We’ve discussed what to look for when assessing your synthetic round sling for damage—but how do you prevent damage from happening in the first place?
Read on for essential tips to prolong the life of your synthetic round slings.
First and foremost, you should avoid activities that cause chemical burns, bunching, tears or exposed yarns. To prevent damage to your round sling, refrain from:
- Dropping or dragging it along the ground or rough surfaces;
- Pulling slings from under loads when load is resting on the sling—place blocks under load if possible;
- Shortening or adjusting the sling using unapproved methods;
- Twisting or knotting the sling;
- Exposing sling to damaging alkali’s or acids;
- Exposing sling to sources of heat damage or weld splatter;
- Using slings or allowing exposure to temperatures above 194° (90°C) or below -40°F (-40°C).
- “Tip Loading” a sling on a hook rather than centering it in base, or “bowl” of the hook;
- Using hooks, shackles or other hardware that have edges or other rough surfaces which could damage the sling;
- Running/driving over sling with a vehicle or other equipment.
In addition to these factors, exposing synthetic slings to certain chemicals can cause minor or total degradation—time, temperature and concentration factors affect degradation. Consult your sling’s manufacturer for specific applications.
Sharp Edges and your Sling
One of the most crucial aspects of protecting your sling is ensuring it’s kept away from sharp edges. It’s important to note that edges or surfaces in contact with your sling don’t have to be “razor” sharp to cause sling failure. Slings can be damaged, worn down or even torn as tension between your sling, connection points and cargo develops.
Protect damage to your sling from corners, protrusions or contact with any edge that isn’t rounded or smooth. To do so, a qualified person will determine appropriate methods for protecting the sling in relation to the conditions it will be used in. The qualified person may use specially developed protectors like sleeves, wear pads or corner protectors to shield the sling from harsh edges.
Conducting lift tests (in a non-consequence setting) is recommended to test your safe-guarding methods—remember to inspect your sling after each lift test for damage and suitability.
Can my Sling Ever Touch Edges?
Avoid your sling directly contacting edges, unless the edge is:
- Smooth and well-rounded;
- The size of the radii is adequately large. Use the table below (Image 1) to determine the minimum edge radii suitable for contact with synthetic slings.
Prevent further damage to your sling by storing it in a clean, dry and dark place. Use mild soap and water to wash your sling, and never place it in the washing machine. Avoid storing somewhere your sling may be exposed to acids or other harmful chemicals or splatters.
Overall, even when following every safeguard described above things may go wrong. Be sure to asses your load properly, never place any part of your body between yourself and the sling, and always ensure all personnel are clear from lifted or suspended loads.