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Manual Chain & Lever Blocks

There is always a risk of an accident occurring when using manual chain blocks and lever hoists. This is because in general, they are dangerous if instructions on how to use them properly are not followed. Other risks of injury can be a result of not maintaining and checking the chains and levers on a regular basis.

Chain BLock

Here are a few safety aspects for you to consider:

  • Only operate the chain and/or lever block if you are fully trained and authorised to do so.
  • The lever block could be fitted with numerous safety devices; load brakes, hook latch, limit switch, emergency stop and shock protection. Before using a lever block, be sure you understand how each safety element on the device works.
  • Do not try to lift or maneuver personnel – an accident waiting to happen.
  • Never modify, change or alter hoisting equipment – if the lever block or chain is incorrectly positioned, ask your supplier how to remedy the issue.
  • Always make sure that any lifting is personally attended; never just leave it.
  • Over capacity load lifting is hazardous and should not be undertaken.
  • Ensure there are no faults with the lever or chain block prior to use.
  • Do not use the chain or lever block if for example, the chain is kinked, twisted or damaged.
  • Never pull the bottom hook into the block housing.
  • Make sure the lever block or chain is not exposed to damp, rain or excessive humidity. This can cause damage to the equipment, putting everyone’s safety in jeopardy.
  • Never use a motor for manual chain and lever blocks.
  • Safety measures – check these aspects on a daily basis; chain (for wear, twists and kinks and that it feeds through block smoothly), hook (for throat for width increase, safety latch, bolts and nuts.
  • Don’t forget to carry out checks on components, gears, shafts, bearings and brakes, every six months.


Before using a manual chain or lever block, be as familiar as possible with warnings, instructions and recommendations. It’s not just yourself you’re putting at risk, but others around you.


Author:  Dale Woods