If you have a screen protector and/or sturdy case around your cell phone, then you’re already on board with the concept that keeping your belongings protected from accidents is worth the extra few bucks. The same logic applies to the arena of rigging solutions. When not properly protected, synthetic slings used in heavy duty rigging applications are exposed to all sorts of potentially harmful elements that can cause damage to the sling itself. And unlike your cell phone, when a synthetic sling decides to break, the results can be catastrophic and even deadly. In fact, damaged slings are the leading cause of rigging related accidents. For this reason, proper sling protection is HIGHLY recommended at all times.
Sling Protection Defined
Sling protection refers to the procedures enacted and products used to ensure that a sling used in a rigging application is properly protected from elements that may cause it to fail or break. The purpose of sling protection is three-fold:
- To keep the sling in proper working order
- To keep the load protected from the sling and other lifting apparatuses
- To minimize the potential for danger or catastrophic failure at the worksite
Generally, any lifting application involving synthetic slings will require some form of sling protection in order to extend the life of the sling and complete the task safely.
How Do You Protect Slings?
Too often, we’ll see slings “protected” by scraps of old nylon slings, pads, leather gloves, or whatever else happens to be lying around the worksite. Let me be clear: this is NOT the way to go. These makeshift devices can potentially damage the sling and make for a far more costly and potentially dangerous rigging application. Over time, unprotected slings can become damaged due to intense pressure on sharp edges (like a steel beam) or from coming in harsh contact with rough surfaces (like a concrete barrier). Slings repeatedly exposed to these damaging environments can fail and cause damage, injury, or even death.
Without a doubt, the best way to protect your slings from cuts and abrasion is to invest in proper pads, sleeves, and other products specifically designed for that very purpose. Slingmax®, a worldwide leader in rigging solutions, carries a wide selection of sling protective devices designed to extend the life of your slings and keep your worksites safe. Slingmax® CornerMax® Pad and CornerMax® Sleeve products are engineered to perform exceptionally with loads up to 25,000 pounds per usable inch of sling width.
A sampling of Slingmax® sling protective devices includes:
- CornerMax® Pads: designed to serve as corner pad when lifting items with 90 degree edges
- CornerMax® Sleeves: designed for protection against irregularly shaped loads
- Synthetic Armor Pads: designed to protect slings from abrasion due to contact with rough surfaces (not designed for cut protection)
- Shackle Pin Pads: designed to protect the pin of a shackle from abrasion (not designed for cut protection)
Other products, like the DICA LiftGuard™, have cut protection up to 12,500 lbs. per sq. inch of synthetic sling width, but offer magnets to be more secure to the load.
John Sakach is a proud distributor of Slingmax® products including sling protection devices as well as other sling protection options. To learn more about the line of products we carry, or to find out which devices can help make your next rigging application faster, safer, and more secure, contact the rigging slings experts at John Sakach.