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Know Your Sling Safety Procedures

Riggers are crucial to building and maintaining our communities.  Working in rigging can be rewarding work, but we cannot forget that we are responsible for making sure every lift is a safe lift. When handling your equipment incorrectly or failing to comply with safety guidelines, you can end up facing substantial injury, death, or accidentally harming someone else, not to mention damaging machinery or other property. Familiarizing yourself with these fundamental procedures can help prevent accidents in the future.

A Safe Lift

While a lift may seem routine, no one expects accidents to happen when they do. Always follow your lift plan and remember these safety steps:

  • Prepare the Sling – Before you even begin the lift, you should take care to ensure that you are using proper sling protection if needed. Sharp edges can damage or destroy some slings. CornerMax® pads and sleeves, cover saddles, wooden blocking, or other padding can all be useful keep your sling safe from unnecessary strain.
  • Verify the Load Weight – Prior to lifting, determine the weight of the load. If unsure, check documentation, such as bills of lading or manufacturers’ documentation.  If weight is not shown, estimate the total weight from the known weight of a cubic foot of the material being lifted.  By knowing the weight of the load, you can make sure that the rigging you have available can handle the load safely.  Remember that sling configuration can affect the working load limit of slings and hardware.
  • Rig Efficiently – The more efficiently you set up your rigging, the easier the lift will be for you. Ensuring that the hook is directly above the load and centered with it will provide you with the maximum efficiency and reduce the risk of damage to your equipment.
  • Take Your Time – It doesn’t matter how strong your crane or rigging are, never jerk the load. A sudden force is called shock loading, and it dramatically increases the load. This can permanently damage or even break rigging.  Protect your rigging equipment and crew by being patient and avoiding unnecessary strain.

Maximizing Safety to Minimize Injury

Practicing proper safety procedures ensures that both you and your equipment will remain safe and sound.  If you need rigging training, contact Certified Slings & Supply® and ask for the Academy Coordinator, or email For more information on our product or training selection, call us at today at 1-800-486-5542, or look at our online product guide online.

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