Safety First With Chain Blocks

Safety First With Chain Blocks

Chain blocks also known as lever blocks are indispensable on worksites where heavy duty lifting is required.

This simple but useful lifting equipment is found on almost every industrial construction site around the world.

Incorrect use and poor maintenance of the equipment can, however, result in injury or death. Most accidents of this type are caused by human error. Operators should understand slinging procedures and the operation of chain blocks before ever attempting to use them.

Safe Use of Chain Blocks

Chain blocks come in a range of capacities and types of suspension. Before purchasing yours, you should consider the application for which you are buying it. The capacity of the chain blocks that you purchase must exceed the capacity of the loads that you intend to lift.

Chain blocks are usually fitted with a number of safety features. These may include limit switches, load brakes and hook latches. All chain blocks should also be equipped with an emergency shut off switch. The operator should know where these are and how to use them.

Chain blocks are designed for vertical lifting and should only be used in such applications.

Storage and Handling of Lever Blocks

Storage and handling of chain blocks are of paramount importance. Inspect all lever blocks and the accompanying accessories for damage and wear and tear prior to use and before storing. Never place damaged chain blocks into storage.

Store chain blocks by hanging them from the top suspension hook and ensure that chains do not touch the ground. Non-portable chain blocks that remain in place should be covered when not in use.

Keep chain blocks out of the elements unless you have discussed the safety of doing so with the supplier of the equipment.

Maintenance of Chain Blocks

Never use acids or other chemicals on the lever block’s chains and don’t replace the chain with a longer one without discussing it with the supplier of chain blocks.

Unless agreed to by the supplier never plate a chain block or any other load bearing components.

Failure of lifting equipment can cause serious injury. Lever blocks, like all other lifting equipment, must undergo regular inspections by qualified personnel to ensure that they remain fit for use.

Safe Operation of Chain Blocks

  • Ensure that the bottom hook will reach the lowest position before the chain runs out.
  • Never lift a load that is heavier than the lifting capacity of the lever blocks or chains that you use. The Working Load Limit should be displayed on the lever blocks.
  • Never leave a lifted load unattended and never stand beneath a load. Do not lift the load over other people.
  • Lifting hooks must have a safety catch and must be shaped to prevent the load from slipping out or falling off. Ensure that the hook latches are all working prior to operation of the chain blocks.
  • Always ensure that the load is seated properly on the hook before lifting.

Chain blocks are useful tools in any lifting environment. However, like all lifting equipment, they must be treated with respect and used by properly trained personnel.

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Safety First With Chain Blocks