Putting Slings to Work: Hitch, Capacity, & Hardware Selection
In this program, the rigger learns how to best apply slings and rigging hardware to the load. (Also available in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish)
Current work rules and government regulations place full responsibility for proper rigging performance upon the Crane Operator and Rigger. It is the rigger's duty to be familiar with the condition and capability of all tools and equipment used, as well as techniques employed.
Know Your Lift
One of the Cardinal rules of Rigging is to always know your lift, never guess. Every lift can be divided into three parts, providing convenient guidelines for proceeding.
• The Lifting Device
• The Hitch
• Load Weight
The Lifting Device - a Crawler or Truck Crane, Pedestal Mounted crane, or overhead crane.
• Know its capabilities
• Its condition
• When was it last inspected?
• Will it lift high enough?
• Is horizontal reach appropriate?
• Always refer to the lift chart!
The Hitch: This phase of the lift is where a Rigger demonstrates his knowledge, experience and ingenuity. It is also the easiest step at which to make a mistake.
The Load: The weight of the load must always be known before proceeding. In addition you must protect the load from possible damage by the slings and protect the slings from damage by the load.
Load weight shall be determined through documentation, information contained on the load, weighing the load, or calculating the weight using proven engineering principles. The weight of the load shall be within the rated capacity of any rigging including slings, hooks, and shackles.
In order that the rigger takes into account all factors before attempting to rig a load, this methodical checklist of tasks should always be performed. Good rigging is planned and doesn't happen by chance.
Follow these steps!
Analyze and Measure - Determine the total weight to be moved as well as exactly how far and how high it must be lifted.
Determine the Hitch - Decide how the load is to be connected to the lifting hook and how the sling will grip or be attached to the load.
Select the sling - In addition to meeting the rated capacity for the angles and hitch involved, the sling body shall be of the type and style best suited to handle this specific load. Select a sling with proper end attachments or eye protection, as well as attachment hardware such as clevises, hooks, or rings.
Inspect the sling - Make a good visual check of the sling you select to determine if it is in good condition and capable of making the lift. Refer to prevailing OSHA, ANSI, and API regulations for inspection criteria.
Rig Up, Not Down - Always attach the sling to the load first, then attach it to the hook.
Check everything - Before attempting a lift, take a light strain on the rigging, checking to see that blocking, sling and load protection and all safety devices are in place and that the load is free of any restraints.
Stand Clear and Lift - Let the lifting device and rigging do the job - don't use brute strength to prevent swinging or movement.
Use a tagline, or tether, to control any movement. Keep all hands and toes out from under the load when it is suspended. During lifting, personnel shall be alert for possible snagging and stand well away from the load.
Don't Jerk! - Lift slowly and with a steady application of power. Shock loading is prohibited and must be avoided.
Stand clear of suspended loads.
Put it away! - After you've completed the job, check the sling for any damage. If it's damaged, red tag it immediately or advise the sling inspector. If it is undamaged return it to the sling storage rack for safekeeping until the next usage. Slings should be stored where they will not be subject to damage.