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Every company using hoists to raise, lower and ansport loads should have a safety program as part of its plant operations. "However, the strength and effectiveness of a program often depends on the attention given to its development and enforcement," says Dan Senff, channel marketing manager for the ergonomic handling and lifting division of Ingersoll Rand (866-273-3278;

Senff recommends tailoring your safety program to the specific type of hoists and applications being used. Hoists employing either chain or wire rope as the lifting medium include:

* manual hand chain

* ratchet lever

* powered

* air/pneumatic

* electric, and

* hydraulic

"Bear in mind, one size or program does not fit all applications," he says. "But proper programs are neither a burden, nor costly to execute--particularly when you consider that the alternative could lead to injuries or worse."

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fewer than 2% of all work-related, non-fatal injuries in manufacturing are related to hoists and cranes.

"Of those injuries, more than 60% relate to sprains, strains, fractures, Cuts, punctures and bruises caused by mishandling or misapplying the equipment," says Hal Vandiver, managing director of the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) (704-676-1190;

With those statistics in mind, HMI and OSHA have teamed with the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA). The resulting Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance is dedicated to developing overhead handling compliance assistance tools to help prevent workplace injuries and fatalities.

Safety resources are available at:


Safe hoist use and application will prevent workplace injuries and increase productivity.


1. Take up slack carefully--ensure your load is balanced and load holding action is secure before continuing.

2. Shut down a hoist that malfunctions or performs unusually and report the malfunction.

3. Ensure hoist limit switches function properly.

4. Warn personnel of an approaching load.

5. Check brake function by tensioning the hoist prior to each lift.

6. Use hook latches. Latches are to retain slings, chains, etc. under slack conditions only.

7. Ensure the hook latches are closed and not supporting any parts of the load.

8. Ensure the load is free to move and will clear all obstructions.

9. Avoid swinging the load or hook.

10. Ensure hook travel is in the same direction as shown on the controls.

11. Inspect the hoist regularly, replace damaged or worn parts and keep maintenance records.

12. Use the hoist manufacturer's recommended parts for repairs.

13. Lubricate load wire rope or chain per hoist manufacturer's recommendations.

14. Maintain a firm footing or be otherwise secured when operating the hoist.


1. DO NOT operate a damaged, malfunctioning or unusually performing hoist.

2. DO NOT operate the hoist until you have thoroughly read and understood the manufacturer's operating and maintenance instructions or manuals.

3. DO NOT operate a hoist which has been modified without the manufacturer's approval or without certification that it is in conformity with ANSI ASME B30 volumes.

4. DO NOT lift more than the rated load for the hoist.

5. DO NOT use hoist with twisted, kinked, damaged or worn load chain or wire rope.

6. DO NOT use the hoist to lift, support or transport people.

7. DO NOT lift loads over people.

8. DO NOT operate a hoist unless all persons are and remain clear of the supported load.

9. DO NOT operate unless load is centered under hoist.

10. DO NOT attempt to lengthen the load wire rope or chain or repair damaged load wire rope or chain.

11. DO NOT operate hoist when it is restricted from forming a straight line from hook to hook in the direction of loading.

This list is the fourth in a series of safety tip sheets developed by the Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance concerning the safe application and operation of a moving load. Reprinted with permission. For more information and safe operator practices, visit

By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
COPYRIGHT 2008 Peerless Media, LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:SAFETY TIPS
Author:Specter, Sara Pearson
Publication:Material Handling Product News
Article Type:Reprint
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Previous Article:Prevent unscheduled truck departures.
Next Article:Hoist basics.

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