Australia is getting a new national standard covering roundslings. The Australian Standard AS 4497:2017 will supersede: AS 4497.1 Roundslings – Synthetic fibre, Part 1: Product specification; and AS 4497.2 Roundslings – Synthetic fibre, Part 2: Care and use (both 1997). The objective of the standard is to combine the two previously separate parts for manufacturing and safe use into a single document.
The 50-plus-page document was produced by standards organisation Australian Standards (AS) Committee ME-025 Lifting Tackle and includes additional new and updated content.
Ashley Thacker, general manager, Ranger Lifting, serves on Australian Standards (AS) Committee ME-025 Lifting Tackle, which produced AS 4497:2017
According to Ashley Thacker, the general manager of Australian industrial lifting and rigging company Ranger Lifting, who joined the Committee as a representative of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) earlier in 2018, “The scope of work for AS 4497:2017 was largely completed prior to my arrival so I don’t want to take any credit for its production. However, I fully support publication of the standard and recommend that everyone in the lifting industry absorb its content. Roundslings are an extremely useful rigging tool – we recommend their use on a daily basis – but they are more susceptible to physical and environmental damage than some other types of sling; thus, it’s important that they are only used by competent professionals who understand the equipment and its intended purpose.
“Importantly, the standard captures manufacturing and safe use in one document. With frequent references to competency, it essentially covers everything required to ensure riggers and professionals applying these tools onsite – and those they work with – go home to their families at night, which was my principle motivation for joining ME-025.”