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What a Rigger Does


Riggers can perform a multitude of tasks in their day-to-day work assignments. Because Riggers can work in a number of specialty fields, the following list of typical functions that Riggers perform should not be taken as necessarily complete. In rough order these functions can consist of:

Rigging Equipment And Hardware Selection 

Riggers can be responsible for the correct selection of the proper gear to be used. This gear, or equipment and hardware can consist of slings, spreader bars, and pulleys to match the specific load's weight and size requirements.

Inspection and Testing 

In order to promote safety and reliability, Riggers can be responsible for performing inspections, and testing if necessary, of the selected rigging equipment and hardware. Inspection and testing requires the Rigger to have special background knowledge and experience.

Load Assessment 

Riggers must be able to analyze and evaluate loads based on weight, shape, and size in order to establish the correct attachment points for lifting. The approximate location of the load's center of gravity, and the load's potential for rotation during flight, must be estimated. A check for adequate underlying structural support for machinery moves may be in order.

Preparation of Destination 

Using hand and power tools, the Rigger can be required to arrange adequate leveled temporary support in the form of cribbing, chocks, or staging at load destinations. Acting somewhat as a millwright, the Rigger may on occasion become involved in the alignment, leveling, and permanent anchoring of machinery.

Hoist Attachment 

Using the properly selected hardware, the Rigger can be responsible for the correct attachment of pulleys and blocks to adequately fixed overhead structures such as beams, or the attachment of slings to permanent or mobile hoisting equipment.

Rigging Equipment and Hardware Manipulation 

During lifts and moves, the Rigger must manipulate rigging lines, hoists, and transitional gear associated with the load. This could entail the repositioning of rollers or the addition or removal of air bearings. The tilting, dipping, or turning of suspended loads using multiple-point suspension techniques to allow for movement under, over, or around obstacles may come in to play. Controlling the movement of the load through narrow openings or confined spaces is a possibility.


During the course of these typical functions, the Rigger must safely direct hoist operators, additional Riggers, and other workers engaged in lifting and moving loads, both verbally and through proper hand signals.