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TechNOTE

SLING/LANYARD INSPECTION / RETIREMENT INFORMATION

This is not a product but may be printed for your convenience

RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards meets or exceeds the strength requirements of NFPA 1983. RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards are intended for use in rescue operations from above a victim or for rappelling. While using RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards without shock absorbers, anchoring points should always be above the user. Misuse of this product or use in conjunction with incorrect hardware and rope may cause serious injury or jeopardize the safety of the rescue operation. Rescue Technology recommends RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards™ Lifeline be used with NFPA or CE approved hardware and related ropes and equipment, and the hardware shall be suitable for the Working Load Limit of sling/lanyard being used. RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards should only be used by personnel qualified in life safety, rescue, and rappelling. RescueTECH Slings/Lanyards should be inspected prior to and after each use. Records must be kept that detail each use and the results of the inspections. It is recommended that the slings/lanyards be used by the same person(s) that maintains the history of that rope. Prior to any rescue operation, careful planning and situation analysis should take place to ensure safety.

WARNING - Failure to follow these instructions and/or improper care and use of your slings/lanyards can result in serious injury or death. Never use any sling/lanyard for something other than its intended purpose.
Inspect your slings/lanyards regularly Prior to use or reuse of the sling/lanyard the sling/lanyard must meet the following conditions.

  • The sling/lanyard is not visibly damaged – including any attached hardware.
  • The sling/lanyard has not been exposed to heat or direct flame impingement or abrasion.
  • The sling/lanyard has not been subjected to any impact load or force.
  • The sling/lanyard has not been exposed to liquids, solids, gases, mists or vapors of any chemical or other material that can deteriorate the webbing or hardware.
  • The sling/lanyard passes inspection when inspected by a qualified person following the manufacturer’s inspection procedures both before and after use. If the sling/lanyard does not meet all of the above conditions, if the sling/lanyard does not pass inspection, or if there is any doubt about the safety or serviceability of the sling/lanyard it must NOT be used. It must be removed from service and destroyed.

Sling/Lanyard Inspection Procedures
A qualified person must inspect the sling/lanyard before and after each use. All slings/lanyards must be inspected visually and manually (with bare hands) along every inch of its length. And, any attached hardware must be inspected for function, burrs, cracks, distortions, discoloration, etc. It is the USER’S RESPONSIBILITY to know the history of his/her sling/lanyard and make the decision as to when a sling/lanyard should be retired. The manufacturer cannot guarantee the specifications of a used sling/lanyard. If your rope does not meet the following inspection criteria it MUST be retired!
This includes all inspection criteria as well as loss of faith or doubt as to the serviceability for the sling/lanyard. Destroy sling/lanyard by cutting into lengths too short for further use.


When to retire your sling/lanyard - The following are general guidelines that can assist you in deciding when to retire a sling/lanyard. If your sling/lanyard has any of the following characteristics it must be retired:


Inspection Criteria

  • Abrasion/webbing Wear - The webbing fiber are abraded more than 10% through the depth of the webbing. And, if edges are cut more than 1/16”.
  • Fraying indicates broken or damaged fiber bundles caused by abrasion or overloading.
  • Glazing and/or glossy marks or hard, stiff areas which signify heat damage.
  • Discoloration, a change in the webbing or hardware’s original color is an indication of chemical damage or overexposure to the elements of nature including UV radiation.
  • Exposed Red indicator Fibers in some slings/lanyards indicate severe edge damage to the webbing.
  • A Lack of Uniformity in width or depth of webbing fiber damage. This is noted by a depression in the width/depth of the webbing or lumpiness of the webbing
  • Flexibility and/or inconsistency in texture including, but not limited to, stiff or soft areas signify possible webbing damage.
  • Use/Age - the sling/lanyard is simply worn out from use. We recommend life safety sling/lanyard be removed from service after ten years under ideal use and storage condition.
  • Loss of Faith - if you feel uncomfortable for any reason or suspect there may be a problem with your sling/lanyard it must be retired and destroyed. It is not possible to pre-determine an expected life span for a rescue sling/lanyard. Consistent, accurate record keeping, with a careful inspection program, are the best methods for determining when to remove a sling/lanyard from service.
  • No type of visual inspection can be guaranteed to determine accurately and precisely actual residual strength. When the fibers show wear in any given area, the sling/lanyard should be replaced. 
  • Service / Storage Life: Rescue Technology recommends that Rescue Slings/Lanyards should have a maximum service life of 10 years*. We also recommend slings/lanyards be put into active service within 5 years of its production date in order to enjoy the sling/lanyard handling characteristics. These stated time limits in no way preclude the requirement of regular inspection by a competent person skilled in the inspection of Life safety slings/lanyards and appropriate use by trained rescuers.  Warning:  Lack of accountability of a sling/lanyard purchase date, usage dates and types, inspection dates and results can impact the suitability of any sling/lanyard used for life safety.

