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The Importance Of Riggers And Rigging In Lifting Operations

The Importance Of Riggers And Rigging In Lifting Operations

Mar 10 2021 at 10:25

Workplace safety is the number one priority at many construction sites. Site supervisors constantly stress the importance of safety and signages are erected throughout to educate workers on the proper safety guidelines. 

Safety is especially paramount for any crane operations, where heavy objects have to be transported from one place to the other. It is mandatory to have a rigging team onsite to oversee every aspect of the operation and ensure the safety protocols are adhered to. They play a vital role in ensuring everything is in place before any lifting operation can begin.      

As such, read on below to understand why rigging is important when it comes to lifting operations.

Roles and responsibilities of a rigger

A rigger’s role in an operation cannot be underestimated as an incorrectly rigged load is a significant workplace hazard and threatens everyone’s safety. 

Their responsibilities include:

  • Check the slings and ensuring the rigging angle is correct. 
  • Ensure the crane used can support the weight of the load. 
  • Inspect the slings and shackles and ensuring they are well-maintained and in good working condition. 
  • Make sure the load is secured and stable before lifting commences. 
  • Inspect the load and make sure any loose items are secured and sealed in a suitable container to prevent them from falling off. 
  • Report and flag any defective equipment to the supervisor for replacement.
  • Ensure the load is adequately padded to prevent the container from damaging the sling. 

Inspection of equipment

The rigging team is tasked with conducting regular inspections on the various equipment to ensure they are in pristine condition. 

Things a rigger has to look out for:

  • Verify and ensure there are no cracks or deformation on the lifting equipment.
  • Inspect the hook for any signs of “opening up” as a loose hook may snap if the load is too heavy.
  • Check and ensure the screw pin is always seated. 
  • Ensure the ropes are not frayed, and there are no signs of wear and tear. 

Proper rigging practices

Once the equipment is inspected and deemed to be in working condition, the rigging team will begin the process of rigging the load. The team will also have to verify the correct procedures are in place and up to standard. 

Correct practices that a rigger has to look out for:

  • Ensure the choker hitches are installed correctly, and there is no cutting action on the running line. 
  • Inspect the shackle’s position to make sure it is centralised and not pulled down at an angle. 
  • Make sure the safety latch is in pristine condition, evenly spaced apart and hooked up correctly.
  • Check and hook up any unused slings before lifting to prevent the hook from latching onto any stray object. 
  • Ensure proper paddings are in place around the container’s edges to prevent damage to the sling. 
  • Verify that a shackle is used when joining the various sling eyes. 
  • Make sure the correct screw pin is used to lock the shackle in place. 
  • Ensure a tag line is used to control the load’s movement during the lifting operation. 
  • Make sure shoring planks are used and in place during the unloading process. 


The role and responsibilities listed above are by no means exhaustive. Riggers have to undergo vigorous training before they can step up to the role. It is mandatory to take the WSQ-Performing Rigger and Signalman Task course if one wishes to perform any rigging duties. Personnel must be certified due to the work’s hazardous nature, this guideline is in place to establish a safer workplace for everyone.