Failure to check simple things like shackle capacity or load weight is a common but preventable mistake. Preventing mistakes, especially common mistakes, is an essential step in keeping your employees and facilities safe. Continue reading this article to learn more common rigging mistakes and how to prevent them.
The weight of the load is unknown
It’s essential to know the weight to properly lift an object to the working load limit (WLL) of the rigging equipment. Ultimately, it is the rigger’s responsibility to know the load’s weight before performing the lift. In many cases, devices manufactured in anticipation of frequent lifting will display their weight directly on the surface. However, determining the weight of a load isn’t always that simple. If the load’s weight isn’t marked on the object, the rigger has to determine the weight for himself.
Failure to inspect rigging equipment
All rigging equipment and hardware must be inspected regularly. If rigging equipment isn’t regularly inspected for damage, defects, or deformation, it can lead to equipment failure and lift failure. Frequent inspections should be performed on all equipment. For special service applications, the rigging equipment must be inspected before each use.
Another common problem is that you know your equipment is inspected regularly, but the rigger doesn’t know exactly what to check during a routine inspection. To accurately inspect your equipment, riggers must know what damaged and unsafe rigging equipment looks like.
The rigging equipment’s weight capacity is unknown
All rigging equipment must have a WLL clearly marked on the device. The rigger should not use the device if the capacity is not labeled or unknown. A widespread problem facing inspectors and riggers is equipment that cannot be read or is missing tags. Without the tag, there is no way to know the device’s capacity, which is essential to do the lift. If a tag or label on a piece of rigging equipment is unreadable or missing, it should be removed from service immediately. Some rigging gear such as eye bolts and master links, the WLL is not listed on the device, but a manufacturer’s chart.
Use of improperly constructed or modified equipment
It’s not uncommon for inspectors to find homemade, retrofitted, or makeshift devices during inspections. As per ASME B30.26 Rigging Hardware, the WLL isn’t known without proper load testing, therefore not compliant. These include devices that are:
- Completely built from scratch
- Welded or modified in any way
- Had parts replaced by with non-OEM components
Not using the correct slings or hitches
One of the most common mistakes riggers can make is not using the right slings or hitches for the lift. A large part of rigging is planning the lift using the equipment available (slings, hardware, etc.) to create the safest and most efficient lift. It’s vital to choose the right rigging equipment based on the situation you’re facing.
Another common mistake is choosing the wrong sling for your lifting application. For example, when using a chain sling, the choker hitch can scratch, crush, or damage the load. A sling made of less abrasive material (nylon or polyester) would be more suitable for this application.
Not using suitable sling protection devices
Lack of sling protection is a common rigging problem. All lifting slings must be protected when contacting edges, protrusions, edges, etc. In case of contact with the sling, the edges must be protected. Synthetic slings (web slings and round slings) should not be used without additional edge protection. This is especially important when using chokers and basket hitches because the sling must be tightly wrapped and in direct contact with the load.
You can protect against damage by adding sling protection, such as edge guards, magnetic protection, or sleeves to the sling. Sometimes the sling protection is sewn directly into the sling.
The load isn’t balanced or structurally sound
Before lifting, it’s vital to ensure the load is balanced. This is a common problem, for example, when lifting a partially full container whose contents can quickly shift to one side. The rigger must consider the load’s content to determine if it can move during the lift and stabilize it before the lift occurs. Riggers must also ensure that the load is structurally sound enough to be manipulated and lifted at one or more lift points.
Failure to control the load
Failure to maintain proper load control is a common rigging problem. If not adequately controlled, the lift can fail and cause serious injury and damage. There are many factors that the rigger should consider when it comes to managing the load. Could the lift be affected by the wind? Do slings and hitches adequately support and distribute the weight of the load? Will additional action be required to lift and move the load along the planned path?
Silver State Wire Rope & Rigging
We hope this article provides insight into common rigging issues, how they occur, and how to prevent them. Silver State Wire Rope offers all the rigging equipment you need for a successful lift in addition to certified OSHA rigging training courses. If you have any questions, contact us to speak with a wire rope and rigging expert!