Jacks, "Porta-Powers," "Come-Alongs," Etc.
These types of portable lifting, pushing, and pulling devices are in widespread use. They provide hydraulic power or mechanical advantage (manual operation) when and where it is needed for a wide variety of uses.
Unfortunately, along with their utility and versatility, they can be quite hazardous if used incorrectly. Many of the hazards relate to:
- The ends slipping or coming off at the attachment/contact points or failure of the attachment/contact points themselves, and
- Failure of components of the device itself because of overloading or damaged equipment.
Jacks are appliances for lifting and lowering or moving horizontally a load by application of a pushing force. In addition to lifting jacks, devices like "Porta-Powers" are considered to be jacks.
"Come-alongs" are portable, hand-operated devices consisting of a housing, a length of chain or wire rope, two hooks, and a ratcheting lever, that is used for miscellaneous pulling. They are called by various other names including "pullers," "ratchet pullers," and "pull-lifts." Unlike hoists, the tension is held by a releasable ratchet. They are much smaller and lighter than hoists of equal capacity and are not intended for heavy lifting, but are suited for activities such as skidding machinery. In addition to wire rope and chain, fiber webbing devices are also used.
Follow the links for additional terminology and safety information on these devices.
NOTE: Non-MSHA links are not meant to imply enforceability by MSHA. They are for informational and educational purposes only.