Rigging Safety Practices

Over the years workers in the construction industry have been seriously injured or killed while working with or near rigging operations. Employees whose work activities include rigging must be trained in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions. 

Below are some basic rigging and material handling guidelines. 

Rigging equipment includes chains, wire rope, synthetic web slings, hooks, shackles, attachments and fittings. 

General Information: 

  • Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use on each shift and as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe. 
  • Rigging equipment shall not be loaded in excess of its rated capacity. Do not shock-load any rigging. 
  • Rigging equipment, when not in use, shall be removed from the immediate work area so as not to present a hazard to employees. 

Lifting Practice Checklist

  • Know the load weight before lifting 
  • Balance the load to avoid overstress on one sling leg or the load slipping free
  • Pad sharp edges to prevent bending links
  • Replace broken safety latches
  • Keep hands and fingers from between load and chain
  • Do not jerk the load when lifting or lowering
  • Do not drag the sling
  • Do not splice by inserting a bolt between two links
  • Do not force a hook over a link
  • Do not use homemade connections
  • Synthetic web slings can be easily damaged and frequent inspections must be conducted

Immediately remove synthetic web slings from service if any of the following conditions are present: 

  • Acid or caustic burns, melting or charring of any part of the sling surface
  • Snags, punctures, tears or cuts, (most slings have a red warning thread inside to indicate an unsafe condition when visible), broken or worn stitches, distortion of fittings, missing or illegible identification tag or label

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion:

  •  Why is it important to understand the center of gravity of the load? 
  • Why is it important to secure lifting devices to the heaviest, strongest part of the load?