Safety training essential for rigging operations

IN THIS ARTICLE for the Safety Solutions & Supply blog, we will explore the topic of rigging its various meanings and why safety-related training in rigging is important for its application in construction, industry, and mining-related operations.

When the term rigging is brought up, many people might first associate it with boating or flight. Rigging can be defined as the system of ropes, cables, or chains employed to support a ship’s masts (standing rigging) and to control or set the yards and sails (running rigging); or, the ropes and wires that support the structure of an airship, biplane, hang glider, or parachute.

In its other more common applications, the kind dealt with in construction and industry safety training programs offered by SS&S, rigging is both a verb and a noun. As a verb, rigging is the work of designing and installing the equipment used to safely and efficiently lift, lower, hoist, or move large and/or heavy objects. As noun, rigging is the lifting equipment itself.

Though rigging often is used for smaller-scale tasks operations, the U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often addresses rigging as a critical part of shipyard employment.

According to OSHA: Riggers prepare ships equipment, components or sections for lifting by cranes, hoists, or other material-handling equipment. Riggers also act as signalman. Worker safety is of utmost concern when performing rigging tasks.

OSHA adds: Improper rigging of a load or a rigging failure can expose riggers and other workers nearby to a variety of potential hazards. Riggers have been injured or killed when loads have slipped from the rigging, or when the rigging has failed. Therefore, all loads must be safely rigged prior to a lift.

According to OSHA, the following topics should be discussed with workers prior to beginning rigging operations:

  • Hazards associated with rigging operations.
  • Role and responsibility of each riggers assigned task.
  • Establishing a goal for the day.
  • Weight of material and equipment being hoisted.
  • Identifying the various shapes on the surface of equipment being hoisted.
  • Lifting limitations of gear and hoisting devices.
  • Communication used by all personnel.
  • Disconnecting techniques used to complete the task.
  • The critical need to prevent damage to lifting gear, lifting equipment, vessel components, and other loads.

These OSHA bullet items are captured in two premier rigging training programs offered by Safety Solutions & Supply — Qualified Rigging and Advanced Rigging. These programs address OSHA requirements that employers use only qualified riggers during hoisting activities for assembly and disassembly work. Additionally, qualified riggers are required whenever workers are within the fall zone and hooking, unhooking, or guiding a load, or doing the initial connection of a load to a component or structure.

Qualified Rigging

This eight-hour program includes hands-on learning, a practical evaluation, and a written assessment. Its designed for construction, industrial, and mine-related workers who perform basic rigging activities associated with general material-handling work. Its also designed to meet OSHA CFR 1926.1400 and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) standards.

This rigging program identifies load management, rigging methods and calculations, load control, rigging component inspection, lifting hardware and attachments, lifting around critical systems and personnel, and developing lift plans.

Advanced Rigging

This is a 24-hour training program and also includes hands-on learning, practical evaluation, and a written assessment. This program requires a basic knowledge of rigging as a prerequisite; completion of Qualified Rigging is recommended prior to enrolling in Advanced Rigging.

Advanced Rigging is designed for employees who perform advanced rigging activities associated with general material-handling work. The program also is designed to meet OSHA CFR 1926.1400 and ASME standards.

This rigging program identifies load management, rigging methods and calculations, load control, rigging component inspection, lifting hardware and attachments, lifting around critical systems and personnel, and developing lift plans. This program includes and assures the understanding and use of:

  • Synthetic slings
  • Wire-rope slings
  • Chain slings
  • Sling hitches and applications
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Verification of load limits
  • Sling and hardware rating charts
  • Center of gravity
  • Calculations to determine load weight
  • Manufacturer recommendations and possible limitations
  • Power line safety
  • Hand signals

Qualified Rigging and Advanced Rigging each is available as either a Safety Solutions & Supply certified program or under the auspices of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), as administered by an NCCER-accredited instructor. These programs are offered routinely by SS&S and through advanced scheduling. To schedule training, call 866-537-2262 or e-mail info@solutionsinsafety.com.