If you routinely use hoists to lift heavy materials in your industrial facility, here are some steps you should take to minimise the risk of any accidents occurring whilst this equipment is in use.
Do not allow employees to work or walk underneath the hoist whilst it is in operation
One of the reasons why elevated hoist lifting systems are used in so many industrial facilities is because they allow large quantities of materials to be moved around a building without adding to the traffic congestion inside the facility (caused by equipment like forklifts and scissor lifts).
However, a hoist's ability to elevate materials several metres above the floor also means that employees could get seriously injured if a hoist malfunctions and releases the materials it was lifting whilst these people are working or walking underneath it.
Being struck by a large number of heavy items that have fallen from a great height could leave a person with severe, potentially-fatal injuries, particularly if the items in question are sharp or contain dangerous substances (such as erosive chemicals, for example).
As such, it is best to discourage employees from performing work or walking directly underneath the hoist whilst it is being used to lift materials.
If you want to ensure that your staff members do not accidentally walk below the hoist, you may want to place warning signs or a small barrier on the floor in this area of your facility.
Double-check the weight of loads before attaching them to the hoist
Each make and model of hoist has its own specified weight limit. If this limit is repeatedly exceeded (i.e. if your employees routinely attach excessively-heavy loads to the hoist), the hoist will eventually break.
If the hoist breaks whilst it is in use, the materials it is transporting could fall to the floor. This could not only result in people nearby being struck and injured by airborne debris but could also result in the materials themselves being destroyed and any expensive equipment they land on being broken.
As such, it is absolutely vital for employees to double-check the weight of the materials that they intend to attach to the hoist. They should do this using a weighing scales that is regularly calibrated to ensure that it provides accurate figures.
They should never try to estimate the weight of a load by visually examining it, as they could easily underestimate its weight and subsequently damaging the hoist by overloading it.