Rigging activities include lifting, moving, transporting, placing, positioning, pulling and securing loads with the use of load shifting equipment. Since you are moving heavy loads, accidents might occur, which may lead to damage to property, injuries or death. You need to know the key things to do to reduce the chances of accidents happening.
Use of Competent, Educated, Trained and Licensed Riggers
This is always the first step to avoiding accidents. During their education and training, riggers are taught how to identify hazards and assess risks, safely handle rigging activities, understand work instructions and warnings, inspect pieces of equipment, etc. So, don't just use any operator. Ensure they are educated, trained and licensed.
Before Rigging Activities Start
Clearly outline and define each rigger's roles and responsibilities, the weight of the loads, the lifting limitations, their disconnecting techniques, the potential hazards, the mode of communication, etc. This reduces the chances of errors and accidents.
Of course, operators and all the individuals on the worksite have to wear protective gear. This will ensure you don't get injured or reduce the severity of an injury. Safety gear has to be inspected and maintained by a competent person before and after use. It also needs to be stored correctly to avoid damage from moisture or temperature. If any gear is damaged, it should be replaced immediately. Do not try to apply quick fixes like duct tape. The safety equipment may not function as it should.
Don't be tempted to overload chains because you are in a hurry to get the job done. Always check the tensile strength or maximum load a chain can handle.
The thing about chains is that if you overload them, they might break at that point or they might not break, but become weaker. Therefore, if at any time a chain was overloaded and it did not break, it should be reported to avoid the chain breaking later, when lifting a load within its parameters.
Centre of Gravity (COG)
Riggers are usually trained on calculating the centre of gravity of different loads because it is what keeps the load stable when being lifted. Never assume the location of the COG; if you do, a fatal accident may occur. The load starts to move around and can lead to slips or chain breakage.
Inspection of Equipment
All equipment should be inspected before use, before shifts, during its use and after use. You always have to be careful. This should be done by a competent person.