Vacuum Lifting Systems for Concrete Slabs and Heavy Objects

Vacuum lifting systems for concrete slabs and heavy pipes can help reduce the risk of silica exposure, fall from heights and struck-by object injuries.

Description:

Vacuum lifting systems are engineering controls that can help reduce the risk of silica exposure, fall from heights and struck-by injuries.  They consist of four principle components: a vacuum pump, which is driven by a self-contained engine or hydraulically powered by the host machine; a vacuum reservoir and valve, which provides vacuum in the event of a power failure; vacuum pad(s); and visible and audible vacuum alerts. The vacuum pump maintains a constant vacuum in the pressure reservoir. When activated, the system pulls a vacuum between the pad and object to be lifted, providing a power positive seal. A pad seal is used on the vacuum pad to cover the material to be lifted and creates the necessary suction.

For concrete slabs, Vacuworx offers the SS-, and CM- Series vacuum lift systems that attach to skid steers.

SS Series

 

  • Hydraulically driven vacuum pump operates using the auxiliary hydraulics from the host machine (Minimum 10 GPM required with maximum 3,000 PSI)
  • Includes quick-connect hydraulic hoses and integrated 24” x 24” vacuum pad with Tough Seal
  • “Universal” mounting plate allows easy attachment to most skid steer models
  • Designed to lift concrete, marble, granite, metal, steel, iron and landscape pavers
  • Compatible with all skid steer brands
  • Also works with a variety of mini-excavators or small cranes using clevis hook connection
  • Maximum lift capacity: 2,716 pounds


CM Series

 

  • Hydraulically driven vacuum pump operates using the auxiliary hydraulics from the host machine (Minimum 10 GPM required with maximum 3,000 PSI)
  • Includes quick-connect hydraulic hoses and integrated 24” x 24” vacuum pad with Tough Seal
  • “Universal” mounting plate allows easy attachment to most skid steer models
  • Designed to lift concrete, marble, granite, metal, steel, iron and landscape pavers
  • Compatible with all skid steer brands
  • Also works with a variety of mini-excavators or small cranes using clevis hook connection
  • Maximum lift capacity: 6,600 pounds
 
For heavy concrete pipes, Vacuworx offers vacuum lift system for bigger host machines such as backhoes (MC Series) or stationary rigs (RC Series):
 
MC Series


  • Wireless remote operation is safer than hooks, slings or chains
  • 360° rotation provides precise placement of materials
  • Will not damage delicate materials and bonded coatings
  • Vacuum technology eliminates need for costly cribbing or spacers for pipe and plate
  • Quick-couplers are available for attachment versatility
  • Double set of lugs to accommodate any single or double vacuum pad arrangement
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI/ASME standards section B30.20, ASME BTH-1 and AS 4991
  • CE certified and OSHA compliant
  • Lift capacity: 6,600 to 11,000 pounds

RC Series
 
  • Wireless remote operation is safer than hooks, slings or chains
  • 360° rotation provides precise placement of materials
  • Will not damage delicate materials and bonded coatings
  • Vacuum technology eliminates need for costly cribbing or spacers for pipe and plate
  • Quick-couplers are available for attachment versatility
  • Double set of lugs to accommodate any single or double vacuum pad arrangement
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI/ASME standards section B30.20, ASME BTH-1 and AS 4991
  • CE certified and OSHA compliant
  • Lift capacity: 22,000 to 44,000 pounds
 

Risks Addressed:

Breaking concrete is a high dust activity that in the absence of controls would place workers at risk of lung disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung scarring and silicosis with prolonged exposure.  Silicosis is an incurable, sometimes fatal disease. Such disease is well documented in the Vermont granite quarries and stone cutting sheds, and in construction operations. The recent OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for silica exposures in construction is 0.05 mg/m3 as a time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. This is still twice the ACGIH-recommended threshold limit value (TLV) of 0.025 mg/m3.  The enforcement of the OSHA PEL has been delayed until September 23, 2017.

Workers near rigged operations risk being struck-by swinging objects.  A struck-by hazard occurs when a suspended load begins to swing, twist, or turn.  Being struck-by objects typically result in severe injuries or death.

Workers are also at risk for falls from heights when attaching chains or slings around pipes before any rigging operations.  In addition, during a rigging operation and depending on the force of the swinging load and where the worker is standing, the worker may fall to another level after being struck and sustain greater injuries.  Such a fall can potentially cause fractures, sprains, strains, contusions, severe damage to internal organs or even death.


How Risks are Reduced:

Vacuum lifting facilitates the removal of saw-cut concrete from floors, sidewalks and driveways, eliminating the need for time-consuming demolition and disposal which can generate construction dust and silica.

Vacuum lifting can help reduce the risks of struck-by object injuries and falls when compared to traditional rigging methods. With vacuum lifting, fewer ground personnel are required to work around or under the lift since it eliminates the need for workers to climb on trailers to attach slings, hooks or clamps, or to wrap chain or poly slings around pipes.


Effects on Productivity:

Per the claims by the manufacturer Vaculift, Inc., the quick-connect hydraulic hoses make switching between attachments fast on the SS series so workers can cut concrete, remove the sections and pour new concrete all in the same day.  Additionally, when using the MC- and RC- series vacuum lifts, workers do not need to manually connect riggings components to heavy pipes before lifting operations.


Additional Considerations:

It is recommended to follow all manufacturer guidelines before using this equipment to ensure worker safety and compliance with applicable local, state or federal regulations.


Contributors:

Le, Jean Christophe, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training

This solution page was adopted from information found on the Vaculift, Inc. Vacuworx website: https://www.vacuworx.com/


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Vaculift, Inc.
To obtain information, visit SS Series and CM Series and MC Series and RC Series or contact 1-918-259-3050 requests@vacuworx.com

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.