familiar with
- Figuring out who is in charge of watching over the entire project
- After assessments, you’ll need to discuss the project overview with both the customer and your crew. Knowing what timelines have been approved and having a crew member there to double check your math are essential to moving forward.
Project Planning Made Easy with Silver State Wire Rope
Rigging project planning can be extremely stressful; there’s a ton of thought, execution, and experience needed to get the job done right, and that all starts with a great plan. When you’re in need of the right parts for your project, look no further than Silver State Wire Rope. Our experienced staff can help you find the exact items to fit your project’s needs and provide extensive rigging training. We’re always only a phone call away, so call us today!