There are many different variations in what hoist operators do. In general, a hoist is a device that is used to lift or lower a load, by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which a rope or chain wraps. They are often used in conjunction with cranes in order to move heavy loads to different locations, largely in construction or manufacturing companies but in many other aspects as well. Hoists can be operated manually, electrically, or pneumatically driven, and they use either chain, fiber, or wire as a lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist with a lifting hook. When considering a hoist, there are two important characteristics: the lift medium and the power type, examples of which have already been given. Most commonly, electrically powered hoists are used. They either use chain or wire rope as their lifting medium. These hoists are used in a variety of applications, and are subject to a number of problems which a hoist operator needs to be trained in. They only have a certain life expectancy, based on varying industry standards and how much lift and material is used. Construction hoists are another popular type of hoist, and are used in large scale construction projects, like with high rise buildings or major hospitals. These hoists can be used to carry personnel, materials, and equipment quickly between the ground floor and higher floors, or between floors in the middle of a structure. Finally, mining hoists are used to raise and lower conveyances within a mine shaft. The three main types of hoists used in this application are drum hoists, friction hoists, and Blair multi-rope hoists.
Hoist Operator Responsibilities and Descriptions
Hoist operation is often done in conjunction with overhead crane operation, and often the training for these two facets of construction and manufacturing overlap. Training in these programs helps many employees involved in the use of hoist operations to better understand their job and machinery, including operators, trainees, safety personnel, inspectors, maintenance personnel, managers, and supervisors, and allows for them to get both hands on training as well as instruction within the classroom to better grasp the use of the hoist as well as the safety issues that are associated with them. Issues covered in class include operator qualifications, operational limitations, methods and forms of communication, what will happen if there is equipment overload, considerations for critical lifts, and equipment maintenance.