Webbing Sling Q&A: Heavy-Duty Strength for Delicate Lifts

webbing sling from hercules slr

WEBBING SLING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you’re a rigger or work in material handling, you likely encounter webbing slings often in your work. A synthetic webbing sling is fantastic to lift delicate or soft materials, since their soft surface offers more protection than abrasive materials, like wire rope. 

Webbing slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex webbing sling is made with two synthetic fabric layers stitched together for extra reinforcement. A simplex webbing sling is made with only one synthetic fabric layer.

“Just one layer? That won’t do anything,” you might be thinking—but how wrong you’d be! Even though a webbing sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a webbing sling is surprisingly strong. 

There are some misconceptions and often-asked questions about synthetic materials in the industry—so we’ve asked Hercules SLR experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch to help. 

Read on to find out the questions we hear about webbing slings, and how our experts’ answer. 

Q: What are they usually made from? 

Answer: A flat webbing sling is usually made from woven polyester, nylon (otherwise known as polyamide) and polypropylene.   

Q: Do flat webbing slings come in just one width? 

Answer Flat webbing slings come in different widths – but their ultimate flexibility and strength is noted by the number of webbing layers stitched together. 

webbing sling at hercules slr

Q: Should I use paint or dye to colour code webbing slings? This should help me identify them quickly and easily, right?

AnswerNO! Don’t use paint to colour code webbing slings—the solvents in the paint could corrode the synthetic material. A torn or broken sling is unsafe, and will drastically reduce it’s SWL. To identify a synthetic sling’s material, look for the label colour: 

Polyester (PES)—Blue Label, or blue with a green line down the center of the webbing. 

Polyamide (PA)—Green label

Polypropylene (PP)—Brown label

Q: What chemicals will affect webbing slings?

Answer: Polyester isn’t affected much by acid, but alkali’s will damage a polyester webbing sling. An alkali, or alkaline is basically a substance with a pH level higher than 7. Examples of alkali substances are sea water, baking soda, bleaches, lye and even blood. Polyamide’s are basically immune to alkali damage, but are damaged by even moderately-strength acids. They can also lose up to 15% of their SWL when wet. Polypropylene is resistant to acids and alkali’s, which makes them a good choice when you have to lift something which needs protection from chemicals. Be sure the polypropylene is stabilized to protect from ultraviolet degrading. 

Q: What markings should I look for on a webbing sling?

Answer: Look for the safe-working load (SWL), identification number and the label’s colour code.

 Q: How do I store my webbing sling?

AnswerIt definitely matters! Be sure to store your slings in a dry, cool place. Keep them out of sunlight or other ultra-violet radiation, and don’t store them in damp conditions. 

Q: So, they’re really strong – does that mean I can use them to lift anything? 

AnswerDon’t use a webbing sling for a critical lift! Make sure you use extra caution and have a detailed lifting plan for using a webbing sling with delicate or fragile lifting operations. 

Q: Okay, so what’s a critical lift?!

Answer: A critical lift is defined by WorkSafe BC as a lift with high risk factors that could cause the crane or hoist to fail, or poses a significant potential harm to human life. A critical lift is also one that needs a detailed rigging plan before the operation. 

Other factors that can make a lift critical are: 

  • When a piece of powered lifting equipment exceeds it’s rated capacity by 75%;
  • A mobile crane or boom truck goes over rated capacity by 90% lifting a load over 50% of its maximum permitted load radius; 
  • Tandem lifts— which is when more than one piece of powered lifting equipment is used, or is used to lift another piece of lifting equipment);
  • A person is being lifted;
  • The load is under-water or submerged. 

Q: Can I tie a knot in a webbing sling to make it shorter?

Answer: Never! Don’t knot, tie or twist a webbing sling. Don’t manipulate the sling’s angle, either—use the sling however the angle forms naturally.  

hercules slr webbing sling formation types
Figure 1—Webbing Sling Types

Q: When should I not use a webbing sling? 

Answer: Don’t use a webbing sling if you don’t know the SWL. Don’t use if the eyes or other part of the webbing sling is damaged, if the sling’s eye opens more than 20°. There are 5 different types of possible webbing sling eye formations—see figure 1. If using a Type 1 webbing sling (called a choker sling), be sure to protect the eye before use. 

Q: What should I keep in mind when using a webbing sling? 

Answer: There are a few things to consider to use a webbing sling safely—you should always: 

  • Avoid shock-loading;
  • Protect the sling with sleeves when sharp edges could tear its fabric—friction can cause heat damage, which is the most common form of ‘heat’ damage to webbing slings. To prevent, don’t let the sling run along the load’s surface and that it’s not pulled on any sharp corners. This is also known as ‘point loading’, when the load is pulled on a sharp corner, creating heat which results in heat fusion in the sling material. 
  • Never pull a sling from underneath a load.

DOWNLOAD OUR SYNTHETIC SLING INSPECTION GUIDE

References: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/alkali, https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation/part-14-cranes-and-hoists 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Risk Management: safety is every riggers’ business

risk-management-safety-is-every-riggers-business

Risk Management: what is it?

Risk management is the systematic process of assessing risk and acting in such a manner, or implementing policies and procedures in order to avoid or minimize loss associated with such risk. Essentially, risk management is a set of actions that reduces the risk of a problem, a failure, or an accident. The ISO 31000 defines risk management as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives”.

