I – CE Directives

Directive 2006/42/EC stipulates the following :

"The working coefficient of all the metal components of a sling, or used with a sling, is chosen to guarantee an adequate level of safety; this coefficient is, as a general rule, equal to 4".

 

II – French regulations

The decree of 1 March 2004 sets the conditions for the inspection of work equipment used for lifting loads to which the head of the establishment where this work equipment is put into service or used.

New regulations introduced in 2004 aim to explicitly define the obligations of the head of establishment to ensure that the conditions for a serious inspection are met, prior to the intervention of the auditor :

a) The head of the establishment must put the lifting devices and accessories concerned and clearly identified at the disposal of the qualified persons responsible for the inspections for the necessary time, taking into account the estimated time required for the inspections, tests and trials to be carried out.

b) The head of the establishment must keep at the disposal of the qualified persons in charge of the inspections, tests and trials to carry out the required documents, such as the manufacturer's instruction manual, the declaration or certificate of conformity, the reports of the previous inspections and the maintenance record of the device.

c) During the inspection, the head of the establishment must ensure the presence of the staff required to operate the equipment and to manage the operations and any adjustments that may be necessary. He must also make available to the qualified persons in charge of the inspections the resources to allow safe access to the various parts of the device or the installation and, if necessary, the supports to be checked.

d) In order to allow the suitability test defined in Article 5-I to be carried out, the Head of the establishment must make available, in a written form, to the competent person responsible for the test, the necessary information relating to the work which it is intended to carry out with the lifting device and lifting accessory.

e) In order to enable the assembly and installation inspection defined in Article 5-II to be carried out, the head of the establishment must provide the qualified person in charge of the inspection with the necessary information, in particular data relating to the floor, the type of supports, the floor support characteristics and, if applicable, the maximum wind speed to be taken into account on the site of use.

f) When the inspection involves tests or trials, the head of the establishment must make available to the qualified persons responsible for the tests and trials, for the necessary time for their proper performance, sufficient loads and the resources for handling these loads. The place where the tests and trials can be carried out must be secure.

g) The conditions of execution, defined in the present decree, must be met prior to the complete execution of the inspections, tests or trials.

h) An provisional report is issued at the end of the audit. The reports drawn up by the qualified persons responsible for the inspections are sent to the head of establishment within four weeks of the completion of the inspections, tests or trials concerned.

i) The results of the inspections are entered, without delay, by the head of establishment on the safety register provided in Article L. 620-6 of the Labour Code.

For example, a lifting shackle or lifting eye may be in its current state a piece of equipment not incorporated into a machine and placed between the machine and the load, and are therefore considered as lifting accessories.

For this reason, they are subject to the following inspections :

Inspections during putting into service as provided in Article R233-11-1 of the Labour Code

New lifting accessories whose the person responsible for placing them on the market has checked that they are suitable for use must be subject to the suitability test.

New lifting accessories whose suitability for use has not been checked and second-hand lifting accessories must be subjected to a suitability test and a static test.

Nota 1 : suitability test refers to the test in order to check that the lifting accessory :

a) is appropriate to the various lifting devices on which the user intends to use it and to the work to be carried out, as well as to the risks to the workers are exposed to,

b) and that the intended operations are compatible with the conditions of use of the accessory as defined in the manufacturer's instruction manual.

Nota 2 : The static test of a lifting accessory is the test that consists in making the accessory bear the maximum working load, multiplied by the static test coefficient, without moving it, for a given period of time. The conditions of the static test, the time of the test and the test coefficient are those defined by the manufacturer's instructions or those defined by the regulations applied at the time of the design of the accessory. Otherwise, the test coefficient is equal to 1.5 and the time of the test is a quarter of an hour.

Periodic general inspections stipulated by Article R233-11 of the Labour Code

Lifting accessories must be submitted every twelve months to a periodic inspection including an inspection to check that the lifting accessory is in good condition and in particular to detect any deterioration, or other limitation of use specified in the manufacturer's instructions, which may be the cause of dangerous situations.

Nota 1 : in accordance with article R233-11 of the labour code, the results of the inspections, tests and trials carried out during the various tests must be recorded in the safety register required by article L620-6 of the labour code.

Specific case : Inspections when repairing a lifting accessory

Required by article R233-11-2, the inspection after disassembly and reassembly, or modification likely to jeopardise safety, is intended to ensure the absence of any defect likely to be the cause of dangerous situations.

The inspection requirements are a suitability test, a state of conservation test and a static test.

Nota : inspection of the state of conservation is meant to detect any deterioration, such as deformation, herniation, strangulation, broken strand, number of broken wires greater than the permissible number, deteriorated latch, or other limit of use specified in the manufacturer's instructions, which could be the cause of dangerous situations.

 

III – Use and maintenance advice

Use

General information

Only qualified (trained and experienced) employees should work with lifting accessories.

Before each use, visually check the condition of the components of the lifting accessory.

Avoid major shocks and corrosive environments. Any technical intervention on lifting accessories such as heat or surface treatment, grinding or welding is prohibited. Do not use lifting accessories at a temperature higher than 200°C and lower than -40°C..

Load slowly to check the balance conditions. ATTENTION : never exceed the WLL of the lifting accessory.

A lifting accessory must bear identification of the manufacturer, the WLL and the CE mark. If the marking disappears, the accessory must be placed in the isolated zone until it is repaired if necessary.

 

Specific cases

- lifting eyes : the male or female models, must be screwed in such a way to ensure perfect contact between the part to be lifted and the eye. The traction must be carried out in the plan of the eye, for a perpendicular use, use articulated eyes. In the case of pad eyes, the welding must be carried out by a qualified welder, the supports must be sanded and free of dirt.

- shackles : the traction must take place in the longitudinal axle of the shackle. To guarantee the maximum load, the load bearing capacity on the shackle axle must be a minimum of 75% of the gap. Pay attention to the operating temperature :

- from 0° to 200°C : 100% of the WLL

- from 200° to 300°C : 90% of the WLL

- from 300° to 400°C : 75% of the WLL

- above 400°C : use forbidden.

During installation, it must be ensured that the collar of the axle touches the shackle when it is fully tightened. In the case of a bolt axle assembly, make sure that the axle is fitted with a pin and that it remains free to rotate after tightening. It is not allowed to replace a pin with a bolt.

- wire rope clips : making slings with wire rope clips is strongly discouraged. Wire rope clips must not be used on coated wire ropes. They are fitted with the base plate against the load bearing leg and the bracket against the "dead leg". The quantity to be used and their gap as well as the tightening torque depend on the diameter of the wire rope, please consult us.

Inspection and maintenance

These inspections must be carried out by a qualified person. Clean the accessories with a non-corrosive, suitable product.

Reject the accessory if it shows signs of rupture, excessive corrosion, elongation or deformation with respect to the original dimensions or if any of the components are damaged.

We strongly recommend you to not attempt any repairs by any method.

Record the results of inspections and work carried out on the equipment on a record (see legislation).