When conducting work site inspections, audits, or periodic rigging inspections, it is not uncommon to have to take anywhere from 80% -100% of the synthetic web slings out of service. There are a large variety of reasons a synthetic sling, “gets itself” into such a state of disrepair, but one thing that comes up from time to time when you ask a sling’s user why it is still on the rack in a clearly damaged state, a typical response might be:
“Oh, well you can’t see the red marker threads, so I thought they were still good…?”
Unbeknownst to some, many synthetic slings can be cut completely in twain and there will be no evidence of the aforementioned “red marker threads” whatsoever.
Backstory: some sling manufacturers would weave a different colored thread into the web sling material as a way to warn users of excess wear/abrasion/etc. The idea was that sling users would be able to more quickly identify a worn out sling by seeing the different colored thread.
So now we can see the issue that I have with this: the manufacturers added a feature to help sling users identify worn web slings and then sling users eventually turned it into a Go/No-Go gauge. This is made even worse by the fact that many, many slings do not have red marker threads of any kind. And even when slings do have them there can be many other reasons to take a synthetic sling out of service before they become visible.
If you’re noticing a trend like this on your worksite inspections follow this link http://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx and we can discuss how the Northern Strands Below the Hook Rigging Training program could help you and/or your workforce learn where to draw the line and take slings and other rigging out of service before they become a hazard.