During large construction projects, cranes are often necessary to lift heavy and bulky construction equipment and materials. It is important for each member of the construction crew to understand fundamental procedures for the operation of cranes and the use of crane rigging equipment. The number one rule is safety. A detailed process should be developed and followed for each lift, and that process should be periodically reviewed by all team members.
Before any pick or lifting of materials or equipment is attempted, a preliminary checklist for what rigging equipment for cranes will be used, equipment condition, weight tolerances, and landing site conditions should be completed. In addition, there are specific regulations for crane safety provided and enforced by the Office of Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA). These regulations must be strictly adhered to.
There are two types of lifts as defined by the DOE, Lifting Gear ordinary and critical. Critical lifts are any lifts that involve increased danger to personnel or where an accident would significantly impact the project, environment, or facility. Critical lifts involve projects where cranes are used to lift unusually large or heavy objects, such as beams for high-rise buildings. Critical lifts require more oversight and have additional requirements that must be met before they can be attempted.
One of the most important items on the preliminary checklist is to inspect the condition of equipment. Before attempting to lift any load, the straps, hoists, cables, slings, spreader bars, eyebolts, etc. should all be thoroughly inspected for any signs of wear or damage. Damage to any accessories such as fraying, kinking, or breakage should be repaired or replaced before the lift is attempted.
The rigging team should determine what equipment for rigging a crane will be needed based on load weight, height, and stability. This involves using precise calculations, and only a person with the proper training should be accessing load requirements. After the equipment and accessories needed are determined, the work area needs to be prepared to prevent risk of danger to riggers and other work crew around the crane. Barricades should block off all areas in the way of the crane’s swing.
After the load is rigged to the crane, the rigging lead should work with the crane operator to make sure the lift is stable and that all straps, cables, hoists, and hitches are adequate. This involves lifting the load only a few feet off the ground to ensure that the rigged load is stable, balanced, and held in place adequately. Once this has been determined, the entire rigging team should be in constant communication with the team leader and signal person as the pick is started. The team lead will indicate when the lift is to begin and use hand signals to tell the riggers and crane operator what to do.
A successful crane rigging involves using a trained team that follows crane rigging equipment fundamental procedures. This is the most important factor in ensuring that safe conditions are maintained at any construction site.
Southwest Industrial Rigging offers crane rental and leasing, heavy haul, machinery moving, rigging, warehousing and training services in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah and throughout the southwest. Learn more about the company at
When it comes to the lifting of heavy loads, it is the responsibility of a licenced rigger to ensure that loads are safely secured to any lifting device capable of substantial lifts, and safety should be the first and foremost importance for anyone that is required to perform rigging.
Using a qualified rigger for any large lift will minimise the risk of an unintended serious incident. On the other hand using an unlicensed person to perform rigging could potentially lead to costly damage of property, trauma or loss of life which in turn could lead to harmful law suits to your business and possible long-term rehabilitation for employees.
WHAT DOES A PERSON PERFORMING RIGGING REQUIRE?
To perform any Rigging tasks, a person must hold a HRW (High Risk Work) licence issued by one of the State or Territory OHS Regulators. Prior to the issuance of a HRW Licence, each State and Territory requires:
1. Formal training – classroom training provided by a registered training organisation (RTO) with approval to deliver the particular course
2. Informal learning – workplace training on a logbook supervised by someone holding the relevant HRW licence.
3. Formal Assessment carried out by a Regulator accredited assessor against a National Standard.
CERTIFIED RIGGING CLASSES
Competent and licensed riggers would have built upon skills and knowledge gained from each level of rigging training;
MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR RIGGING TRAINING
To be assessed as competent to receive a Licence to perform basic rigging, trainees must demonstrate competency against the following mandated performance tasks for which the RTO must have access to the physical resources for this to occur.
Install a fall arrest system and use a safety harness fall arrest system:
Install and remove a cantilever crane loading platform (CCLP)
Install a safety net
Install and remove a shutter or safety screen
Work safely at heights
Erect and dismantle structural steel
Install and remove precast panels
Set up and operate a winch for load movement
Install a material hoist OR Install a mast climber
Bends, knots, hitches and splicing
Upon successful completion of the course assessments, trainees are issued a Statement of Attainment for basic level rigging and a Nationally recognized 60 day interim certificate.
To be assessed as competent to receive a Licence to perform intermediate rigging, trainees must demonstrate competency against the buymanualtreadmill following mandated performance tasks for which the RTO must have access to the physical resources for this to occur.
Conduct risk assessment and management.
Communicate and work safely with others in the work area.
Conduct pre- and post-operational checks of intermediate rigging equipment.
Adding and removing a tower crane section.
Perform a multiple winch lift.
Panel structure options.
The panels to be erected and dismantled must be:
Panel one – not less than four (4) metres high, not less than three (3) metres wide, and not less than two (2) tonnes in weight.
Panel two – not less than four (4) metres high, not less than two (2) metres wide, not less than one and a half (1.5) tonnes in weight.
Panel three – not less than four (4) metres high, not less than three (3) metres wide, not less than two (2) tonnes in weight. This panel must have an opening not less than the size of a door in the panel; a strong back must be available for this task.
Upon successful completion of the course assessments, trainees are issued a Statement of Attainment for Intermediate level rigging and a Nationally recognized 60 day interim certificate.
To be assessed as competent to receive a Licence to perform advanced rigging, trainees must demonstrate competency against the following mandated performance tasks for which the RTO must have access to the physical resources for this to occur.
Effectively communicate and work safely with others in the work area.
Effectively conduct risk assessment and management procedures.
Rigging activities, effectively completing the following:
Effectively demonstrate knots, bends and hitches.
Effectively conduct pre- and post-operational checks of advanced rigging equipment.
Upon successful completion of the course assessments, trainees are issued a Statement of Attainment for Advanced level rigging and a Nationally recognized 60 day interim certificate.
CHOOSING A DEPENDABLE TRAINING ORGANISATION
When choosing to train for any High risk Work Licence, be certain to choose a reputable Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that is a recognised leader for their training. Choose a RTO that has opted to provide smaller class sizes for High Risk Work Licences. Choose quality over quantity and be confident that the training you receive incorporates all Australian safety requirements, comprehensive lifting applications, installation and use of equipment, hazard recognition and risk control methods, as well as height safety methods all whilst maintaining regulatory compliance.