Chain Hoist Safety

Today chain hoist is an important tool for industries. Chain hoist is used in hoisting pipe, or plate into position for welding, or bolting, moving machinery, fence stretching and lifting engines or equipment during repairs. These devices are simple to operate, but misuse can result in sudden failure resulting in property damage and serious injury. Hoists typically rely on either wire rope or chain to lift materials. Both of these lifting mediums are durable and efficient. Wire rope hoists are able to perform high speed lifting tasks easily. They can handle a wide range of weight capacities. Chain hoists are beneficial because of their long lasting, rugged design. They are good to use for long, heavy lifts.

Chain Hoist Definition

Chain hoist is a device used for lifting, or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be operated manually, electrically or pneumatically driven, and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a lifting hook.

Hazards of Chain Hoist

The chain hoist is a useful device for industries but the improper use of chain hoist may be hazardous and can cause serious injuries and even death. Following are common hazards that can occur while using a chain hoist and leads to accidents:

  • Improper rigging or over loading of chain hoist
  • Improper lifting of load
  • Inadequate slinging of load
  • Inadequate securing of load
  • Unsafe erection and dismantling procedures
  • Unstable ground surfaces
  • Weak Supporting structures
  • Overhead plant or structures

Handling Chain Hoist Safely

By following the following safety rules, the worker will be safer:

  • To be safe read the manufacturers operating instructions manual by which one can know about equipment and these can be operated safely. Memorize the instructions about what should be done and what should not be done.
  • Inspect the hoist to be sure it is in good condition. Some things to look for include: a bent handle, stretched chain links, broken ratchet teeth, stiff operation or bent hooks. Anything that is cracked, bent, distorted, deformed, or broken, probably indicates overloading. Don’t use it. Do not use any hoist that appears to have been overloaded.
  • Properly set up hoist so that it is stable on ground or secure structure. Survey the work area so that the load will not run into obstacles, equipment, or workers. Never exceed the rated load capacity; this could cause the hoist to fail, tip, or collapse. Take into account wind factors that may add stress to the hoist. Use properly rigged tag lines to keep the load stable and straight during movement.
  • When starting the hoist take up the slack slowly and carefully. Hold the load in action for a moment while you watch for stability and balance. Keep the load centered under the hook. If the load sways or looks unstable, lower it to the start position and reconfigure rigging.
  • Operator must know the weight of the load which plan to lift.
  • Never attach a load greater than the capacity of the hoist.
  • Never use two hoists to lift a load that is heavier than the rated capacity of either. A shifting load may place the entire load on one hoist causing failure.
  • Also keep in mind that capacity ratings are based on a new hoist. Age, dirt, wear, and improper maintenance will reduce the lifting capacity.
  • Never put a “cheater bar” on the operating lever or use more than one person to pull the lever. It is a sure sign that the hoist is overloaded if the load can’t be moved by one person, using a normal pull.
  • Make sure, that the structure to which hoist is hanging is strong enough to support the load being lifting, as well as any possible shock load.
  • Use these devices only in locations that will not expose operator to a hazard if he loses grip or slip.
  • The site of use must also permit operator to stand clear of the load at all times.
  • Never operate a hoist in a manner that causes the load chain to bend or slide around objects, such as corners, or sharp edges. Do not use load chains or cables as a substitute for a sling.
  • Apply the load evenly. Do not jerk, bounce, or allow the load to swing. Any violent motion or shock loads could easily exceed the capacity of hoist.
  • Always be sure that the load is centered on the hoist before lifting to avoid a swinging load. Make sure the suspension hook is securely attached.
  • Suspended load should not be left unattended and workers should be kept far from it because it may be dangerous in condition to system failure or breakage.

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