Rigging, hoisting, and lifting have been an integral part of human civilizations for centuries. The construction of Pyramids in Egypt is the earliest evidence of this technique, when architects used ropes, pulleys, and other tools to lift and move heavy objects manually.
Since then, the science of hoisting and rigging has come a long way. But even today, it remains at the heart of many industries, including construction, manufacturing, and transportation. That’s why the global hoists market is estimated to reach $2.558 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 6.03%.
But, you need safe rigging practices and procedures to ensure workers’ safety, prevent damage to materials, and maintain project timelines. That can only be achieved with a thorough understanding of hoisting and rigging fundamentals.
Understanding Hoisting and Rigging Fundamentals
Hoisting and rigging often go hand in hand. Hoisting involves lifting or raising heavy objects or loads using mechanical devices like cranes, hoists, and pulleys. On the other hand, rigging refers to attaching and securing the load to the hoisting equipment.
What is the Purpose of Hoisting and Rigging?
The purpose of hoisting and rigging is to safely lift and move heavy loads, such as equipment, materials, and structures, from one location to another. These tools reduce the time and labor required to move heavy loads manually.
Additionally, lifting equipment can help minimize the risk of injury or damage to equipment, structures, and personnel. But you can achieve this with only proper rigging and hoisting guidelines.
Types of Hoisting and Rigging Equipment
When you visit a hoisting and rigging equipment supplier, you can find different tools, each created for specific applications and load capacities.
Some common types of equipment include:
- Cranes like carry-deck Cranes, crawler cranes, floating cranes, rough terrain cranes, and truck-mounted cranes.
- Hoists like electric hoists, wire rope hoists, manual hoists, and pneumatic hoists.
- Wire rope slings made of different grades of steel, wire strands, and tensile strength.
- Rigging hardware such as hooks, links, and turnbuckles.
- Shackles such as snap shackles, twist shackles, and headboard shackles.
As you can see, these are just a few examples of the many types of equipment available in the market. You can always ring up your hoisting and rigging equipment supplier and ask for the specific equipment you need.
Basic Components of Hoisting and Rigging Systems
Whether in construction or mining, you will always use a rigging and hoisting system composed of different parts. These parts will change from system to system.
But a typical system includes:
- Load: This is the item or items being lifted or moved by the lifting and rigging system.
- Lifting Equipment: They include cranes, hoists, and other lifting devices used to raise and lower the loads.
- Rigging Equipment: They are slings, cables, chains, and other devices used to connect the load to the lifting equipment.
- Anchors: Anchors are the points where the lifting equipment gets attached. It could be the top of a crane or the anchor point of a hoist.
- Support Equipment: You may have to use blocking and cribbing to support the load and prevent it from shifting during lifting.
- Control Equipment: As the name suggests, they include remote control systems and limit switches that control the lifting equipment.
- Safety Equipment: Finally, you have safety gear like harnesses, hard hats, and other personal protective equipment.
In addition to these, you must also go through rigging guidelines to ensure safe loading and lifting.
Hoisting and Rigging Guidelines to Ensure Safety
Whether it’s a shipping dock or a construction site, these are dangerous environments where safety needs to be the priority. So, when you use lifting and hoisting equipment, follow proper rigging and hoisting guidelines at all costs.
Here are a few basic hoisting, lifting, and rigging guidelines:
1. Determine the Load Weight and Center of Gravity
Before you start, determine the weight of the load and the location of its center of gravity. This information will help you choose the appropriate rigging equipment. It will also ensure the load is balanced and stable during the lift. This is the first step in safe rigging practices and procedures.
2. Select the Right Equipment
Always choose the right equipment for the job. This goes for all equipment, including hoists, slings, hooks, chains, and wire ropes. Also, all the rigging components should be in good condition and rated to handle the required load. If you are in doubt, ask your hoisting and rigging equipment supplier or a certified personnel for help.
3. Inspect the Equipment
Before each use, inspect the equipment for signs of wear and damage. Replace any worn or damaged components before using the equipment.
4. Never Cross the Safe Working Load Limits
This is also one of the critical safe rigging practices and procedures. Each lifting and rigging equipment comes with specific working load limits. Ensure that your crane or winch can safely support the weight of the load. Never cross the safe working load limit under any circumstances.
5. Keep Your Hoist Line Plumb
As a rigger, be sure a plumb hoist line freely suspends the load. If not, the equipment can fail due to side loading. This often leads to catastrophic load shifting, destabilization, or unexpected tip over.
6. Clear the Clutter Before Lifting
Never overlook this hoisting guideline. Your work area should be clutter and hazard free before your work begins. So, when charting the path for your lift, clear unauthorized personnel, unnecessary machinery, debris, or potential hazards first.
Also, make sure the power lines are tucked away and insulated. Electrocution is one of the leading hazards in construction and other work sites. And lastly, take note of changing weather conditions. If a storm or heavy rains are likely, postpone your operation until the weather clears.
7. Do a Test Lift
Although it is one of the crucial safe rigging practices and procedures, most riggers tend to ignore or forget this step. Test lifts often take a few minutes. But they can help you prevent potential accidents.
Before lifting your load completely, lift it a few inches above the ground. Check your rigging and hoisting setup. If no adjustments are needed, go right ahead. But if there are any issues, address them before lifting the load.
8. Train Your Staff
The last but probably one of the most critical safe rigging practices and procedures is training. You will need to train your personnel to ensure they are familiar with the equipment they are using. This will significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Remember, you risk the lives of everyone, even if one person is untrained or unqualified.
Ensure your workers have completed a training course, written exam, and practical demonstration. In most states, the training and certification are valid for three years. However, check with local authorities if your workers need the training more frequently. Also, provide ongoing training to keep your staff up-to-date on the latest regulations, rigging guidelines, and best practices.
Contact Your Hoisting and Rigging Equipment Supplier Now
Getting the fundamentals of hoisting and rigging right ensures safety. And they include knowing the load weight and center of gravity, selecting the right equipment, inspecting the equipment, following rigging guidelines, and training. With this post, you can get the basics of lifting, rigging, and hoisting right, from the beginning.
Are you looking for high-quality rigging, lifting, and hoisting equipment? Elite Sales is a leading industrial hardware supplier. Call us now to place your order!