Rigging – Tool Box Talks

Rigging looks like an easy operation, one that doesn’t seem to require any skill or experience. But don’t be fooled. Many people who’ve thought that “anyone can do it” have lost fingers or hands, or suffered more serious injuries. We don’t want any one injured while rigging on this job. So, I’m going to point out some of the “do’s and don’ts.” Pay close attention.

PROTECT YOUR HANDS. If it isn’t possible to release the chain, sling, or choker, be sure your hand is clear of pinch points. In fact, keep your hand far enough away so that a frayed wire or splinter on the chain can’t catch your glove and jerk your hand into a pinch point.

WATCH OUT FOR ROCK AND ROLL. It’s almost impossible to position the hook over the load center. So, watch out for a swing or roll. Anticipate the direction of the swing or roll and work away from it. Never place yourself between material, equipment or other stationary objects and the load. Stay away from stacked material that may be knocked over by a swinging load.

STAY OUT FROM UNDER. Never get under a suspended load, and keep out from under the crane’s boom too. The chances are that nothing will break. But are you willing to bet life and limb that it won’t?

SET IT DOWN CAREFULLY. When it’s necessary to guide a load, use a tag line or hook. If you must walk with a load, keep it as close to the ground as possible. Beforehand, look over the spot where the load is to be landed. Remove unnecessary blocks or the objects that might fly up when struck by the load. When lowering, or setting a load, keep your feet and all other parts of your body out from under. Set the load down easily and slowly. Then, if it rolls on the blocking, it will shift slowly and you’ll be able to get away.

TEAMWORK IS THE SECRET OF SAFETY. Teamwork is important on any job to prevent injury to yourself or others. But on a rigging job, this goes double.


Any Critical lifts (Greater than 75% capacity) require the completion of a Critical Lift Rigging Plan that must be reviewed with crew prior to work commencing (Documentation of review is required)

When rigging is used the rigging work is done by a qualified rigger, synthetic slings are protected from: abrasive, sharp or acute edges, and configurations that could cause a reduction of the sling’s rated capacity, such as distortion or localized compression, and when synthetic slings are used, the synthetic sling manufacturer’s instructions, limitations, specifications and recommendations are followed.

The latch must close the throat opening and be designed to retain slings or other lifting devices/accessories in the hook when the rigging apparatus is slack.