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.
Some don’ts of using chain block equipment
- If you haven’t received the necessary training and authorization for the lifting job, don’t use the chain hoist or chain pulley block.
- Never suspend the hoist from the top hook’s point on the structure.
- Don’t exceed the safe working load while raising, suspending, or lowering the load.
- Don’t jam too many slings onto the hook.
- Avoid wrapping the weight with the hoist chain.
- Never jolt a load or stop it from loading quickly.
- Avoid dragging the chain block or chain hoist across the floor by dropping or throwing them.
- Never attach a chain hoist to a pipeline or a temporary building.
- Do not utilize attachments, slings, or hoists that are damaged.
- Use caution while using a chain hoist with bent, twisted, or broken chains.
- Avoid standing below a weight that is being raised or suspended.
- Don’t allow the burden to get out of hand.
- Keep an eye on the suspended load.
- For welding, avoid using the chain of the hoist as the ground.
- No accessories may be removed, changed, modified, or rated differently.
- Never lift support or transport people with a chain hoist.
- When the load is being moved horizontally by the hoist, avoid standing in the load’s path or in the space between the load and a stationary item.
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 the 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 Lock n Lift environment. However, like all lifting equipment, they must be treated with respect and used by properly trained personnel.