Last week, I walked past a construction site, and I saw some workers lifting loads on pallets with slings using a tower crane. The operation looked unsafe, which made me wonder: “Can you lift a pallet with slings?” we will explore this topic in this article.
According to the best industry standards, it is unsafe to lift a pallet with slings. The reason for this is that a pallet does not have a safe working load. In any lifting operation, it is crucial to work out the safe working load of all the components in order to ensure a safe lift.
I spoke to experts in the lifting industry and did a lot of online research to find out more about the subject, and I will be sharing my findings with you in this article. The slings that you use for lifting are manufactured from different materials, namely chain, wire rope, and synthetic material.
Can You Lift A Pallet With A Sling?
Although many people attempt to lift a pallet with a sling, it remains an unsafe practice. Experts in the lifting industry do not suggest that anyone lift a pallet with a sling, so I was wondering whether it was dependent on the sling that one would use. In this part of the post, we will take a look at the topic of lifting a pallet with different types of slings.
Can You Lift A Pallet With A Chain Sling
You can lift a variety of loads using a chain sling, but it is not advisable to lift a pallet. Chain slings are commonly used in lifting operations where the load sling points can not be crushed or damaged by the steel chain. A pallet is not designed to be lifted with a chain sling, as the angle of the chain sling will damage the softer material of the pallet.
If you want to lift a pallet with a chain sling, it would mean that you would have to put the chain sling through the same areas as the forks from a counterbalance lift truck (also known as a Forklift). The angle of the slings will pull the lifting force to the center of the pallet, and because of this, the chain sling will cause damage to the pallet.
Can You Lift A Pallet With A Wire Rope Sling
It would be possible for you to lift a pallet with a wire rope sling, but it would not be safe. The reason for it being unsafe is mainly because of the way that the sling must be rigged through the pallet. All the lifting force pulls the sides of the pallet to the inside of the pallet because the lifting hook of the lifting machine will be located in the center above the pallet.
Pallets are designed to be lifted with machines like pallet trucks, counterbalance lift trucks, side loaders, or turret trucks. The forks of these machines enter the pallet at the designed spaces without causing unwanted pressure on the pallet. What this means is that the load distribution on the pallet is even, and the load can be lifted safely according to the intended specifications.
Can You Lift A Pallet With A Synthetic Sling
A synthetic sling like a nylon sling or an endless sling would be the best sling to use to lift a pallet. The problem is that a pallet does not have a safe working load, and a pallet is not designed to be lifted by a crane or a hoist. A synthetic sling would also pull on the outside towards the center of the pallet, which could potentially lead to the pallet being damaged.
When you use a pallet to lift loads with a crane or hoist, it can lead to property damage or injuries. The loaded pallet can swing when the load is being inched or jogged, in turn leading to the load falling from the pallet. The pallet can also fail because of the extra loading pressure that is added from the inward pulling of the synthetic sling.
Can You Secure Load To A Pallet Then Lift It With Slings?
Lifting machine operators and riggers undergo safety training to stay within the framework of the law. The industry does not see lifting a pallet with slings as a common safe practice, and because of this fact, it will not make a difference if you secure the load to the pallet because you are not supposed to lift a pallet with slings in the first place.
What Can Go Wrong When You Lift A Pallet With Slings?
When you lift a pallet with a sling, you will rig the sling in such a way that the hook of the lifting machine would be in line with the center of gravity of the load and the pallet. We have already seen that a pallet does not have a safe working load and that the way in which the sling pulls on the pallet can cause damage, so what exactly can go wrong?
- The pallet can break because of the way that the slings will pull towards the inside of the pallet.
- The load can fall from the pallet when the lifting machine is being moved in different positions.
- The user of the lifting machine or other persons in the vicinity of the lifting machine can get injured when the pallet breaks or objects fall from the pallet.
If you want to prevent situations like what was mentioned above, then it is best not to attempt lifting a pallet with slings.
Research has shown that it is not a recognized safe practice even though you can lift a pallet with slings. Operators of lifting equipment and riggers of loads have to undergo training, and because of the training, it will be seen as an unsafe practice. Pallets are not designed to be lifted by lifting machines like cranes or hoists, and slings can cause the pallet to fail regardless of the type.
Some people will attempt to lift a pallet with slings, but it is a dangerous practice because the swinging of the pallet can be unpredictable. The slings you use to lift a pallet can also cause damage or even break the pallet because a pallet is not designed to be lifted in this way. I hope you enjoyed reading this post on lifting a pallet with slings.