Critical Lift: What You Need to Know

  1. Definition of a Critical Lift
  2. Varying Criteria for Classification
  3. Elements Associated with a Critical Lift
  4. Importance of a Detailed Critical Lift Plan
  5. Key Components of a Critical Lift Plan
  6. The Importance of Reviewing the Critical Lift Plan
  7. Choose a Reliable Rigging Contractor for Critical Lifts

Definition of a Critical Lift

A critical lift is a rigging activity that requires a comprehensive plan to minimize risk. While there is no universally-accepted single definition or industry standard for what constitutes a critical lift, it is commonly defined as a lift that exceeds 75% of the crane's rated capacity or requires the use of multiple cranes.

Varying Criteria for Classification

The criteria for classifying a lift as critical may vary among different agencies and industry associations. Some organizations may have specific guidelines and thresholds for determining when a lift is considered critical, while others may rely on the judgment and expertise of the rigging professionals involved. It is important to consult the relevant regulations and guidelines in your jurisdiction to determine the specific criteria for classifying a lift as critical.

Elements Associated with a Critical Lift

There are several elements that are commonly associated with a critical lift. These elements include:

- Use of more than one crane: Critical lifts often require the use of multiple cranes to safely lift and position the load.

- Loads exceeding 75% of the crane's rated capacity: When a load exceeds 75% of the crane's rated capacity, it increases the risk of instability and potential failure.

- Lifting of personnel: If personnel are being lifted along with the load, it adds an additional level of complexity and risk to the lift.

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- Load suspension above rigging personnel: When the load is suspended directly above the rigging personnel, it increases the risk of injury in the event of a failure or accident.

- Loads not in view of the crane operator: If the load is not in the direct line of sight of the crane operator, it can make it more difficult to accurately position and control the load.

- Loads of exceptional value: Critical lifts often involve loads that are of exceptional value, such as delicate or expensive equipment, where any damage or failure could result in significant financial loss.

- Loads that have the potential for becoming unstable during rigging: Some loads may have the potential to become unstable during the rigging process, requiring careful planning and execution to ensure stability and safety.

Importance of a Detailed Critical Lift Plan

Given the complexity and potential risks associated with critical lifts, it is crucial to have a detailed critical lift plan in place. A critical lift plan outlines the specific steps and procedures that need to be followed to ensure the safe and successful execution of the lift.

A detailed critical lift plan provides a roadmap for the rigging crew, ensuring that all necessary precautions and safety measures are taken into account. It helps to identify potential hazards and risks, and allows for the implementation of appropriate control measures to mitigate those risks.

Key Components of a Critical Lift Plan

A comprehensive critical lift plan should include the following key components:

- Load size and weight: The plan should clearly specify the size and weight of the load to be lifted, as this information is crucial for determining the appropriate equipment and rigging techniques.

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- Required equipment: The plan should outline the specific equipment that will be used for the lift, including cranes, slings, shackles, and any other rigging gear.

- Boom length and angle: The plan should specify the required boom length and angle for the crane, taking into account factors such as the height and reach required to safely position the load.

- Crane and boom positioning: The plan should detail the specific positioning of the crane and boom, ensuring that it is in the optimal location to safely lift and maneuver the load.

- Required personnel: The plan should identify the personnel who will be involved in the lift, including the crane operator, riggers, signal persons, and any other necessary personnel.

- Crane capacity: The plan should clearly state the crane's rated capacity and ensure that the load does not exceed this capacity.

- Sequencing: The plan should outline the specific sequence of steps that need to be followed during the lift, including the order in which different components will be lifted and positioned.

- Environmental conditions: The plan should take into account any environmental conditions that may impact the lift, such as wind speed, temperature, and visibility.

The Importance of Reviewing the Critical Lift Plan

Once the critical lift plan has been prepared, it is essential to thoroughly review it with the rigging crew prior to the lift. This review ensures that all team members are familiar with the plan and understand their roles and responsibilities. It also provides an opportunity to address any questions or concerns and make any necessary adjustments to the plan.

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During the review, it is important to emphasize the critical nature of the lift and the importance of following the plan precisely. Any deviations from the plan can increase the risk of accidents and failures. By conducting a thorough review, the rigging crew can ensure that everyone is on the same page and fully prepared for the lift.

Choose a Reliable Rigging Contractor for Critical Lifts

When it comes to critical lifts, it is crucial to choose a reliable and experienced rigging contractor. R. Baker & Son is a rigging contractor with extensive experience in conducting critical lifts and ensuring high safety standards. They have a team of skilled professionals who are trained in the latest rigging techniques and have a deep understanding of the complexities and risks associated with critical lifts.

By choosing a reputable rigging contractor like R. Baker & Son, you can have peace of mind knowing that your critical lift will be executed safely and efficiently. Their expertise and attention to detail will help to minimize risks and ensure the successful completion of your critical lift project.

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