Material Handling Equipment Safety: The Dos And Don'ts Of Sling Operation

When it comes to material handling, your business needs to have a lot of different equipment on hand to get the job done right. One common piece of material handling equipment you and your employees may work with on a daily basis is that of a sling, which is used to hoist and move heavy materials from point A to point B. Unfortunately, many workers are injured and even killed each year as a result of poor safety protocols while operating a sling. To help avoid accidents from happening at your workplace, there are a few things all of your employees should know.

DO Know When a Sling Rope Needs Replacing

One of the most important things you can teach your sling operators and other equipment workers is how to determine when a sling rope needs to be replaced. All too often, accidents happen because a rope was used to haul a heavy load, even though it should have been replaced long ago. Some important signs that a sling rope needs replacing include:

  • presence of broken wires
  • damage to end fittings
  • corrosion or kinking

All employees should know the proper supervisor to contact in the event that a new sling rope is needed.

DO Clean Slings Before Inspecting

Hopefully, your workers already know the importance of inspecting their sling ropes before each use. However, one mistake that many workers make when it comes to that inspection is failing to clean the sling and its parts off before conducting the inspection. Often times, dust, dirt, and other debris can cover up telltale signs of excessive wear and tear. To avoid missing these signs, then, workers should clean sling ropes both before and after using them.

DON'T Forget to Lubricate

Finally, make sure your workers are taking the time to lubricate each sling rope before and after they use it. Furthermore, ensure that your workers are aware of how much lubrication is needed based on the conditions, the number of bends in the sling, and the overall weight of the load being carried. Generally, the greater the load, the more lubrication will be needed to keep things running smoothly. Communicate with your workers that failure to properly lubricate the sling rope and its parts could result in premature wear and tear, thus posing a safety hazard.

As you can see, there's a lot that your workers need to know when it comes to sling safety. Be sure to run over these vital dos and don'ts with your employees.

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