Cautions on Sling / Lanyard Use

  • Webbing Abrasion Damage - Take special care to protect your sling/lanyard from abrasion. Webbing damage is the most common cause of early Sling/lanyard retirement. This damage occurs most often when your sling/lanyard comes into contact with rough or sharp edges of equipment. Man-made structures, such as buildings or towers, also pose a high risk for damaging or cutting slings/lanyards due to the probability of sharp objects. Webbing will be severely damaged if subjected to rough surfaces or sharp edges.
    Carabiners and other attachment devices must be kept in good condition and free of burrs and rust.

    Always use a pad between the webbing and rough, cutting surfaces with which the sling/lanyard may come in contact. Improperly padded or unpadded slings/lanyards are subject to excessive or premature abrasion and failure.  Avoid stepping on your sling/lanyard and do not drag over rough ground - Besides the potential of cutting, stepping on a sling/lanyard will grind dirt into the webbing which will cause internal abrasion. A ground cloth should be used to keep the sling/lanyard from being in direct contact with dirt or grit. Keep your sling/lanyard clean - Dirt or grit will shorten the life of your sling/lanyard by increasing internal and external abrasion.

    Wash your sling/lanyard occasionally in cold water with small amounts of mild soap only. Rinse the sling/lanyard in several baths of clean cold water to remove soap. Agitate the webbing while in the water bath to aid in the removal of soap residue. A fabric softener used in the proper proportion to the amount of wash water may be used. Rinse thoroughly after the fabric softening solution is applied. The webbing must be air dried by loosely hanging in the shade away from direct sunlight or other heat sources. DO NOT USE BLEACH OR BLEACH SUBSTITUTES! DO NOT DRY SLING/LANYARD IN A DRYER!
  • Open Flame and High Temperatures - Do not expose any sling/lanyard to flame or high temperature as it will melt or burn causing failure. Carry and store the sling/lanyard so it is protected against flame and high temperatures. The melting point of Type 6 nylon is 419 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The melting point of polyester is 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Accidental Dynamic Loading - the user is responsible for checking rigging to avoid dynamic loading in any manner whatsoever. Working load limits are not applicable when sling/lanyard is subject to significant dynamic loading. Whenever a load is picked up, stopped, moved, or swung, there is an increased force due to dynamic loading. The more rapidly or suddenly such actions occur, the greater this increase force will be. In extreme cases, the force put on the sling/lanyard may be two, three, or even more times the normal load involved. If an accidental dynamic loading does occur the sling/lanyard must be retired and destroyed.
  • Exceeding Working Load Limit - Do not overload sling/lanyard. Exceeding the Working Load Limit (WLL) of a sling/lanyard can cause permanent damage to a webbing/hardware. This damage may not be apparent to the naked eye. Slings/lanyards that have been overloaded should be retired. Always use proper rappelling and belaying techniques – Fast rappels, bounding or swinging, positioning the sling/lanyard over a sharp edge, dynamically loading a sling/lanyard are some example of uses which damage your sling/lanyard and/or cause failure. Any rigging method that puts sharp bends in a sling/lanyard and will contribute to potential abrasion and will reduce the effective strength of your sling/lanyard. Avoid allowing contact between a moving rope and a sling/lanyard. This heat and abrasion produced will cut and melt the webbing causing a glazing or cutting effect which dramatically shortens the life of your sling/lanyard or may cut through the webbing.
  • Chemical Contamination - Protect your sling/lanyard from exposure to harsh chemicals. Exposure to chemicals will cause failure that can result in injury or death. DO NOT allow your sling/lanyard to come into contact with any compounds containing acids or alkalis, oxidizing agents, phenol or bleaching compounds. Be especially careful to avoid contact with battery acid. Remember: Contaminants can be in the form of liquids, solids, mist or vapors. Contamination may or may not be visible and may not be detectable. If you suspect your sling/lanyard has been contaminated it must not be used. It must be destroyed immediately to prevent any use whatsoever. Although it will not entirely eliminate the possibility, slings/lanyards should always be stored in a bag to reduce the potential of contamination.

