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Herc How-To: avoid these common rigging mistakes


The rigging trade serves many industries, however, there are many common rigging mistakes workers make daily.

Rigging is to set a load up to move, lift, secure, lower or hoist with the use of ropes, chains, slings, hoists and other materials. The load can range from materials on an offshore rig or even people – hey, even Cirque de Solei rigs their performers (how do you think they get lifted to do those gravity-defying stunts?!)

One of the most common rigging mistakes is a load being secured, rigged and lifted by anybody other than a competent person. A competent person is someone who:

  • Has knowledge of the task
  • Knowledge of the potential or actual hazards of the task
  • Knowledge of the Act’s and Regulations pertaining to the task
  • Has training and/or certifications to perform the task safely

However, there are quite a few common mistakes when it comes to rigging – read on for the most common mistakes people make when rigging and slinging:

  • Competent (trained) riggers not assigned
  • Use of improper hand signals
  • Not inspecting gear frequently enough
  • Not knowing what to inspect for
  • Slings missing tags or tags not legible
  • Capacity of rigging gear not known
  • Improperly made below the hook devices
  • Wire rope slings formed with clips


    Rigger ensures the lift goes according to plan

  • Too small hardware connected to the sling eye
  • Too large hardware connected to the sling eye
  • Bunching or pinching of synthetic slings
  • Loose shackle pins or other connections
  • Missing latches on hoist hooks
  • Placing too many slings in hoist hook, shackle or other hardware
  • Side loading or misalignment of hardware
  • Beating down chocker hitch
  • Basket capacity used when not vertical
  • Basket hitch (wire rope) over small diameter
  • Capacity of bridle not adjusted for angle
  • Sling’s load not properly distributed
  • Use of horizontal sling angles smaller than 30°
  • Choker and basket hitches at a horizontal sling angle smaller than 60°
  • Bunching slings on accessories/hardware

There you have it – avoid these common rigging mistakes and you’ll slingin’ like a pro in no time.

For further training and certification, read more on our safety and training courses. Interested in what happens during courses at the Hercules Training Academy? Read our blog on the Rigging Fundamentals Course at the Hercules SLR Training Academy.

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