Properly storing rigging equipment is an essential safety requirement to prevent slings from damage. OHSA states that rigging equipment, when not in use, shall be removed from the immediate work area so as not to present a hazard to employees (OSHA 1926.251(a)(3). Not only is it important to store rigging equipment for safety reasons, but it allows for a longer sling life.
Tips to Store Rigging
- Keep slings off ground. When people leave slings on the ground, it is not only a safety hazard, but it also exposes the slings to all elements. These elements may diminish the quality and life of the sling.
- Store in a cool, dry and dark place. Depending on the type of sling you’re storing, elements such as extreme high or low temperatures, wetness, and UV light can all cause damage to your sling. That’s why it is important to store slings in a protected environment in between use.
- Beware of environment and chemical factors of your slings. Like previously mentioned, environmental elements, such as sunlight and extreme hot or cold temperatures, can greatly impact your sling. Additionally, certain slings have chemical factors that can greatly affect them. Web Slings are one type of sling that have Chemical & Physical Factors that affect its strength. We recommend you choose a storage location that avoids each of these elements.
- Maintain clean slings. Before storing, make sure your slings are clean. While we understand that slings will get dirty on a job site, preventing dirt and build up on the slings will help aid longer sling life.
Why is storing slings important?
There are several benefits to properly storing your slings. Properly storing your slings can help lead to longer sling life and save you money in the long run. Slings that are left out in the elements and are not properly maintained are likely not to meet inspection standards, and they may have to be replaced sooner than slings that have been stored properly. Read our article “How to Recognize When A Sling Should Be Removed from Service” to learn more about inspecting slings before each use.
Additionally, storage helps with organizing your rigging. A few benefits to organized rigging include easily finding the slings you need daily, as well as it being easy to check working load limits before each use. It also helps speed up the inspection process. Racks and/or Containers are great options to help organize rigging, as long as they are kept in a cool, dry and dark spot.