Lifting concrete products is more than just hooking a load to a crane and moving it. Improper lifting can result in damage to the concrete or injury to workers. Selecting the proper rigging--ropes, chains, slings, and inserts--is key to a successful lift.
According to OSHA, slings are the most commonly used device for lifting objects, including concrete. Slings are normally formed from chain, wire rope, or fiber or synthetic rope. Proper lifting requires selecting the correct sling. The sling must be strong enough to carry the load. The load must not exceed the sling's rated capacity.
In addition to various types of slings, inserts are also used to lift concrete products. Concrete inserts can include wire cable loops and coils. Proper placement of the insert is key so that the inserts can withstand direction tension loading, bending, and shearing forces.
No matter how a load is lifted steps should be taken to ensure it's lifted correctly. The pressure on the load should be equally distributed. The load should never be jerked; a slow steady movement is best, with adjustments made accordingly. It is important that all ropes, chains, and slings used in lifting be inspected daily.