Load Charts Planning A Lift
Heavy equipment manufacturers always include several articles of reading and reference material for the proper use of their implements. Important among these is the load chart. It entails load capacities for lifts (with an emphasis on load limits) when the equipment is in different configurations of operation. This information is essential for planning successful lifts, and should always be considered before any work is started.

Planning a Lift

A lift operation refers to the movement of a load (hoisting, traveling and lowering), which could be (any number of) materials, people, or items. Lifting operations come with several hazards that could compromise the safety of the load, equipment operators, surrounding structures and personnel on-site.
As such, it is recommended that every lift operation, regardless of its simplicity or routine nature, have a structured plan created by competent and/or qualified personnel. The plan should outline:
  • Types of equipment to be employed during the lift
  • Actions involved in each step of the operation
  • Personnel required and their roles
  • Objectives of the lift operation
Lift plans should be drafted, documented, and shared with all personnel involved in the operation, (equipment operator/s, supervisors, signal persons) with an adequate declaration of potential hazards for other workers on site.

6 Major Factors to Consider When Planning for a Successful Lift

Every lift plan created should focus on ensuring that the operation is carried out safely. Below are some of the most important aspects to consider:

1. Strength and Stability

The equipment chosen for the lift operation must be able to not only handle the load’s weight, but manage any other indirect forces and/or conditions that may arise during operation. These include changes in temperature or mild weather. This applies to all the components in the lifting system of the equipment, (slings, cables) functioning without a high susceptibility to failure.
Special attention is needed when lifting personnel, with higher factors for safety assigned to such equipment.

2. Positioning and Installation

The physical location of any lifting equipment, whether mobile or fixed, is crucial. This determines the probability of struck-by hazards, contact with power lines and buildings, and interaction with other personnel on-site. The attachment of the load to the equipment (installation) should be sufficient to avoid unintentional detachment or unnecessary movement and cause fall hazards. This can damage the load, work environment, and people near it.
Load attachment should be sensitive to the type of load being moved, with proper rigging, harnessing, slinging or shackling securing it. Safety measures for personnel include erecting barriers or gates to shafts or hoistways.

3. Safety Precautions for Equipment Failure

Emergency protocols should be well established and shared among all site personnel. While considering this, lift operations should only be carried out after assessing for a minimal amount of harm or damage in the event of equipment failure.

4. Supervision the Operation

Supervisors, site coordinators and signal persons should all be on hand to ensure that any lift operations are being executed safely. This should however be gauged according to the complexity of the operation and the skill levels of operators and personnel. Routine lifts require less supervision than complex, risky operations, as do skilled site staff.

5. Working Under Suspended Loads

It is highly recommended that workers do not enter the danger zones below suspended -stationary or travelling- loads. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has created guidelines covering permissions for essential staff, as well as the rigging requirements for the suspended load.

6. Environmental Disturbances

Changes in weather can adversely affect lift operations. The wind may blow suddenly and strongly, shifting the suspended load, the terrain can be affected by heavy rainfall, compromising equipment stability, and fog impairs visibility. Lift plans should attempt to account for changes in operating conditions as much as possible, despite the flexible nature of weather patterns.

Lift Planning and Operator Training

Total Equipment Training is a nationally recognized, OSHA-compliant training and inspection organization that provides competent, up-to-date training and safety services. You can rest easy when it comes to lift operations thanks to their Mobile Crane Operator, Rigging and Signal Person training programs that emphasize safety on any type of site operation.
Thanks to the nationwide network of industry professionals, TET can bring you experienced Lift Directors and Site Supervisors for an extra edge in efficiency while ensuring your lift operations are safe and successful. Reach out to Total Equipment Training today and see the amazing results for you and your team.

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.