Rigging is a great skill to have in your repertoire because you’d be hard-pressed to find a construction site that didn’t contain some kind of hoist or pulley system. Although these systems make our lives much easier, they need to be set up and operated correctly so they are a help rather than a hazard. Rigging training is the best way to ensure you have the all the essential knowledge and skills you need to be a successful, reliable rigger on your worksite.
1. Selecting the Right Rigging Equipment
The rigging equipment you choose to use is the first make or break element of any rigging job. Rigging training will teach you methods for calculating the size and weight of the load, as well as the capabilities of a variety of rigging equipment. Understanding the lift capacity of each component of the rigging, from the ropes and hoists to the hooks and slings, will enable you to create a strong and sturdy structure where no element is stretched beyond its limits. Building this perfect puzzle is vital to ensure each task the structure undertakes runs smoothly.
2. Using the Equipment Safely
Working at heights can be extremely risky if you don’t have the right procedures in place to ensure the safety of those in the air as well as those on the ground. The first step is to ensure you assemble the equipment correctly so it maintains its integrity when put to use. The second step is to have an understanding of the safety precautions people need to take when working around rigged structures. A major component of your rigging training will be learning about safety nets and perimeter safety screens. This knowledge will enable you to understand what procedures need to be put in place for different rigging tasks to ensure the safety of everyone on the worksite.
3. Understanding Inspection Requirements
Rigging training will familiarise you with the look and feel of different rigging equipment and show you how to perform routine checks. It’s important to do a quick check of the equipment every time you use it, looking for anything that doesn’t look quite right. The most common problems are rope fraying, bending or warping of hooks and general wear and tear. Being able to spot these problems will mean you will notice issues with your equipment before they cause significant damage. A certified inspector will need to assess whether the equipment needs replacing, but you will have the ability to make the judgement call of when to send the equipment to them.
4. Communicating Effectively
Worksites are very noisy places and crystal clear communication is needed whenever a hoist or pulley is being used. Quite often you will need to give direction to operators of cranes or sling loads from outside their line of sight, and according to Worksafe you are only permitted to do this when you hold a rigging licence. Rigging training will prepare you well for this, as you will learn how to give directions from out of sight using a whistle or radio. Mastering this will significantly reduce the chance of disasters caused by misunderstandings.
5. Upskilling Opportunities
In Victoria, there are three levels of rigging training: basic, intermediate and advanced. You can move up through the various levels to hone your skills and expand your knowledge, which will also broaden your career prospects. If you are thoroughly enjoying your rigging training and considering completing all three of these licences, then you may opt to complete a Certificate III in Civil Construction instead. The coursework includes rigging training up to the advanced level, as well as additional construction training which will further enhance your skill set.