Operating heavy lifting devices is a serious business. There are many moving parts and hazards to look out for, so proper operation is essential to improve the productivity and safety of your job site. But how do you operate a heavy lifting device in the safest, most responsible manner? Let’s go over the best practices for operating heavy lifting devices.  

Employer Responsibilities

In order to properly operate heavy lifting devices, both the operator and employer have to carry out certain responsibilities. The employer must make sure that all heavy lifting devices meet ASME standards. This is accomplished by establishing an equipment inspection, testing, and maintenance program for your entire fleet. This must be carried out by a trained professional on a regular basis. It is also important for the employer to keep track of all maintenance services carried out. Employers should have this information at the ready, as well as operating instructions for their equipment. This includes instructions on assembly, disassembly, operation, and maintenance.

vacuum lift systems

Employers must also utilize the proper heavy lifting device for the job. Different lifting devices work best in certain applications and it is the employer’s responsibility to use the right one for the job. 

Employers of heavy lifting device operators are responsible for hiring the right people. Operators should have knowledge and experience in all aspects of heavy lifting operations, as well as the certifications required to operate the machinery. They must have a clear understanding of the ins and outs of load capacity, hand signals, equipment shift inspections and other lifting requirements set out by ASME. 

Finally, it is the employer’s responsibility to assess lifting conditions on the day of operation. Adverse temperatures, lightning, wind, rain, and fog all affect heavy lifting devices. The employer must be able to accurately assess whether or not conditions are safe for operation. 

Operator Responsibilities

Heavy lifting device operators are responsible for visual inspections of the equipment to ensure it is safe to use and all controls are working properly. For lifting magnets, they must inspect the magnet face and surface of the load and check for foreign materials and smoothness. They must also look for damage on control handles of the magnet as well as inspect the condition of all indicators and meters involved with the operation. For vacuum lifting equipment, operators must inspect the load surface and vacuum pad seal for debris. Operators must also check the condition of lift controls, indicators, meters, and pumps. 

Although their employer will evaluate lifting conditions before operations start, operators are also responsible for assessing conditions. They must look for conditions like weather but must also make sure that lifting operations are carried out properly throughout the day.  This includes the functionality of the equipment as well as making sure all personnel are clear of the lifting area. 

Operators are also responsible for checking all inspection and maintenance records to assess the condition of the equipment. They must be able to consider this information as well as their observations during operation and decide when it is time to take equipment out of service.  Finally, heavy lifting device operators must be able to effectively communicate on the job. Open communication is essential for safe operation.

vacuum hoist

Heavy Lifting Device Experts

Regardless of the type of application requirements, Permadur Industries has the right equipment for your business needs. Our staff can work with you to determine the best solution for your particular needs and will help educate and train your staff on the differences in the application and use of our equipment correctly, effectively and safely. We are an American manufacturer of below-the-hook lifting equipment that specializes in permanent lifting magnets. We offer magnets in bipolar, tripolar and five polar orientations enabling us to tailor the design of the magnet system to your specific lifting needs.  We are also here to support your needs year after year with maintenance after installation support. Contact us for more information.