Passing a rigging equipment inspection is an incredibly important part of the process for a plethora of reasons. Of course, a project cannot begin until it passes a full inspection. This is to ensure safety for anyone on-site and prevent accidents that could cause millions of dollars in damage.
According to the latest data, there have been nearly 250 fatal and serious accidents involving rigging equipment since 2010. Further, there have been over 800 major OSHA violations related to overhead lifting equipment adding up to $2.3 million in fees. The most common incidents that resulted in injuries and onsite fatalities were due to:
- Load swing, drop, or instability
- Loads dropping because of wrong equipment setup or equipment failure
- Incorrect lock out/tag out system
Nearly all of these incidents can be completely avoided by thorough rigging equipment inspections. Remember that failing an initial inspection is not necessarily a sign of failure or negligence; it is an opportunity to correct and replace any rigging equipment to ensure the highest level of safety for the entire crew.
That said, here are some useful tips from a rigging hardware supplier to help you pass inspections and avoid the repercussions of failing:
1. Enforce Proper Equipment Installation
Inspectors will be paying close attention to how your equipment is installed and set up. This includes everything from large wire ropes to small hardware pieces like sleeves and shackles. Every single piece of equipment needs to be installed and held in place exactly as directed – otherwise, it causes serious safety hazards if not done as directed.
The first step is to make sure that only certified personnel are in charge of setting up the equipment. This must be a qualified rigger, according to OSHA. This means that they have completed the necessary training and meet specific requirements for the job at hand. For instance, larger rigging equipment setups may require additional training and certifications.
It is also highly recommended to have another professional double-check the installation before the official inspection begins. A second set of eyes may notice small mistakes which can be quickly corrected.
2. Double Check Weight Load
The weight load calculation needs to be fairly precise and there should always be some fluctuation allowed to account for variables, such as wind speed. Not only does the load need to be properly weighed, but all rigging equipment must be accounted for including:
- Type of crane or equipment used for lifting
- Lifting slings
- Rigging hardware pieces
- Hook blocks
- Lifting beams
- Shackles and hoist rings
The weight load also needs to be as evenly balanced as possible before it can be lifted. If the load is an odd shape that is unbalanced, the setup needs to be adjusted properly to ensure that the heavier end has further support.
3. Replace Rusted or Damaged Equipment
Surprisingly, one of the most common reasons a setup fails a rigging equipment inspection is due to worn-out hardware. If your rigging equipment shows signs of moderate to severe wear, it is time to replace it. Even a small nick or rust spots can compromise the durability of the entire setup, so every piece of rigging equipment needs to be in acceptable condition.
Opting for less-expensive equipment made from weaker forms of steel can be the reason why hardware pieces erode so quickly. Lower-grade steels are mixed with other metals like aluminum, which is a weaker element.
Instead, you should only buy hardware that is made from a guaranteed higher grade of stainless steel from a reputable rigging equipment supplier. The most common materials used for rigging equipment are stainless steel, galvanized, and bright. Stainless steel is typically the most durable and long-lasting but galvanized and bright may be a valid alternative in some situations. Each of these finishes offers benefits for specific applications – and a good rigging equipment wholesaler will be able to point you in the right direction.
Hardware maintenance should also be a priority for all rigging equipment setups. Putting a bit of effort to make sure all hardware pieces are stored and cared for correctly can extend the usage of the pieces significantly. Any equipment left outdoors should be covered to protect it from moisture, direct sunlight, and heavy winds, which can cause damage and erosion.
4. Tighten Your Clips
Finally, before a rigging equipment inspection, the rigger should go through and tighten clips as much as possible. Clips are used to secure rigging equipment like wire ropes, but if they are not torqued all the way, it can cause the setup to slip.
This also extends to cable elements, hitches, and slings. Be sure that all of these elements are connected properly and tighten any connection points so that nothing can slip or stretch during the lift.
Looking for Top-Quality Rigging Hardware Equipment?
If you want to ensure that you pass your next rigging equipment inspection, you likely need to replace old parts with new, highly-rated hardware. Elite Sales proudly offers some of the best quality hardware pieces on the market designed for heavy-duty overhead lifting applications.
Elite Sales has operated as a rigging equipment wholesaler for many years and our staff has decades of experience. Our team is always available to offer direction and advice regarding any of our equipment. Simply reach out to us online to get started and learn more.