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Moving a heavy load?

By CCOHS   

General Operations Manufacturing CCOHS Hoists Lifting material handling Safety Safety tips

How to hoist materials safely

There are different types of hoists, but precautions are similar. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

There are different types of hoists, but precautions are similar. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

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).

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