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Makeshift lifting

13. April 2010 | Comments (1)

Today we have two examples, one from the USA and one from the UK, of contractors using make-shift/bodged lifting equipment rather than cranes. Given they are both on busy sites, definitely Death Wishes.

The first was taken by a reader in Texas who says:

“I took this picture at Terminal B of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, here in Houston. These guys were setting structural aluminum with what looked like an electric hoist, mounted to a beam stuffed through light staging.”

Death Wish
Note the lifting equipment an I beam resting on a lightweight scaffold base with hoist

“I went through there again last weekend, and all the fascia had been cladded with glass. Now, I wonder if they had any professional input on that little setup? The area was off limits to the public, so I couldn't get closer (in fact even taking the picture got me some unwanted attention).”

Death Wish Texas
A close up reveals more

“The loads appeared to be light, but I can think of so many ways OSHA would have a field day with this.”

And on to London

The other occurred in London last year and was taken by one of our readers from Holland. It shows a specially constructed tower bolted to one of the vertical pillars of the building, with a single ladder beam to serve as a jib/gantry and was being used to unload steel from delivery trucks.

Death Wish London
An infinitely better set up but still questionable, what sort of lateral rigidity does that ladder beam have?

In the words of our respondent: “Since I appreciate your safety awareness items very much, I thought you might appreciate attached photo of an improvised crane which I saw in action in London last year. A chain hoist, a ladder and some scaffolding is all you need to unload steel from a truck.”

Death Wish London
A close up shows that this rig has at least been designed and well secured

“Working circumstances were difficult though, a narrow alley close to the Thames made it hard to reach for a crane.”

Vertikal Comment

Both of these jobs are well suited to a range of properly designed lifting solutions, which would not only be safer but also more productive. A mini or spider crane sitting on one of the upper floors or light weight sectional crane if loadings are hyper critical.

It shows that there are still opportunities to both spread the use of that type of lifting equipment while helping make construction a safer industry. Let us have your views.
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Peter Hird Jnr
13. April 2010 11:00

Dear Vertikal,

We would like to point out that the lifting taking place in London consists of a safety system for the riggers working with safety harnesses attached to an overhead support just in case they fall from the trailer.This has nothing to do with the lifting of the steel.

Kind Regards




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