By Henry Brozyna
When it comes to lever hoists, utility professionals rely on a variety of different hoists to get the job done. One of the most popular hoists for utility applications is the lever strap hoist—due to its non-conductive handle and strap as well as its light weight.
When using a lever strap hoist, or any hoist, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines to ensure safe use as well as inspect it regularly to prevent accidents or product failures. The last thing you want is to be out on the job and have your lever hoist fail, putting both you and your team in harm’s way.
Before operating the hoist, it is important to ensure the following:
• The supporting structure or means of anchoring has a load capacity at least equal to that of the hoist.
• The operator is familiar with all operating controls of the hoist and is educated on any warnings on the hoist as well as the operator’s portion of the manual provided by the hoist manufacturer.
• Any necessary adjustments or repairs, or known defects, are promptly reported by the operator to an appointed person.
• The hoist is only used in locations that allow the operator to be free of the load.
• The operator has access to the operating lever.
• The operator does not operate a hoist that bears an out-of-order sign. The hoist must be in working order before use.
• The operator does not adjust or repair a hoist unless qualified to perform maintenance on the hoist.
• The hoist is not operated by anything other than the hand power of one operator.
• The hoist is not operated with an extension on the lever.
It is important that all of these guidelines are followed prior to hoist use.
Understanding Lever Strap Hoist Inspection
In addition to ensuring these pre-operational guidelines are met, it is also important to ensure the hoist is regularly inspected. Lever hoist inspections are broken down into two categories: frequent inspections and periodic inspections.
Frequent Hoist Inspections for Your Lever Strap Hoist
Frequent inspections are what we refer to as pre-operational inspections. In addition to these inspections, visual observations should be conducted during regular service of these hoists to check for any damage. Any deficiencies should be carefully examined and a determination made as to whether they constitute a hazard.
During the inspection, it is important to check the following:
• All functional operating mechanisms for maladjustment interfering with proper operation;
• Hooks and latches for deformation, chemical damage, cracks and wear;
• Hook latches for proper attachment and operation;
• Levers for bends, cracks or other damage; and
• Damage to the support of the hoist.
Also, at the beginning of each shift, the web strap should be visually inspected to identify any major damage that could cause an immediate hazard, such as melting or charring, weld spatter, broken stitching, damaged eyes, etc. To keep your web strap in good working order, it is important to ensure they are properly maintained. The do this, follow these guidelines:
• Web straps should be stored in a way that prevents damage or deterioration.
• Web straps should be protected from dirt, oil, water and other foreign materials.
• During installation, care should be taken to avoid dragging the web strap in the dirt or around objects that will scrape, nick, cut or induce other damage.
Periodic Hoist Inspections for Your Lever Strap Hoist
Periodic inspections are thorough, detailed inspections that may require complete disassembly of the hoist. These should be performed by an appointed person. These inspections should include:
• A designated person determining whether conditions found during the inspection constitute a hazard and if disassembly is required;
• Checking fasteners for evidence of loosening; and
• Checking the web strap, suspension frame, levers, yokes, shafts, pins, rollers and locking/clamping devices for evidence of wear, corrosion, cracks and distortion.
Special care should be taken when inspecting sections of the web strap for rapid deterioration, including sections:
• In contact with saddles, equalizer sheaves or other sheaves where web strap travel is limited;
• At or near the ends where broken threads or cuts may be evident; and
• Subject to reverse bends that are normally hidden during visual inspection, such as sections passing over sheaves.
To download a full lever strap hoist inspection checklist, visit www.cmworks.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Henry Brozyna has 30 years of experience in the material handling industry. His areas of expertise include hoist and crane inspection and maintenance, rigging techniques and inspection, and load securement. He is a certified CMCO Hoist Maintenance Instructor, a certified Lift Director, and a vertified CIC Rigger/Signal Person.