What is a latch?
According to ASME B30.10: a latch is a mechanical device used to close the throat opening of a hook.
What is the purpose of a latch?
The purpose of the latch is simply to reduce the possibility of the rigging becoming detached from the hook, primarily in slack conditions. The use of a hook with a latch does not preclude the inadvertent detachment of a slack sling or a load from the hook. Hook latches aid in the retention of loose slings under slack rigging conditions only, and are not intended to be anti-fouling devices during load handling or rigging. A latch is not intended to, nor rated to carry a significant load. [source: ASME B30.10]
What does Crosby Recommend?
Crosby’s recommendation is to use a latch, with very few exceptions. The standards tend to compel the use of a latch. OSHA is expecting to see a latch, if there is a place to attach one. The use of latches is clearly BEST PRACTICE. Always consult and follow the guidance offered by ASME, OSHA and other safety administrations.
Stay tuned the entire month of October for more information on the importance of latches...