Appropriate Capacities for Safe Lifting with an Electric Hoist

Using an electric hoist for lifting is the smart way to lift loads in the material handling and lifting industry. A hoist that is electric is a step up from a manual hoist as it will operate with power, so the lift will be less strenuous for the person who is operating the hoist. A lift that is less strenuous is a lift that is safer, so ultimately, using an electric hoist can make lifting a safer process, especially for heavy and bulky loads or one that might be awkward.

While lifting with an electric hoist working within the correct capacity is very important. Lifting equipment such as a hoist comes with a capacity on it for a reason, so if this capacity is exceeded when lifting a load, it can be detrimental. It is very dangerous to do this, which is the main reason why it should never be done, and the load weight and hoist capacity must be understood in full before loading is ever attempted. This is an essential safety process that must be built into lifting and moving loads by anybody who is deemed to be a competent person. Operatives must take responsibility for their own health and safety – employers must provide safe equipment and operatives must use said equipment in a safe way. Building in safety processes is key.

There are three types of electric hoist that can be used for lifting: electric chain hoists, heavy duty electric chain hoists, and electric wire rope hoists. There are various reasons why somebody might want to use one type over another type. Here is a little more information on each of the electric hoist types, including their capacities and how to use them safely.

Electric chain hoists

The maximum capacity for an electric chain hoist is usually around 30 tonnes; this is the safe working load, or SWL. This means that 30 tonnes is the maximum weight that can be lifted safely and this must never be exceeded. They can be used indoors and out to lift a variety of load types in many industries.

Heavy duty electric chain hoists

These will have higher duty ratings, because they are made for more intense use than normal electric chain hoists. They might have a safe working load of around 10 tonnes, rather than the usual 30 tonnes of a normal electric chain hoist.

Electric wire rope hoists

Electric wire rope hoists, on the other hand, might be able to lift loads of around 100 tonnes, depending on the exact specifications and the brand of hoist. This means that they can have a safe working load of around 70 tonnes more than a heavy duty electric chain hoist with maximum lifting load specification. They are generally used for more heavy duty applications due to this ability to lift heavier loads.

With all types of electric hoist, the safe working load will change depending on the brand and model. Always check these before proceeding with a lift – you can never be too safe when working with heavy loads.