Everything You Need to Know About Safe Lifting Operations

Manufacturing plants, constructions sites etc. rely on various lifting operations to move load from one place to another. There are various factors that determine a lifting operation and as an on-site supervisor, one must have complete information about these. Discussed below are certain factors you need to be aware of in order to make lifting operations more safe and secured.

Human element

In past, there have been countless workplace accidents involving lifting operations that were caused due to human error. Therefore, rule number 1 is to train the lifting crew about the possible hazards, best lifting practices, safety considerations etc. Only competent individuals must handle lifting operations. Further, it’s equally important to inform the lifting crew of their exact roles and responsibilities. It is also crucial to provide your crew with communication devices to prevent accidents. It’s advisable to recruit physically fit people for lifting operations.

Equipment & machinery used

It is extremely important to use the right lifting equipment and devices for lifting a particular type of load. You need to have complete details whether particular lifting equipment is capable of handling an exceptionally heavy load. Lifting capacity differs from equipment to equipment. For instance, in case of a lorry crane or crawler, the capacity depends on the crane boom’s load radius. So, next time you are about to choose a crane, finding out the distance from the load to the crane is very important.

Next, if you are considering lifting multiple loads of varied size and shape, choose the crane depending on the heaviest load to avoid overloading. Furthermore, lifting operations also depend on the maintenance of lifting equipment and devices including spreader bar. Also, find out about the braking mechanism of the equipment. Failure to check the brakes at regular intervals certainly paves way for a disaster.

Material to be lifted

Materials are one of the most important factors that decide the safety of a lifting operation. It’s important to check out the weight of materials before loading it on the equipment. You need to carefully calculate the weight of material especially if it includes assembled parts. What’s more, you also need to be extremely cautious when carrying debris. Next, during lifting operations it’s crucial to maintain the centre of gravity of load directly under the load line (a hook). Not following this rule can lead to disasters at the workplace. If you are doubtful, consult an experienced engineer.


In order to exercise safe lifting operations one must double-check the weather conditions, obstacles in path, ground area etc. For instance, visibility reduces when it’s raining or snowing. Checking out the lighting conditions is also crucial. Besides this, you also need to look at –

  • Wind speed
  • Ground conditions
  • Overhead power lines
  • Temporary installations

Method used

The manner in which the entire load is handled also determines how safe a lifting operation is. One must always follow the best crane rigging and lifting practices to move heavy load. For instance, if you are moving concrete bags or bricks, make sure these are secured properly with safety nets.

It’s vital to consider these factors before performing any lifting operations. Creating a safer work environment is better than dealing with fatal accidents and injuries.