To facilitate construction projects, countless materials must be moved, lifted, lowered, shifted, and placed—and many of those are extremely heavy or cumbersome. The higher the build goes, the more difficult it becomes to move those materials where they need to be.
For millennia, humans have relied on mechanical systems and machines for their building endeavors. Whether it was the pyramids, the Eiffel tower, or the Empire State building—each project would have been impossible to complete without the help of specialty lifting equipment.
And that’s still the case today.
Why Does Lifting Equipment Matter?
Lifting equipment is used to lift and lower loads on site and can include cranes, forklifts, trucks, and lifts. That said, strategically implementing lifting equipment during construction projects can quite literally ease the load and improve safety, efficiency, and client satisfaction.
#1 Reduce Workplace Injury
Lifting is an essential part of construction. So it should be little wonder why it’s the leading cause of workplace injury. According to Simple Work Comp:
“Contractors are one of the hardest hit industries with resulting absenteeism, increased workers comp claim, disability, higher insurance costs and even long term disability claims. Of all back-related injuries reported, the vast majority of them identified an injury to the lower back, mostly caused from lifting, carrying, holding, lowering, and the placing of manual material handling.
Put simply, humans are not biomechanically designed to repeatedly lift, transport, and move objects that weigh more than a few pounds, let alone materials that weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Manual lifting can exacerbate the likelihood of a lifting-related injury occurring, especially if it involves:
Lack of handholds
Specialized lifting equipment makes it so that construction workers don’t have to carry all the load or even carry anything at all. By reducing the number, rate, and severity of lifting-related injuries with lifting equipment, you can protect your workers, avoid potential OSHA violations, and ensure that the project stays on schedule.
#2 Optimize Construction Processes
Lifting equipment increases worksite productivity. Rather than hiring a dozen construction workers to transport objects around a site, project managers can instead hire a single worker with a crane to reduce work time, increase efficiency, and improve safety.
Lifting equipment also allows workers to focus on value-add tasks. But it’s not just the fact that machinery can help with resource utilization.
The truth of the matter is that many projects would not be able to be successfully completed without the right type of equipment. Different types of machinery have unique use cases, whether it’s a hoist, forklift, crane, or cherry picker.
For example, a forklift offers superior capabilities that help crews transport materials and reach tall areas. Industrial forklifts can even lift up to 36,000 pounds.
#3 Improve Client Satisfaction
At the end of the day, a client wants their project to be completed on time and within budget, without sacrificing quality. Lifting equipment makes that feasible. It enables construction teams to keep the project moving while minimizing downtime and optimizing on-site safety.
Popular Types of Construction Project Lifting Equipment
So, what are the most essential types of lifting equipment that you’ll see on a construction site? Most construction projects will utilize some, if not all, of the following machinery:
Hoists – Construction elevators that help move materials and/or passengers up and down a tall building.
Cranes – Cranes can come in an array of sizes and types, but their ultimate purpose is to move and lift heavy objects and materials across and up a build.
Forklifts – Construction forklifts are used to remove materials from trucks and carry them across the site.
Scissor lifts – This type of lifting table makes it possible for construction workers to move materials or perform construction at different heights.
Exoskeletons – These motorized machines are typically made from metal and designed to fit on a human’s body, enabling them to lift more weight and lift using proper body mechanics.
Boom lifts – Boom lifts eliminate the need for dangerous scaffolding, allowing crews to move materials and people to various heights.
Utilizing Heavy Lifting Equipment with MFS Construction
Most modern commercial and residential construction builds would be impossible, if not incredibly laborious, without lifting equipment. These machines are modern marvels of engineering designed to increase process optimization, reduce workplace injuries, and, ultimately, drive client satisfaction.
At MFS Construction, we offer clients expertise in project management, design-build, general contracting, and geotechnical drilling. And for each project, we’ll likely utilize several different types of lifting equipment to help us get the job done the right way.
Want to learn more about our processes and strategies? Reach out today to learn more.