I was recently asked a question about whether it was acceptable to use a hook without a safety latch and if so was this not in contravention of section 4 of Driven Machinery Regulation 18 from the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The answer like most scenarios in the Lifting and Rigging industry is more complex than a simple yes or no answer. Let’s start by looking at the wording of section 4 of DMR 18 from the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act:
The user shall cause every hook or any other load- attaching device that forms part of the load path of a lifting machine or hand-powered lifting device to be so designed or proportioned that accidental disconnection of the load under working conditions cannot take place.
This means that every hook or load-attaching device that forms part of the lifting machine under stress during the lifting operation must be designed such that the load cannot be accidentally disconnect under working conditions. The best way to ensure this is for the hook to be fitted with a safety latch to bridge the throat opening but this isn’t the only method as the users could splice a small piece of rope across the throat of the hook, this is known as “mousing”.