For the most part, risk management methods consist of the following methods:

  • Identify and characterize threats
  • Assess the vulnerability of critical assets to specific threats
  • Determine the risk (i.e. the expected likelihood and consequences of specific types of attacks on specific assets)
  • Identify ways to reduce those risks
  • Prioritize risk reduction measures based on strategy

Risk Management: know the definitions

Hazard: something with the likelihood to cause harm

Harm: physical injury or damage to health.

Risk: likelihood the hazard is realized – it happens

Severity: likelihood hazard or risk will occur, and the number of people affected and extent of consequences

Control Measures: the arrangements made to reduce risk

 

Risk Matrix

The purpose of the risk matrix is to determine the risk category. Once you have identified the project risks, review each risk in turn and assess both the likelihood of the risk happening and the severity of the impact on the project if the process doesn’t go as planned.

Consequences

risk-matrix

Risk Management: FLRA is more than just a funny word

Field Level Risk Assessment (FLRA) is a process used to assess the related hazards and their risks for a specific task or job.

A FLRA:
  • Helps reduce injury and to process loss
  • Is an industry standard
  • Is a requirement of most industrial establishment’s safety program
  • Is a requirement on most work sites

A FLRA should be completed:

  • At the start of each shift
  • Before re-starting work which has been stopped for a period of time
  • When site or work conditions change during a job
  • Before starting a new task or job for which there is no safe work procedure
  • Always check for specific requirements with onsite contact or employer
Who Can Conduct a FLRA?
  • Anyone can conduct a FLRA
  • All members of the work team need to participate
  • Sometimes other personnel on the work side need to be included
  • Sometimes a specialist or person familiar with the job and site needs to be involved

Risk Management:  your basic rigging plan

Follow this basic rigging plan to manage risk and avoid potential hazards. When you plan each lift, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has a competent rigger been assigned?
  • Has a risk assessment been conducted with all team members?
  • What is the communication plan?
  • Has the rigging been inspected? (Pre-lift and annually?)
  • Is the rigging fit for the load type and purpose? (I.E. WLL, material, size, etc.) 
  • What is the weight of the load?
  • Where is the load’s center of gravity?
  • What is the sling angle?
  • Will there be any side or angular loading?
  • Are wear pads required against corners, edges, protrusions or abrasive surfaces?
  • Have the applicable hitches been selected for load control and stability?
  • Will personnel be in the way of the load or lifting equipment?
  • Is there any possibility of snagging? (Vertical, horizontal, travel path)?
  • Are there environmental concerns? (I.E. wind, temperature, visibility, power lines)
  • Is a tag line required to control the load?

Risk Management: complete a pre-use check

Pre-use safety checks are required before a rigger uses any lifting equipment or accessories – follow the manufacturer instructions and applicable ASME standards.

This includes a basic physical check of the equipment, which can significantly reduce the risk of health and safety issues that may arise on site during everyday operations.

ASME Standards

ASME Standards state: ASME B30.9 requires that sling users shall be trained in the selection, inspection, cautions to personnel, effects of environment, and rigging practices. Sling identification is required on all types of slings.

ASME B30.26 requires that rigging hardware users shall be trained in the selection, inspection, cautions to personnel, effects of environment, and rigging practices. All rigging hardware to be identified by manufacturer with name or trademark of manufacturer.

References: https://www.iso.org/home.html

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Herc How-To: avoid these common rigging mistakes

common-rigging-mistakes

The rigging trade serves many industries, however, there are many common rigging mistakes workers make daily.

Rigging is to set a load up to move, lift, secure, lower or hoist with the use of ropes, chains, slings, hoists and other materials. The load can range from materials on an offshore rig or even people – hey, even Cirque de Solei rigs their performers (how do you think they get lifted to do those gravity-defying stunts?!)

One of the most common rigging mistakes is a load being secured, rigged and lifted by anybody other than a competent person. A competent person is someone who:

  • Has knowledge of the task
  • Knowledge of the potential or actual hazards of the task
  • Knowledge of the Act’s and Regulations pertaining to the task
  • Has training and/or certifications to perform the task safely

However, there are quite a few common mistakes when it comes to rigging – read on for the most common mistakes people make when rigging and slinging:

  • Competent (trained) riggers not assigned
  • Use of improper hand signals
  • Not inspecting gear frequently enough
  • Not knowing what to inspect for
  • Slings missing tags or tags not legible
  • Capacity of rigging gear not known
  • Improperly made below the hook devices
  • Wire rope slings formed with clips
    commom-rigging-mistakes
    Rigger ensures the lift goes according to plan
  • Too small hardware connected to the sling eye
  • Too large hardware connected to the sling eye
  • Bunching or pinching of synthetic slings
  • Loose shackle pins or other connections
  • Missing latches on hoist hooks
  • Placing too many slings in hoist hook, shackle or other hardware
  • Side loading or misalignment of hardware
  • Beating down chocker hitch
  • Basket capacity used when not vertical
  • Basket hitch (wire rope) over small diameter
  • Capacity of bridle not adjusted for angle
  • Sling’s load not properly distributed
  • Use of horizontal sling angles smaller than 30°
  • Choker and basket hitches at a horizontal sling angle smaller than 60°
  • Bunching slings on accessories/hardware

There you have it – avoid these common rigging mistakes and you’ll slingin’ like a pro in no time.

For further training and certification, read more on our safety and training courses. Interested in what happens during courses at the Hercules Training Academy? Read our blog on the Rigging Fundamentals Course at the Hercules SLR Training Academy.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.