What should you do before you use a hoist?—Hercules How-To

what should you do before you use a hoist

HERCULES HOW-TO: WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST?

What should you do before you use a hoist? If you’re a rigger, or have worked in construction, you’ve likely used some sort of hoist before. Hoists are mechanical devices use to lift, pull and hoist, and are equipped with a pulley. They’ve also been around for awhile—historians haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly when the first hoist was used, but even Leonardo da Vinci had a hoist design.

Since then, hoist technology has come a long way – hoists are available in manual, electric, hydraulic and even universal styles. They’re used in a number of different industries. Today, we cover more about hoists used for securing, lifting and rigging applications and what exactly you should do before you use one. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? HAZARDS 

We talk a lot about hazards, how to avoid them and prevent them on a job site. There are a number of hazards that present themselves at work – both chemical and physical. When rigging with hoists, there are a number of hazards there.

Some of the most common hazards are: 

  • Falling equipment, materials, etc. 
  • Electrical issues 
  • Loading hoist beyond it’s WLL or SLL, known as overloading 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? TRAINING

It’s important that anyone using the hoist, or operating rigging equipment in general, has proper training in hoist safety and operating procedures. Hoists are often used in rigging, and are commonly-known as a component for cranes. Hercules’ highly-skilled trainers teach a variety of courses that will prepare you to rig with hoists.

The Hercules Training Academy courses include: 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? TYPES OF INSPECTION

According to the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), there are thee main types of inspection that rigger’s (or any end-user of hoisting equipment) have to do. 

PREOPERATION INSPECTION

Before each shift, have a qualified person inspect hoisting equipment for:

  • Ensure mechanisms operate properly – check for unusual sounds, and make adjustments as needed 
  • Hoist limit device, for electric or air-powered hoists without a load on its hook: The load block should inch on limit device, or run at a slow speed when on multi-speed or variable-speed hoists. Using travel-limiting clutches as a limit device? Follow inspection methods detailed in the travel-limiting clutch’s manual. 
  • Hoist’s braking system
  • Check lines, valves and other parts of air system for leakage
  • Check hooks & latches; ensure hooks are in accordance with ASME B30.10
  • Check hoist rope for gross damage, and these features that could cause immediate hazards, including:
    • Rope distortion: kinking, crushing, unstranding, bird-caging, main strand displacement and/or core protrusion
    • General corrosion
    • Broken or cut strands 
    • Number, distribution and type of broken wires (if visible)
  • Check load chain for gross damage, and any of these conditions which can be hazardous for work. These are: 
    • Gouges, nicks, weld splatter, corrosion and/or distorted links. 
    • Test the hoist with the load in lifting and lowering directions, and watch the operation of the chain and sprockets. The chain should feed smoothly with the sprockets. 

FREQUENT INSPECTION

Frequent inspections should happen continually, during use and rest periods. During frequent inspections, a qualified person will determine if issues found are hazards and whether the hoist should be removed from service temporarily, inspected further and repaired, or removed from service permanently and replaced. 

During frequent inspections, inspect:

  • Operating mechanisms for proper orientation, adjustment and unusual sounds
  • Braking system
  • Lines, valve and other parts of air systems for leakage
  • Check hooks & latches; ensure hooks are in accordance with ASME B30.10
  • Hoist limit device, for electric or air-powered hoists without a load on its hook: The load block should inch on limit device, or run at a slow speed when on multi-speed or variable-speed hoists. Using travel-limiting clutches as a limit device? Follow inspection methods detailed in the travel-limiting clutch’s manual. 
  • Check hoist rope for gross damage, and these features that could cause immediate hazards, including:
    • Rope distortion: kinking, crushing, unstranding, bird-caging, main strand displacement and/or core protrusion
    • General corrosion
    • Broken/cut strands 
    • Number, distribution and the kind of visible broken wires 
  • Check load chain for gross damage, and any of these conditions which can be hazardous for work. These are:
    • Gouges, nicks, weld splatter, corrosion and distorted links 
    • Test the hoist with the load in lifting and lowering directions, and watch the operation of the chain and sprockets. The chain should feed smoothly with the sprockets. 
    • Check rope/load chain reeving and make sure it complies with the manufacturer recommendation. 

PERIOD INSPECTION 

Periodic inspections can be conducted wherever your hoist is set up, as they don’t require the rigger to disassemble the hoist. 

  • Open or remove covers and other items to inspect components. 
  • A qualified, competent person will determine if conditions found during inspection make a hazard, or whether disassembly is required.
  • Inspect the following for wear, corrosion, cracks and distortion:
    • Ensure fasteners aren’t loose, or on the verge of coming loose 
    • Load blocks
    • Suspension housings 
    • Hand chain wheels 
    • Chain attachments 
    • Clevises
    • Yokes 
    • Suspension bolts
    • Shafts
    • Gears
    • Bearings 
    • Pins
    • Rollers
    • Locking and clamping devices 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? WHEN DO I INSPECT?

