Load restraint isn't a particularly complicated science: all you have to do is make sure that your goods don't fall off the vehicle that's transporting them from A to B. Not exactly brain surgery, is it?

And yet we still see far too many instances of half-hearted load restraint, which all too often results in a scene like this:

Poor load restraint

Improper load restraint can be very costly if your goods get damaged, but more importantly, an accident like the one pictured above can be life-threatening. What if your unsecured load crashes into another vehicle, or hits a passing pedestrian?

The need for adequate load restraint is very pressing indeed, though if you're reading this, you've probably recognised that already. Here, then, are a few tips that will help you to keep everything secure and protect the people around you:

  • Use the right ratchet straps. We sell a variety of ratchet straps here at SLG, and each one has a different lashing capacity and minimum breaking strength. The lashing capacity is the maximum tension that the strap in question is capable of sustaining; the minimum breaking strength is the maximum force that the strap will withstand when properly secured. Check this information when purchasing ratchet lashings, and ensure that the products you use are suitable for the task at hand.

  • Ensure that lashings are properly secured. Ratchet lashings are available with a variety of different fittings (including claw hooks, delta links, and rave hooks); obviously, you'll need to select the right fitting for your requirements, but on an even more basic level, you MUST ensure that all straps are properly attached and secured before setting off. Even the very best load restraint products are useless if not properly used!

  • Consider additional/alternative load restraint measures. Ratchet lashings are the preferred method of load restraint, but you may benefit from using other products such as bungee cordsloadbinders, and cargo bars to make absolutely sure that nothing is going anywhere.

In a nutshell, our advice is this: assess your loads properly, choose an appropriate load restraint method (or methods) for the job, and ensure that everything has been properly secured before beginning your journey.

SafetyLiftinGear's full collection of load restraint equipment can be found here - feel free to email sales@safetyliftingear.com if you have any further questions.

Whatever you're hoisting, we can help!

hoisting equipment

We at SafetyLiftinGear consider ourselves to be the lifting experts, and so we have always endeavoured to provide a suitable solution for every heavy lifting job imaginable.

To this end, we offer a wide variety of high-quality hoisting equipment that's perfectly suited to all sorts of circumstances. For example...

  • If you're on a tight budget, our budget wire rope hoists will get the job done for less.

  • Our electric hoists are all available in both a 240 volt and a 110 volt option to suit all environments.

  • Need something a little more heavy-duty? Our three phase electric hoists are capable of lifting 1 tonne or more!

  • Those who work in live performance venues such as theatres and concert areas may appreciate our stage rigging hoists. They have all the same properties as our other high-quality hoisting products, but their all-black design will ensure that they blend into the background during the show.

  • Finally, we recently added several Elephant Hoists to our range of hoisting equipment. These heavy-duty hoists are made in Japan, and they have an outstanding reputation for quality and reliability.

If you need something more specific, please get in touch - we often provide made-to-order solutions for clients with special requirements.

Health and Safety Week 2015

 

We're currently slap-bang in the middle of UK Health & Safety Week, an annual observance that aims to celebrate and promote health and safety while highlighting improvements that could still be made. The main event is the Safety & Health Expo, which is currently taking place in London, but people all over the British Isles have been getting involved, posting 'helfies' and sharing their stories of health and safety in action.

Of course, health and safety regulations are essential to the safety of practically everyone in the country, and yet the H&S industry tends to get rather a bad rap from the British press. For example, how often do you see headlines like these?

 

Health and safety headlines

 

Yes, in spite of all the lives it saves, it seems that health and safety will forever be blamed for all sorts of silly little things. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) even has an entire blog dedicated to refuting such silly safety myths as "shop assistants can't use scissors" and "balloons are unsuitable for children's parties".

This being Health & Safety Week, we at SLG just wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that health and safety isn't here to ruin your fun - it's here to save your life. Real health and safety (as opposed to the phoney kind that's almost always at the heart of silly stories like those mentioned above) is about wearing safety harnesses to prevent deadly falls and following the correct procedure when lifting dangerously heavy objects.

So next time you think of speaking ill of health and safety, just think about where we'd all be without it!

Confined space equipment

A 'confined space' is defined by the law as "any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable specified risk". Those who work in confined spaces face a number of potential risks, including:

  • Lack of oxygen
  • Exposure to poisonous gases
  • Fires and explosions
  • Getting trapped
  • High temperatures
  • Drowning

These hazards make it necessary to use certain pieces of confined space safety equipment when entering, leaving, and working in enclosed areas. Here are some of the items that SafetyLiftinGear offer to keep you safe in confined spaces:

Emergency breathing apparatus

Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus

Allows 15 minutes of normal breathing in areas with poisonous gases and/or a lack of oxygen.

 

Gas detector

Gas Detector

Measures levels of oxygen gas, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Also measures LEL (Lower Explosion Limit).

 

G-Force P10R Rescue, Confined Space Safety Harness

Confined Space Safety Harness

Prevents falls when descending and leaving confined spaces.

 

Tripod and Winch for Rescue and Confined Space work

Confined Space Entry Tripods

These adjustable tripods allow easy entry and rescue when working in confined spaces.

If you need more information about our confined space equipment, give SafetyLiftinGear a call on 0808 123 69 69. Alternatively, click here to see our full product range.

 

The key piece of legislation for people who work at potentially dangerous heights in Great Britain is The Work at Height Regulations 2005. As stated on the HSE website, this legislation was put in place "to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height". The regulations state that work at height must be:

  • Properly planned
  • Appropriately supervised
  • Carried out in a safe manner by competent personnel only

Interestingly, the 2005 regulations do not specify any particular equipment that must be used when working at height - they simply state the need for "sufficent work equipment" and remind employers that, when selecting appropriate height safety equipment for any given task, they must take account of working conditions, fall distance, the duration of the job, and several other factors.

In a nutshell: the law doesn't state that you HAVE to use a safety harness or a fall arrest block, but you are required to have some kind of fall prevention system in place, and the aforementioned items are among the most commonly-used solutions. In the end, it is up to you to decide what kind of equipment is most appropriate for the task at hand.

What will happen if I don't use any height safety equipment?

If one of your employees suffers an accident whilst working at height, you may investigated by the Health and Safety Executive. If they decide that you neglected to provide the right safety equipment or otherwise failed to fulfil your duties as an employer (as prescribed by the 2005 regulations and several other pieces of legislation), you will likely be prosecuted, which can lead to hefty fines and even jail time.

So don't leave anything to chance! Plan your work properly, carry out a full risk assessment before starting, and always use the appropriate height safety equipment to minimise the risk of a fall.

Further Reading: Height Safety Checklist