Safety Tips That All Riggers Need To Know

Rigging is one of the most important jobs in a shipyard. After all, if a load is rigged incorrectly or the rigging fails altogether, it puts all of the workers in the immediate area in danger. Because of this, you need to make sure that your heavy lift crane operators are properly trained and take the safety precautions as needed. Check out these safety tips and share them with your riggers.

Hand Signals

Crane operators aren't able to hear workers on the ground, so instead of using verbal communication workers communicate using hand signals. So, it's extremely important for your riggers and signalers to memorize the hand signals established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some of the most common hand signals include:

  • Hoist: Lift your arm up so that it's bent at a 90 degree angle. Close your hand, but leave your first finger pointing upwards. Then, move your hand in a small circle.
  • Lower: Extend your arm downward and point to the ground with your first fingers. Move your hand in a small circle just like you do for a hoisting signal.
  • Stop: Hold your arm straight out with the palm of your hand facing down, and stand in a stiff position.
  • Emergency Stop: Hold your arm as you would during a stop signal, but instead of standing completely still, move your to the left and right rapidly.

In addition to memorizing hand signals, it's extremely important that only one signaler works at a time because it's easy to become confused when multiple people are giving you directions. Some companies have a supervisor stationed alongside the signaler. In this case, it's important for the supervisor to wear a visible badge. This helps your crane operator determine whose hand signals to follow first.

Common Safety Precautions

Don't assume that all of your employees know everything there is to know about rigging. Something that may seem like common sense to you may be new information to an employee. So, you shouldn't ignore these common safety procedures.

  • Check overhead power lines before hoisting a load.
  • Avoid lifts near stacked items, which could easily be knocked over by a swinging load.
  • Keep the load as close to the ground as possible while you move it.
  • Don't ride on a load or crane hook.
  • Don't work underneath a raised load.
  • Lower the load slowly to ensure all workers are clear of the landing spot.

The safety of your shipyard's employees should be your number one concern. So, take the time to ensure all of your dock employees, including riggers and signalers, know how to do their jobs safely.

For more information on heavy lift cranes and rigging, contact a company like Lockwood Brothers Inc.