What is Shock Loading?
24 November, 2020
Crane operations activities expose workers to a lot of on-site hazards like blunt force impact, crashes and slipping. Operators should therefore be aware of all the main risks and how they can avoid them. Sudden load lifts and falls are another frequent and fatal hazard. These accidents happen when the load on the crane suddenly increases up to a point where it exceeds the holding capability of the crane and its accessories. Cranes and their accessories should take up weights gradually and steadily, so any sudden increase or decrease in the weight of a load can have fatal effects.
What is shock loading?
This is the application of a load at a rate that is higher than what is recommended by the manufacturer of the weight lifting equipment. It mostly occurs when a load is quickly jerked or when the load is allowed to free-fall before attaching it to the rigging. The rapid acceleration of the load will increase the force put to the lifting system and finally overload its capacity.
For example, if your rigging system has a working load of 2 tonnes and you are lowering a load weighing 1.5 tonnes, you might think that you are safe as you have not overloaded your system. But, if the line slacks and the load free-falls for about 10 feet, the rapid stopping of the load when caught by the system applies enormous shock, which can exceed the system’s working load or even break the system. The person operating the system can also suffer shock loading due to the impact. A good shock loading example is what you feel on your hands when you bang a metal you are holding on another surface.
How can shock loading affect my company?
Even if the load is within the load-bearing capacity of your equipment, the force generated can increase the weight of the load above the rating and cause it to snap off the hook. The load can end up damaging your property or other people’s property. The person conducting the rigging activity will be liable for the damage of other people’s property and the load. Damages can sometimes be very costly if you were handling an expensive load, and may end up eating up your profits if you were not insured.
Apart from destroying property, shock loaded systems also start experiencing issues like damaged parts, which permanently affect their performance and durability. Working with broken equipment is unsafe as it can lead to more fatal accidents. The cost of replacing these systems is also a loss to the company as you replace them before their lifecycle is over. Most rigging equipment are too expensive to purchase, plus you may lose the job if you were contracted to do the job.
How to avoid shock loading
The best way of protecting your company against accidents is by ensuring that your staffs have the necessary skills. Lifting and lowering of loads should be done slowly until all the slack is taken out of the rope used. Operators should also be aware of the lift or lowering path; that is where the load is going, how it will get there, what is the possibility of snagging or crashing and how to avoid obstacles.
Your operators should also be aware of the capabilities of their equipment and how to handle such situations. Even a load that is less than half the recommended working load of your equipment can end up overstressing it if the operator doesn’t perform the job correctly. The accidents may not break down your lifting equipment, but the stress can lead to safety issues in your future operations.
It is also important for the operators to scan their environment to make sure that the load is less likely to snag of buildings or other machines. They should also ensure that the load is not bouncing when they are operating the hoist. They should always ensure that the load is secure and well balanced before you start lifting or lowering.
You can also ensure safety by only purchasing rigging equipment with features prevents such occurrences. Such features include monitors that ensure that both the starting and stopping of a lifting or lowering process is done in slow speed. This prevents a jumping motion of the load, which can increase the weight. These monitors can also stop the hoisting motion if there is a sudden load increase, like in case of snagging or slipping.
At elebia smart lifting solutions, we have a variety of equipment that can help you enhance your safety and productivity in each one of your projects. Our automatic hooks are designed to work in the toughest conditions. The hooks are made of a strong steel body that is impact and corrosion-resistant. Such hooks will maintain the load and prevent damages if you experience a sudden fall.
Another important feature of our automatic crane hooks is their precise electronic torque control. The feature allows the operator to adjust the release limit as a way to eliminate any issues associated with heavy rigging.