3.12 – Rigging


Rigging requires training, experience and skill. The following are important points to be aware of when performing rigging operations.


  • Name one member of the crew to act as a signalman, and instruct the equipment operator to recognize signals from that person only. The signalman must be careful not to order a move until he has received the “all ready” signal from each member of the crew.
  • Each rigger must be sure he’s in the clear before he gives an “all ready” to the signalman. When you have positioned the sling or choker you’re using, release it, if possible, before you give the “all ready” signal.
  • If you must hold the sling or choker in position, be sure your hand is clear of pinch points. In fact, your hands should be far enough away so there’s no possibility of a frayed wire catching your glove and jerking your hand into a pinch point. (Of course, frayed cables should never be used.)
  • Watch out for the roll or swing of the load. Since it’s almost impossible to position the hook exactly over the load centre, there will almost always be a swing or roll. Anticipate the direction of the swing or roll and work away from it.
  • Never place yourself between material, equipment or any stationary object and the load swing. Also, stay away from stacked material that may be knocked over by a swinging load.
  • Never stand under the load, and keep from under the boom as much as possible. Chances are that nothing will break, but something might.
  • Look over the place where the load is to be set. Remove unnecessary blocks or other objects that might fly up if struck by the load.
  • When lowering or setting the load, be sure your feet and all other parts of your body are out from under. Set the load down easily and slowly so that if it rolls on the blocking, it will be a slow shift that you can get away from.
  • Identify the designated signalman by the use of distinctive vests, armlets, etc.
  • Use tag lines to control the leads.
  • Qualified riggers only to perform rigging tasks