Safety Tips for Overhead Hoists

30 Aug 2016, by Anthony in MEWP Training News

As critical as it is to ensure a strong, sturdy infrastructure in construction, the nature of this type of work can be potentially extremely dangerous. A lot of people have to work in this field, but it doesn’t mean they have to do so in a manner that is dangerous or conducive​ to extreme bodily harm. One of the ways that physical labour is minimised (and large objects are moved) is through the use of heavy machinery, like overhead hoists. Overhead hoists are massive, sprawling crane-like machines that transport large objects from one place to another. This is important to keep in mind because often-large construction projects make moving a tremendous amount of heavy material an absolute necessary. While that may be true, the reality is that using overhead hoists can also cause a lot of bodily harm. To ensure that potential construction workers or other individuals who might find themselves around overhead hoists don’t hurt themselves, here are five suggestions to ensure safety when using overhead hoists.

Always Eat Food Prior to Work

This may sound like a silly and unnecessary suggestion, but the reality is that if you don’t eat, your mind will not function properly. There has been evidence that depriving one of food starves the body of glucose, the prime energy source that gives fuel to your cells. When operating heavy machinery, if you’re hungry or not properly “fuelled-up,” the chances that you’ll experience an accident increase drastically. When you come to work, make sure you’ve already had a good breakfast. If you didn’t have the chance to eat breakfast make sure you bring food with you to work before operating or being around the hoist. Doing so ensures you and your fellow colleagues will be alert, drastically reducing the odds of an accident.

Always Keep the Hoist in Good Shape

Like people, equipment has to be maintained and kept in good shape. If you stop eating and exercising, your body breaks down. The same thing sort of happens with the hoist. If a hoist lies dormant, it can rust, and the machinery that holds it together can break down due to age or decay. This is why it’s paramount to constantly keep an eye on the shape of the hoist. If you notice rust or breakdown on any part of the hoist, be sure to report it. Even if you don’t notice overt signs of breakdown or malfunction, still make an effort to keep an eye on things to ensure it’s in the best possible shape.

Make Sure the Load ONLY Includes Pertinent Materials

When you pick up heavy objects with the hoist, the chance of bodily harm drastically increases if these objects are dropped from above. Think about it: you’re essentially picking up massive piece of material and holding them over people from almost 50 to 100 feet in the air. This is why it’s so critical to keep an eye on the materials that you’re picking up with the hoist. If you pick up the hoist and there are other loose materials on the load, these can fall off from above and potentially injure or kill people below. This is why you have to be absolutely sure that when you use the hoist that you’re only picking up the materials you’re supposed to be working with on the job. If you notice any loose materials, immediately stop the operation of the hoist as safely and quickly as possible, remove the extraneous pieces, and make sure the proper load is secured.

Make Sure Your Team is On the Same Page

It’s great if you’re aware of all of the safety rules, but if your colleagues don’t, then everyone is in serious trouble. When it comes to operating that sort of heavy, high-powered machinery, you have to make an effort to educate and inform all of your fellow workers. Doing so not only ensures that you’ll be in good shape, but you’ll be able to guarantee that those around you are also similarly safe. The best way to do this is by doing comprehensive group workshops, or watching educational safety videos as a group. Pro Trainers UK offer workspace training and construction-related safety training, for more information visit our training page.

Always Operate the Hoist With Safety In Mind

This word of advice is last but not least, and it seems obvious, but it is most often overlooked. When operating the hoist, be sure that you’re doing so in a very safe manner. Always review the proper operating procedures, and make sure that petrol and proper electrical connections are made to reduce the odds of a random, catastrophic​ malfunction that jeopardises the safety of fellow workers. By keeping this rule in mind, you ensure that you’ll never put those around you at risk when operating the crane.




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