Every successful lift starts with a plan.
We’re surprised at how many in the rigging industry don’t really know how to plan a project accurately.
The H. Brown team performs heavy lifts inside facilities where sensitive, heavy equipment has to be lifted in constrained areas with little or no headroom and obstructions everywhere. These complex projects require careful planning and execution.
Here’s an example. When H. Brown, Inc. was hired to handle the rigging at a new steel tubing manufacturing plant in Louisiana, we brought our expertise, muscle and equipment, which included:
- Jack-and-slide systems of various capacities
- “Lift-N-Lock” hydraulic gantries
- Beam trolleys
- Cranes with 10 tons through 450 tons of lifting power
- Mat jacks
- Air skates
- Trucks and
- 40,000 lb. reach lift
Coordinating our manpower and all this equipment safely, on time and within budget meant we had to measure and plan the job right from the start.
What is a Rigging Plan?
A fully-engineered rigging lift plan is probably the most important step of the lift. We see job sites where tolerances are less than an inch or where we are called on to lift components over live pipe racks. Finishing sensitive projects like these successfully requires precision and expertise.
A safe and correctly engineered lift plan starts with trained professionals asking you the right questions about the equipment, the job-site and much more. The initial analysis of a lift might include a feasibility study to determine project logistics.
The goal is to find the most economical crane and rigging configurations for the lift, as well as to plan around obstructions near the equipment. The plan lets you see the job site from all angles, which ultimately will increase the efficiency of the move.
To create the lift plan, we’ll consider at least eight factors:
- Load weight
- Location of the load’s center of gravity
- The load’s maximum dimensions
- Location and number of lifting points
- Rigging equipment appropriate for the center of gravity and lifting points
- Height restrictions
- Risk assessment
- The “method statement” (which includes the process, procedure, engineering data, cost, public and site impact, and preparation requirements)
Using these factors, the team might leverage software to mock up the upcoming job in a 3D environment. It might use sample photos showing how the lifting equipment will look when installed at the job site. For some lifts, a video simulation showing how the work will be performed might also be helpful.
Pulling the Plan Together
Your team will need to follow the lift plan, once created, carefully. You will also need to adhere to the following steps before starting the lift:
- Make sure all equipment has up-to-date inspections;
- Identify a manager for the job—usually a safety professional or person-in-charge (PIC);
- Identify the crane operator for the job;
- Inspect all components to be used;
- Perform a test run following the rigging plan;
- Train all team members who will be participating in the lift to ensure they can follow proper rigging techniques;
- Clear the job site of any and all debris, hazards or obstructions.
There’s no room for overconfidence and inexperience when it comes to rigging your project. The H. Brown team can create a lift plan for you that emphasizes safety, and that will complete your work on-time and on budget.