Lifting and Rigging

Lifting and rigging work tasks are considered a high hazard task by many companies. There are a lot of associated hazards that accompany lifting any loads with cranes or equipment. It is important to not only understand proper rigging techniques, but also the other hazards that accompany this type of work task.

Lifting and Rigging:

The first type of incident that comes to someone’s mind regarding lifting and rigging is some type of breakage of a sling, wire rope, or chain resulting in a dropped load.While these type of incidents usually have the most severe consequences, there are often many other types of less severe incidents that cause the majority of injuries or property damage. Some of the other injuries and incidents that occur are sprains, falls, crush injuries, electrocutions, and struck-by incidents just to name a few. Hazards such as swinging loads, manual handling of heavy rigging, holding on to tag lines, moving equipment, pinch points, working on elevated surfaces, trip hazards, slippery surfaces, etc. can all be present during lifting operations.

Safe Work Practices:

  • Anyone in a work area where a lift is being performed should be properly trained on the work scope, hazards, and mitigations of the task.
  • Have a written lift plan. A lift plan ensures the desired rigging, angles of equipment, lifting capacities, etc. are thought about prior to the start of the lift.
  • Plan the travel area and potential lines of fire prior to the lift. This helps to avoid striking other objects or having to moving objects or equipment after the load is already is in the air.
  • Inspect all rigging prior to using it for a lift. Continuously check the integrity of the equipment throughout the day if there are multiple lifts.
  • All rigging should be properly stored after lifting operations are complete. Proper storage helps prevent the rigging from being damaged.
  • Keep away from the load. Always strive to use tag lines or push sticks to ensure space from the load.


This is not an exhaustive list of all the hazards and safe work practices when completing lifting and rigging activities. Proper planning and forethought is important to eliminate hazards and avoid incidents. Be aware of the hazards that affect you and your coworkers on each unique lift that is completed.

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