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Chain Pulley Block or Chain Hoist Safety Dos and Don’ts

Use of Chain Pulley Block or Chain Hoist Safety Dos and Don’ts
Chain Block or Chain Hoist Safety Dos and Don’ts

Chain Pulley Block or Chain Hoist Safety Dos and Don’ts



Safety in Chain Hoist or Chain Block: Chain Hoist or Chain Fall or older term – The Chain Pulley Block is a lifting equipment for lifting the load vertically. The Chain hoist can be operated manually or electrically.
Hand operated manual chain hoists are either portable or fixed type and this lifting equipment is available in a versatile configuration. These hoists can be with top hook suspension or with integrated trolley, chain drive and gear trolleys and push hoists on a monorail type.
In some industries like oil and gas installations, Atex manual/powered chain hoists are used to prevent the generation of sparks. These chain hoists are specially designed for use in potentially explosive areas which have spark-proof characteristics to prevent an explosion.
Remote controlled manual chain hoists with sensor are used in subsea operation. Alternative to manual chain hoist, there are other types of hoists widely used in industries and warehouses such as electric hoists, pneumatic hoists and lever chain hoists.
Although chain hoists appear to be simple lifting equipment, they present a high risk of accident due to load or hoist failure. Most accidents caused by chain hoist overload and poor rigging, so it is very important to make sure that the competent operator and rigger pay attention to the hoist lifting capacity.
The "Dos and Don'ts of Safety When Using the Chain Pulley or Chain Hoist" can be used to educate workers and employees on safe lifting operations in the workplace. These safety rules can be posted in the workplace to remind workers of safety precautions when operating the chain hoist.

Hazards in use of Chain Hoist

  1. Using a corroded chain or a physically damaged chain.
  2. Using the lifting hook without a safety catch
  3. Misalignment of chain accessories and pulleys
  4. Interchangeable chains and wrong chain selection.
  5. Lack of inspection and selection of the wrong connection pin
  6. Chain vibration or jerk during lifting operation
  7. Insufficient lubrication and rigid joints
  8. Twisted chains and loose pins
  9. Weak soldering or brazing of chain joints and fatigue cracks
  10. Chain wear and tear
  11. Pinching or crushing at the joint location
  12. Use of a chain hoist by an incompetent operator and rigger
  13. Violation of the permit to work in a restricted area and not to barricade the site.



Risk in using Chain Hoist

  1. Uneven load distribution can lose the tensile strength of the chain, cause the load to fail, and lead to personal injury or property damage.
  2. Wrong chain selection may cause jamming or overload, risk of load dropping.
  3. Selecting the wrong connection pin may result in load failure.
  4. There is a potential risk of chain failure due to wear, corrosion, physical damage and insufficient lubrication.
  5. Excessive vibrations in the chain during the lifting operation can result in uneven speed and potential of load falls.
  6. A twisted chain or loose pins can weaken the chain's capacity.
  7. Overloading can cause chain hoist failure.
  8. There is a risk of pinching or crushing any part of the body, especially the fingers and hand during the lifting operation.
  9. Crushing of feet due to falling load or caught in a heavy chain.
  10. Sometimes sharp metal shavings can get trapped in the chain and can cause cuts to the hand.


Chain hoist or chain block Safety Dos and Don’ts

Appropriate worker training is required to operate the chain hoist or chain pulley block safely. The following points regarding the use of the chain hoist can be communicated to the worker for safe lifting operation and to avoid incidents.

Dos

  1. Choose the correct chain hoist for the load to be lifted and follow the operator's manual and safety instructions.
  2. Physically inspect the condition of chain hoists, safety devices including load brakes, safety latch on hook, limit switch, emergency stop and shock protection before starting the works.
  3. Check the certification of the chain pulley block and lifting accessories.
  4. Ensure the identification and Safe Working Load (SWL) marking on the chain hoist.
  5. Make sure all chain hoist hooks must be provided with safety latch.
  6. Barricade the work area before lifting the load.
  7. Use tag line to control the suspended load.
  8. Make sure that trained and experienced staff are involved in the work.
  9. Make sure that there is no obstacle in the direction of movement of the load.
  10. Stand close to the moving load during horizontal movement for better guidance.
  11. Secure the Chain Fall or Chain Hoist to a structure that can withstand the load.
  12. Position the hook directly above the centre of gravity.
  13. Use the chain pulley block only for vertical lifting.
  14. Use appropriate personal protective equipment during lifting operation.
  15. When lowering a load with a chain hoist, keep your feet clear.
  16. Ensure proper fitting of shackle pins before lifting when used.


Don’ts

  1. Don’t operate the chain hoist or chain pulley block unless you are fully trained and authorized for the lifting work.
  2. Don’t hang the hoist by tip of the top hook on the structure.
  3. Don’t raise, suspend or lower the load in beyond the safe working load.
  4. Don’t overcrowd the hook with multiple slings.
  5. Don’t wrap the hoist chain around the load.
  6. Don’t jerk a load or prevent a sudden loading.
  7. Don’t drop or throw the chain block or chain hoist across the floor surface.
  8. Don’t fix chain hoist to a temporary structure or to a pipeline.
  9. Don’t use damaged hoists, slings and accessories.
  10. Don’t use chain hoist with kinked, twisted or damaged chain.
  11. Don’t stand under the suspended load or load being lifted.
  12. Don’t let the load swing out of control.
  13. Don’t leave the suspended load unattended.
  14. Don’t use chain of hoist as grounding for welding.
  15. Don’t remove or alter or modify or re-rate any accessories.
  16. Don’t use chain hoist for lifting, supporting or transporting personnel.
  17. Don’t stand in the direction of or between the load and the stationary object during horizontal movement of the load by the hoist.


Summary
The use of chain hoists or chain pulley blocks presents a high risk of injury or property damage if the load fails. The main causes of accidents when using chain hoists are due to overloading or poor rigging. Therefore, proper training is required for personnel involved in lifting work.

"Use of chain hoist safety dos and don'ts" can be prepared as pictures for display in the workplace and use to educate workers and employees for safe lifting operation or to remind workers of safety precautions when using the chain hoist in the workplace.

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