Last year’s spate of deadly accidents dramatically underscored a lack of competency around cranes. Just out is a major revision to a classic reference manual that can help contractors, engineers and owners tighten up their rigging skills. Author, civil engineer and former ENR editor Joseph MacDonald has revisited jobsite planning, industry standards, hoisting methods, rigging techniques and equipment—from basic to advanced—while more than doubling the 60-year-old “Handbook of Rigging” ($99.95). Lead author MacDonald says he has rewritten 90% of the tome, which now stands at 792 pages.

Rigging Book Gets Major Revision

The book brings the reader up to speed on national regulations and industry standards and provides helpful contact information for associations and government agencies in case workers and managers need clarification about existing or new standards. The current fifth edition is this book’s most comprehensive update, says the author. It had languished for 20 years while the crane- and-rigging world went through a period of rapid technological change that has made the field more complex and risky.

Riggers may find this book less than handy, though, as the longer version now undercuts its title. While it doesn’t weigh as much as a headache ball, some may think it is too thick to still be called a “handbook.” As a result, its presentation, size and scope of detail may be more practical for people who design and supervise rigging rather than actual trade workers.

Nevertheless, it will be useful for anyone interested in understanding this vital aspect of construction and still is a natural counterpart to Howard Shapiro’s “Cranes and Derricks” ($105). Both books, like ENR, are published by the McGraw-Hill Cos.