Whether you are expanding your options for riggings and slings or starting a new business that requires this equipment, the proper use of slings is essential. Failure to follow proper directions and best practices can result in injury to your employees, damage to materials or inventory, and a massive headache that far outreaches the minor inconvenience of double-checking that all procedures are followed.
Many of the steps for proper use of a 2 leg chain sling, otherwise called a double leg chain sling, can be found within materials released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but this governmental entity also places the responsibility on employers and operators to properly use the equipment. While a supplier will do everything possible to explain the right process for use of a certain sling or rigging, ultimately, it is up to the user to implement it.
So, if you are the one who will use a two leg chain sling, what steps should you follow for use?
#1: Understand the Methods for Determining Maximum Weight
Each component on a piece of rigging, including the separate components of a two leg or double leg sling, come with a rated capacity, which is the maximum weight allowed to be lifted by that component. This weight is not merely a suggestion, but a requirement for use. A company that exceeds the rated capacity for a particular chain puts inventory, equipment, and people in danger.
The applicable rated capacity is the lowest weight for any single component. For instance if the metal chain has an allowable weight that is higher than the hooks being utilized, the maximum weight is what is allowed for the hooks. The rated capacity for each component contributes to the overall safety of the rigging.
As well, it is essential to realize that the configurations of your sling will impact the rated capacity, and in many instances reduce the maximum load you can lift. Another impact on the rated capacity are external elements, such as extreme temperatures.
#2: Only Lift Loads That Are Equal to or Less Than OSHA’s Rated Capacity
Once the equipment’s rated capacity is understood, a user must be certain the inventory or materials being lifted are in compliance. When using a 2 leg chain sling, the weight of materials, inventory, machinery, and equipment is not a guessing game. It should be determined with accuracy and precision.
In particular, careful engineering work should be employed where the weight of these materials could match or exceed the rated capacity.
#3: Assess Your Materials to Form a Lift Plan
A double leg chain sling is useful for lifting a number of different types and shapes of materials, which explains its popularity over single or triple chains. It is typically the best option for lifting long items, such as beams, pipes, and bars, but is also easily secured in a basket format around hollow materials, through gaps such as window frames, and around plates or rods. However, the double chain format is also prone to swinging and complications if the weight is improperly distributed.
One of the most important parts of using a 2 leg chain sling is to properly center the object or set of materials. This will decrease the horizontal movement as you lift and prevent drastic swinging from one side to another. This requires the user to place the center of the object, in terms of weight, directly under the crane or other device used to lift the sling and object. Just as weight was the determinative factor in earlier preparation, when forming a lift plan, where the weight is distributed makes all the difference.
#4: Always Inspect Before Use
It is impossible to stress the importance of inspecting all equipment and components before use. Corrosion of a chain sling or damage to a hook can result in disaster. A chain should be checked for nicks, bending, deformities, and other wear and tear. Any instances of damage should be carefully noted and recorded. Additionally, repairs should only be made by a qualified individual and replacements provided by a reputable supplier.
If you are faced with a 2 leg chain sling that has a lower-rated capacity than your project needs or is showing signs of irreparable damage, turn to a rigging and sling supplier you can trust. Empire Rigging only sells products that are reliable and durable. Learn more about our American-made products here.