What is a Rigger in Construction?

what is a rigger in construction, hercules slr

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?

What is a rigger? A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist or move in general. They’re responsible in making sure the right equipment and hardware is used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional. 

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, a construction site are: 

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site. 
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads. 
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? HERCULES SLR EXPLAINS

As we mentioned, lots of rigging happens on a construction site daily. But a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied. 

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THE HERCULES SLR EXAMPLE

Here’s an example.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks.

Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator. 

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment  yikes. 

This is a common example of a rigger being called in to rig something for a construction project. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? SKILLS TO HAVE

Rigging involves the use of equipment like cranes, forklifts and large spreader-beams – this work often requires workers’ to be at heights. Working at heights is something a rigger should be comfortable with. 

Many rigger positions or construction positions with rigging as their primary role will offer some on-on-the-job and outside training, but that’s not say there aren’t useful skills to have. 

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are: 

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill. 
  • Operating Machinery: If you’ve skipped over the first part of this article, or it just didn’t sink in yet – operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, construction rigging could be a great path for you. 
  • Adaptability: Typically, a rigger in construction will have to travel to different sites for work. Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated. 
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk. 

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THEIR (MANY) JOB TITLES

As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either  someone who rigs might also have these job titles: 

Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger

Crane Erector

Crane Operator

Crane Rigger

Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger

Gear Repairer

Gripper/Stage Grip

Hook Tender

Labourer

Loft Rigger

Machinery Mover

Material Handler

Offshore Inspection Technician

Offshore Rigger

Parachute Rigger

Rigging Foreman

Rig Worker

Scaffolder

Slinger/Ring

Warehouse Associate 

 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? CONCLUSION

A lot’s been covered in this blog post – and we’ve only scratched the surface of some the roles a rigger plays in construction. Riggers’ in construction are often found working as crane operators, inspectors, transport truckers or millwrights.

For more information on what a rigger in construction is, check out our blogs below or e-mail info@herculesslr.com to learn how Hercules SLR’s services can assist your construction crew.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WELCOME TO ONTARIO: BRAMPTON RIGGERS TALK CHAIN HOIST SAFETY 

RISK MANAGEMENT: SAFETY IS EVERY RIGGERS’ BUSINESS

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP


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Is a career in rigging right for you? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about career opportunities across Canada with 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.

Modular Construction Trending: Innovative Workspaces

modular construction project hercules slr

WHAT’S MODULAR CONSTRUCTION? 

Modular construction allows significant portions of work to be completed, off-site and usually inside in a modular workspace. It doesn’t describe the building itself, but the way it’s built. 

Many think of a mobile home or re-locatable building when they think of prefabricated buildings, but modular construction has become more modern and sophisticated in recent years, which has led to more modular working spaces. Modular construction can be used to build either residential or commercial buildings, although commercial is the most common. 

A modular working approach to construction tends to focus on manufacturing—Read on for an example.  

EXAMPLE: A construction crew builds an office building. Instead of assembling the entire project on-site, individual parts are manufactured indoors. The crew would assemble individual wall panels indoors, and these will later be put up on-site. 

Other parts of the project could be assembled here, too—think washrooms, pre-built wall panels, ped-ways, stairs, and even the roof. 

These parts are assembled in the modular workspace, transported and put together on-site as the construction project progresses—these prefabricated parts are put together with lifting equipment like cranes or aerial lift trucks.  

modular construction capabilities by hercules slr
Modular constructed apartment.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Since modular workplaces are a bit different than traditional construction sites, they can also reduce some of the risk or hazards found on typical construction sites. Safety can be enhanced by modular construction:

  • Less work at height—for example, on many modular projects a roof is lifted to the top with a crane. 
  • Reduce garbage and waste—working off-site can limit the amount of extra material thrown away, and can be recycled for future use. 
  • Community disruption—modular construction and workspaces bring work off-site, making the area more quiet! For example, let’s say you’re building an office on a University campus. Modular construction frees the campus from common construction disruptions (loud machinery, dust, barricades, etc.). 
  • Time—they say time is money, and modular construction can save time compared to working on-site. Prefabrication often takes about half the time and many pieces can be made at once, which lets contractors take on multiple projects, schedules can be planned more ‘tightly’ and projects are finished quickly.  
  • Remote Locations—Modular construction allows work to be taken off-site, which can be a great benefit for more isolated locations. Think—a house in Northern Alberta is mainly assembled indoors, so workers can do less work in frigid, outdoor temperatures. 

MODULAR PROJECTS

One notable modular construction project is the 57-storey skyscraper built in China by entrepreneur Zhang Yue, in just 19 days—yes, you read that right, a whole skyscraper assembled in 19 days altogether. Specifically, the first 20 storeys were assembled in seven days, but various regulations held the project up for a year before the last 37-storeys were built in 12 working days. The final skyscraper has offices that fit 4,000 people, 800 apartments and 19 atriums. 

Zhang has built a number of other buildings using the same method. A skyscraper built using traditional, on-site construction takes about 2-3 years compared to the days Zhang’s projects take to complete.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, modular construction reduces uncomfortable environmental conditions for workers and clients, increases productivity and can reduce harm and injuries.

