New Technical Briefing Note for Slinger or Signaller Safety

October 11, 2023
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A new Technical Briefing Note has been published on the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) website. Technical Briefing Note 36 (TBN036) ‘Hands Off, Step Back 5 Paces’ was issued following a fatality involving a slinger or signaller.

The fatality occurred when, during the initial stage of the lift, the load being lifted became snagged on an obstruction, resulting in the sling breaking and the load falling on the slinger or signaller.

The technical note provides guidance on reducing the risk of lifted loads coming into collision with others. In particular, workers are recommended to follow these steps:

During the picking up of the load, personnel must take their hands off the load and step back five paces.

Only when everyone is 5 paces back should the lifting equipment be directed to start lifting up the load.

They must remain 5 paces away until the load is freely suspended, steady, stable.

Once the load is freely suspended, steady, and stable, it may be acceptable for personnel to approach the load for guidance and positioning where it is reasonable for them to do so, and it has been approved through the lift plan and risk assessment.

The note also includes additional advice on undertaking lifting operations as well as a flowchart to show the procedure that should be taken when initially lifting a load.

TBN 036 can be found in the Mobile and Crawler Guidance section of safety and technical publications on the CPA website.

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