Some loads are too heavy to be lifted manually. In such cases, it makes most sense to work with professionals who offer lifting services. With the help of a range of specialized lifting equipment like slings and cranes, you can lift and move cargo anywhere you’d like. That said, it is important to be vigilant when using lifting equipment. Otherwise, your cargo and the lives of the people handling it are at risk for accidents. Here are 3 key safety measures to keep in mind.
Always inspect equipment before using it
Before using any type of lifting equipment, you should always check it for wear and tear. For example, cables and ties shouldn’t be frayed. If you’re renting machinery, conduct a thorough check as outlined in the maintenance manual. Some types of lifting equipment such as webbing, slings, etc. have a limited lifespan. Do not use them if they are past their validity date. Check all hooks and tackles for safety locks. A number of accidents happen simply because inferior quality equipment was used. Hence, the 5 minutes you spend checking your equipment could help avoid accidents. Your team should be able to spot signs of wear and tear on the equipment.
Work with trained professionals
Equipment is only as good as the people using it. When you partner with lifting service providers, always ensure that the team is properly trained and has up to date certifications. When new equipment is introduced, all the people who will be involved in using it should be trained on how to use it and familiarized with all the different components. It is important to note that when it comes to crane operators, etc. training must be an ongoing process so that they have a firm grasp on the nuances of lifting. Training goes a long way in making your workforce safe, efficient and effective.
Be careful where you stand
No matter how sturdy the ties may be never stand directly under a load when it is being lifted. If you’re standing near the load, and if anything goes wrong, the load could come crashing down and injure you. If you’re using machines like a crane to lift loads, barricade the swinging radius and ensure that only authorized people with proper training and safety gear cross the barricade. Do not operate cranes, etc. outdoors when the weather is windy or when it’s raining. Avoid working on a truck bed while moving and positioning loads for transit. Rather, use hydraulic lifts to position cargo precisely where you want it.
Maintain open lines of communication
It is critical for all the members of your team to understand each other. This ensures that all the members of your team are on the same page. If the equipment is noisy, make sure you have functioning walkie-talkies or two way radios. In addition, you should also have a spotter on the team who can relay information to workers who may not have individual radios. Lifting equipment like forklifts and cranes should have reverse beepers to minimize the risk of it hitting someone.
Do not overload equipment
One of the reasons, it is advisable to work with professionals rather than take a DIY approach is because professionals know what type of equipment to use for all the different types of loads. Any equipment you use has a load capacity. For example, a chain sling and a wire cable may be used in the same way but they can carry different weights. It is very important to ensure that machines and lifting equipment are not overloaded. For example, if a chain sling has a load limit of cargo weighing 15 tons, using the sling to lift cargo weighing 20 tons could be disastrous.
While anyone can rent to buy lifting equipment, not everyone knows how to use this equipment. Hence, it is always advisable to work with professionals for lifting services. Make sure our team is aware of all safety protocols and wearing proper footwear, bright jackets with high visibility and protective gear. When equipment isn’t being used, ensure it is stored carefully. You don’t want people tripping over cables and webbing that are just lying around. Respect the equipment and you’ll be able to move your cargo quickly and safely.