Traditional construction sites will always have a place in the industry, but it’s an exciting innovation that’s sure to shake things up. 


NEED EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENCE? CALL HERCULES SLR.

Equipment needs regular maintenance like relevant inspections, repairs and proper employee training to operate properly, prevent damage or injuries and work efficiently—consider Hercules SLR your one-stop-shop. We’ll inspect, test & repair your equipment, and fully certify it to comply with national and provincial safety regulations. 

We’ll keep your modular workplace running smoothly and efficiently, so you can complete projects and keep your customers and employees happy. 

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:  

  • Lifting Magnets 
  • Hoists & Cranes 
  • Lifting & Rigging Equipment & Hardware (EX. shackles, slings, beam clamps, pallet lifters, etc.)
  • Fall Protection 

Workplace safety is important in any construction setting—We offer training for: 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING AND CONSTRUCTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TIPS: SECURE YOUR WORKSITE
10 CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRENDS 2018/19
7 MAJOR TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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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.

Warehouse Safety: 8 steps to take after a racking accident

racking-accident-hercules-slr

As we mentioned in our previous blog on warehouse and forklift safety, the winter months are a busy time for warehouse personnel. There’s retail, inventory, and in these modern times, the hustle and bustle doesn’t stop on December 25 – there’s boxing day sales, new years events and more to keep your warehouse busy. During these busy times, a racking accident is more likely to occur.

Many warehouses use a racking system – a material handling storage system meant to store materials on pallets, which are commonly known as ‘skids’. Racking accidents look disastrous and can cause injury – they also take time, money and resources to repair (and this is before the cost of replacing the damaged materials).

Racking accidents tend to occur more than once, generally when proper incident investigation and reporting does not take place – these accidents will continue to happen. Managing a racking accident effectively will ultimately improve your companies whole risk management plan.

To prevent further accidents from taking place, proper incident reporting is absolutely necessary. Norm Kramer, a consultant from Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Prevention Services says incidents often remain unreported, for two reasons:

  1. An ineffective reporting system: It may be common-place to say a racking accident or damage is no big deal in the workplace, and/or the reporting process is too complicated and “not worth dealing with”.
  2. Employees fear consequences: workers may fear discipline or termination after reporting an accident or near-accident.

Here are 8 steps to take after a racking accident in your warehouse:

racking-accident-warehouse-safety-hercules-slr
Accidents happen!
Racking Accident: Be Proactive

Have an investigation team already in place. This team should include people who are aware of accident investigation and causation techniques, and are also familiar with roles and routines of the specific workplace. Examples of these team members could be immediate supervisors, outside-contracted employees, union representatives (if necessary), safety committee members or employees familiar with the role.

Create a basic response plan to follow after an accident/emergency, and post in a common area where all employees can see it.

1. Racking Accident: Consult Workers—And Equipment

Examine the injury/incident that has taken place and take not of the situation at hand. Remember to include the basics – who, what, when, where and how. If needed, don’t forget to acquire medical attention. Inspect the rack and determine the type and amount of damage.

2. Racking Accident: Control the Area

Protect worker safety and secure the area if needed. You may need to contain the damage, or unload the racking structure if safe to do so.

3. Racking Accident: Communicate Hazards

Inform workers of hazards on the warehouse floor, and any other obstacles workers should be aware of.

4. Racking Accident: Find the Source

Identify the cause of the accident/hazard. The cause could be incompatible forks and pallets, poor visibility in the warehouse, or not enough space between racking and the forklift to turn properly.

5. Racking Accident: Put Controls in Place

Place controls on the root source of the accident/incident to remedy it. Controls may range from more training, a different warehouse layout or inspections/repairs to equipment.

6. Racking Accident: Keep Communication Open

Keep communication open with management, human resources and any other management or employees relevant to the accident. Be sure to share relevant forms, documents and other required materials with them.

7. Racking Accident: Repair and Inspect

Be sure to have your racking equipment inspected and/or repaired by a qualified professional. Depending on which province you’re in, these regulations may differ. Factors to consider include: building regulations, fire codes and employer responsibilities regarding safety.

Check with your provincial labour ministry for rules and regulations related to storage and material handling, warehouses and other engineered equipment. The Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety recommends following the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) for Steel Storage and Steel Racking units, A344.1 and A344.2.

Forklift Safety at Hercules SLRracking-accident-warehouse-safety-forklift

At Hercules SLR, we provide hands-on training with a focus on safety—we provide lasting knowledge you and your employees can practically apply. Find more information on our Forklift (Narrow Aisle or Counterbalance) Safety Training course here.

Find more information on Hercules SLR inspection services here, so your forklifts remain in top condition. Learn more about the benefits of our asset management tool CertTracker® for your forklifts and other heavy machinery and equipment.


References:

  • http://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Articles/9-steps-to-take-after-a-racking-incident.aspx
  • https://www.safeopedia.com/2/1210/prevention-and-control-of-hazards/injury-prevention/10-critical-steps-you-must-take-when-investigating-and-reporting-accidents
  • https://www.hni.com/blog/bid/92062/workplace-incident-report-7-immediate-steps-to-take-after-an-injury
  • http://www.iamaw.ca/new-csa-standard-for-steel-storage-rack-safety/

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.