Riggers erect hoisting tackle, assemble and erect derricks or sheer legs for construction purposes and install and maintain steel cables and ropes. They also assist in erecting chimneystacks, large buildings, heavy machinery, etc.
Before objects are handled, riggers calculate their weight and ascertain the best way of securing and moving them. Riggers are responsible for the inspection, lubrication and maintenance of all types of lifting tackle, including cranes, derricks, driving winders, jacks, hoists and manually operated lifting equipment. They need to have a sound knowledge of scaffolding, platforms and tripods. Riggers can also perform groundwork such as the clearing of tracks after a railway accident, or installing or moving heavy machinery.
They play important roles in all branches of heavy industry. They may work in workshops, underground in mines, on ground level or hundreds of metres up in the air. This job can often be very dangerous. Riggers are seldom stationary while working. They are continually moving about, climbing and working in all possible positions and locations.