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Choosing Wire Slings That Fit Your Rigging and Lifting Needs

Workplace safety is essential to maintaining high productivity and fewer delays in the construction, warehousing, and distribution industries. Out of 100 workers, 2.8 workers are injured every year in the US. Fortunately, there are many measures that employers and employees can take to further reduce these figures.

Choosing wire slings correctly is one simple yet significant step. Wire rope slings are useful rigging and lifting tools. Its standard design lends itself to many applications, which is why it’s popular among other sling types. Despite its flexibility, selecting the right wire slings requires more attention to detail.

This article provides a walkthrough of each essential factor to consider when selecting the appropriate wire slings for rigging and lifting.

Five Things to Consider When Buying Wire Slings

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the wire rope’s versatility is attributed to the following characteristics:

  • Durability
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Ability to lift hot materials
  • Ability to fit with the shape of the load

When choosing wire slings, construction and warehousing companies look for those that comply with standards, including that of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Its volume B30.9 covers everything about slings, from manufacturing to use and inspection. Below are five of the most essential factors for selecting and buying wire rope slings.

1. Length

You need to measure how long a sling should be for your lifting or rigging tasks. To measure the wire sling, you need to start the measurement from bearing point to another eye’s bearing point. Bring these measurements to your local construction store so they can customize the wire slings according to your specifications.

2. Strength

Wire Slings For Lifting
Image by Vicky Nicoll on Unsplash

The strength of wire slings is inspected through the weight or load. When choosing wire slings, you determine the limitations of your wire slings by their load limit. This information is important because using a load that goes beyond the limit can be dangerous. It can cause your sling to snap and people working below the load are exposed to hazardous scenarios, including falling materials.

To match the sling’s strength with the equipment, experts refer to the equipment’s manual because this document specifies the ideal rope strength for the lifting equipment (e.g. crane).

3. Capacity Needs

Besides strength and length, you can choose the appropriate sling according to the eye’s diameter. For instance, some stores recommend a wire sling rope for a specific lifting load. Frequent use can gradually reduce your sling’s strength and capacity, so it’s important to schedule regular inspections for these ropes.

4. Wire Sling Protection

Besides inspection, you should consider investing in protective gear when buying wire rope slings. Padding helps increase the radius of the sling’s bend and avoid fatigue failure, which happens when wires snap while bending. Tubular sleeves help reduce harsh contact between the sling and the load. When using hooks in the sling’s eye, a thimble can ensure that the hook doesn’t damage the sling’s eye.

5. Application of Wire Slings

Knowing the specific uses can help inform the type of sling that you should buy, whether it’s bendable, stiff, or a combination of both. Also, some wires are better suited for indoor use than outdoors. For the latter, be sure to check the coating of the wire sling. Case in point: a fiber-core wire rope should be kept away from temperatures over 180 °F.

Finally, keep a lift plan so you can monitor the weight of the load in addition to the weight of the rigging gear. You want to avoid going over the load limit of your wire slings.

Finalizing Your Sling of Choice

After factoring in all these considerations, one last thing you can do is ask if these slings are tested. This is an important step because choosing wire slings is part of ensuring workplace safety. For high-quality wire rope slings and other rigging needs, check out Southeast Rigging or visit our offices in Jacksonville, Tampa, or Orlando.

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