Rigging may look like an easy operation that doesn’t seem to require any particular skill or experience but don’t be fooled. Many people who have thought that “anyone can do it” have suffered serious injuries. To prevent rigging injuries be mindful of the following tips:
Get signals straight:
Appoint one member of the crew to act as signalman and instruct the crane operator not to accept signals from anyone else. The signalman must not order a move until getting an “all clear” from each crew member. Each worker in turn must be in the clear before giving an “all clear” to the signalman. If a hold must remain on to the chain, sling, choker, or something else to maintain tension, be sure hands and feet are out of the way of pinch points before giving the “all clear.”
Protect your hands:
If it is not possible to release the chain, sling, or choker, be sure hands are clear of pinch points. In fact, keep hands far enough away so that a frayed wire or splinter on the chain can’t catch gloves and jerk hands into a pinch point.
Watch out for rock and roll:
It is almost impossible to position the hook exactly over the load center, so watch out for a swing or roll. Anticipate the direction of the swing or roll and work away from it. No one should place themselves between material, equipment or other stationary objects and the load. Stay away from stacked material that may be knocked over by a swinging load.
Stay out from under:
Never get under a suspended load and keep out from under the crane’s boom too. The chances of a break occurring is unlikely, but it is best to not take any chances.
Set it down carefully:
When it is necessary to guide a load, use a tag line or hook. If it is necessary to walk with a load, keep it as close to the ground as possible. Beforehand, look over the spot where the load is to be landed. Remove unnecessary blocks or objects that might fly up when struck by the load. When lowering or setting a load, keep feet and all other parts of your body out from underneath the load. Set the load down easily and slowly. If it rolls on the blocking, it will shift slowly, and you will be able to get away.
Teamwork is the key to safety:
Communication and teamwork are important to prevent injury to everyone involved, especially when preforming rigging operations.