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Inspecting your synthetic web slings prior to use is one of the easiest ways to prevent a serious accident from occurring. By adhering to the following suggestions, you can spot potential problems before you find yourself, literally, over your head in trouble.
1. Inspect your equipment before, during and after use.
This increases your chance of catching a defective sling before anyone uses it.
2. What do you look for when you inspect a sling?
Look for obvious abnormalities in the integrity of the material. Run your hands along the fabric and feel for irregularity such as tears, holes, snags and frayed areas. If your sling is exposed to sharp edges, broken and/or worn stitches may be evident. Most slings are made with a red warning string in the core of the material. If the sling is heavily worn, the warning string will show through. Also, check the fittings to make sure they are not distorted out of normal shape.
3. What if you find something defective about a sling?
Take it out of service immediately. Don't use it for even one more pick. Cut it into pieces and throw it away! Also, do not use it at home! If you wouldn't use a defective sling at work, why would you use it at home?
3. Do chemicals or heat affect slings?
Yes! Slings can be affected by chemicals without showing any real signs of wear. This is where a good visual and hands-on inspection can pay off. Know what chemicals your slings are contacting and how they affect the material your slings are made of. Check for burns or melted areas when working around hot work operations. Remember, your sling is made from man-made materials, and all synthetics break down after prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Inspect carefully for such damage.
4. Know the rating of your sling.
Your sling is marked to show the trademark or name of the manufacturer, the stock number and most importantly, the load rating and types of hitches to be used. If the specifications on the sling do not match what you will be doing with it, this sling is not rated for your purpose! Do not use if it isn't rated for the capacity you need!!!
5. Document your sling inspections.
Maintain documentation on all sling inspections that you perform while the sling is in use. This assures that inspections take place and lessens the chance of an accident due to sling failure.
Slings are expected to wear out and be replaced at regular intervals. How heavily they are used, and how they are used, should indicate how often they need to be replaced. A good sling inspection program will assure that slings with the potential of causing an accident are not being used in your operation. Don't risk damaging goods--or worse yet, injuring workers--due to a worn out sling!
Take Good Care Of Your Equipment!
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