Safe Hoist Operation for Lifting Stone
When a stone needs to be removed or set back in place, lifting is required. A hoist or crane can be used whenever the stone cannot be moved manually. So, it is important to keep safety in mind when operating a crane or hoist. You should be familiar with the manual that came with the equipment you are using so you can operate it properly. All people involved in the lift should wear hard hats and steel toe boots. Additional safety instructions can be found on the internet at The Office of Health, Safety, and Security.
Before operating the crane you first need to perform a good inspection. Check for kinks, cracks, or broken welds on all the parts of your hoist. This way you will be able to tell if your crane was damaged either in storage or while transporting to its location of operation. Your next step is to test your equipment before you use it. Make sure the crane pulley or hydraulic lift is doing what it is supposed to do. This is to minimize the risk of equipment failure during the lifting process, causing unnecessary damage to the stone you intent to repair. Also, this will prevent unnecessary damage to personnel around the work site.
If you are using a strap designed to grip the stone as it is lifted then proceed to the next step. If the strap or rope did not come with the equipment make sure it is rated for the intended load. If using rope to connect the stone to the crane then be certain you are using the correct knots. The recommended knot for this situation is an icicle knot, which will hold to smooth cylinder shaped surfaces during the lifting stage. Information on how to tie an icicle knot can be found at The Expert Village. Whatever method you are using, strap or rope, be sure to test it before operating the crane. This can be done by simply pulling on the part that connects to the crane. If the strap/rope begins to slip off it needs to be redone.
Now it is time to operate the crane. Make sure the materials you are using to lift the stone will not damage it in any way. Safely lift the stone while keeping all personnel out from under it.
Once your job is done be sure to inspect the equipment again. If the crane was damaged in any way during operation it can be addressed before being used again. Traveling to a work site only to find out your equipment is broken is a terrible way to start the day.
- Know / Understand / Respect your equipment
- Go home and celebrate