Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Safe Rigging Equipment

Horse Sense Safety

Safe Rigging Equipment

OSHA Standard – 1926.251

“Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe. Defective rigging equipment shall be removed from service.”

This standard, as stated, is one that should be automatically followed by workers using this equipment. It only makes Horse Sense to do so. But, (always the butt), a high percentage of workers pay little attention to the condition of slings, hooks and material handling equipment.

I have seen workers that were too lazy or too careless with rigging that they will pick up an old used wire rope sling that has broken strands protruding from the wire rope that will, literally, stick into the worker’s hands while using them while a new or one in much better condition lies in a gang box. The “donkey” mentality causes them to think that taking a few steps across the jobsite to get a new sling or other rigging equipment is too much trouble.

Trouble? What about wrapping a sling around a big bundle of reinforcing steel, taking no consideration of the weight of the load compared to the capacity of the sling in good condition? Or, how many times does a rigger even take a few seconds to compare the rated load of the sling to the weight of the item to be lifted?

Wire rope slings that have been “choked” around loads many times will “open” the lay of the rope and cause breakage of the individual wires in the strand. The condition of synthetic (nylon, polyester or polypropylene), slings can deceptively unsafe without close inspection on every use. The general “rule of thumb” attention attractor is a RED thread woven through each edge of the sling material. When this red string begins to show, the sling shall be removed from service. At this point, the “horse sense” action is to destroy and dispose of this sling so that is it can’t be used again.

Horse Sense with Rigging Equipment? Simple. Take just a few minutes to properly inspect the equipment you are using at EACH USAGE. Throw away unsafe rigging.

Think Safety. Work Safely. Use Horse Sense when using rigging equipment at each use.

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