Five Related Job Skills

Parts 3 and 4 in this series of articles deals with specific knowledge, experience, skills, and abilities that the successful Riggers must have. Part 5 briefly touches on the work environment that the Rigger generally operates within. This part explores the areas of additional work activity that the Rigger may encounter during the course of normal rigging projects as well as specifics with regard to the work environment.

A truly well-rounded Rigger is the one that possesses multiple job skills beyond rigging activities and the one who can operate comfortably in multiple work situations.

We know as Riggers we must have excellent hand signaling abilities; this is our main way of communicating with operators and other Riggers. However, a good Rigger must also have the ability to efficiently verbally communicate with supervision, other Riggers, and subordinates such as apprentices and laborers. Safety meetings can require the Rigger to have face-to-face discussions with individuals and work teams. Part of communicating is knowing how to observe, receive, and otherwise obtain information regarding the load in general and the lift in particular.

Aside from the day-to-day inspection of slings and rigging hardware, it is important for the Rigger to have the ability to inspect non-rigging equipment, structures, or materials he may encounter during the course of routine tasks.

Deciding and Identifying
The talent to analyze and evaluate information and results in order to decide on the best solution to a lift problem is important in choosing the correct alternative. To this end, the Rigger must possess the know-how of identifying loads, actions, and events through categorizing, estimating, and detecting similarities or differences, and recognizing changes in existing situations. This may require the Rigger to monitor load materials and lift surroundings in order to detect an assess potential problems.

Operating Ancillary Equipment
Often times the Rigger can be expected to operate vehicles or other mechanical devices not directly associated with rigging. Driving, maneuvering, and running vehicles like forklifts, trucks, and cars is not uncommon. Marine projects may require the navigation of small boats or barges.

The Rigger's Environment
While indoor, environmentally controlled working conditions can exist, the Rigger is most often situated outdoors, exposed to varying weather conditions. The ability to sometimes tolerate harsh conditions is a must. A successful Rigger cannot be bothered by the fact that he must often wear common protective and safety equipment such as safety shoes, safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and head protection (hard hat). In the marine environment, a life jacket is usually required to be worn at all times.