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Crush Points: Hoisting and Rigging

Updated: Jan 21

Major picks are a big part of what we do every day. Whether you are hoisting/rigging with mobile equipment such as a crane, forklift, excavator, or with manual equipment like a chain fall or a chain hoist, there are many crush points which we must be aware of. Proper training is essential to keep workers safe.




Two of the most common crush points include:


  1. Where we place our hands while trying to position or land the load

  2. The not-so-obvious crush points that are created when we position ourselves between the load and a stationary object.


By becoming more aware and consciously paying attention to these two areas you can reduce your risk of crush points daily.


Common Behaviors


Two behaviors that can occur during a normal crane pick are:

  1. Trying to pull the load toward your body

  2. Not recognizing what objects and hazards are around you.

When you pull the load toward you, the natural instinct is to place your hands on the load in order to position it into place. This creates a crush point between the load and anything in the landing zone.


By not recognizing what objects are in the area, you can place your entire body in a crush point created between the flying load and a stationary object in the path. A crush point hazard can be present for you as the rigger, but also for anyone else who may be in the area.


Prevention Methods

Here are a few ways that you can prevent crush points from happening:

  • Pre-plan the operation.

  • Ensure that you have the right equipment and let the equipment do the work.

  • Be aware of your hands and body position during the pick.

  • Keep only essential personnel in the pick area, and ensure that clear access is available.

  • Communicate.

Now, all of these methods may seem basic and a little elementary in nature. What they have in common, is that they require time, effort, and awareness to implement. These areas can be hard to make time for when all you have on your mind is to get the job done as quickly as possible.



To Avoid a Crush Point, Ask Yourself These Questions:

To make your prevention methods more practical and applicable, here are some questions that you can actively ask yourself in order to ensure you are keeping yourself and your coworkers safe:

  • Is the appropriate rigging being used, along with the proper length tag line?

  • Is the access clear for travel and everyone clear of the load that will be hoisted?

  • Are the operator and signal person on the same page (hazard analysis, pick plan, load location and travel path, and signals)?

  • Does the hazard analysis address all crush points?

As always, when you stay aware, you're staying safe.

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