What Does Rigging Equipment Include and How Often Should It Be Inspected?

What Does Rigging Equipment Include and How Often Should It Be Inspected?

Employers must have a qualified rigger if they are going to be hoisting objects for assembly, disassembly, or hook or unhook loads. Total Equipment Training offers OSHA-qualified rigging certification training for your business so you can be sure you are complying with guidelines and keeping employees safe. Keep reading for some of the information covered in a Total Equipment Training rigging certification course


We see two massive yellow cranes against a clear blue sky.

What Does Rigging Equipment Include?

Rigging equipment includes all elements and devices used to hoist, pull, push, and lift large objects in industries such as construction, engineering, and event staging. Rigging equipment is the devices that are used to both secure and distribute the weight of the lifted objects safely onto the moving devices. Moving devices depend on the type of rigging job that needs to be done.

For example, a jack is used for lifting; skates and dollies are used for pushing; chains, hooks, and tie-downs are used for pulling; and chain hoists are used for lifting. Sometimes, objects are too heavy to use the previous equipment mentioned and heavy equipment like cranes, forklifts, twin lifts, and risers need to be used. To secure the heavy object onto a crane, for example, you will need rigging equipment. Rigging equipment is diverse and specialized for the load being moved and the environment needed to move the object. Some examples include wire rope slings, webbing slings, chain slings, metal mesh slings, spread beams, and various rigging hardware. 

How Often Should Lifting Chains Be Tested?

Lifting chains are required to be proof-tested before their first use, according to the proof-test load recommended by the manufacturer and in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Maintenance. Lifting chains are also required to be proof-tested again if any repairs have been done.  This is to ensure that chains meet the original strength requirements, that broken links are replaced, and that the material used to replace links is appropriate. Once tested, the paperwork should be kept. 

We see a steel rope lying on the ground.

How Often Should Rigging Equipment Be Inspected?

Rigging equipment inspection frequency may vary depending on the type of rigging equipment used and the frequency of its use. Visual inspections done in-house by competent persons should be done very frequently. New rigging equipment just arriving from the manufacturer should be inspected to ensure it is the correct piece of equipment and that the rated capacity is sufficient for the loads you will be rigging. Rigging equipment should also be inspected every day before use for any damages, defects, or signs of wear. If the equipment is being used for multiple applications or multiple times a day, it should be inspected before every shift change and between application changes. You are required to have your equipment inspected by a qualified person every 12 months for the periodic inspection at a minimum.  Depending on the frequency of use, nature of the lifts, the severity of conditions, and service life of the equipment, you should schedule this periodic inspection monthly to quarterly.  

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We see a construction worker rigging up something.

What Are the Most Commonly Used Rigging Materials?

Slings are the most commonly used rigging material because they are required in order to hold suspended loads from heavy equipment like cranes and forklifts.  There are multiple kinds of slings that are made of different materials, including wire, chain, mesh, and synthetic material. The wire rope is the most commonly used sling material. 

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Sling?

Employers and workers must be careful when choosing a sling for a rigging application. Each sling type has pros and cons and not all sling types are appropriate for every job. Selection of a sling type should be based on the properties of the load such as size, weight, temperature, sensitivity, shape, and working conditions, balanced with properties of the sling. Wire slings with wire rope core are very strong and resistant to heat damage. Chains are mostly used for severe lift conditions because of their strength, but they are prone to shock damage. Mesh slings combine wire and chain slings and greatly increase load balance. Synthetic slings are lightweight and best used if the load needs to be protected from damage but are not appropriate in working conditions with high heat, sharp objects, or exposure to acid.  

lift scissor steel

What Is the Difference between Lifting and Rigging?

Lifting is only one of the applications of rigging. Rigging refers to the maneuvering of heavy objects by way of pushing, pulling, lifting or hoisting. Lifting is a way to move heavy objects by moving the object up from below most commonly using a jack.

Get more information on Rigger Certification and Training from Total Equipment Training.

Learn more about our Rigger I NCCCO certification training.

Learn More about Rigger Certification and Training

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.