So often, in my experience, I see dangerous rigging practices in the field. Most often, people assigned to rigging tasks are either poorly trained or not trained at all. Aside from the regulatory requirements that riggers be trained, it is important, in order to maintain a safe working environment, that riggers understand and can put into practice the fundamentals of rigging loads. Two of the most critical factors when rigging loads are inspection of rigging equipment and understanding the effect of load angles. The requirements for inspecting equipment are found in 29 CFR 1910.185 for slings and the ASME B30 series of standards for slings, hardware and below the hook lifting devices just to mention a few. Professional training will help riggers, and people responsible for supervising lifts, removal criteria for defective equipment, record-keeping requirements and pass on first-hand experience by the trainer. Rigging angles result in what I call the “invisible danger” that we don’t see, but is resulting in forces within the sling or equipment that can surpass breaking strengths and result in catastrophic failures and serious injury or a fatality. Unless you know how to determine stresses based on rigging angles, you may unintentionally seriously harm yourself or others. I have been witness to these types of events and what is often most tragic is that they were preventable through proper training. Lastly, the operational requirements for lifting equipment and the lift as well can be learned and put into practice through professional training. In conclusion, while meeting minimum requirements for training is required, it is the safety of yourself and others that is the most important reason for getting trained up!

About the Author:
Thomas Edward Hunter is one of three Owner/Operators of Qualified Crane Training and Consulting LLC
Qualified Crane Training and Consulting LLC is a provider of training and consultative services for the overhead and mobile crane industries