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Considerations - Question 4

The type of load being lifted, its weight, shape and what it consists of to ensure that the lifting equipment can manage the load.

Ensure that the equipment selected is of adequate strength and is stable for each load, particularly with regard to any mounting or fixing points. An appropriate safety factor is often introduced. Items of lifting equipment and their accessories like this will display a Safe Working Load (SWL) or in some cases Working Load Limit (WLL) or maximum number of persons, which takes into consideration this safety factor. At no time must this safe working load, working load limit or number of persons figure be exceeded. If you don’t know the weight of the load, err on the side of caution.

When lifting goods or other items (not people), it is imperative that you consider the possibility of the goods or items falling or it becoming unstable before you move it. See if you are able to secure the load to make it easier to transport if this hasn’t been done already. One of the ways to reduce the risk of this occurring is to put all of the items into a secure container or package, ensuring that liquid loads are in a sealed container, or by strapping the item securely onto a pallet if lifting points are not provided.

Caution should be taken when lifting hazardous packages, such as those containing radioactive sources or other hazardous material. The suppliers of the materials or equipment should provide relevant information that contains specific precautions to put into place associated with lifting, carrying and transporting such items. Where this is not the case, refer back to the supplier or manufacturer for guidance.

Perhaps you could transport the goods to the required location in another way by breaking up the lift into manageable loads?

Do you know the centre of gravity of the item you are lifting if it is one large item? Lifting something with an unusual centre of gravity may affect the way that you undertake the lift.

Consider whether gloves are needed – these should be considered if the goods pose a risk of cutting or slipping out of your hands when supporting the lifting operation.

Consider the methods of slinging, correct selection of eyebolts, stability etc.