Having a qualified rigger present on a job site during a lift is not just a good idea; it is also an OSHA and ANSI/ASME requirement when mobile cranes are involved. Prior to the publication of the 2021 ASME B30.5 standard, a qualified rigger was only required during assembly/disassembly or when personnel were present in the fall zone. However, the latest standard was updated to require at least one qualified rigger to be present in any situation where a mobile crane over 2000 pounds capacity is being used. The standard is not limited to large cranes on construction sites. It applies just as much to the tree-trimming industry, for example, as it does to major construction outfits.
So, what makes someone a qualified rigger?
According to the 2021 ASME B30.5 standard, a rigger can only be qualified when they take a written and practical exam that tests the person in the following areas:
- Selection and use of applicable hardware
- Applications of standard hitches
- Estimation of load weight, center of gravity, angle, and load movement
- Inspection of equipment
However, passing these tests alone does not necessarily qualify the rigger. The final “qualified” designation is given to the rigger by the employer, who must consider the rigger’s skills, knowledge, and prior experience before deciding whether the person is qualified to perform specific rigging tasks. The employer must also obtain evidence of satisfactory completion of the rigger’s written and practical exams.
Each rigger may have different credentials or experience, but in general, a qualified rigger is a person that:
- Possesses a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or
- Has extensive knowledge, training, and experience, and
- Can successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging a load
The person designated as the qualified rigger doesn’t have to be qualified to do every type of rigging job. The important thing is that they can properly rig the load for the job in question.
Each load that requires rigging has unique properties that can range from simple to incredibly complex.
For example, a rigger may have extensive years of experience in rigging structural components and other equipment to support specific construction activities. However, this type of experience does not automatically qualify the rigger to rig unstable or unusually heavy loads that may require a tandem lift or the use of custom rigging equipment.
Employers must ensure the designated qualified rigger can do the rigging work needed for the exact type of load and lifts for a particular job. This includes being able to choose the proper equipment and rigging that will be used for that job.
In summary, rigger qualification is an employer designation based on the rigger’s experience as well as proof of successful completion of a written and practical exam. The exams may be administered by anyone, so long as they include the particular competencies outlined in the 2021 ASME B30.5 standard.
To learn more about rigger qualifications and training, visit our friends at ITI at https://www.iti.com/rigging-training. For lifting, rigging, pulling, or jacking equipment for your next project, please reach out to your local LGH representative or give us a call at 800-878-7305 to speak with one of our rental specialists.