Hoist equipment is a common piece of machinery at any construction site. Hoists are designed for transporting construction material, heavy equipment, and even workers from the ground level to the higher areas.
There are different types of hoists such as manual, pneumatic, or electrical depending on the type and amount of load they need to transport.
Since hoist equipment is used for carrying heavy loads and construction personnel, even the smallest of defects or the slightest miscalculations in the design or operation can result in the most serious accidents. Hoist-related accidents can cause damages ranging from project losses to fatal injuries.
Different Types of Hoist Equipment Accidents
There are different types of accidents that faulty hoist equipment can cause such as:
This type of accident involves one or more construction falling off the hoist.
Falling Object Accidents
This type of accident involves employees being struck by an object falling off the hoist.
A hoist can collapse and fall to the ground during operations. This type of accident is caused by a defect or malfunction in the hoisting equipment. It can also happen when the hoist is overloaded.
As the name suggests, this type of accident involves one or more workers getting caught in between the hoist and another object. Workers can sustain severe injuries or get crushed to death.
This type of accident involves workers accidentally making contact with an overhead power line connected to the hoist.
Common Causes of Hoist Equipment Accidents
Although no one can predict when an accident is going to happen, understanding how they happen can help prevent them. Here are some common causes of hoist accidents:
- Failing to detect defects in equipment.
- Loading the hoist with more than it can handle (Overloading).
- Failing to secure construction material and equipment to the hoist.
- Neglecting hoist inspection duties.
- Wear and tear damages left unchecked. The chains, ropes, brakes, hooks, and other components should be checked regularly.
- Human error. Hoist equipment accidents can happen due to a mistake. But sometimes human errors are caused by untrained or unauthorized people operating the hoist.
Ways to Avoid Hoist-Related Accidents
Here are some safety protocols that can help prevent hoist-related accidents in the construction site:
Regular Inspection of Hoist Equipment and Components
Trained and qualified personnel should check hoists and their components regularly. Any damaged or malfunctioning parts of the machinery should be repaired or replaced.
Make Pre-Operational Checks a Habit.
Qualified and trained operators should ALWAYS conduct a pre-operational check to ensure that the equipment is in perfect working condition. First, the operator must check if the hoist can run to the topmost floor and down to the ground floor without load. This hoist exercise will allow the operator to check for any unusual movements or sounds. If the hoisting equipment does anything out of the ordinary, it should be immediately checked for defects.
The Operator MUST Always be Aware of the Weight of the Load.
Overloading can cause your hoist to collapse. So the operator should always check if the load is still within the recommended weight for the specific hoist they are using. The load should not exceed the loading capacity of the hoisting equipment.
The Load Should Be Properly Secured to the Hoist.
Make sure that the construction materials and equipment are properly secured to the hoist to prevent accidents due to falling objects.
Only Allow Trained and Authorized Operators to Run the Hoist.
Trained and authorized operators have the qualifications to operate a hoist. They are equipped with adequate information and experience to handle a hoist. So make sure not to allow unauthorized personnel to operate a hoist.
Everyone on the Construction Site Should Have Adequate Protection/
Construction workers, contractors, engineers, and everyone on the site should have a hard hat, face shield, ear muffs, and other personal protective equipment.
The construction industry is known to be one of the most dangerous industries due to its high rates of work-related accidents. Since a piece of hoist equipment is one of the most common pieces of machinery in construction, it is not a big surprise that there are accidents relating to this equipment. Although fully avoiding accidents is not impossible, there are ways to keep them at a minimum.
To ensure that your hoist equipment is well-maintained, some trusted service providers offer renting services along with qualified operators.