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"Lifting Heavy Loads Model Safety Checklist"
To assist rescuers in managing safety during lifting of heavy loads, the following "Model Safety Checklist" is presented. The basic elements are designed to serve as a starting point for you and your organization to develop a checklist specific to your department's lifting equipment, procedures and capabilities. Fill in additional items in the blank areas to suit your department's specific operations and procedures.
"Command Officer" Identified
Rescue Group Officer Assigned to Task and Identified
Safety Officer(s) Assigned and Identified
Sufficient personnel/crews with crew leaders assigned to continuously support all aspects of lifting task
Action Plan Developed
Strategy: Rescue or Recovery?
Tactical Plan Developed; Plan A, Plan B and Plan C
Hot Zone and Safe Zone at incident scene identified to on-scene personnel
Collapse Zone and potential Load Shift Zone clearly identified to rescuers
"Kick out" zone and "line of fire" areas identified where lifting tools such as airbags could unexpectedly move into in event of tool failure or load shift.
Trained personnel only within Hot Zone; others excluded
"Spotters" positioned to monitor lift and watch for any lean or tilt
Enforce use of PPE; helmets, eye glasses/goggles, gloves and protective footwear
HEAVY LOAD OBJECT SIZE-UP
Hazards and dangerous conditions at scene identified and managed
Object determined safe for lifting or moving
Adequate structural stability of heavy load determined
Heavy load anticipated to remain intact during lift
Lateral rolling and sliding-type movements anticipated and contained
Moveable components, knuckle joints, swivel, damaged areas identified
Movement of liquid or fluid contents and center of gravity shift anticipated during lifting
Weight of object estimated and determined within capability of lifting equipment
Hazards controlled; Hot Zone work area deemed safe for rescue and EMS crews
Work area well illuminated
Object stabilized/secured in position as found upon arrival
Area beneath object and collapse zone kept clear of personnel at all times
Sharp areas, hazardous areas, and heat source areas (greater than 131 degrees Fahrenheit) of object identified
Standard cribbing or struts with personnel available to continuously stabilize lifted load
Lifting tools/equipment capable of lifting object available on scene
Safety inspection verifies all components of lifting tools/equipment in good operating condition with all safety seals in place
Lifting tools/equipment positioned at safe, strong lifting point(s) on object
Lifting point(s) distribute load weight as evenly as possible over large surface area of lifted load
Lifting tools/equipment positioned high enough to be in contact with object
If used, adequate air supply available before beginning lifting operation with rescue airbag systems
If used, airbag system colored hoses inflated/deflated slowly and monitored continually for any load shifting
Operators following manufacturer's recommendations for specific lifting tools/equipment being used
When lowering lifted load, procedures followed in reverse order.
Adequate maintenance and care of lifting tools/equipment completed after use
TASK: Given various rescue scenarios that could occur within your jurisdiction where lifting of a heavy load is required, list and describe the safety considerations to be dealt with before, during, and after the lift is accomplished.