Rigging looks like an easy operation that requires no particular skill or experience. But if you have an idea that just anybody can do it, you are wrong. Too many workers have lost fingers or hands or have suffered more serious injuries because they though, “Anybody can do that”. Remember:
- Name one member of the crew to act as the signal person, and instruct the equipment operator to recognize signals from that person only. The signal person must be careful not to order a move until he/she has received the “all ready” signal from each member of the crew.
- Each rigger must be sure they are in the clear before he/she gives an “all ready” to the signal person. When you have positioned the sling or choker you are using, release it if possible, before you give the “all ready” signal.
- If you must hold it in position, be sure your hand is clear of pinch points. In fact, your hand should be far enough away so there is no possibility of a frayed wire catching your glove and jerking your hand into a pinch point.
- Watch out for the roll or swing of the load. Since it is almost impossible to position the hook exactly over the load center, there will almost always be a swing or roll. Anticipate the direction of the swing or roll and work away from it.
- Never place yourself between material, equipment or other stationary objects and the load. Also, stay away from stacked material that may be knocked over by a swinging load.
- Never stand under the load and keep from under the boom as much as possible. Chances are that nothing will break, but something might.
- Look over the place where the load is to be set. Remove unnecessary blocks or other objects that might fly up if struck by the load.
When lowering or setting the load, be sure your feet and all other parts of your body are out from under. Set the load down easily and slowly so that if it rolls on the blocking, it will be a slow shift that you can get away from.