SYNOPSIS: Rigger responsibilities

By Bill Smith11 November 2019

ASME offers clarification on Rigger safety standards.

OSHA Standard 1926.251 outlines inspection criteria for rigging equipment used for material handling. The standards states: Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use on each shift and as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe. Defective rigging equipment shall be removed from service.

Lead pohto

“The construction industry relies on ASME standards to lessen the possibility of unclear liability in incidents involving cranes or related equipment.”

The OSHA standard goes on to address everything from minimum sling lengths to safe operating temperatures; however, it doesn’t provide clear answers to questions of Rigger responsibility, which fall upon not just the Rigger, but the Site Supervisor and Lift Director as well. For clarification on responsibilities, it’s important to look to ASME.

The heavy construction industry has long relied on ASME standards to lessen the possibility of unclear liability in the event of incidents involving cranes or related equipment. ASME B30.5 is one of ASME’s most-requested safety standards, and its role in the building, construction and crane and rigging industries is significant. As with most standards, B30.5 has evolved a number of times over the years. It’s first iteration was published in 1968, and then revised in 1989. The latest version, released in 2018, contains a new section called Rigger Responsibilities.

Rigger responsibilities

  • Chapter 5-3 of ASME B30.5 states that riggers at a load-handling activity are (at a minimum) responsible for the following:
  • Ensuring the weight of the load and its approximate center of gravity have been obtained.
  • Selecting and inspecting the proper rigging equipment and ensuring said equipment complies with the applicable ASME B30 Volume.
  • Ensuring the rated load of the rigging equipment is selected and configured such that it is sufficient for the load to be handled.
  • Properly attaching the rigging equipment to the hook, shackle,or other load-handling device.
  • Ensuring the rigging equipment is protected from abrasion, cutting or other damage during load-handling activities.
  • Rigging the load to ensure balance and stability.
  • Knowing and understanding the applicable signals for equipment in use.
  • Installing and using a tag line when additional load stabilization is necessary.

When it comes to a safe and successful lift, everyone must play their part. Having a new standard for Rigger responsibilities makes creating a culture of safety and properly managing your risk easier than ever. Make sure you’ve thoroughly read and reviewed ASME B30.5 and OSHA Standard 1926.251 and make sure your team has too.

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