When using rigging gear, or any gear for that matter, do you assume it's in perfect condition just because it's new? Sadly, we cannot look at it that way. Safety is requiring everyone to start assuming less and hold your contractors and vendors to a higher standard. Crane Tech came across a serious issue during one of their training sessions for rigging... a sling was not properly tagged. ASME and OSHA have very strict requirements on how slings are tagged.
ASME B30.9-5.7.1(d) Identification Requirements. Type of synthetic web material.
OSHA 1910.184(I)(1) Sling identification. Each sling shall be marked or coded to show the rated capacities for each type of hitch and type of synthetic web material.
Now that we know what the requirements are for slings, let’s go over what the slings tag had or didn’t have. When the Crane Tech instructor was teaching the course he noticed a key piece of information was missing from the synthetic sling tag. The unfortunate part of this is the company that makes the sling advertises on their website as “one of the leading brands of synthetic slings that uses better quality materials, better consistency in manufacturing and better quality controls.” Even though they advertise this you should still inspect all of your gear. When the instructor looked down at the tag he quickly noticed that the material of the sling was not noted on the sling's tag. Why is this important? If you were to use a sling made from nylon and used that sling around acid vapors or various chemicals that sling would deteriorate.
Now let’s talk about inspections. A brand new sling must go through an inspection before it can be used. Anyone would assume this sling had been through an initial quality control check, as it had been tagged with the appropriate colored zip-tie, marking it as being under current periodic inspection. Thus, the sling is safe to use. Now how did the sling with missing information on the tag get past the inspector? Whatever the reason, this as a lesson to always double check equipment and use a well qualified person.
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