Guide to the Care and Safe Use of Manual Chain Blocks

Always store and handle chain blocks correctly
Always inspect chain blocks and accessories before use and before placing in storage
Always, for top hook suspension, use hooks that are fitted with safety catches, or mouse the hook, ensuring the support fits freely into the seat of the hook.
Always, for trolley suspension, ensure that the chain block is correctly set for the beam width.
Always check that the bottom hook will reach its lowest point without running the load chain completely out.
Always adopt safe slinging practices and the follow instructions for the safe use of the equipment used.

Never expose chain blocks to chemicals especially acids without consulting the supplier.
Never replace the load chain without consulting the supplier.
Never use undue effort to force a chain block to operate.
Never throw or drop a chain block.
Never allow oil or grease in contact with the brake.
Never expose a chain block directly to the elements, water spray, steam etc. without consulting the supplier.

Selecting the Correct Block

Manual chain blocks are available in a range of capacities with various types of suspension. Select the block to be used taking the following into account:

  • Type of suspension – hook, chain block etc.
  • Capacity, class of use and range of lift.
  • Consult the supplier if the chain block is to be used in areas of high risk, exposed to the elements, water steam etc. with hazardous substances or subjected to extremes of temperature.

Storing and Handling Manual Chain Blocks

Never return damaged chain blocks to storage. They should be dry, clean and protected from corrosion.
Store chain blocks by their top suspension with chains clear of the ground. The chains may be wrapped together to facilitate this. Non-portable blocks stored outdoors should be covered and protected from corrosion.
Chain blocks should not be dropped, thrown or dragged across the floor.
Never galvanise or subject the chain, or other load bearing parts to any other plating process without the express approval of the supplier.

Installing and Commissioning

Follow any specific installation instructions issued by the supplier and general requirements for slinging. Try the block to ensure that it operates correctly and that the brake is effective. Ensure that the chain is not twisted; it must reach the lowest point required without the chain running fully out.

Using Manual Chain Blocks Safely

Do not attempt any lifting operations unless you understand the use of the equipment and slinging procedures.
Do not use defective chain blocks, slings or accessories and never use the chain block as a sling.
Check the slinging arrangement, that the block is safely rigged and that the chain is not twisted, particularly in the case of multi-fall chain blocks.
Check that the load is free to move before commencing a lift and that the landing area has been prepared.
Keep fingers and toes etc. clear especially when lowering loads.

In Service Inspection and Maintenance

Follow any specific maintenance instructions issued by the supplier but in particular keep load chains lubricated and check the operation of the brake. Brakes must be kept free of oil and grease. Never replace the load chain without consulting the supplier.
Regularly inspect the chain block and, in the event of the following defects, refer the block to a Competent Person for thorough examination: illegible markings; wear; damage to trolley, hooks and fittings; damaged or distorted slack end anchor; chains worn, bent, notched, stretched, corroded; chains that do not hang freely, are twisted or jump; load slips; damaged casing.
For a PDF version of this page please click here: Care and Safe Use of Manual Chain Blocks