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What to Keep in Mind When Using Lifting Equipment for Safe Steel Fabrication

by Jennifer Jones

When working in the steel fabrication industry, there are many things you need to be aware of when it comes to your safety. Wearing the right gear, lifting properly to avoid injury and steering clear of all heavy machinery that might hurt you are all important things to keep in mind to be as safe as possible at your workplace. Another area where you should make sure you take all necessary safety precautions is when there's a need for lifting the steel using machinery. To do this the safest way possible, with different types of lifting equipment, there are a few things you should think about.


The most important thing when lifting heavy metal to use for fabrication is to fasten the load properly to the tool to make sure it won't come crashing down and possibly injure someone. One of the most common pieces of equipment to use for handling heavy metal such as steel plates is an electromagnet. Electromagnets are usually very safe, as they grasp on to the load with a very small risk of breaking.

However, as it is electrical equipment, there's always a risk of failure in the magnetic properties of the tool. This is why electromagnets are best used in environments where no people will be even close to the load that is being lifted. Make sure you always have extra batteries ready and that you are fully aware of the weight of the material to not force the electromagnets to lift heavier loads than what they are equipped for.


Clamps are another common piece of lifting equipment. What you should think about when using clamps is that you rinse the teeth of the clamps before using them. Make sure the teeth on the clamps are free from paint, oil or dirt to make sure it's not at risk from dropping loads because of the loss of friction. If very thick materials are to be handled, you should use another method of lifting as the clamps lose force the wider they are forced to be opened.


Chains are a method used often by smaller companies that don't need lifting materials very often. Chains can be used with a regular lifting crane by hooking up the hook of the crane to the chains which will then be carrying the load. This can be a perfectly safe way of lifting steel plates if they are used correctly. Make sure to tie all four corners of the plate with the same chain so that it forms a cage, rather than just a ribbon being tied to the sides of the plate. Avoid using many chains connected by hooks, as the hooks can break.

For more information, contact a company like Ready Steel today.