If you work at a job where you are required to move heavy loads, you may work with industrial chain slings which use a drum or lift wheel to lift or lowers heavy loads when connected to a chain hoist. As with any heavy equipment, knowing the right safety protocol and tips is very important to protect the materials being transported and protect yourself from injuries. While construction safety risks are nearly impossible to assess accurately due to the wide variance in different jobs, it is always a good idea to be over-prepared as opposed to under-prepared to reduce the chance of accidents. Here are some tips for working with chain slings safely.
#1. Take Cautions To Protect Chain Slings
Although chain slings are made of very durable materials, it is still important to reinforce and protect slings by using some form of barrier between sharp material edges and the sling itself. Proper material handling procedures commonly suggest using padding wrapped around the materials being moved so the sharp edges are not exposed.
#2. Cautions For Personnel And Operators
It is important for all personnel working in the vicinity of the lifting equipment to take certain precautions. Personnel need to watch their location; No one should ever stand in the same line as a sling under tension. Likewise, personnel should stay away from the legs of a sling that is under tension. It is always safest to keep a wide radius away from the lifting gear while the chain sling is under tension.
#3. Watch Out For Environmental Extremes
Make sure to watch out for environmental factors when using — and storing — lifting equipment such as chain slings. The storage location should prevent the sling from forming any kinks, and should protect the metal from corrosion. Environments that experience temperatures of either extreme heat or extreme cold should be avoided.
Additionally, the materials should be kept somewhere that protects the sling from the elements such as precipitation or moisture, as this could cause damage and weaken the equipment.
#4. Pay Attention To Ratings For Load And Angle
When using chain slings, always pay attention to the rated loads or capacities for all equipment, including attachments like hooks. There are tables available to locate rated loads for various angles. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from horizontal angles smaller than 30 degrees. Follow the guidelines established by the specific sling’s manufacturer or by another person qualified to determine safe capacities and angles.
Remember the general safety tips as well. For example, all workers on construction sites should wear hard hats and steel toe boots for safety regardless of the nature of the work being done at the time. If you have any questions or comments about safety tips for chain slings, please leave a comment.