The Importance of a Rigger and Rigging

The Importance of a Rigger and Rigging

In construction, safety is the number one priority, especially when lifting heavy objects and using heavy equipment. Using cranes and other equipment to lift and manipulate extremely heavy objects is the job of a qualified rigger. Having a qualified rigger on-site is essential to everyone’s safety.

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What Is the Role of a Rigger?

Riggers are responsible for attaching cables or ropes to the load that they intend to lift or hoist. Riggers know which hitches to tie and how much weight they can actually support. They understand where the center of gravity of a load is so the load is correctly balanced and stable. Riggers are able to use several different kinds of equipment to accomplish this such as slings, chokers, shackles, and winches. They are able to navigate heavy equipment through confined spaces, tilt, turn, or dip loads to avoid hazards, and care for the equipment including inspections.  Lastly, the rigger is very knowledgeable about the hazards associated with the job and each lift so he/she feels comfortable signaling operations.  

Who Is a Qualified Rigger?

The definition of a qualified rigger is loosely made by OSHA and otherwise stipulated by the company that employs the rigger. According to OSHA, a qualified rigger can have a degree, a certificate, or has extensive knowledge or training and has demonstrated the ability to solve rigging problems. Qualified riggers do not explicitly have to be qualified by an accredited organization and can instead have extensive informal, on-the-job training. 

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What Is Basic Rigging?

Basic rigging is a term used to describe the principles of rigging that one learns in order to become a certified or qualified level I Rigger. Basic rigging includes knowledge of inspection techniques, use of slings, hitch configurations, and load-handling. Total Equipment Training offers classes that cover basic rigging and more. 

What Is Rigging Safety?

Rigging safety is the summed total of precautions taken to minimize the risk of harm to persons while rigging.  Precautions include proper training of personnel, appropriate personal protective equipment, regular equipment inspections, environmental risk assessments, established communication, and emergency/backup procedures.  

In commercial applications requiring the movement of heavy loads and machinery, rigging is a key factor. The welfare of staff should be of the utmost importance when conducting a rigging operation. Inappropriate load rigging can cause unintended falls, leading to damage to property and exposing safety risks, injury, or even death to riggers and other nearby workers.

How Do I Become a Certified Rigger?

To become an NCCCO certified rigger, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. In order to receive certification from an accredited organization, you must pass both a written and practical exam offered by an NCCCO accredited organization.  There are two rigging certifications: Rigger I and Rigger II. Although the responsibilities of both are slightly different, they both require you to pass a written practical exam for certification. 

What Is a Rigging Certificate and How Can Total Equipment Training Help?

A rigging certificate is documentation that someone has demonstrated the ability to complete the tasks required for a qualified rigger. Total Equipment Training prepares your team for OSHA rigger qualification and NCCCO certification. Through hands-on training and classroom testing, Total Equipment Training works with you to design a program that works for you and prepares employees to rig safely.   

Contact Total Equipment Training for more information about becoming a certified rigger.

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Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.