STORAGE, CARE AND TRANSPORT OF SLINGS/LANYARDS
Records to be maintained by the purchaser or user of this sling/lanyard include purchase date, serial number and sales receipt. Inspection record to be kept in the log on the following pages are: Date of each use, Location of use, Conditions of use (weather, training, rescue), Pre and Post use inspection (proper prior use and inspection recorded, abrasion, fraying, webbing glazing, uniformity of width/depth, discoloration, flexibility, exposed fibers, age, loss of faith) and the Inspectors name. Maintain the original product labels and information log. If they are removed to be retained in a permanent sling/lanyard record, ensure copies are made and kept with the sling/lanyard for the benefit of the end user.

  • Storage:  Sling/lanyard should be stored clean, dry, out of direct sunlight, and away from extreme heat. It is generally recommended that slings/lanyards be stored and transported in a rope bag designated for that use. Webbing slings/lanyards should be kept in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. It should be kept off the floor, on racks to provide ventilation underneath. Never store on a concrete or dirt floor, and under no circumstances should webbing and acid or alkalis be kept in the same area.  Do not store webbing slings/lanyards in direct sunlight. Synthetic webbing (particularly polypropylene and polyethylene) may be severely weakened by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV degradation is indicated by discoloration and the presence of broken filaments on the surface of the rope.
  • Care: Webbing should be cleaned, to remove dirt or abrasive particles, in a mild soap and cool or tepid water. Air dry out of direct sunlight. Washing with detergents will remove any coatings that may have been added to enhance the performance of the product. Do not use any Bleaching Compounds. Heat: Avoid overheating. Heat can seriously affect the strength of rope. When using sling/lanyard where temperatures exceed 140° F (or if it is too hot to hold), consult the manufacturer for recommendations as to the size and type of sling/lanyard for the proposed continuous heat exposure conditions. If sling/lanyard has been stored at elevated temperatures over a long period of time it can fail under loads below its rated breaking strength. If the user has any doubts concerning the strength of a sling/lanyard, then the manufacturer should be contacted.  CAUTION: Heat can seriously affect the strength of synthetic webbing. The temperature at which 50% strength loss can occur in new and unused webbing slings/lanyards is 350° F.

WARNING 
All synthetic webbing slings/lanyards under load will recoil if there is a failure of the anchorage system. The snapback action can propel the anchor hardware and the sling/lanyard causing serious injury to persons or property anywhere in the vicinity. This danger can exist from failure of the hardware within the sling/lanyards's working load limit. Check all rigging and rescue hardware, shackles, connectors, etc. before using.

Warranty Disclaimer:  If any of the Safety and/or Inspection Criteria are not met by any person(s), the Warranty on this product is considered void.
Warranty:  Rescue Technology sling/lanyard products are guaranteed by the manufacturer to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the useful life of the product. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or abuse due to improper use or modification of the product. Accordingly, the manufacturer will repair or replace, at no charge, any defective product returned to us. Additional information regarding life safety slings/lanyards can be found in NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, and NFPA 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope and System Components. NFPA Publications from National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101 and

 

 

WARNING!
Technical Rescue and Safety is potentially hazardous. Any person using equipment sold by RESCUE TECHNOLOGY in any manner is personally responsible for learning proper techniques involved, and assumes all risks and accepts full and complete responsibility for any and all damages, including death, which may result from the use of any equipment sold by RESCUE TECHNOLOGY. The tensile strengths listed are for a new product. Tensile strength may decrease depending upon use or storage conditions.

* NFPA 1983, 2017 edition does not make specific statements as to number of years of service life.

Annex A Explanatory Material

  • "Annex A is not part of the requirements of this document but is included for informational purposes only
  • A.5.1.1.8, para. 6: "It is recommended that departments establish an inspection program and shelf-life criteria for their ropes based on the conditions and environments encountered in their respective operations.
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