Pulleys can be incredibly useful on work sites, but to keep your accident and emergency rate down, you need to use them carefully. Keep the following safety essentials in mind.
1. Follow the Weight Limits
Before attaching anything to your pulley, check its safe working load. Note that this gives you the weight limit that the pulley can handle, but in most cases, that's not a static weight limit. It often varies depending on the height, angle, or other factors related to the pulley. When deciding how much weight your pulley can handle, you need to take into account all those elements.
2. Check Your Anchoring System
To secure your pulley to the building frame, the tree, or whatever else you're using, you need an anchor system. Whether you use separate anchors, embedded anchors, or rigging plates, you need to make sure that all the attachments are secure. If you decide to use a rigging plate, you also need to check its minimum breaking strength and make sure that its higher than your pulley. If its lower and you load the pulley to capacity, the rigging plate will be overloaded and compromised.
3. Watch the Wind
If it's windy, you need to use the pulley extremely carefully, and you may want to hold off on the work until the wind dies down. Wind puts a lot of stress on the ropes of the pulley. This can reduce the safe working load of the pulley. If there are strong gusts, the pulley may also swing around and hit some of your workers.
4. Don't Let People Work Under or Around the Pulley
Ideally, to prevent head injuries or blows from the pulley, you need to stop people from walking underneath or around the pulley. To stop that, consider outlining the area in tape or with safety cones. But make sure there's room to walk around as needed for your workers. If they don't have enough space to handle their tasks, they may come into your exclusion zone and get hurt. You may map out the safety area, see how that works with your workflow, and then, adjust the position of the pulley as needed.
5. Have Your Staff Wear Personal Protective Gear
Finally, make sure that your crew wears protective gear to keep themselves safe. That should include hard hats to protect against anything that falls off the pulley. Additionally, the people using the pulley may want to wear gloves to protect their hands.