Electric chain hoists are used on a daily basis throughout a number of industries. They’re an essential piece of equipment that makes the lifting of heavy objects a relatively quick and straightforward task to complete. However, the fact that chain hoists have made material handling easier than ever doesn’t mean that safety can be left to chance. The incorrect use of chain hoists can result in serious damage to property, as well as injury and fatalities. This article will highlight safety issues in regards to chain hoists and provide information that will help ensure all work around chain hoists is safe to prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring.
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Obey Safety Regulations
First and foremost, all safety regulations must be strictly adhered to and the manufacturer’s manual should be thoroughly read before chain hoists are used. The manual provided by the manufacturer will contain important information in regards to how to operate the hoist, plus it will also outline what its rated capacity is and how often it should be serviced. Chain hoists should never be used to lift more than what their rated capacities state, which is generally no more than 5 tonnes. In addition to the obvious safety benefits, legally speaking you will be in a much better position should any accident occur if you always operate chain hoists in strict accordance with the operator’s manual.
Keep Areas Clear
Under no circumstances should anyone walk or stand directly underneath a hoisted load when chain hoists are being used on site. The potential for serious injury or death can be high should anything go wrong and a load be dropped on someone below, so this rule must always be obeyed. A good way to ensure this rule is strictly adhered to is by clearly defining the areas that should be kept clear with well marked signage. You can also paint lines on flooring in easy to see colours such as yellow or orange. While chain hoists are fairly conspicuous and workers aren’t likely to wander into their path by accident, by clearly marking no-go areas around chain hoists, you’ll be doing everything you can to protect your workers as well as your business.
In addition to the standard daily mandatory checks that should be performed before operation, all chain hoists should be inspected at regular intervals by authorised personnel and serviced periodically by professionals. Professional lift and crane service providers will check a wide range of crane and hoist parts during annual or biannual safety checks, helping to ensure that all cranes and chain hoists are in top operating condition year round. This helps to keep the risk of mechanical failure to a minimum and ensures workplace productivity won’t be negatively affected. Individuals who perform servicing onsite will check that chain hoists are not exhibiting signs of damage or structural failure, the brake is fully functional, and gears are well lubricated using the correct type of oil, in addition to a range of other safety checks.