Lifting Operations Safety

Lifting activities are an essential part of operations at many worksites. However, lifting operations can be potentially dangerous and are considered high-risk activities. The unsafe and improper use of lifting equipment had resulted in fatalities, serious injuries, and dangerous occurrences. Crane-related incidents such as crane collapse can have severe outcomes, including damage to surrounding properties, and serious injuries to workers and the public.
Ensuring Safe Lifting Operations
To ensure safe operations, thorough risk assessment and careful planning are required prior to commencement of work. A proper lifting plan should be developed for all lifting operations, which should include (i) a proper risk assessment process, (ii) a permit-to-work system, (iii) the selection of safe and proper equipment, (iv) an appreciation of the actual ground conditions and (v) the deployment of qualified and competent personnel.
The followings are some of the safety precautions which should be exercised at all times for lifting operations:
  • Site lifting machines such as cranes on firm, stable and level ground (see Figure 1) to ensure stability during lifting operations.
  • Do not overload the lifting appliance, lifting gear and lifting machines
  • Ascertain the weight of the load before lifting
  • Develop specific risk assessment and method statement for tandem lifting operations, slope, or travelling with suspended loads
  • Check that the lifting hook’s safety latch is functioning
  • Inspect all lifting gears such as shackle, sling and hook for defects before use
  • Prominently display all relevant test certificates of the lifting equipment and permit to lift

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