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Inspecting Web Slings

All of our synthetic web products are designed for long life under punishing conditions, but they will eventually wear out after extended use. The key is knowing when to replace them, and that's why it's very important to inspect your slings on a regular basis.

We've developed an inspection program based on the procedure outlined in ANSI B30.9 that will make the most of your investment. It's based on four sound beliefs:

*   The importance of following regular and uniform inspections.

*   A respect for the capabilities and limitations of synthetic web slings.

*   The need to keep complete, permanent records.

*   Perhaps most importantly, a lot of common sense.


The frequency of inspection depends on three important factors:

*   Sling usage - the more you use a sling, the more you need to inspect it.

*   The working environment - the harsher the conditions, the more often you need to inspect.

*   Sling service life - based on your experience in using slings.

It's a good idea for the person handling the slings to visually inspect all slings before each lift. Additional inspections should be performed at least annually by a qualified designated person and permanent records kept.

OSHA specifies, "Each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments shall be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Additional inspections shall be performed during sling use, where service conditions warrant." In other words, you should visually inspect your sling before each lift.

 Remove all slings, including Flexi-Grip® round slings, from service if you see damage such as the following, and return to service only when approved by a designated person.

These are removal criteria established by ANSI B30.9:

*   Acid or caustic burns.

*   Melting or charring of any part of the sling.

*   Holes, tears, cuts or snags.

*   Broken or worn stitching in load-bean~ng splices.

*   Excessive abrasive wear.

*   Knots in any part of the sling.

*   Excessive pitting or corrosion, or cracked, distorted or broken fittings.

*   Other visible damage that causes doubt as to the strength of the sling.


In addition, we recommend four other important reasons to remove slings from service:

*   Anytime you see our Red-Guard" warning yarns.

*   Distortion of the sling.

*   Identification tag that renders any part of it unreadable.

*   Anytime a sling is loaded beyond its rated capacity for whatever reason.


While most of these standards are very specific regarding reasons for removal, others require your good judgment. The critical areas to watch are wear to the sling body, the selvage edge of webbing and the condition of the sling eyes.



Web Repair Guidelines

It's never enough to give slings temporary repairs. Always follow these guidelines:

1. Damaged slings should be repaired only by a sling manufacturer.If that isn't possible, the repairman should certify in writing the sling's rated capacity.

2. Slings repaired by a manufacturer must be proof-tested to twice the designated rated capacity on the tag before returning it to service and back it up with a certificate of the proof-testing.

3. Inspection records for individual slings that have been repaired should be updated with all the relevant information such as the circumstances involved and proof-testing.

Our synthetic web products don't merely meet our own strict standards for workmanship and performance. They also meet or exceed these military and federal specifications:

*   ANSI Standard 21.8 specifications of general requirements for a quality program.

*   2. MIL-Standard-105 - sampling procedures and tables for inspection by attributes.

*   3. MIL-W-4088F - military specification for textile webbing woven nylon.

*   4. MIL-W-23223A - military specification for slotted nylon webbing.

*   5. Fed. Spec. VT-285-E - federal specification for polyester thread.

*   6. Fed. Spec. VT-295-E - federal specification for nylon thread.


In addition, all work conforms to standards established by the following national safety institutions and their respective regulations:

*   American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 830.9 Safety Standards for Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks and Slings.

*   Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1910.184 Standards for Slings.



Identifying Web Sling Wear and Abuse

These are some of the most common types of web sling damage caused by abuse and misuse. When you see any of these problems during your regular inspection, stop. Replace the sling immediately because the damage is done. Never attempt to mend the sling yourself and, more so, never attempt to lift with these slings.

Whether a sling is damaged from improper use or normal wear, the same rule applies in all cases: always cut the sling eyes and discard the sling right away when you see damage. Only with properly working slings can you take a load off your mind.

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Tensile break.  The distinguishing sign of a tensile break is a frayed appearance close to the point of failure or damage. This usually happens when a sling is loaded beyond its existing strength. The photo shows an example of a sling pulled to destruction on a testing machine. You can avoid tensile breaks by never overloading your sling.

Cut.  You can easily see a cut in your sling when you see a clean break in the webbing structure or fibers. This usually results when a sling contacts a sharp object or unprotected edge of a load. This can happen anywhere on the sling body or eyes. Many slings feature Red Guard warning yarns to alert you of serious cuts. One way you can avoid cuts from contacting sharp corners is to use wear pads on the sling to protect the fabric.

Cut and tensile damage.  A good example is the photo shown here. It shows what can happen when you use a sling that's already been cut by a sharp object along one edge of the sling body. The cut dramatically reduces lifting capacity, and continued use will ultimately lead to sling failure, usually at a load far below the sling's rated capacity. The solution, obviously, is to never use a sling after it's been cut.

Abrasion damage . Anytime you see frayed fibers on the surface exposing the "picks," or cross fibers, of the webbing that hold the load-bearing (lengthwise) fibers in place, it's abrasion damage. The most common abrasion damage occurs either when the sling slips while in contact with a load during a lift or when the sling is pulled from under a load. When you see the Red Guard warning yarns exposed, it's your signal that serious damage -- and loss of lifting capacity -- has occurred. We recommend that slings with any damage to load-bearing fibers be discarded. Wear pads are one way to avoid this damage.

Acid damage.  It's true that nylon and polyester webbing are stable when exposed to many common chemicals, but they should never be exposed to any strong acids or corrosive liquids whenever possible. The same is true for metal fittings on slings.