“Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use on each shift and as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe. Defective rigging equipment shall be removed from service.”- OSHA 1926.251(a)(1)
Fabric and cable slings are widely employed in our shops to lift and move bundles of bar stock in particular, as well as scrap totes, pallets, and other equipment when needed.
They often carry weights as much as 5 tons. over valuable equipment, and in the vicinity of employees.
A failed sling could cause thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage as well as potential injuries.
Do you know where your slings and straps are?
Do you know their condition?
Do you have a process to assure compliance?
Dan Ignaziak at Sepco-Erie  and his super cool  team do.
Here are some photos of the Best Practice Sling inspection control system in use at Sepco Erie.

A place for every sling, and every sling in its place...
A place for every sling, and every sling in its place…

Documentation, Baby! Documentation!
Documentation, Baby! Documentation!

It doesn’t take a lot to get  your shop into compliance for 1926.251.
Dan and his team wrangled all the slings into a defined place, numbered them, and inspect them, recording the inspections on the Inventory sheet shown on the clipboard.
This could be run on a spreadsheet on a computer as well.
The key is to be

  1.  aware of the requirement,
  2.  set up a simple system to track slings
  3.  then execute with training to inspect before use and to inspect monthly .

Dan’s Training Tip:  ” It’s also critical to train your people that slings are not to  be used without affixed, legible identification markings, required by paragraph (a)(2)(i) of the OSHA regulation.”
There you have it- Best practice compliance on slings, lifting devices, and rigging equipment from Sepco-Erie.
Their shop epitomizes the fun but professional spirit that makes precision machining super cool today.
In what  area is your shop the exemplar for Best Practices?

Inspection of all lifting devices was a monthly “Must Do” when I was supervisor at the steel company.

Is it even an assigned responsibility to anyone in your shop?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvyIrsZ7Zhs]

Here is a photo of a strap I found- would you like it to be holding a 4000# bundle of steel over your half million dollar (or so) production machine as it carried barstock to the job?

(I’m sure that you’ve  already trained (and documented that training for) everyone on your crew to never be “caught beneath” any overhead lift.)

Whose responsibility is it to inspect these in your shop? When was last time that they did? Show me the record.

Rigging and lifting devices are an important responsibility.

Who has it in your shop?

Can you show me records of their diligence?