Rigging and hoisting of steel members and materials are essential parts of the steel erection process. However, in addition to the dangers usually associated with cranes and derricks, steel erection also presents special hazards. These hazards include the use of cranes to hoist employees, suspend loads over certain employees, and perform pre-lifts.
Hoisting equipment is commercially manufactured lifting equipment designed to lift and position a load of known weight to a location at some known elevation and horizontal distance from the equipment’s center of rotation.
Note: A "come-a-long,” is not considered lifting equipment. It is a mechanical device usually consisting of a chain or cable attached at each end. It is used to facilitate movement of materials through leverage and is not considered hoisting equipment.
Cranes being used in steel erection activities must be visually inspected prior to each shift by a competent person.
The inspection must include observation for deficiencies during operation. At a minimum, this inspection must include the following:
If any deficiency is identified, the competent person must immediately determine if it is a hazard.
If the competent person determines a hazard exists, the hoisting equipment must be removed from service until the deficiency has been corrected.
The operator must be responsible for those operations under the operator's direct control. Whenever there is any doubt as to safety, the operator must have the authority to:
A qualified rigger (a rigger who is also a qualified person) must inspect the below-hook rigging prior to each shift.
For more information on inspections see OSHA’s Steel Erection eTool page.
As mentioned earlier, routes for suspended loads must be pre-planned to make sure no employee is required to work directly below a suspended load except when they initially connect steel or hooking/unhooking loads.
When anyone works under suspended loads, the loads must be rigged by a qualified rigger, materials being hoisted must be rigged to prevent unintentional displacement, and self-closing safety latches must be used.
Multiple lifts are hazardous for many reasons, including the risk of:
A multiple lift may only be performed if the following criteria are met:
All employees engaged in the multiple lift have been trained in the following procedures:
No crane is permitted to be used for a multiple lift where such use is contrary to the manufacturer's specifications and limitations.
Multiple-lift rigging assembly capacity, for the total assembly and for each individual attachment point, must:
The total load must not exceed:
The multiple lift rigging assembly must be rigged with members:
The members on the multiple lift rigging assembly must be set from the bottom up.
Controlled load lowering must be used whenever the load is over the connectors.
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