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Hoists : Safety Measures

Electric hoists make lifting heavy objects very easy. These hoists can lift ranging from kgs to tones. But at the same time it is required to maintain proper safety measures to ensure the safety of Hoist, load and the operator. Safety measures include proper knowledge about the hoist, load and operating practices which includes training and the communication while operation.
    1. : First step of Safe hoist operation is proper hoist selection. Application of hoist and the Capacity of hoist are of primary importance. It is critical that the hoist selected has a capacity that exceeds the weight of the load. Make sure the hoist's load chain is long enough to reach the load. Consider a Electric Chain hoist if the load has to be lifted a long distance.
It is a not the feature of the hoist but the performance of hoist greatly depend on the operator’s skill level. In addition to good hand/eye coordination, depth perception and spatial orientation, a hoist operator should exhibit a willingness to perform maintenance operations and demonstrate safe work habits. Apart from general safety instructions, the training of the specific hoist that the operator will be using is also very critical. Points like information about lift capacity as well as inspections and maintenance, slip clutches, load limit devices, braking mechanisms and wear limits should be included in the training.
  • Never use hoist's load chain as a sling.
  • Side Pulling should be avoided, as it places additional stress on the hoist and risks uncontrolled load swings.
  • Limit switches are not designed for regular everyday usage they are intended for emergency use. So avoid the practice of using limit switches to stop the hoist's operation.
  • If the hoist is coupled to a trolley, care should be exercised to prevent crashing the trolley into the end stops on the beam. This increases stress on the hoist and will cause dangerous load swings.
  • Jogging the hoist's motor should be minimised as this will generate heat in the motor's winding, and may lead to motor failure also.
It is another important aspect of hoist safety that should be emphasised, particularly in noisy environment where only two persons are involved in the lifting operation, first person is the hoist operator and the second person is the rigging or hookup person. In addition to the voice Communication, hoist communication also includes communication through hand signals. Hand signals should be documented and posted by the hoist owner and agreed upon by the hoist operator and the signal person.

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