Understanding the Basic Role of Rigging in Construction

18 May 2023

As the construction industry grows and expands, rigging becomes more common. Rigging plays an important role in the construction process, allowing for the lifting, moving, and positioning of heavy loads. Proper rigging techniques are crucial to ensuring the safety of workers and the success of a construction project.This article will provide an overview of the basics of rigging in construction, including the types of rigging, the equipment used, and the safety measures that must be taken.

What is Rigging?

Rigging refers to attaching and securing equipment to a load to move it. This can include everything from the use of slings to hoists and cranes. Rigging is necessary when construction materials are too heavy to be moved manually.

Types of Rigging

There are several types of rigging used in the construction industry. The most common types of rigging include wire rope rigging, synthetic rope rigging, and chain rigging.

Wire Rope Rigging

Wire rope rigging is the most commonly used type of rigging. It involves using steel cables wrapped around a drum on a hoist or crane, also known as wire ropes. Wire ropes are strong and durable, making them ideal for heavy lifting.

Synthetic Rope Rigging

Synthetic rope rigging involves ropes made from materials such as nylon or polyester. Synthetic ropes are lighter and easier to handle than wire ropes but are not as strong. Synthetic ropes are often used for lighter loads and when a softer touch is required.

Chain Rigging

Chain rigging involves the use of chains to lift and move heavy loads. Chains are strong and durable, making them ideal for heavy lifting. Chain rigging is often used when the load is too heavy for wire rope or synthetic rope rigging.

Equipment Used in Rigging

Several types of equipment are used in rigging, including hoists, cranes, slings, shackles, and turnbuckles.

Hoists and Cranes

Hoists are devices that are used to lift and lower heavy loads. They are typically powered by electricity or air and come in various sizes and capacities. Meanwhile, cranes are large machines used to lift and move heavy loads. They are often used in construction to lift steel beams, concrete blocks, and other heavy materials.

Slings and Shackles

Slings wrap around a load and attach it to a hoist or crane. Several types of slings include wire rope slings, synthetic slings, and chain slings.Shackles, conversely, are used to connect slings to a load or two pieces of equipment. Shackles come in various sizes and types, including screwtype, bolt type, and round pin type.


Turnbuckles are used to adjust the tension on a wire rope or cable. They are typically made of steel and come in various sizes and types, including jaw-and-jaw, eye-and-eye, and hook-and-eye.

Safety Measures in Rigging

Proper safety measures must be taken when rigging in construction. This includes the inspection of equipment, proper use of equipment, communication, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training.

Inspection of Equipment

Before any rigging operation, all equipment must be inspected to ensure it is in good condition and functioning properly. This includes checking for cracks, bends, or other damage to equipment, such as slings, shackles, and turnbuckles.

Proper Use of Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Proper use of rigging equipment is essential to ensuring safety. This includes ensuring that the load is properly attached to the rigging equipment and that the rigging equipment is properly secured to the hoist or crane.Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn when rigging in construction. This includes hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, and steel-toed boots.

Communication and Proper Training

Clear communication is essential when rigging in construction. This includes communication between the person operating the hoist or crane and the person attaching the load to the rigging equipment. Hand signals and two-way radios are often used to facilitate communication. Meanwhile, proper training is essential for anyone involved in rigging in construction. This includes training on the proper use of equipment, inspection of equipment, and safety measures.

Proper rigging techniques must be used to ensure the safety of workers and the success of a construction project. This includes appropriate equipment, proper inspection of equipment, clear communication, personal protective equipment, and proper training.

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