Tips to Use Construction Hoists Safely

Construction Hoists
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: January 17, 2023
  • Updated On: January 17, 2023

Workplace safety is essential in any industry, especially in construction. Thousands of lost-time injuries occur yearly due to injuries sustained while working near or with cranes, hoists, and other similar equipment.

One could have prevented most hoist-related accidents if operators had proper training in hoist operation, safe installation, inspection, and maintenance procedures.

The benefits of using construction hoists for your project are endless. So there’s no way to minimize its use on the construction side. However, there exist various safety precautions that you must consider to use material hoists ideally, eliminating the chances of hazards.

So, today we will dive into understanding preventive measures to use a construction hoist safely. To purchase or require assistance with construction hoists, you must visit Conveying and Hoisting Solutions for a quality solution.

What is a Construction Hoist?

A hoist is a powerful device used to lift or move materials. Lifting force gets provided by a drum (or wheel) wrapped with ropes (wire or fibre) or chains.

Material hoists help move heavy objects up and down in industrial environments or construction sites. Additionally, materials, tools, and equipment can get loaded into the building with a crane using the material elevator.

What Are The Different Types of Construction Hoists?

There are many types of construction hoists used in construction projects worldwide. We can generally divide types of material hoists into two main categories: Manual Hoists and Power Hoists.

Manual Hoists

Manual hoists, sometimes called chain halyards, are ratchet (lever-operated) or hand-chain-operated hoists. Manual hoists use two chains: hand chains that control lifting and load chains that carry loads.

Pros of using Manual Hoists are

  • Manual Hoists are more easily transportable than power hoists.
  • They are less expensive.
  • Manual construction hoists can handle more wear and tear for an extended period.

Cons of using Manual Hoists are

  • Manual Hoists require more workforce for lifting heavy materials.
  • They take longer to lift or move materials than power hoists.
  • Manual construction hoists cannot lift every type of construction material.

Power Hoists

An electric hoist is one of many hoists, and there are three types – hydraulic, air/pneumatic, and electric.

Pros of using Power Hoists

  • They lift materials more quickly than manual construction hoists.
  • They provide broader lifting capabilities.
  • Controllers operate them, so there is no need for a workforce.

Cons of using Power Hoists

  • Power hoists are prone to overheating issues over some time.
  • If any glitches occur in power hoists, they will take much time to get fixed.
  • Power hoists are more expensive than manual ones.

What Preventive Measures Should You Take Before Operating a Construction Hoist?

Fulfill all PPE Requirements

All PPE required in the work area, including eye, hand, and/or hearing protection should be done before any lifting operation begins. Additionally, lifting loads more than 5 feet increases the risk of head injury. It can get minimized by wearing a helmet when lifting loads over 5 feet; fitters, spotters, and other people must wear head protection.

Complete Assessment of the Construction Area

A material hoist should be suitable for each project. Take a broad look at your workspace, the characteristics of the structure, and how workers can move materials safely. Familiarity with the physical configuration of the building, the site environment, and the work to be performed will help you determine the type of material hoist best suited for your project and how best to use it to move material safely.

It is also important to remember that building designs have changed significantly over time. It provided greater possibilities for lifting and moving materials between elevators and buildings.

Regular Inspection of the Construction Hoists

It is immensely crucial to inspect the material hoists before every operation. You should check hooks, ropes, brakes, and limit switches daily for wear or damage. Make sure the top and bottom hooks can rotate before lifting the load. Replace worn, damaged, or corroded chain or wire rope immediately. Tag any broken chains or ropes and remove them from service.

Perform Monthly Checks

Daily inspections are mainly visual inspections, but monthly equipment inspections enable maintenance personnel to improve and adjust the hoists to get used safely. Monthly hoist maintenance includes ensuring that mounting points are secured, torque specifications are correct, and components have not loosened during use. If a problem is there, maintenance personnel can make repairs, adjustments, or replacements to keep the hoist running.

Know the Hoist Load Limit

Always ensure never to exceed a load of material while using a hoist. Make sure to lubricate the wire rope and chain. Additionally, lift just above the load. If it is not centred, the load may swing when lifted. Wind the hook firmly at the highest point of the hook area. Mounting this way aligns the hook support with the hook shank.

Things to Avoid When Using a Construction Hoist

There are various silly mistakes construction workers make that contribute to higher chances of hoist accidents. So, make sure to avoid these mistakes to have a successful and safe hoist operation every time.

  • Using hoisting equipment to lift people to another site is not safe. Only use materials to move by a construction hoist.
  • Know how much load your material hoist can take. If you exceed the load, the hoist operation will not be successful.
  • If you are using power hoists, inspect them before and after every lift. Power hoists are prone to overheating, leading to severe damage if you don’t notice it early.
  • Never leave suspended loads unattended.
  • Make sure that the sling does not hang from the load hook. Attach the sling hook to the sling ring when carrying the sling on a load.

Final Words

Construction sites around the globe use hoists and other lifting equipment to assist in various tasks, from lifting heavy equipment to moving goods and materials into buildings. However, slight negligence can cause serious health hazards and damage the construction site and property. So, always take all the safety measures and use this article as a guide on safely using construction hoists.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.