The handle is designed for optimal efficiency and safety in both lifting and pulling operations, and allows the operator to work up to 12 times faster and will up to 30% less pull force than conventional ratchet lever hoists, said Columbus McKinnon.

Marc Fielding, director at Field & Portal Mining Supplies, which supplies products to the underground mining, tunnelling, and coal industries, said: “The handle enables the user to get into a position that feels much safer; it’s more like a rowing action. You can grasp the crank handle with a good, secure grip without it slipping from your fingers. This also prevents your hand hitting against components when ratcheting the handle. The [Yale Ergo 360 ratchet lever] hoist will be the only product of its type we’ll consider using in future.Hopefully we will see them used on all mining and tunnelling infrastructure jobs in future.”

The product was supplied to the project by Ranger Lifting, a specialist supplier of lifting and rigging equipment. Ranger stocks the 800kg, 1.6t, 3.2t, and 3.4t capacity hoists at its news Prestons facility near Sydney, and is looking at bringing in the 9t unit released in October by Columbus McKinnon.