There is always a safety concern whenever there is a load that is being hoisted and moved. This includes safety for the crane and hoist operators as well as for other people in the work area. There is also a concern about the safety of the load, although this is secondary to human safety on the job.
When using a wire rope hoist in any type of application, there are a few strategies that operators need to use for the safe option. This should start with a visual inspection of the equipment and the hoist, ensuring that everything is in good working condition before starting the lift.
Know the weight that any wire rope hoist is approved to lift. Do not attempt to lift loads heavier than the hoist is rated to handle. It is also important to ensure that the load is balanced and is not listing to one side or another. Take up the slack in the wire rope slowly and adjust and secure the load holding action only when the load is balanced.
Watch the Wire Rope
If the operator notes any irregularities in the wire rope including any kinks, twists or worn areas, it is important to immediately stop operating the hoist and report the noted damage to the supervisor. It is also important to note any jerking or hesitancy with the hoist movement.
With good maintenance and accurate records of inspections and repairs, this is rarely an issue. However, for a new operator on any hoist, this is an important consideration before making a lift.
Note Your Surroundings
As the operator, make sure you can see the area below and around the load. Do not start a load if there are people below the lift area or near to the equipment. It is also essential to never move a load over an area where people are working. With large equipment and construction areas, it can sometimes be difficult to see the full track of the wire rope hoist, but this attention to detail can be a true lifesaving step should a failure in the hoist occur.
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