A common misconception is that machine rigging is only about the use of large equipment to lift and move heavy machinery or factory plant, a fairly straightforward operation one might think. However, with the demands for machine rigging becoming greater and more complex each day, the techniques, procedures and planning involved are at the forefront of the operation. Rigging specialists may face challenges and job constraints such as limited time and operating space, demanding movement and production schedules or even just the sheer size and magnitude of the operation at hand. Here at Jacobs Transport we heed the call and as leading specialist in machine rigging, there is no job or operation greater and more important than meeting our client’s needs.
The operating of heavy rigging machinery calls for preparation and concentrated focus to ensure the safety of people, property and equipment. It is up to us to ensure that our staff are well trained and follow the basic essential rigging guidelines to ensure a smooth running operation. Listed below are the technical issues and procedures which are considered pre and post rigging operation.
- Only work with and allow qualified personal on site: It is paramount that every work on site or involved in the operation are aware of standard rigging safety. They should be have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the equipment being used and professional training in complying with standard rigging procedures in an effort to anticipate problems before they occur. Riggers must be able to stop equipment should an unsafe situation arise.
- Inspection of equipment and documentation of technical issues: Before the undertaking of any project, a thorough inspection of all handling equipment must be conducted. It is vital that only equipment in good working condition is used and lifting is carried out in suitable weather conditions to avoid any potential accidents. Any technical issues, inconsistencies or equipment malfunctioning must be recorded. Wear and tear is probable if equipment is used by multiple operators at a single site. Maintenance must be conducted as soon as possible, after the identification of a technicality.
- Setting of the load: The first and basic rule of machine rigging is to ensure that the load hook and upper suspension form a straight line and nothing comes into contact with the load. It is important to have a balanced load as an unbalanced load will run the risk of tipping the crane over. One must ensure that the crane is able to handle the load capacity and swing, whilst keeping in mind the size and radius of the load. It is the responsibility of the rig operator to ensure that no person stands under a suspended load or the suspended load does not move toward ground workers. Everyone should be aware of their surroundings and personal safety making sure to stay clear of pinch points. If the rig operator does not have a clear unobstructed view, then a spotter must be designated. A spotter will direct the rigger in making clearance and avoiding close contact with people or other objects on the worksite.
- Handling of the load: The slings and lines used must be of the good quality with high durability and ability to lift objects of a substantial weight. The tension and vertical capacity of each sling should match. If machines are or need to be turned off it is important that the load is not suspended in the air during this time. Loads should be landed before the hoist is left unsupervised and the vicinity must be clear before landing occurs. The load must be lowered slowly to avoid hard contact with the ground and the possibility of breakage.
- Knowledge of rigging equipment: Every rig operator must be knowledgeable about the load weight that the machine can lift. Such information is available in the operator’s manual and should be strictly followed. Lifting a load which is heavier than the recommended weight in the load chart could be detrimental to the operation and safety of the workers.
- Equipment storage: Upon completion of a job or project the rigging equipment needs to be stored away in a place where it cannot perish or get damaged by weather or other unforeseen factors. Aside from protecting the lifespan and durability, equipment must be stored in an area where it does not pose a potential danger for people working in the same vicinity. Equipment must be inspected thoroughly and frequently to avoid the risk of accidents.
As well-known leaders in machine rigging, Jacobs Transport offers a level of experience and expertise that is unmatched. With national large scale projects under our belt, will we certainly rise above any challenge a project might pose. Contact us today and we can help you with your machine rigging requests and related services.
In light of the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March, Jacobs Transport, has heeded this call and will be temporarily closing our offices as of Thursday 26 March, 17h00, with all our eligible office-based employees working remotely from home until our offices reopen on 17 April 2020.
Most of our operations will be impacted, with the exception of operations that support the supply of essential products/services OR emergency equipment. Where practical and within the ambit nation-wide lockdown we will do everything within our ability to minimise the impact and inconvenience on your business – we can assist.
We remain at your service,
Billy Meysel | General Manager