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CICA enhances spotlight on soft sling safety issues

Industrial sewing machine sews a webbing soft sling. Manufacture of textile slings and tie straps.

The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) has released its latest safety bulletin that once again pertains to soft slings, examining procurement, inspection, and storage practices to ensure a soft sling is kept safe.

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Following the last safety bulletin that looked at soft sling non-compliance to Australian and International Standards, CICA’s bulletin looks at the do’s and don’ts for procurement and operations teams.

“The safety of lifting operations depends crucially on the integrity and reliability of the equipment used,” said the bulletin. “While synthetic slings offer many benefits, their procurement must be managed with a keen focus on quality and compliance to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of all personnel involved.”

For procurement teams, CICA identifies the necessity of a list of warnings on WLL tags in English, the importance of verification of credentials of manufacturers with special mention to the veracity of NATA-accredited sling manufacturers, conducting and requesting comprehensive supplier audits, defining clear specifications for each sling purchased, and ensuring the load capacity of the slings possesses an adequate WLL for the lift.

For operational and safety teams, the bulletin emphasises the importance of implementing a stringent incoming inspection plan including both physical and load testing of slings before they are placed into service, checking for damaged slings that “must be removed from service immediately”.  Training of personnel on the correct handling, inspection, and maintenance of synthetic slings is also identified as a key area, while the maintenance of appropriate documentation is also platformed.

CICA’s bulletin also addresses load characteristics, environmental conditions, and appropriate storage and care in the correct conditions in a cool, dry place away from chemicals and damage sources as points to consider for operations and safety teams, while also ensuring compliance with relevant standards as well as establishing a comprehensive sling failure reporting system.

For more information, CICA members have free access to the relevant standards that relate to soft slings:
• AS 1353.2-1997 Flat Synthetic-webbing slings
• AS 4497:2018 Flat Synthetic-round slings

Read the full bulletin here.

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