How to avoid the two main causes of hoist accidents

How to avoid the two main causes of hoist accidents

Two prime causes of accidents are overloading and poor rigging.  To prevent accidents, we suggest these guidelines:

  • Know the hoist lifting capacity
  • Always know the weight of the object you are lifting
  • Never exceed the working load limit
  • Train operators on proper rigging techniques as well as hoist operation
  • Have rigging handbooks and proper equipment available for use.

Know your hoist’s constraints, and pay attention to the “pull to lift full load” values.  Each hoist is designed to lift under the power of one person.  It should not take two people to pull on hand chain, or a lever arm.  Never put an extender (cheater bar) on a lever tool.  This is a sure sign you are overloading the hoist.  If it takes 58 lbs of pull force to raise one ton, any pull force over this value will overload the hoist.  Consult the manufacturer’s specifications and train your operators on what each pull force should be.

Many domestic (and some foreign) hoist manufacturers offer overload protection devices for manual hoists, either as standard equipment, or as an added cost option.  This device protects the user, the overhead structure and the hoist from an “excessive overload condition.”  Several hoist manufacturers utilize a friction type clutched hub as part of the hoist’s chain wheel or lever arm. When the pull on the lever or hand chain is great enough to slip the clutch and prevent the load from being lifted, the operator becomes aware that the hoist is overloaded.

The full version of the above article was published in the November/December 2008 issue of Industrial Lift and Hoist magazine.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

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4 Replies to “How to avoid the two main causes of hoist accidents”

  1. dear sir
    lifting load is 3 T and we have used chain block and wire rope connect together to load. After than we have lifting with crane. (wire rope + chain block) Because my wire rope is short so we should connect the wire rope and chain block together. Is this the right method?


  2. Thanks for your question. It is difficult for us to answer this question without seeing the exact application you are referencing. It is not too clear how chain falls are being used in the description of your application.

  3. Dear Sir,
    I have one question regarding lifting of load by using manual chain block.
    lifting load of job is 6 MT and we have used two chain blocks of 5 T capacity each (assuming it will have capacity of 10 T).
    Is the right method ? Sir please guide.


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