According to ASME B30.20, both the owner of a lifting device (the company) and its operator are responsible for certain guidelines when lifting below-the-hook devices.
1. Establish /Verify Equipment Safety - In order to ensure that below-the-hook equipment meets ASME standards an Equipment Inspection/Testing/Maintenance Program should be put into place. All equipment should be regularly inspected, tested and maintained so that it is in proper working order and records maintained.
2. Use Proper Lifting Devices - Make sure that proper lifting devices are being used for a particular lifting application and that they are being used correctly according to the operating manual.
3. Provide All Applicable Documentation - The operator should have access to operating instructions on all below-the-hook devices that provide field assembly, disassembly, operation and maintenance, and warning decals and placards installed by the manufacturer. In addition, all inspection, testing and maintenance records should be available to view before the operator lift.
4. Use Qualified, Experienced Operators -
The operator shall be instructed in the use of the devise by a designated person and should have knowledge and experience in applications and adjustments to loads, equipment shift inspection, load capacity, standard hand signals, and other overhead lifting requirements by ASME. For complete list, see ASME B30.20-3.4.2 Qualifications.
5. Assess Lifting Conditions - Since adverse conditions can affect the lifting load, take conditions into account such as extreme temperatures, lighting, wind, precipitation or fog. The manufacturer’s recommendations should be used if conditions are questionable.
1. Perform Visual Inspection and Test Controls
Make a visual inspection of hardware to make sure that all equipment is safe to use and test the lifting device controls that will be used to make sure they are working correctly. If any equipment is unsafe it should be reported and taken immediately out of service. ASME Section 20-3.3 states that the following should be inspected before and/or during every lift for indication of damage:
- Lifting magnet face and surface of the load for foreign materials and smoothness
- Control handles of manually controlled permanent magnet
- Condition and operation of indicators and meters
Vacuum Lifters & Mechanical Lifting Devices
- Surface of the load for debris
- Seal of the vacuum pad for debris
- Condition and operation of the controls
- Condition and operation of the indicators, meters and pumps
2. Consider All Lifting Factors - Consider anything that may affect the load such as weather, temperature, or type of load. Ensure that all lifting operations are performed in a smooth, controlled manner and that all personnel are clear of the lifting area.
3. Check Equipment Documentation - Check inspection/maintenance records to see if there have been any problems with the existing equipment and check other equipment documentation if necessary, for proper procedures, assembly, disassembly and rigging of the device.
4. Lockout/Tag Procedures - Understand lockout/tagout procedures should equipment need to be taken out of service.
5. Lifting Communication - Respond to designated people during the load lift. A STOP order should be followed regardless of who issues it.
Check Manufacturer’s Tolerances
You will find that different manufacturers offer the same lifting device but they can have different load ratings and tolerances. If you are not sure, check the manual before lifting.
Check Welded/Altered Equipment
All equipment that has been welded/altered should have identification stating the name and address of the repairer and include information on what was welded/altered. Equipment must be repaired and labeled by a qualified company or it should be taken out of service.
Always Use As Directed
Always use below-the-hook devices as they are intended. Danger always exists when loads are transported, especially when equipment is not properly maintained or safety precautions are not taken. Remember that proper lifting is the owner and the operator’s responsibility.
If you or your operators need overhead operator or inspection training we offer online training modules at: https://www.wiscolift.com/collections/training. For additional information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-242-3477.
Remember, “Working Safe is Working Smart!”