Lifting slings are one of the most versatile rigging and lifting equipment. While slings have been around for centuries, their industrial use began only a few decades ago. Today, industrial slings are made from synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, or high-performance materials. You will also see wire rope slings made from high-grade steel or iron.
Slings play a critical role in handling and transporting heavy loads. That’s why, when it comes to lifting slings, safety needs to be the topmost concern. You can’t ensure safe material handling without sling inspection before use. Moreover, these inspections should meet or exceed the prescribed standards.
One of such standards is ASME B30.9. Let’s understand what this standard means and why Holloway Houston always confers to it, among other things.
A. What Is ASME B30.9 Standard?
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers or ASME has set standards for industrial lifting and rigging equipment of all shapes and sizes. The ASME B30.9 standard specifically deals with load-handling lifting slings. It covers everything about lifting slings, including:
- Safe Use
The ASME B30.9 Standard covers various types of slings, including:
- Alloy Chain Slings
- Metal Mesh Slings
- Synthetic Rope Slings
- Synthetic Round Slings
- Synthetic Web Slings
- Wire Rope Slings
The standard applies to everyone, including manufacturers, suppliers, owners, and users. If you are one of them, you will also want to confer to this standard. ASME keeps updating the standard every few years.
B. Why Do We Need It?
Adhering to the ASME B30.9 standard brings you several benefits. When it comes to buying, using, and maintaining lifting slings, this standard is a must. And here’s why.
Lifting heavy loads in harsh environments comes with plenty of risks. Accidents may happen. ASME B30.9 lays down the details of using a lifting sling safely. It covers things like how to inspect slings, who should be allowed to operate them, and when to remove them from service.
For example, the ASME B30.9 standard clearly states that if a sling meets the following conditions, you should remove it from service immediately.
- Bird Caging
- Broken Wires
- Damaged Fittings
- Illegible Identification Tag
- Severe Wear
The standard also talks about manufacturing, assembling, and fabrication guidelines for lifting slings. In other words, AMSE lifting slings are thoroughly vetted. They also meet the quality and safety standards prescribed by the B30.9 code.
You can purchase ASME slings without worrying about safety or quality. They will last longer, reduce the risk of accidents, and give you a better return on your investment. You can feel confident in investing your money in such slings.
3. Long Shelf Life
This standard also talks about maintaining lifting slings in excellent condition. Maintenance is necessary to ensure safety and long shelf life. While synthetic web or round slings are not expensive, large wire rope slings cost hundreds of thousands.
Lack of maintenance can force you to replace these expensive slings more often, putting a dent in your budget. Plus, eleventh-hour sling replacements will delay your projects for days, if not weeks.
You can avoid all this trouble by adhering to the ASME B30.9 standard. Just follow the guidelines for regular maintenance, repair, and removal.
C. Understanding the Latest Changes Made to ASME B30.9
As mentioned before, ASME keeps updating all of its standards periodically. For ASME B30.9, the latest changes came into effect in 2021. That said, Holloway Houston prides itself in conferring to these latest revisions. Here’s a short synopsis of the latest changes made to the ASME B30.9 – 2021.
- Definitions for denier, high tenacity fiber, original language(s), shall, should, and tenacity.
- New section on Rigger Responsibilities.
- A new guideline for sling inspection in severe or special service before each use.
- A new guideline for keeping written records of the most recent periodic inceptions.
- New guidelines for finishing fitting surfaces to remove edges in the clause for almost all types of slings including:
- Metal Mesh Slings
- Polyester Round Slings.
- Synthetic Rope
- Synthetic Webbing
- Wire Rope
- A new section on sling components that employ wire rope slings other than the ones already listed in the standard.
A new section on fabrication methods for wire rope slings.
The standard also:
- Completely revised the section on Original and Translated Technical and Safety-Related Information.
- Made it clear that a qualified person should, when necessary, decide on additional steps required after identifying a hazard during the inspection.
- Stated that you don’t have to remove a polyester round sling due to knots in the round sling if there are core yarn knots inside the cover installed by the manufacturer during fabrication.
Removed the guideline prohibiting the use of slings made with wire rope clips as a choker hitch.
D. Never Assume the Supplier/Manufacturer Has the Latest ASME B30.9 Compliance
Taking the compliance of ASME B30.9 for granted is a mistake. ASME standards, B30.9 included, are not mandatory. ASME cannot force any manufacturer, inspector, or installer to follow ASME standards.
So, you can and should never assume that a supplier or manufacturer follows the latest B30.9 guidelines. If you are in the marketing shopping for lifting slings, you will need to ask the vendors to furnish the necessary certifications.
Needless to say, all the slings sold, assembled, fabricated, and attached at Holloway Houston are ASME certified. Not to worry about the safety, quality, and usability of lifting slings when shopping with us.
As you can see, standards like ASME B30.9 play a critical role in ensuring the safety, quality, and maintenance of lifting slings. When you are out shopping for these industrial lifting devices, you have to make sure to understand what this standard means, how it works, and why you need to consider it. Hopefully, this short post will shed some light in this regard.