The use of brakes with a Mobile Hoist
The use of brakes with a Mobile Hoist is often a topic visited during training sessions. Should brakes be applied when hoisting? When should brakes be used with a Mobile Hoist? These are the sorts of questions being mentioned specifically.
In general brakes on a Mobile Hoist should not be applied during hoisting unless stated by the manufacturer or it is stated in the handling plan. The reason for this is because the hoist will want to move to find the centre of gravity. If this process is prevented by applying the brakes the hoist may become unstable and is at risk of tipping over.
So why and when would we apply the brakes on a Mobile Hoist? Certainly the brakes can and should be applied when it is being stored away. The recommendation is also that the hoist lifting boom should also be in its lowest position for storage. During hoisting brakes would only be applied if there were risks identified in the handling plan. As an example this would be to prevent the hoist from moving and causing harm to anybody in close proximity or perhaps the flooring is not quite level. These instances are very few and far between but the still exist.
The HSE have a fantastic short document highlighting some the key areas around using hoists, maintenance, pre-use checks etc. It can be found by clicking the following link, It’s called Getting to grips with hoisting.