Working on a construction site is possibly one of the most dangerous jobs in America today.
No one knows better than construction workers how dangerous their jobs are on a daily basis. The number of built in hazards prevalent on a job site are phenomenal and the most dangerous accidents usually relate to lifting and moving heavy equipment and parts. Because of the heavy use of such equipment, it only stands to reason that Occupational Health and Safety statistics indicate that slings, used to move heavy materials, and how they are handled during moving, is “the” major cause of workplace injuries and accidents.
Most of the slings in use across the nation at construction sites are made of wire rope, chain and nylon. If the workers don’t have a good enough understanding of how these slings work properly and how to handle the materials being moved, each time something is moved is virtually an accident waiting to happen. It may also be viewed as negligence on the part of the employer if they do not have the proper safety standards in place or instruct their workers on how to handle materials in the proper manner.
For instance, nylon slings are not only strong, but have a certain elasticity. When bearing a heavy load, these slings tend to absorb shock and return to their original shape after release, much like an elastic band. This characteristic makes this material ideal for repetitive lifting, etc. They handle moisture and most chemicals (alkalis) and may be used inside or outside, rain or shine, and in temperatures of up to 180 degrees F.
When working with nylon any adjustments to be made to the sling are very simple. The trick is to make the adjustments correctly and not overload the sling on a continuous basis. While this type of sling material does provide a warning when it’s getting damaged (red indicator yarn) there have been cases where the sling was kept in use past being safe. The results were not pretty for the worker injured when the material being moved fell on him.
Chain slings don’t have the same abilities as nylon and are prone to snap unexpectedly. They need to be inspected prior to use for flaws and signs of wear and tear. If this is not carried out on a regular basis, or if the sling is used for loads that crush the sling itself, it compromises the integrity and safety of the apparatus. Again, an improperly cared for sling may result in disastrous consequences for those working on the job site.
Wire rope slings are a combination of twisted wires over a fiber core, each with a different degree of flexibility and damage tolerance. They are susceptible to fraying and moist conditions and if they are used well past their safety tolerance, accidents can and will happen. While there are a great number of alternatives for sling, hitches, baskets, etc. that may be used on construction work sites, all of them still need to be respected for their potential to cause deadly harm. Parts and any equipment is replaceable, people are not.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a construction site work accident, make it a point to talk to a highly skilled personal injury attorney with experience in handling cases such as this. Any severe life altering injuries may be eligible for compensation from the courts. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights.