5 Considerations for the safe use of lifting equipment

Lifting Equipment
Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to operating lifting equipment. And without proper safety precautions, you are putting your equipment, your worker and your reputation on the line.Let us look at some of the considerations for the safe use of lifting equipment on site.
  1. A trained and qualified operator
The most crucial consideration is to employ a competent operator, one who is suitably trained, adequately qualified and has significant experience to do the job. In fact, all other safety considerations depend on the actions of the qualified, experienced and trained operator. If your lifting equipment is unsuitable for their job, it won’t matter how carefully you address the other safety considerations.
  1. Knowledge of lockout & tagout procedures
Lockout procedures are intended to dissipate all energy from a piece of equipment to make it safe for maintenance. Electricity, steam, hydraulic pressure, heat, air pressure and kinetic energy could all be potentially hazardous, and operators should be prepared to lock devices (to prevent them from being turned on) and tag them (to warn other employees to keep the device locked).
  1. Pre-operational inspection
You never know what may happen at a job site or with a piece of equipment from day to day, so a pre-operational inspection is required to ensure that everything is in working order. Before operation, the motor, brakes, safety devices, tooling equipment and load lifting mechanisms should all be inspected. A logbook must always be used to document those inspections.
  1. Abide by lifting capacities
Workers should not rely on their instincts or experience to determine if a load is too heavy. They should calculate the safe working load and working load limit for the device. Overloaded lifting equipment has the potential to drop materials and injure workers or cause damage to the machinery, the load or facilities. Load testing should be performed along with maintenance checks, so that operators will come to know how many KGs the crane can handle.
  1. Know international and site-specific hand signals
Lifting equipment is often used in very noisy, chaotic environments, so knowledge of appropriate hand signals is imperative. Without other options, hand signals may be your only way to communicate vitally important information to your co-workers. This is essential not just from a safety perspective, but it can also help ensure the efficiency of operations.

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