Guide to the Care and Safe Use of Horizontal Plate Clamps

Always store and handle horizontal plate clamps correctly
Always inspect horizontal plate clamps and accessories before use and before placing in storage
Always put the clamps onto the plate as far as they will go.
Always work within the angles and reeve in the manner for which the clamps are designed.
Always use two or more pairs of clamps in conjunction with a spreader if the plate to be lifted is likely to sag longitudinally.
Always take great care to ensure that the plate is fully supported before attempting to release the clamps.

Never use less than two horizontal plate clamps to lift a plate.
Never change the method of reeve.
Never exceed the maximum thickness for which the clamps are designed.
Never attempt to rotate from the horizontal to the vertical or vice versa with horizontal plate clamps.
Never obliquely load horizontal plate clamps unless they have been designed for that purpose.
Never force or wedge a hook or other fitting into the eye of the clamp.

Selecting the Correct Horizontal Plate Clamp

Horizontal plate clamps are available in a range of capacities and designs. They may utilise a cam to grip the plate or have a plain toe and rely on friction to hold the plate. They are intended to be used in pairs with a common sling. Select the horizontal plate clamp to be used and plan the lift taking the following into account:

  • Type of horizontal plate clamp – plain toe or cam.
  • Capacity and plate thickness.
  • Type of sling.


Storing and Handling Horizontal Plate Clamps

Never return damaged or contaminated horizontal plate clamp to storage. They should be dry, clean and protected from corrosion.
Horizontal plate clamps should never be dropped or thrown down.

Using Horizontal Plate Clamps Safely

Do not use defective plate clamps and accessories.
Always use horizontal plate clamps in pairs attached to the correct type, size and length of sling for which they are designed.
Position the clamps correctly. Place the clamps over the centre of gravity of the plate. If the plate is long and has a tendency to bend use two or more pairs of clamps in conjunction with a spreader beam, equally disposed about the centre of gravity, to balance the horizontal clamping forces.
If the plates are likely to sag transversely, clamps which grip the plate by a cam must be used.
Care must be taken to ensure that no one clamp takes more than its W.L.L.
Put clamps on the plate as far as they will go.
Do not use clamps at an angle to the edge of the plate unless they are designed for that purpose.

In Service Inspection and Maintenance

Horizontal plate clamps should be cleaned and any moving parts lubricated at appropriate intervals, unless the suppliers specific instructions indicate otherwise.
Regularly inspect horizontal plate clamps and, in the event of the following defects, refer the horizontal plate clamp to a Competent Person for thorough examination: wear; damage or distortion to fixed and moving jaws; frame opening out; cracked, insecure, worn or bent pins, bolts etc.; corrosion; illegible markings.

WARNING: Teeth of jaws must not be re-sharpened or re- cut unless this has been specifically approved by the maker.

For a PDF version of this page please click here; Care and Safe Use of Horizontal Plate Clamps