Guide to the Care and Safe Use of Powered Hoists

Always store and handle power operated blocks correctly.
Always inspect the block 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 or rope completely out.
Always raise the load just clear then halt the lift to ensure the integrity of the block before continuing with the lift. If the block has more than one speed, start with the slow speed.

Never expose chain blocks to chemicals especially acids without consulting the supplier.
Never expose a chain block directly to the elements, water spray, steam etc. without consulting the supplier.
Never replace the load chain without consulting the supplier.
Never use the load chain or rope to form a sling.
Never change the direction of motion without allowing the motor to stop.
Never allow persons to ride on power operated blocks.

Selecting the Correct Block

Power operated blocks are available in a range of capacities, designs and suspensions with electric or pneumatic power options. Select the block to be used taking the following into account.

  • Type of block – chain, wire rope – electric, pneumatic – class of use – capacity and range of lift etc.
  • Type of suspension – hook, trolley, fixed.
  • Speeds, and control – single speed, dual speed – pendant push button, pull cord, remote etc.

Power operated blocks are designed for lifting only.
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, e.g. acids or chemicals, or subjected to extremes of temperature.

Storing and Handling Power Operated Blocks

Never return damaged blocks to storage. They should be dry, clean and protected from corrosion.
In the case of blocks used for temporary applications, store them on a purpose made rack or suspend from their top suspension fitting. Trailing cables, pendants etc. may be removed, identified and stored separately to prevent loss or damage whilst in store.
In the case of blocks left in situ, park the block in a suitable position so that it is protected from damage and does not present a danger. Raise the bottom hook so that is not a danger to persons or liable to become accidentally engaged. Isolate power supply.

Installing and Commissioning

Follow the specific instructions for installation and commissioning issued by the supplier and general requirements for lifting appliances. Ensure that the controls work in the correct direction and that motion limits are set and operate correctly. If the block fails to operate correctly contact the supplier.

Using Power Operated Blocks Safely

Do not use defective blocks, slings or accessories.
Check the slinging arrangement, that the block is safely rigged, that the chain or rope is not twisted and that the load is free to move.
Raise the load just clear; halt the lift to ensure the integrity of the block, slinging arrangement etc. Always commence lifting in the slow speed. Avoid unnecessary inching of the load.
Check that the travel path is clear and that you have a clear view so as to avoid accidental hook engagement or collision. Follow and particular site safety rules applicable to the movement of suspended loads.
Keep fingers and toes etc. clear especially when lowering loads.

In Service Inspection and Maintenance

Follow the specific instructions for maintenance issued by the supplier. These should be incorporated into the site maintenance programme observing any particular needs sue to site or working conditions; 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 block and, in the event of the following defects, refer the block to a Competent Person for thorough examination: operational faults; block will not lift; slips back; motion commands reversed; over-runs when command released; wear; damage to trolley, hooks and fittings; damaged or corroded chain or rope; any other visible defects.

For a PDF version of this page please click here: Care and Safe Use of Power Operated Blocks