Gravity Works Best for Hoist Hook Latches on Your Crane

Often in the crane and hoist lifting business, customers are faced with a need for a safety latch for their overhead crane hook, yet the safety of the latch itself becomes an issue in the lifting application.  See our new Crane Hook Safety Latch information which includes three videos showing the hook operation.In some cases, being able to install safety latch can be a problem.  Many older hoist hooks were never forged with a pivot position for a safety latch.

On really large hooks it can be prohibitive to use a conventional spring return latch due to the amount of force required to open the latch. This can become dangerous when the operator is trying to hold open the latch while removing or rigging a large heavy bail into the hook.  This is a perfect way to pinch fingers – ouch!  Blood blisters, or worse!

Another typical lifting situation is where the operator has to hook into a remote, distant or hot (bail) load that makes getting up to the hook and getting a spring actuated latch open impossible.

All of these problems are solved with Engineered Lifting Systems’ new Gravity Safety Latches.The picture below is a picture of a home built safety latch (# 1) on a large capacity crane hook which is no longer providing the desired safety protection.

Home built safety latch # 1

This second photo shows another home built safety latch (# 2) also in need of improvement.

Home built safety latch # 2

The new Engineered Lifting Systems Gravity Safety Latch was quickly installed to replace home made safety latch # 1.  Note that, as the name implies, the latch closes by gravity and does not use a spring.  The default position of the latch is closed – no spring required.


Engineered Lifting’s Gravity Latch in the next photo (with the latch in the open position), you can see the latch is locked in the open position for a remote hook up, pinned open to allow the operator the freedom to use both hands on the bail in the event it is heavy or cumbersome or if he or she cannot reach the bail.

Gravity Latch locked open with a pin

In our last photo,  you see how the operator opens the latch using the handle located at the rear of the hook.  This keeps the operator’s hands away from any pinch points that might occur due to rigging or removing a large or heavy bail from the hook.  The operator hooks up and the gravity design will automatically close to safely secure the load to the hook.

Gravity Latch is easy to open by hand

Lifting hook safety is a very important part of crane and hoist safety and is often overlooked because of the lack of productive alternatives to spring actuated latches.  But not any more!

If you need a durable, reliable safety latch and are faced with some or all of the issues described above, just call Engineered Lifting Systems for help.

OSHA says that hoisting hooks shall be fitted with a latch to bridge the throat opening to prevent the accidental release of slings or attachments.  Hooks without latches may be used in special applications where the latch would interfere with the proper use of the hook,providing that (1) the use of the hook is restricted to the application for which it is approved, and (2) in questionable cases, concurrence is obtained from the appropriate safety organization.

With an Engineered Lifting Systems Gravity Safety latch, you can have the required latch and also an open hook when needed.

For more information or assistance with your safety latch requirements, please contact Eric Brown.