What Are Electric Chain Hoists? Everything You Need To Know

If your industry is one that deals with lifting heavy loads, then it is likely you will be familiar with an electric chain hoist. Whether you're familiar or not with what one is, this article has got something for you.

Cranes UK always wants to ensure our visitors and customers can make informed decisions which is why this article will outline what an electric chain hoist is, how you use it, and the safety measure you can take to be able to use one effectively.

If you get to the end of this article, or at any point in this article, you feel like your business can do with this lifting solution and want to find out more, please contact an experienced member of the Cranes UK team.  

What is an electric chain hoist?

An electric chain hoist is a powered device that is used to lift, lower, and even move heavy or awkward objects. They are mainly used to alleviate potential strain and injury on any person who needs to lift a heavy object or where the object is just much too heavy for a human to lift unaided.

You can different versions that have different weight capacities going up to 30 Tonnes. It's always important to make sure you know what weight you need your product to carry to avoid any risk of property/goods damage or personal injury.

You will find that they easily hook to scaffolding and make for easy projects such as lifting material between floors, up to upper storeys, and onto roofs. You can use them to accompany beams and scaffolding, which can require supporting beam clamps or trolleys. 

What to consider when using an electric chain hoist

If you've not used one of these lifting solutions before, it can look complex to operate which can lead to un-needed problems in your workplace. We've put together the below steps you can follow to ensure safe and efficient use of your lifting solution.

1) Before you lift anything, you need to make sure that safety precautions are carefully observed. For example, if the load falls you need to be sure you and your employees can move out of the way. 

2) The condition of your item is important. Your lifting solution is only as good as the cables that you use with it. Please make sure to take care and replace any cables as and when required so your item is safe to use.

3) You need to use a backup strapping system. This is because if the chain gives way, for whatever reason, then the strap is there to ensure that you have time to either position the item back on the ground or get out of the way. 

4) When using this type of equipment, it's wise for you to keep the object stable and level. This is to avoid the load from falling. Try to distribute the weight equally rather than to one side. 

Safety measures you can take for a safe lifting process

The use of any hoist presents a risk of personal injury or property and goods damage, which we never want to see happen to you. That risk is increased if proper instructions and warnings are not adhered to.

You can see a number of key safety points to consider below when using an electric chain hoist to ensure you can use the equipment safely and effectively. These simple safety tips can ensure you, your team, and any personnel on-site keep safe and can do their tasks effectively.

  • Do not operate the hoist unless you are fully trained, physically fit, and authorised to do so.
  • Hoists are not designed for, and should not be used for, lifting, supporting, or transporting personnel. You should only use one for specific loads within its capacity.
  • Do not use this piece of equipment in explosive atmospheres.
  • Use the correct lifting sling.
  • Make sure the load is well secured for direct lifting. 
  • Please never lift any object which is insecure or out of balance. Always make sure you use a sling to load evenly.
  • Never use this equipment to end or side pull a load.
  • Never stand under a raised load.
  • Regularly inspect and check the condition of the load chain, please do not operate with a damaged chain.

Do you need an electric chain hoist for your business?

In this article, we've discovered that electric chain hoists can be particularly beneficial to use in places such as factories, workshops, or warehouses. You now have an understanding of how electric chain hoists can be a reliable and easy-to-use solution that can enable you to lift heavy loads making lifting processes easy.

Although you've now got all the basics, you might have a few ideas on how this product is a good match for your company but not sure what version you need. Or maybe you've got a bespoke challenge and are thinking this is likely the right solution and need to confirm a few points first.

Whether it's one of the two situations above or you just have a few more questions on how they work, you can always contact an experienced member of the Cranes UK team who will be pleased to discuss a solution that's right for you. 


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  • New Overhead Cranes
  • Used Overhead Cranes
  • Jib Cranes
  • Servicing/Maintenance
  • Operator Training