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Why Does Rigging Need a Safety Factor

Why does rigging need a safety factor?

Have you wondered why rigging experts always suggest a sling that has a significantly higher breaking strength than the actual weight of the load you are lifting? The manufacturers know that the rigging used in overhead applications need to have room for error. This is known as the Safety Factor.

Northern Strands manufactures wire rope slings rated up to 36,000 lbs and sells round synthetic slings that are rated up to 140,000 lb capacity. This capacity is the Working Load Limit of the sling, which is the maximum amount of weight or force that the sling's user is allowed to put on the sling. Note: These slings do not break at the working load limit. These slings are designed with a safety factor of 5:1. This means that 5 times as much force as the working load limit has to be applied to the sling before it potentially fails. This means the wire rope slings have a Breaking Strength of up to 180,000 lbs and the round synthetic slings can withhold up to 700,000 lbs.

Why are these capacities reduced by such a drastic degree?

Among others, here are 3 good reasons:

  1. Shock Loading - Unexpected drops where the load can accelerate and then must be 'caught' by the slings.
  2. Wear - Working load limits are based on slings in brand new condition and a safety factor can help account for normal wear and tear until it is deemed unfit for further use.
  3. Uneven loading - Slings are made up of either wires or fibers that must all share the weight of the load evenly. If any situation arises where the sling is bent or wrapped around an object, there is potential that some of the wires or fibers will be taking on a greater share of the load than others.

Visit Northern Strands website to use the sling tension calculator. The Northern Strands Sling Calculator has been designed to assist you in selecting slings with enough load carrying capacity for your lifting applications. It is your responsibility to assure that the slings you use are appropriate for your application.  http://www.northernstrands.com/sling-calculator.aspx

To inquire about Rigging and Safety Factors, contact:

Northern Strands @ 306-242-7073

or Email info@northernstrands.com


Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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