Proper Care and Maintenance of a Chain Sling
Alloy chain slings are durable and long-lasting. These chains are specifically made to lift extremely heavy loads for a long period of time, and are among the best options for work in rigorous, dirty, and tough conditions. In fact, the reputation for durability has elevated the Adjustable Chain Sling and similar slings, to the most popular rigging in the construction and heavy industrial industries.
While incredibly tough, chain slings aren’t immune to the often extreme conditions in which they are used. To ensure the safety and longevity of a chain sling, a user must implement proper care and maintenance.
Set a Schedule for Inspection
The key to proper care and maintenance of an adjustable chain sling, or any other alloy chain sling, is setting a schedule for checking, repairing, and replacing components. For most users, the inspection of a chain sling should happen continuously. This means inspection before every use of the sling or rigging, and then a set inspection program that is implemented by a trained employee.
In addition to simply inspecting the equipment on a regular basis, the results of each inspection should be recorded properly and thoroughly. This allows the owner to track any damage or misuse of the equipment and potentially catch an issue with the sling that would later result in a bigger problem.
Train Employees on Proper Lifting Technique
Employee training is crucial when using a chain sling. The longevity of equipment is directly dependent on consistent and appropriate use of the chain rigging, while improper use quickly leads to major problems with the individual components and the alloy chain itself. It is important to stress proper lifting and moving techniques during employee training.
A load should be lifted steadily. When an operator lifts an object at a set pace, it is easier to avoid jerking, swinging, or bouncing the load. All of these quick movements put an extra strain on the chain sling and are common causes of damage. Operators should be trained on the equipment and machinery used to raise the chain sling as well as the proper way to distribute weight evenly under the chain’s hook. Finally, it is essential that employees know how to handle slack or other inconsistencies in the chain sling without damaging the metal.
Clean Chain Slings on a Regular Basis
Use in a rugged environment creates obvious issues for chain slings. Not only can workplace conditions lead to corrosion or damage to the metal, but even minor external forces can affect the alloy metal over time - dirt included. Dust, dirt and other debris are common on any construction site, throughout warehouse space, and on factory floors. While this debris starts out small, it quickly accumulates within equipment and machinery. Any foreign material caught between the chain links can weaken or damage those points of the sling. Cleaning, therefore, should be an integral part of the care and maintenance of any adjustable chain sling and is essential for elongating the lifespan of rigging.
Once properly cleaned, a chain sling must be stored in a similarly clean and covered place to avoid further, and unnecessary, exposure to the elements.
Implement Proper Handling of Chain Slings
Chain slings are a heavy piece of equipment and their weight and material can be mistaken for invulnerability. The perception of chain slings as invulnerable can lead employees to ignore proper handling techniques, which, if implemented, would extend the life of your chain sling.
A few important handling requirements are as follows: never let heavy material or objects rest on top of the chain sling and avoid landing heavy loads atop the metal; do not use a chain sling that has knots or kinks; and make use of fabric pads or other protective materials when lifting a sharp or rough object.
Replace a Chain Sling that is Past its Prime
Perhaps the most important part in the care and maintenance of an adjustable chain sling is knowing when replacing this equipment is necessary for safety purposes. If you have a chain sling that is past its prime, then head to the comprehensive online store at empirerigging.com to find the ideal replacement.