SafetyWhy Overhead

Keep Your Distance! How Load Controls Keep Employees Safe During Overhead Handling Processes

Lifting loads is just one third of the function of cranes, hoists and monorails deployed in manufacturing and distribution facilities. Equally important are the safe maneuvering and precise placement of the load once it’s up in the air.

That’s why overhead lifting solutions are outfitted with wireless remote controls (which utilize laser, radio or infrared signals to relay function instructions to the system) or wired, push-button pendants (also referred to as a pendant stations) connected to the system at a distance. Both devices guide the overhead lifting system’s travel and operation as it maneuvers a load through a production process, to or from shipping and receiving docks, or placing finished products on outbound cargo trailers or railcars.


Controllers range from pendant or wireless operating systems for carefully spotting loads to highly automated systems maneuvering with the precision of one-thousandth of the rated speed. Regardless of the specified type, their use allows the operator to control and direct the equipment from a safe distance: either several feet away on the floor, or from an elevated platform for a bird’s eye view of the load.

Both maintaining as safe distance and precision control keep the lifting system operator out of harm’s way, reducing the chance of injury. Additionally, the risk of accidentally navigating the load into employees, walls, obstacles or other machinery in the area is significantly reduced by these devices, particularly when directing the 90-degree maneuvers commonly required of bridge cranes, gantry cranes and workstation cranes. Likewise, monorail controllers ensure that these track-based systems precisely deliver and position their payload as they travel from point to point along a set path.

Ultimately, with push-button pendants, wireless remote controls or completely automatic controls, overhead lifting systems deliver precise load control for a safer operation.

Looking for more advantages to be gained from implementing overhead handling technologies in your facility? MHI’s Overhead Alliance—comprised of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI), and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA)—details 13 different ways these lifting solutions benefit manufacturing and distribution operations in the free publication, “Expand Your Possibilities. Discover the Potential. Choose Overhead Lifting.”