Crane Hire: 3 Tips for Successful Crane Rigging in a Construction Project

Posted on: 28 May 2020

When hiring a crane for construction rigging tasks, it's crucial to understand what entails successful rigging. A successful crane rigging project is one that's completed without accidents, property damage, injuries and fatalities, equipment damage or downtime. Unfortunately, most of these risks are common in construction sites, especially if contractors don't take adequate measures to mitigate them. Therefore, as you finalise your equipment hire, here are four tips to ensure successful crane rigging.

Conduct an In-Depth Site Assessment

Before any rigging work, it's vital to conduct an in-depth site assessment. This is aimed at unearthing any inherent risks which may cause injuries and property damage. Once you identify the risks, you need to come up with a plan to mitigate them. Your investigation should be two-fold.

Site Risk Assessment

This investigation identifies on-site risks that may affect the performance of the crane or lead to accidents. For example, you need to check the ground condition to ensure the crane will operate on level ground. If the ground is not level, the equipment may topple over during operation and cause accidents. Similarly, if you're rigging during the wet season, you need to ensure the ground is stable enough to handle the crane.

Also, determine how the crane will access the site, especially if you have tricky entry points. Are there entryway features that may present challenges when accessing the site? Finally, assess other external site-related factors such as the weather. Rigging during wet or stormy weather presents risks that you need to evaluate and mitigate.

Load Risk Assessment

You need to investigate any risks that may occur during the actual rigging process. These include issues such as the presence of overhead power lines, extremely heavy loads, irregular loads and inclement weather. For example, if there are overhead power lines, you need a plan to ensure loads can reach their destination without exposing the boom to the power lines. 

Also, if you're rigging during windy weather, you need to ascertain how the wind may affect the stability of the load mid-air. Ensure any supervisor or contractor who will oversee the rigging work knows the risks and what to do to prevent them.

Inspect Crane Before Rigging

Proper crane inspection is a crucial step in preventing accidents on your site. You and your workers should carry out checks every day before the commencement of the rigging work. Some of the things to pay attention to include the following:

  • Wear, tear and corrosion on rigging chains and ropes
  • Leakages in lines, drain pumps, valves and other hydraulic equipment
  • Wear on the hook springs
  • Incorrect reeving of the wire
  • Loose, cracked or worn bolts
  • Wear on the braking system

Check the crane controls as well to ensure excellent performance. Whenever possible, create a detailed checklist that outlines all the parts that require daily and weekly inspection. You can check out Safe Work Australia's exhaustive inspection list for all types of cranes.

Provide PPE and Other Safety Equipment

Personal protective and safety equipment is necessary for safe and successful rigging. The most basic PPE can go a long way in preventing crane accidents. Unfortunately, when most people hear about crane accidents, they think of horror crashes and deaths. However, it is the small injuries that can wreak havoc on your site. For example, a worker attempting to lift a heavy load may get their feet hurt when the load crashes back on them.

Similarly, one may suffer eye injury if a wire or rope accidentally hits them on the face. This is why you need protective gear. Essential items include eye protection with side shields, hard hats, steel toe boots and heavy-duty gloves. If you are acquiring used PPE, inspect it beforehand to make sure it meets the safety standards. Steer clear of worn equipment, as it may expose workers to personal injury.

Successful crane rigging is heavily dependent on proper assessment, crane inspection and the use of PPE. Tick off all these items off your list before you commence any crane rigging work! 


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