May 2021

Suspended Load Safety

To ensure a suspended load is moved safely, crew members should prepare for a safe lift and transport by identifying key locations and following a clear safety protocol.
NessCampbell lifting heavy machinery safely

The success of any construction site relies on safety. Maintaining equipment, training staff, and implementing clear safety protocols are key to protecting the crew, construction personnel, and members of the public. Whether you are rigging a load, operating a crane, or working as part of the lifting crew, it’s essential to know when and where loads are being lifted.

Preparing For a Safe Lift

Before any lift, all handling materials should be checked. Even if everything was fine the day before, visual inspections should be the standard operating procedure. Potential hazards, such as frayed wire rope, damaged hooks, bent closing latches, worn slings and straps, and other signs of fatigue should be identified and removed. When preparing a load for lifting, the rigging crew should be near the jib or boom. As soon as the load lifts off the ground, everyone should clear the area and maintain a safe distance from the lifted load.

Transporting and Lowering the Load

A load should always be properly secured. If need be, workers may use a tag-line to guide the load from a safe distance. Crew members should never attempt to steer a load with their hands, no matter how light or steady the load appears. These same rules apply to the lowering of the load into place. Wait until the load is on solid footing and the wire rope has gone slack before approaching it. When preparing to unhook the load, be aware of any shifting the load may have experienced. Check to ensure the wire rope and hook are clear of the load to prevent any last-minute snagging.

Establishing a Suspend Load Safety Protocol

The best way to keep workers safe during a lift is to establish a boundary before the work begins, clearly identifying the position of the crane and the starting and ending locations of the load. This boundary should be clearly marked on the ground and on elevated surfaces that workers may occupy. Clear the area of other vehicles, storage areas, and other equipment before initiating the lift.

At NessCampbell Crane + Rigging, we’re proud of our top-notch safety division. Call our Portland office today at (503) 283-3111 to learn more about how we can help you achieve your construction project goals.