How do you know when to replace lifting slings?September 22, 2015 - Ed
We at U.S. Netting asked our customers how they knew when their lifting slings needed to be replaced and the answers were chilling. One of the most common answers in our casual survey was “when it breaks”.
One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in use on manufacturing floors, by house movers and by shipping companies of all sizes are damaged lifting slings that break under an appropriate load or using the wrong load sized sling to do a job.
Amazingly, many of our own customers were under the impression that a sling lasted forever – or close to it. With that bit of information, we immediately got busy sending out emails to our reps to contact our customers in person and discuss this dangerous misunderstanding.
We started spreading the word at conferences, meetings with executives for new projects and commercial distributors.
But, that wasn't enough. We assessed the problem something like this:
Suppose client a hires 20 entry-level laborers to work in the warehouse.
<ul> <li>Are they trained to know what distress looks like in a nylon lifting sling?</li> <li>Does a forklift operator have time to inspect each sling before attaching it to beams or spreader bars?</li> <li>What can we do to make it easier and more efficient for the working man at ground level to instantly know that a sling is damaged and for a foreman to show operations that replacing x-number of slings is an essential safety issue?</li> </ul>
The answer: Red Fibers inside the sling that appear whenever damage occurs! It’s always the simplest solution that is overlooked the longest.
This is an example of a Cut in a sling. A “cut” does not have to penetrate more than the top layer of webbing in order to be dangerously damaged. This is a common type of damage when lifting sharp edged loads. As soon as the top layer is breached, the red inner threads are visible.
For more examples of lifting sling damage signs view our guide on recognizing sling damage.
It only takes a moment for eyes to scan across the sling and the red will jump out at them. No special training needed and no wasted time inspecting with fingertips for slight impressions in the sling.
It’s not just employees that can be injured when a sling breaks and releases a heavy load. A moving company in the U.K. recently was sued by a homeowner when the lifting sling broke and their piano came slamming down, severely breaking the homeowner’s leg and arm.
Imagine if a child had been nearby or if it had landed on a passerby? No company anywhere it the world can afford to pay lawyers, courts, hospitals and people for compensation because they didn't realize that a sling was damaged.
Lifting Sling Load-Capacity Identification
We know how easy it is for someone to grab a sling with the wrong load capacity. If you have to hunt for the weight limit on a sling, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to overlook that step and assume that the sling is correct for what you are doing.
There is a 50/50 chance every single time you pick up a sling that it’s too small for the load you want to use it on. And, let’s face it, all humans have a lazy streak – especially at the end of the day – where walking back to the rack to get the “right” one just seems to be a waste of time.
How many times have your employees said, “We can make do with this one. It’s only for a few minutes.”
Imagine that a worker is using the wrong load limit on a drum filled with grease. Grease splattered across the floor and on your worker is dangerous for everyone in the area.But, even more than that, the wrong load capacity puts extra strain on the employee’s spinal column and leads to crushed discs, putting the worker out of work for months or years while you pay worker’s compensation.
We have solved the problem of faded load ratings on their slings. We sew identification lines right into the sling that is visible along the entire length of the webbing.
At U.S. Netting, we have a strong commitment to making your workplace safe and these are just two of the ways that our customers’ needs are our top priority.We can make custom slings to your specifications, as well. If you would like to request a quote or additional information, click here and we will get back to you within 24-hours.