One of the most commonly used pieces of lifting equipment is the hand chain hoist, also known as a chain fall. Notable for their versatile use in various industries, modern hand chain hoists have maintained their durability and ruggedness while minimizing pulling effort, so the operator doesn’t need to overstrain. However, that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. They may be easily damaged if you don’t use the proper hand chain hoist operation during a lift.
Here are 5 of the most common misuses of hand chain hoists.
#1 Overloading the Hoist
Not surprisingly, the most common way to misuse a chain fall is to overload it. Putting too much force on the hook or exceeding the working load limit of the hoist leads to strained hooks, damaged equipment or loads, and employee downtime. Once a hook is stretched, it’s unrepairable and unusable.
#2 Modifying the Hoist
Modifications are another common misuse of hand chain hoists. Often, inexperienced users will make equipment alterations such as popping off the hoist latch to make picking up a load easier. Not only is this dangerous, but making any alterations or modifications to a hoist will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Allowing the hoist or chain to twist can cause serious issues. For example, a twisted or spinning chain may become jammed inside the gears of the hoist or even fall off the hoist sprocket. It may also allow nearby objects to come in contact with the load or the hoist. On multi-chain blocks, twisted chain may occur in instances where the chain block gets turned over, also referred to as a capsized block.
#4 Pulling the Chain Too Hard
Another misuse is to pull on the chain too hard. Applying too much force on the chain may cause the chain to come off the sprocket or pull out of the hoist completely. Consequently, pulling too hard can also spread or stretch the chain links. In short – loosen your grip.
It’s also somewhat common to hoist the chain block into the main part of the hoist, otherwise referred to as two-blocking. If the bottom block touches the main part of the hoist and you continue the operation it may dent the housing or damage the hoist internally. When it comes to hand chain hoists, slow and steady wins the race.
Now that we’ve covered the most commonly made mistakes during hand chain hoist operations, here are some tips you can use to avoid them:
- Pull the hoist nice and steady without swinging it.
- Always be conscientious of the hoist’s capacity or load limit.
- Do not modify or alter the equipment in any way.
- Apply the necessary amount of force when pulling. It’s not a race.
- Keep in mind where you’re suspending the hoist from.
To view LGH’s selection of hand chain hoists available, click here.