We’ve covered the three types of hoist inspection required in Canada, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). This is when you should conduct each type of inspection.

1. PREOPERATION INSPECTION

A visual inspection should be conducted before each shift. This inspection does not have to be recorded, but a designated, competent person should inspect the hoisting equipment.

2. FREQUENT INSPECTION

Frequent inspections, like pre-operatation inspection, are visual and don’t need to be recorded but should be done by a designated, competent person. Just how often are ‘frequent’ inspections, you ask? 

A) Normal Service—Yearly

B) Heavy Service—Semiannually

C) Severe Service—Quarterly 

3. PERIOD INSPECTION

Visual, period inspections should be conducted by a competent person who makes records of external coded marks on the hoist. This is acceptable identification in lieu of records. Periodic inspections should be done: 

A) Normal Service—Yearly

B) Heavy Service—Semiannually

C) Severe Service—Quarterly 

Since this article is about what to do before using a hoist, we’re going to focus on what your preoperation – or, preuse inspection should include. 

  • The pre-use inspection should be performed during each shift before the hoist is used. 
  • A competent, qualified person will determine whether conditions found during inspection could create a hazard and, if a more detailed inspection is required. 
  • Inspect the following:
    • Operating mechanisms for proper operation, proper adjustment and unusual sounds.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? HAND SIGNALS

what should you do before you use a hoist? hercules slr
Hoisting hand signals.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? KNOW THE ROPES  

Before operating a hoist, it’s important to conduct an inspection before-hand. The inspection should consist of: 

Rope Type: Ensure you select the proper type of wire rope. The wire rope you select will depend on the hoist type and the features of the load you will lift. 

Are you familiar with the concept of rope stability before using that hoist? Hoists often use wire rope, which can kink, twist or become crushed if the wrong type or the wrong application is used. 

Drum crushing is a type of rope deterioration that can happen with multiple layers of wire rope on a drum. Whoever inspects the wire rope must evaluate the potential for wire rope crushing. Inspections should detect points where crushing is more likely to happen, and the level of deterioration and appropriate course of action (ex. repair or replacement) can be made. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? YOUR CHECKLIST

Before rigging or lifting with a hoist, know: 

  • The hoisting devices capacity
  • The WLL of: the rope, slings and hardware, and the rigging hardware’s weight

Here are some basic tips from CCOHS for inspecting your hoist: 

  • Pre-Lift: Make sure both hooks (upper and lower) swivel, replace worn chain or wire rope and tag it so it can be removed from service.
  • Post the SLL (safe load limit) in the hoist. 
  • Daily: Inspect hooks, rope, brakes and limit switches for wear and damage.
  • Ensure swivels move freely and there are no cracks or breaks in the hook. 
  • Conduct periodic inspections according to manufacturer rules or legislation. 


NEED A LIFT?  

Hercules SLR offers everything you need for your hoist, crane or lifting project. We offer equipment inspections, repairs, maintenance and hoists from reliable, respected and durablebrands like Crosby, CM and Bronze & Blue


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR HOISTS & SERVICES,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

CM’S TIPS: CRANE & HOISTING IN HAZARDOUS AREAS

HERCULES SLR AT THE SABLE STRATEGIC WORKSHOP


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Click here to learn more about our rigging services at Hercules SLR. 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles

crane equipment, hercules slr, rigging services

Cranes have been used since the first century – in that time, they were powered by humans or animals to lift heavy loads. Cranes have adapted and come a long way since – they now use an assortment of crane equipment and hardware to lift, lower and even sometimes move horizontally.

Read on to learn more about the modern variety of crane equipment available and Hercules SLR’s tips for using it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: an overview

For rigging with cranes, different types of lifting equipment (also known as tackle) are used. These include:

  • Wire Rope Slings
  • Synthetic Slings
  • Shackles
  • Snatch Blocks
  • Hooks
  • Chain Hoists
  • Chain Pullers
  • Eye Bolts
  • Tirfors
  • Jacks
  • Lifting Beam
  • Spreader Beams
  • Beam Clamps
  • Plate Clamps

CRANE EQUIPMENT: wire rope slings

Pay special attention to wire rope slings as they are susceptible to servere wear, abrasion, impact loading, crushing, kinking and overloading – small changes in the slings’ angle affect the safe working load of the sling. Care should be taken around rough edges and wire rope slings – even an edge you might not consider ‘sharp’ can make considerable damage to your wire rope sling, making it unsafe and ineffective. Use sleeves, wear pads or corner protectors to protect your wire rope sling from damage.

Be sure to not drop a load or run a load over the sling – this will crush the sling. Also, don’t stop and start suddenly while you lift and lower with a wire rope sling, as this increases the slings’ stresses and increases possible failures.

WIRE ROPE SLING SPLICES

crane-equipment-hercules-slr-rigging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIRE ROPE SLING IDENTIFICATION 

There are three ways to identify wire rope slings: the SWL, I.D. number and certificate number.

