There’s no way around it; construction is a dangerous field. Whether it be electric shock or falling items, there are thousands of ways a construction worker might sustain injuries while at work. But there are ways to minimize the risk. Read along to learn why you should avoid working under a suspended load, one of the most important rules for a safety-focused construction site.
What Is a Suspended Load
A suspended load is anything on a construction site that is hanging above the ground. The loads may be attached to pallets, slings, riggings, or other pieces of equipment. They could hang from wheel loaders, cranes, or forklifts. The heavier the suspended load, the greater the risk it poses to the construction workers below.
Concerns When Working With a Suspended Load
Aside from the obvious concern that a suspended load could dislodge and crush the people below, construction workers could also sustain injuries from how the object breaks upon hitting the ground. When a load collapses, it can break into thousands of deadly projectiles, all of which could tear through a person’s bone or skin. Employers should communicate these dangers to their employees so that they know why they should avoid working under a suspended load.
The 10 Feet Rule
Not only should construction workers avoid working below a suspended load, but according to a general rule, they should strive to be several yards away. The “10 feet rule” prohibits employees from being within a 10-foot radius of the suspended load. With that distance, workers have a substantial cushion between themselves and possible projectiles if the load were to fall.
Other Safety Tips for Suspended Loads
Before you lift anything overhead, you want to make sure your chain grade can handle the weight. Rigging equipment should undergo frequent testing to ensure the highest quality performance. Every employee involved in lifting should receive proper training on the rules and procedures. Finally, since rigging equipment can be loud, employees should have a full understanding of the different hand signals the company uses to communicate across distances.