Mechanical Construction Riggers: A Key Component Of New Construction
The mechanical construction industry thrives on large-scale building jobs. The construction of hospitals, schools, office buildings, manufacturing plants, and industrial facilities requires specialized knowledge in the lifting, moving and placing of heavy objects. When equipment, building components, bulk supplies and other large, heavy material needs to be moved or installed, contractors rely on the skills and knowledge of mechanical construction riggers.
Mechanical construction riggers are professionals responsible for safely and efficiently lifting and moving large and heavy material around construction sites, within existing or in-progress facilities, or in areas where bulky, sometimes unwieldy objects must be transported from place to place. Riggers set up, operate, repair and take down rigging–sophisticated systems of ropes, cables, pulleys, blocks and heavy equipment–for construction projects, equipment installations and related mechanical construction tasks.
Riggers have their origins in the days of sailing ships, when the complex sets of ropes and rigging that raised, lowered and controlled sails required handling by skilled and experienced sailors. Later, these same skills could be applied to employment on land that required lifting and moving heavy items with the only available technology for the job: ropes and muscle power.
Today, mechanical construction riggers still rely on the traditional tools of rope, pulley, block and tackle, and sheer physical strength. However, their work is now made easier by the use of cranes, hydraulic systems and other powerful machinery.
The duties of mechanical construction riggers are focused on safety and efficiency and include tasks such as:
- Evaluating and selecting the proper gear and equipment for the job, such as ropes, cables, winches and pulleys, in accordance with load weights and sizes, the characteristics of the facility or construction site, and required work schedules and completion times
- Fabricating, setting up and preparing rigging, support structures, hoists, lifting and pulling devices, and safety equipment
- Inspecting, evaluating and modifying rigging to ensure safe and effective operation with the least possible chance of breakage, slippage or other problems
- Attaching loads of varying shapes, sizes and weights to rigging for support, lifting, moving or placement
- Attaching pulleys, blocks and related equipment to fixed structures such as overhead beams, ceilings and towers
- Assessing and testing rigging to make sure it is safe and will perform reliably
- Troubleshooting and repairing rigging equipment and configurations
- Operating and manipulating rigging gear and equipment, including rigging lines, lifts and hoists, pulling gear and hydraulic equipment
- Monitoring and controlling the movement of heavy loads, equipment and material around obstacles and through sometimes narrow, confined and difficult-to-maneuver spaces
- Providing appropriate signals or verbal directions to other workers engaged in lifting and moving rigged loads
- Responding immediately to problems or emergencies to correct errors, prevent damage and ensure the safety of others on the site
- Removing, dismantling, securing, maintaining and storing rigging equipment and gear after the job is finished
Rigging is arduous and demanding work that requires a large amount of physical strength, endurance and flexibility. The work can be very dangerous. A slipped or broken rope, a mistake in calculation or precision equipment control, or an error of judgment on the part of the rigger could result in loads being dropped, large amounts of damage being done, and injuries or deaths occurring. It is a job that must be learned by apprenticeship and hands-on experience.
A construction company with one or more mechanical construction riggers on staff or available for subcontracting can improve the efficiency and safety of the construction process, resulting in superior workmanship and projects completed on time and within budget.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about the importance of mechanical construction riggers in new construction and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Image Credit: josephleenovak