Improper rigging, rigging failure and shifting loads can be a contributing cause to struck-by and caught-between injuries (part of OSHA’s Focus Four). To prevent rigging and lifting-related injuries; below are OSHA standards and safe work practices associated with rigging for material handling detailed in 1926 Subpart H: Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal: 1926.251.
- A designated competent person must inspect a sling and all its fastenings and attachments for damage or defects each day before you use it.
- Inspect rigging equipment before each shift and as necessary while you’re using it to ensure it’s safe.
- Record each inspection.
- Remove damaged or defective rigging equipment (web slings, alloy steel chains, wire rope) from service.
- Don’t shorten slings with knots or bolts or other makeshift devices.
- Don’t place your hands or fingers between the sling and its load while you’re tightening the sling.
- When the load is resting on a sling, don’t pull the sling from under it.
- Always connect two slings with a shackle; never tie two or more web slings together.
- Never attach a sling directly to a lifting lug.
- Do not use a shackle-to-shackle connection.
- Don’t stand, walk or work under suspended loads.
- Don’t place your hands on a suspended load to control it. Use a tagline.
- Inspect the area for overhead utilities, trees and other overhead safety hazards.
- Store rigging equipment so that it won’t be damaged by environmental or other conditions.
- Rigging must have permanent, legible identification markings.
- Don’t use rigging without permanent, legible identification markings.
- Don’t load rigging beyond its recommended safe working load.
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