Moving a heavy load?
How to hoist materials safely
When a heavy load has to be moved or lifted, using a hoist can make the job easier and safer.
In addition to always following the manufacturer’s recommendations, apply these tips:
- Inspect hooks, ropes, brakes and limit switches daily for wear and damage.
- Ensure upper and lower hooks swivel.
- Replace worn chain, wire or fibre rope immediately.
- Keep wire ropes and chains lubricated.
- Post the safe load limit and don’t exceed it.
- Ensure the hook area is directly in line with the shank.
- Place the load on the lower hook directly in line with the hook shank.
- Remove slack from the sling and hoisting ropes, and all loose materials, parts, blocking and packing before lifting.
- Lever-operated hoists pull in any direction, but maintain a straight line. Side pulling or lifting increases wear and sets up dangerous stress levels on hoist parts.
- One person only to pull hand, chain and lever hoists.
- Pushing a loaded hoist is safer. To pull, tie a rope around the load.
- Clear everyone away from the load before hoisting.
- Hoist directly over the load to prevent swinging.
What NOT to do:
- Lift people.
- Pass a load over people.
- Tip a load. This makes the load unstable and weakens the hook and hoist.
- Insert the point of the hook in a link of the chain.
- Hammer a sling into place.
- Leave slings dangling from the load hook.
- Raise loads higher than necessary to clear objects.
- Leave a suspended load unattended.
This article was provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).