Navigating Load Charts for Construction Lifting

Written By: SCAL Academy

Date: 22 April 2024

Topic: WSH Safety Guidelines

Understanding and Implementing Load Charts for Construction Lifting in Singapore

Effective construction lifting operations in Singapore rely heavily on the proper use of load charts. These charts are vital for safety and compliance with Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) regulations. This guide provides an in-depth look at load charts, explaining their contents, how to interpret them, and how to implement them in real-world lifting scenarios.


What is a Load Chart?

A load chart is an essential tool for crane operators, providing detailed information on the capabilities and limitations of lifting equipment. It serves as a crucial reference that helps in planning and executing lifts safely and efficiently.

Example Load Chart

Source: Lorry Cranes - Sing Lian Cranes


Essential Elements of a Load Chart

Load charts are comprehensive documents that include:

  1. Maximum Safe Working Load (SWL): Lists the maximum load that the crane can safely lift under various conditions.

  2. Boom Length: Describes how different lengths affect lifting capacity.

  3. Boom Angle: Shows the impact of the boom angle on the crane’s lifting capability.

  4. Radius of Operation: Indicates the maximum and minimum operational radii for which the crane can safely carry loads.

  5. Counterweight Specifications: Provides details on necessary counterweights for different lifting setups to ensure crane stability.

  6. Lifting Gear Details: Includes specifications for slings, shackles, and other accessories required for different types of lifts.


How to Read and Interpret Load Charts

Interpreting a load chart correctly is critical for safe crane operation. Here’s how to effectively read load charts:

  1. Identify the Lift Requirements: Start by determining the weight of the load and the required lifting radius. These factors influence the choice of boom length and angle.

  2. Consult the Chart: Locate the section of the chart that corresponds to the desired boom length and angle. Check the maximum lifting capacity at your specified radius.

  3. Verify Compliance: Ensure that the load does not exceed the listed capacity for the crane's configuration. It’s crucial to consider the effects of environmental conditions like wind or uneven ground.


How to Implement a Load Chart in Lifting Operations

Implementing a load chart during lifting operations involves several steps:

  1. Pre-Lift Planning: Use the load chart to plan all lifts before beginning any lifting operation. This includes selecting the right crane for the weight and radius of the lift.

  2. Setup and Configuration: Based on the load chart, set up the crane with the appropriate boom length, angle, and counterweights. Ensure all configurations match those specified in the chart for the intended lift.

  3. Real-time Adjustments: Monitor conditions and load position continuously. Adjust the lift plan and crane setup as needed if conditions change (e.g., wind speed increases or load path adjusts).

  4. Safety Checks: Conduct regular checks to ensure that all lifting operations stay within the safe operating capacities as outlined in the load chart. This includes verifying that the actual weight and balance of the load comply with the chart during the lifting process.

  5. Training and Compliance: Ensure that all lifting personnel are trained in interpreting and implementing load charts. Regularly review lifting procedures to maintain compliance with WSH guidelines.


Importance of Proper Training

Proper training is paramount when it comes to understanding and effectively utilizing load charts for construction lifting. The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) Academy offers courses that provide comprehensive training in safe lifting operations, including:

These courses equip individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate load charts, assess lifting operations, and ensure compliance with workplace safety regulations.



Load charts are critical for ensuring the safe operation of cranes in construction lifting. By thoroughly understanding and correctly implementing load charts, lifting personnel can enhance safety, efficiency, and compliance with regulatory standards. Ensuring that all members of the lifting team are knowledgeable about load chart interpretations is essential for preventing accidents and maintaining a safe working environment.

Course Duration

0.0 Day Course

  • Training Hours – 0.0 hours

Medium Of Instruction

  • English

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