An Overview of Suspended Load Safety
The policy of the employers and managers is to create conducive and maintain a safe working environmental condition for their employees. It’s their responsibility to make sure that their employees follow the suspended load safety rules when they work or operate their duties around cranes and hoists.
What is a suspended load?
Forklifts such as boom and jib cranes, wheel loaders and overhead are the primary tools used to suspend loads.
A suspended load is anything that is lifted from the ground. Suspended loads are usually found on slings, pallets, riggings, and other equipment. The larger and heavier the load, the riskier is the job and the surrounding.
Dangers of working under a suspended load The obvious risk is that what goes up have to come down and may not always land as per the plan. At times, the suspended load may crash in a boom. Beware that a small load may also be fatal and hazardous.
If a suspended load happens to fall, it can easily break and split causing successive injuries and severe projectiles. Other impacts include flooding, shattered bones, harmful splashes, and injuries to head, eyes, and other soft tissues of the body.
It may also lead to electric shocks that may affect people’s lives if the falling load happens to come in contact with power lines.
Suspended load safety
a. No operator and employee should be allowed to pass or stand under SUSPENDED LOADS. This is regardless of the height of the load from the ground. Beware that a suspended load is any load that is off the ground and hanging.
b. The operator has the responsibility of warning employees and other personnel to keep off and stay away from suspended loads. Operators should always stop any movements of the crane if anyone tends to get close or enter the suspended load hazard area.
c. The suspended load hazard area is the area directly under the load and the surrounding areas that could pose a danger if the load tends to bounce off another object and land to the ground, freely fall to the ground or fall and strike.
d. Another critical thing to note is that there is no infinite hazard distance around any suspended load. The decision lies with the operator. He must make an informed decision based on various factors such as the length, width, and height, free fall as well as bounce off measurements. The other determinant is whether the load or any part of rigging could hit anyone around just in case the load falls or rigging breaks. If there are any chances of danger, then you are within the suspended load hazard area and should get away.
e. The other suspended load safety is that no operator or employee has the right to handle any suspended load to manoeuvre it into a place.
A tag line or any other standoff device must be used to manage and regulate the movement of the suspended load just in case it has to be pushed, turned, or moved by an employee. These rules guarantee safety when handling suspended loads.
Always remember the primary suspended load safety rule; do not stand under SUSPENDED LOADS. Safety starts with you.