Working in environments where heavy objects are lifted requires a special set of safety rules, and of course, the right equipment. Modern solutions mean safer working practices, and with strict government regulations, every company must adhere to the safety guidelines.
Chain slings come in different sizes and working loads, and there is an element of danger involved. Here are a few things that you should bear in mind when using chain slings.
- Never exceed the weight limit of a chain sling.
- Fittings and attachments must have a working load limit (WLL) equal to, or greater than the chain.
- Eliminate all twists and kinks before lifting.
- Never rest or drop a load onto a chain.
- Balance the load to avoid excess stress.
Chain slings should be protected from corrosion, and stored in a dry area, preferably hanging, as chains stored on the floor are more likely to be damaged.
The angle that the sling forms is critical to estimating the WLL, which should be reduced as the angle becomes more acute. Angles less than 45 degrees should be avoided, as should angles below 30 degrees, and if you are in any doubt, consult the chain sling supplier, who would have all the relevant data.
Chain Sling Grading
Chain slings are graded for their WLL, and the lower number signifies a lower working load limit. Grade 8 is acceptable for most lightweight lifting, and with chain sizes ranging from 6m to 22mm, they can lift up to 31.5 tonnes. Pewag are manufacturers of chain slings and their range of products are lighter and stronger than most of their competitors, so if you are looking for quality chain slings, there are online suppliers of Pewag products at very competitive prices.
Dirt and grime could cause wear and tear on the pressure points of the links, so a frequent degrease is advisable, to keep the chains in optimum condition. If the chains get damaged in any way, they should be sent back to the manufacturer for repair, as only they can certify the chains as fit for use. Chains should be dried if they get wet, as rust can be a problem.
When lifting, one should gradually apply the tension, with no jerking or sudden tension, as this can weaken the chain considerably, especially if done repeatedly. The chain slings are designed to lift certain loads, and by adhering to the guidelines of use, you can be sure that no accidents will occur.
There are some reputable online suppliers that offer safety advice in the form of a free download, which is something that every employer prefers. Staff should be aware of the guidelines regarding safety when working with chain slings, and if everyone complies, work accidents will be reduced considerably.
High quality products mean the chain slings are lighter and stronger than ever before, and providing they are used correctly, they will provide a safe method of lowering and raising heavy items.