Moving construction materials is one of the first steps of any major construction process, aside from planning of course. It’s a necessary part of every project. Cranes, derricks, hoists, powered industrial trucks, and conveyors are all used for material handling and are operated by virtually all employees.
Cranes, derricks, and hoists all rely on web slings to hold and stabilize their suspended loads during equipment handling, making slings the most commonly used handling equipment part. Consequently, a defective sling is also one of the most dangerous risks for a construction site.
In order to ensure proper safety when it comes to web slings, all contractors and construction professionals should know the following things:
- Not all slings are created equal. You need to identify the proper sling type for your project in order to move forward, not just reuse an older one. There are single, two, three, and four-leg slings, and the possibilities are endless to accommodate heavier loads. They also come in synthetic forms — usually made from nylon or polyester — as well as uncoated metal mesh.
- Choose a sling that is rated to handle the load you need for your job. There is also a specific mechanical fitting necessary for each sling to be placed properly and securely.
- It is recommended that slings undergo yearly inspection for normal use and quarterly to monthly inspection for more frequent use. However, there is nothing stopping a contractor from making quick, daily inspections to make sure that the equipment is safe for use. Any potential problems should be inspected more thoroughly, and repairs should be made quickly in order to promote safe rigging practices.
- Slings should be stored in proper conditions, away from UV lighting, extreme temperatures, as well as away from other hazards that could cause severe, irreparable damage.
- Most importantly, all personnel should be properly trained on how to equip heavy equipment with web slings, as well as the importance of physical safety when doing so. Employees should be reminded frequently of these practices.
Certex sets the highest standard for our rigging equipment, including slings, but even the best equipment is subject to improper use. Before using any of our products, be sure to receive the proper training and review all safety precautions.