Richard, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks:
“Is it acceptable to use lever tools to shorten or lengthen slings? Are there any concerns of locking up the lever tool brake?”
Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers:
Your first step is to go to the manufacturer to make sure the lever tool is designed for hoisting. If the lever tool can be used for hoisting, then you need to pre-plan the lift. To do this, you need to know the share of load and go through the calculations to determine the center of gravity. From there you will be able to size your tensions and choose the right lever tool for the application.
Locking Up a Lever Tool Brake
In general, lever tools are defined by the type of brake they use:
- Weston-Type, that utilizes friction discs and a ratchet and pawl
- Ratchet & Pawl, that is a more archaic design similar to an old car jack.
To avoid locking up the hoist, we recommend a lever tool with a Weston-type brake for hoisting applications. These tools rely on friction and provide a smoother operation. To use the Weston-type brake tool you will need to release the load on the brake before removing the load. When the load is a few inches from the ground, switch the hoist to unload and release the tension by operating the handle. This will prevent the hoist from locking. If this is not an option, then you will need to use a ratchet-and-pawl-type lever tool to prevent the hoist from locking when the tension is removed.
Want to learn more about properly rigging and lifting a load? Watch our August Safety Webinar entitled “Determining the Center of Gravity.”