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Toolbox Talk: Care & Storage of Rigging Equipment

By March 29, 2021 No Comments

Practice Proper Rigging Equipment Care & Storage

Proper care and storage are essential for maximum service life and safety of rigging equipment. How the equipment is handled and cared for has a big impact not only on your safety, but that of your coworker. Outside of the daily inspections, care and storage is one of the easiest means of protecting and preserving the investment in our rigging equipment. Personnel using rigging equipment shall ensure that they are cared for and stored properly by practicing the following suggestions:

  • Slings, shackles and clamps should be stored on racks (preferably vertical) and in designated locations when not in use
  • When synthetic slings are not in use, store them in a dark, cool, dry location, free from mechanical and environmental damage
  • Before storage, and periodically during storage, wipe slings clean to remove as much dirt and abrasive grit as possible
    • Lubricate wire rope slings to extend their useful life
  • Do not store the equipment in a location where it will be subjected to mechanical damage, corrosive action, moisture, extreme heat, or kinking
  • Do not store synthetic-web slings where the temperature exceeds 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)
  • Do not store synthetic-web slings outside in the open where UV exposure can damage the sling
    • UV exposure can reduce the sling’s Working Load Limit (WLL) by up to 50 percent
  • Dropping slings in the dirt allows more corrosive sand and grit to accumulate and wear on the equipment
    • Dirty synthetic slings make it harder to inspect them to ensure they are in good working order prior to lifting a load
  • Dropping rigging equipment on concrete prematurely wears the slings, shackles, and clamps
    • The concrete is hard and abrasive, and will easily wear the edges of chains
  • Dropping shackles on the concrete can wear the embossing off and require the item be removed from service if the WLL is not visible
  • Rigging equipment dumped on the floor makes it subject to wear or damage from foot traffic, forklifts, raw materials, grinder spray, and weld spatter
  • Slings dumped on the floor can result in damaged tags that could require removal from service
  • Chain slings can be retagged, synthetic slings cannot if the tags are ripped and unreadable, or removed from mishandling
  • Avoid getting them wet, if possible
    • If the conditions of the lift are wet, let the synthetic slings dry out after use by hanging them to air dry
  • Nylon based slings, when wet, lose approximately 15 percent of their WLL
    • This strength returns when the sling dries completely
  • Do not lift with round slings that have been allowed to get wet and then frozen
    • The ice crystals become like knives on the cords when a load is applied to a frozen round sling and will cut them and prematurely shorten its life

Rigging equipment is your lifeline to hoisting and moving loads safely. Treat it as a tool that needs to be kept in top working condition to protect your health and your coworkers.

Remember, safety is built one step at a time!

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