  1. Hard-stamped on ferrule
  2. A tag which has a wire running through the tag and eye of the sling
  3. Large metal washer where the wire of the sling is passed through when you make the eye of a sling

WIRE ROPE CONFIGURATIONS

There are three main wire rope sling configurations:

  1. Double-Choker Hitch
  2. Pair of Double Wrap Chokers
  3. Single Choker Hitch

Round slings’ are versatile – they’re strong, yet delicate to the load to lift. They’re light, flexible in many directions and malleable which is especially helpful when lifting an awkward or delicate load.

crane-equipment-hercules-slr
Synthetic Round Sling Label

CRANE EQUIPMENT: synthetic round slings 

Round slings’ are not easily damaged by sunlight, humidity, grease, dirt or seawater. Round slings’ are identified by the colour of the label, and also have the SWL on it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: web slings 

Web slings are suited for particularly those that can be easily damaged. They’re easy to damage if you use them improperly – your web sling shouldn’t touch a sharp edge, heat or chemicals that will cause damage.


CRANE EQUIPMENT: hardware

SHACKLES

For crane lifting, two different shackles are typically used – bow and d-shackles. When using synthetic slings with a crane, two types of shackles are available, wide sling shackle and a round sling shackle. Web sling shackles are wider and bow out in the middle, and round sling shackles are narrow and sometimes have small valleys in the shackle bow, which supports the synthetic strands better.

These prevent the sling from bunching and pinching, which can be an issue with bow or d-shackles – it also reduces the SWL capacity of the sling.

To use shackles for crane lifting safely, follow these tips:

  • Don’t replace the shackle pin with a bolt – only the proper fitted pin should be used. Bolts aren’t meant to take the bend that a pin can handle.
  • Pins must be straight and all-screw pins must be completely seated
  • Cotter pins should be used with all round pin shackles
  • Shackles worn at the crown or pin by over 10% of original diameter should be removed from service and destroyed.
  • Don’t pull your shackle at an angle with a sling or hoist rope – this reduces the shackle’s capacity by 50%. Spacers can be used to centralize the load on the pins with spacers.
  • Don’t use screw pin shackles if the load can roll under load and unscrew

SHEAVE BLOCKS

A sheave block is a single, or multi-sheave block which opens on one side – this opening allows a rope to be pulled over the sheave and eliminates the need to be threaded through the block. When crane lifting with wire rope, sheave blocks can be purchased with configurations for hook, shackle, eye and swivel fittings.

  • Sheave blocks are normally used when it’s necessary to change the direction of pull on the line. When this happens, the stress on the sheave block is significantly greater than the angle between the lead and load lines. 
    crane equipment, rigging services, hercules slr, Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles
    Pulley with a sheave on a mobile lifting crane, with 25-ton lifting capability
  • When the lines are parallel, 1000lbs on the lead line results in double the weight on the block—2000lbs on block, hook and whatever the connection points are attached to. As the angle between lines increases, the stress on the block and hook is reduced.

HOOKS

Many different hooks are available for lifting and rigging operations – check with manufacturer instructions and warnings before using in a crane application.

When using hooks to lift with a crane, follow these tips:

  • Ensure hoisting hooks are fitted with safety latches (except grab and sorting hooks)
  • Inspect hooks often, looking for wear in the hook’s saddle – check for cracks, corrosion and if the hook’s body is twisted.
  • Inspect the shackle’s throat opening – if the hook’s been overloaded or is weak, the throat will open. If this is the case, remove from service and destroy so no one else attempts to use it.
  • Inspect for cracks in the hook’s saddle and neck
  • Be sure the hook is stamped with its SWL
  • Note that the SWL applies when the load is in the saddle of the hook, as this reduces the SWL.

TURNBUCKLES 

Turnbuckles are sometimes called rigging screws and can be supplied with eye end, jaw end, stub end fittings and/or a combination of these.

  • Use turnbuckles fabricated from alloy steel with weldless construction.
  • If turnbuckles have end fittings, ensure hooks are fit with safety latches.

CHAIN HOISTS / CHAIN BLOCKS 

Chain hoists are often used with cranes to move larger equipment and machinery. Chain hoists vary in size and length, and require little effort to execute a lift.

Chain hoists are durable, but can be damaged easily. To prevent damage, check:

  • The SWL is right for the application/load
  • The chain hoist has been inspected or certified by a third party
  • The hoist’s body is free of cracks or broken castings
  • The hook isn’t deformed and is fit with a safety latch
  • Anchor pins are in place correctly, and are the right type
  • Chain is in good working condition
  • SWL is clearly marked on the chain hoist block

A lever hoist is similar to a chain hoist, but operates slightly different with a lever to lift and lower the load – it can also be used to pull loads.

EYE BOLTS 

When lifting with a crane and eye bolts, ensure eye and ring bolts are made of alloy steel and have shoulders or collars.

Do not load eye bolts at an angle – angular loading reduces the weight of the load they can safely support.

TIRFOR

A tirfor is a mechanical device, equipped with a level handle to operate. They’re used to pull and add tension, and can also be used to lift if they have blocks.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.