Working as a dogger or rigger means you’ll be undertaking high-risk work (HRW), and safety on the job is a critical factor.

Doggers and riggers must undergo the relevant rigging or dogging training, and be licensed and competent in their role in order to keep everyone safe on site.

Here are our top tips for managing some of the common issues on site.

Common tasks for doggers and riggers

Doggers are skilled at using lifting and slinging equipment including chains, slings, ropes, cables and hooks to move loads around the site.

Knowing which equipment to use based on the load’s size, shape, weight, the centre of gravity and friction is part of being a competent dogger. Likewise, riggers understand how to move, place and secure loads for cranes or hoists.

All of these tasks carry an inherent safety risk. Understanding of centre of gravity, friction and tensile strength are some of the most critical areas to get right.

Ensure chains are the correct tensile strength for the job

Tensile strength refers to the amount of force that can be applied to something before it breaks. Chains used in rigging and dogging applications need to have a high tensile strength to ensure they don’t fail under load and cause an accident.

Chains are an important component of most lifting configurations but it’s important to remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s critical for riggers and doggers to only use chains with the appropriate tensile strength or load rating.

This means you need to know the weight of the load and be able to see the official load rating marked on the chain before you begin any work. Overloading a chain can be fatal so always choose the right equipment for the job.

Take your time to accurately assess the centre of gravity

Even though you can’t physically see an object’s centre of gravity, you must know where it is for every load. If you don’t rig an item properly to account for its centre of gravity, it can lead to a serious accident.

Having the centre of gravity incorrectly supported means the load can move, the sling or chain can slip or break, and this can cause serious injury or even death.

If an object has a symmetrical shape and is the same density all the way through, it’s easy to work out where the centre of gravity is. Regardless, you should never make assumptions based on previous lifts – always take time to work out exactly how it should be lifted.

Locating the centre of gravity can be tricky, especially when lifting liquids or unevenly packed items.

The best approach is to treat every object as an unknown and take the time to work out exactly how it should be lifted.

Understand how to work with friction

Friction plays an important role in securely holding a load, and the equipment used to rig a load can heavily influence the amount of friction and the loads transferred when it is moving.

Eliminating friction as much as possible can be done using a lifting beam to spread the load across a wider area, or using lifting lugs. On the other hand, you can increase friction by increasing the area of contact or by choosing rigging equipment that generates more friction, like soft slings.

Learning about forces such as friction is an important part of becoming a safe and competent dogger and rigger. And of course, undertaking dogging and rigging training is essential for anyone responsible for fixing and shifting heavy loads.

Learn how to stay safe on site

Any dogging work must be performed by a professional with a high risk work licence for dogging (available from Kallibr). Construction, infrastructure and utilities professionals can all benefit from real-life training conducted in our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane training centres.

Find out more by calling our friendly team, or take a look at the dogging training outcomes to kick off your career in this booming industry.