OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 6 Cranes, Hoists and Lifting Devices

Section 70 Tag and hoisting lines

Subsections 70(1) and 70(2)

Tag lines (see Figure 6.10), which are usually made of nylon rope or other non-conductive material, are used to:

(a) help riggers control the motion of a suspended load. A load can move or swing dangerously if the crane boom moves rapidly or a gust of wind catches the load. To do so, they must be of sufficient length to allow control of he load and must be used in a manner that ensures the rigger holding the line will not be struck by the load;

(b) allow riggers to stand a safe distance away from the load; and

(c) provide some protection from electrocution as nylon rope is a poor conductor of electricity.

As an alternative to tag lines, an employer may consider options for securing the load to the crane or controlling equipment.

Figure 6.10 Example of tag line in use

To reduce the likelihood of a suspended load swinging or moving uncontrollably, the hoisting line must be positioned over the load’s centre of gravity. The load’s “centre of gravity” is the load’s balance point or centre of weight. The location of a load’s centre of gravity depends on the load’s shape and how its weight if distributed i.e. heavier at one end and than the other, or distributed evenly.

Subsection 70(3)

Usually, tag lines improve the level of safety for riggers. They should not be used if there is a chance that the danger to workers would be increased. This could include:

  • chance of contact wit live electrical conductors;
  • chance of entanglement in moving machinery;
  • chance of getting caught on moving mobile equipment.

As an alternative to tag lines, an employer may consider options for securing the load to the crane or controlling equipment.