If you are about to start work on your first high-level construction job, there is one piece of kit you will certainly need — a winch. Winches are useful for quickly lifting heavy loads of bricks, tiles and other materials up the side of a structure so your construction crew can use them to continue the building work. However, if you are unfamiliar with using winches, you may not be aware of the risks they can create. A winch cable which isn't properly secured may cause a heavy load to fall to the ground. An overloaded winch cable could snap, resulting in serious injury or even death. Below is a guide which will help you to operate a winch safely.
Wear personal protection gear
When operating a winch, it is important that everyone in the team wears personal protection gear which will help to protect them from injury in the event of an accident. The personal protection gear should include a pair of thick gloves to protect the hands when touching the winch wire; a hard hat, which will protect the head if any objects fall from the winch; and heavy work boots which will help your work crew to maintain their balance when working at height.
Check the equipment
Before you begin to use a winch, you should carefully check that there is no debris in the winch head which may cause it to become jammed. You should also carefully examine every inch of the winch wire for signs of damage or wear. If you find any signs of damage, you should not proceed with your winching operations until the wire has been replaced.
Concentrate on the task at hand
During winching operations, the crew's concentration should be on the safe functioning of the winch and nothing else. When the winch is being operated, you should prevent other members of the team who are completing other jobs from approaching the area. Not only will this keep them from being injured if the winch fails, but it will also stop them from distracting the team which is operating the winch.
Two members of the winch team should be given the job of carefully observing the load as it is winched up. You should position one member on the ground and one at the level you are winching the load up to. If these workers seem anything untoward, they should raise the alarm immediately so winching operations can be stopped.
If you would like further advice, you should contact a winch specialist today.