A GUIDE to Polyester Slings

Posted by ANC Distribution New Zealand on 13 Mar, 2023

A GUIDE to Polyester Slings

Looking to get the basic information you need to get started with polyester slings for heavy cargo lifting? ANC Distribution New Zealand is here to help!

In the cargo securement and transport industries, one of the most commonly faced situations is lifting cargo of considerable size and weight from the ground onto a vehicle or vice versa. In order to best facilitate this process in the most effective way possible, you need to make sure that you are using the best tools you can. The best tool for heavy cargo lifting of this kind is a polyester sling. ANC Distribution New Zealand is here today to tell you more about what you need to know regarding polyester slings in order to help your next job go without a hitch.

What are Polyester Slings?

Polyester slings are a type of sling that is used for lifting heavy cargo onto a cargo They are engineered and manufactured to be able to withstand a considerable amount of weight and a wide range of different shapes. These slings are crafted with a strong polyester weave in order to withstand a wide range of different types of jobs you might have, including ones that involve significant heat, water, and less than favourable weather conditions. As such, they are far stronger, longer lasting, and more reliable than older forms of heavy cargo lifting such as ropes.

How are Polyester Slings Used?

Although we now have somewhat of a basic idea as to what polyester slings are, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the various applications they are used for in the cargo transport industry. Polyester lifting slings are especially useful in instances where the cargo that needs to be lifted from one area to another is not only considerably large and heavy, but also is awkward to handle and has no fastening points located anywhere on it. This is often the case when lifting objects such as several metal pipes, a pallet of cement blocks, construction materials, and more.

Approved Code of Practice

With that being said, it is also important to be aware of the proper procedure for the usage of polyester lifting slings. Fortunately, there a number of different useful and reliable ways to go about utilising a polyester lifting sling. Most of these approved methods are based on a variety of different factors, such as the size, shape, density, and centre of gravity of the object or objects that need to be lifted from one area to another. The Approved Code of Practice Handbook is your guide to correct load-lifting rigging. It is focused on improving safety practices and reducing workplace accidents in the industry.

One of the more important things you need to keep in mind is that you need to make sure that you give the proper level of attention to the kind of hitch (if you are using one) that you are using for the sling as well. The ‘choker hitch’ for example (a hitch where the sling is hooked through itself) The chocker hitch will derate the lifting sling by 20% of its safe Working Load Limit capacity.

Furthermore, one of the most important things you need to remember is that a load needs to be secured properly, and the lifting point should always be directly above the load’s centre of gravity. The reason behind this is that it helps to make sure that the load does not tip in any way during the process of lifting.

Important Safety Information for Polyester Sling Use.

When using a polyester flat lifting sling or round sling, you want to make sure that you are following all of the proper safety protocol. Not only will these help your lifting sling last considerably longer, but they can also help keep you safe as well. As such, here are the most important safety procedures that need to be abided by when you are operating a polyester sling:

  • Make sure to avoid shock loads.
  • Never utilize a polyester flat lifting sling or a round sling with a missing or illegible label.
  • For loads that have rough surfaces or sharp edges, protective gear needs to be used to protect the slings.
  • Never use a round sling or lifting sling that is damaged or worn.
  • Never use polyester round slings or flat lifting slings outside the temperature range of -40°C to +100°.
  • Use polyester Flat lifting slings and round slings in a manner where the load cannot be dislodged
  • Never exceed the indicated safe working load limit of the sling.
  • Polyester lifting slings need to be used in a way where they are loaded across the entirety of their width.
  • Never pull the polyester flat lifting sling or round sling out from underneath a load if it is currently lying on top of the sling.
  • Always visually inspect the flat lifting sling or round sling before use. It is the Operators’ responsibility to ensure lifting equipment is safe for purpose prior to use. If unsure do not use!!
  • Flat Lifting slings and round slings should never be knotted.

Types of Lifting Slings

Polyester slings as has been mentioned are one of the most reliable types of lifting slings on the market for a wide array of different types of cargo lifting jobs. These are sometimes referred to as web slings due to the fact that they have a webbed composition. They have the extra benefit of being able to handle things such as open liquids as well as various acids and bleach being present. Additionally, polyester lifting slings are a recommendable tool to use in instances where you do not want there to be any surface marking left on the cargo, such as when hoisting a boat.

Polyester lifting slings typically come in two different forms

Flat:standard strap made from tough polyester webbing is the way to go when you have cargo of considerable weight and size that needs lifting but does not necessarily need to be given the most amount of protection. When you need more flexibility and strength, flat slings are the way that you want to go. Flat slings have an Eyelet at each end.

Round: An endless loop of webbing that is covered by a woven tubular jacket. These are typically meant for applications where a load is in need of an extra level of protection due to fragility or other reasons where it is even more critical that it not be dropped or damaged in any way, shape, or form.

Chain Lifting Sets

When you are facing some of the more demanding cargo lifting jobs, chain lifting slings are often a go-to option for many cargo transport professionals. The reason behind this is that chain slings are usually manufactured from high grade steel alloy. Some of the added benefits of chain lifting slings is that they are adjusted and fitted for nearly any heavy lifting assembly you might have. Chain sets should be visually inspected prior to lifting operations. Current legislation requires a chain set to be inspected and recertified every 12 months. Chain lifting sets can be used in conjunction with flat & round slings.

Replacing Polyester Slings

In most instances, polyester lifting slings are able to last up to 5 years. This of course will depend entirely on how well they are taken care of, and what kinds of cargo they are used to lift. However, it is required by law in many parts of the world that you give your lifting slings a proper full inspection once every 12 months in order to make sure that they are still in proper working condition and are not in any danger of malfunctioning during a cargo transport job. Should you find any potential wear points on a polyester sling, you need to replace it with a brand new one immediately. After all, this could put cargo and crew at considerable risk. This can save lives and a great deal of business related stress. ANC Distribution can assist you with re-certification of your lifting equipment.

What to Look for During Lifting Sling Visual Inspections

When you are conducting an inspection on your polyester slings, it is important to be aware of the various things that you should be keeping an eye out for in order to make your inspection the most effective it can be. It is of the utmost importance that you always keep an eye out for defects such as signs of any possible damage, any kinks, as well as any fraying that may or may not be happening with the webbing of the polyester lifting sling. Although it is typically legally required that you do a full inspection once every 12 months, it is often considered global best practice to do a basic inspection before each use of the lifting sling. This is considerably helpful when it comes to avoiding any workplace based accidents.

When it comes to doing the official inspections , it is a good idea for someone who is fully trained to carry them out. Such professionals usually know the exact things to look for in the polyester lifting slings, such as worn or missing identification markings, worn fittings, acid burns, as well as melting or discoloration of any area of the sling. By having someone who can recognize these things with ease and experience, you can be sure that there will be considerably less chance of any critical failures happening with your lifting slings during usage. Plus, you will have a much better idea as to when you should go ahead and replace any of your polyester slings. ANC Distribution can assist with your re-certification.

The below chart indicates changes to your Working Load Limits when using different lifting modes.

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