Construction equipment

Self-locking hooks Secure lifting safety

Self-locking hooks offer many clear advantages over standard slings or hooks, all contributing to increased safety in their lifting operations, according to Felix Nyberg, Global Product Manager at The Crosby Group.

Self-locking hooks close by themselves as soon as a load is placed in the bowl of the hook and lifting begins.​ Once closed, it cannot open again until the load is released from the hook. hook.

The self-locking hook concept was pioneered as the Model BK by Gunnebo Industries in the 1960s, primarily to improve safety on construction sites where previously hooks were rigged without any latches.

Lifting in the construction industry has always been difficult because there is a lot of variability in loads. The equipment also experiences a lot of wear and tear as many people operate the hoist and lift various objects, which can often damage spring-loaded latches, such as those on a sling hook. This leads either to the hoist being taken out of service, which can delay work on site, or to being used without the latch, resulting in unsafe lifting. The more durable latch on a self-locking hook can prevent delays and unsafe practices, while still remaining closed when under load.

Common construction applications where self-locking hooks can provide safety benefits are wire rope slings, chain slings, and as a connection point between a shackle (or hook) and a sling from an excavator.

History of self-locking hooks

In the early 1960s, Karl-Axel Wahlström and Stig Lindgren were credited with the first prototype, hand-carved from wood – an easier prototyping method than the 3D printing we use today. They called it the “BK” hook, an abbreviation of “Byggnadskrok”, which in Swedish is a combination of the word “byggnads”, which means construction, and “krok”, which means hook. The product was patented and brought to market in 1965.

The BK and Crosby Shur-Loc hooks produced by The Crosby Group today are very similar, and both are now designed to avoid pinching your fingers when opening the hook. Pinch point injuries are one of the most common jobsite injuries and designing a product that will help minimize this risk is essential.

Today, The Crosby Group offers self-locking clevis hooks that connect directly to a chain sling; ball bearing swivel hooks can rotate under load; a Griplatch hook with a latch that connects to the body for better lateral stability and reduced weight; galvanized hooks for weather protection; and even a special self-locking version for skip loaders.

Source: The Crosby Group

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