‘”How long do your lifting bags last?” is a question we hear often. Many bag manufacturers will give a lifespan of 5 years on their lifting bags; however, we don’t advise a specific number. The lifespan of our lifting bags depends on various factors that affect the condition of the material and ability to lift safely. These include:
- Environment – The environment in which a lifting bag is used and stored will affect its lifespan. We supply to many customers on Offshore Wind Farms, where the climate is very salty. The salt can erode the material on these bags much faster than those used at Onshore Wind Farms, in the solar power industry or the construction industry.
- Storage – how and where a bag is stored will also affect the usable lifespan of the bag. If lifting bags are well looked after and stored in a dry environment, they will last longer than those kept in a wet environment
- Usage – how often a bag is used and for what purpose will also affect its longevity. If used frequently or for coarse or rough materials, it won’t last as long as a bag used less often.
These factors combined mean that the lifespan of a bag can be vastly different from customer to customer. For example, we have many customers who use their lifting bags several times a day on Offshore Wind Farms and must replace them every 2-5 years. On the other end of the scale, we supply a company who runs a climbing wall business and only use their lifting bag once a month to adjust the hand and footholds in the wall and likely won’t need to replace their bags or ten years or more.
Carry Out a Visual Check Before Every Use
We recommend a visual check is carried out on every lifting bag before every use to ensure there are no obvious defects that could cause the bag to fail. At a minimum, users should carefully check the webbing is fully and securely attached and is not coming away from the bag, check metals are not stretched or compromised and check for any wear or tears in the fabric. If any defects are discovered, the bags should NOT be used.
Six Monthly Inspections
Thorough inspections must be carried out and held on record for all lifting bags every six months to revalidate the Certificate of Conformity. Our customer service team reach out to all our customers six months after their order to remind them of this, and we provide a template guide and checklist with every order, along with our usage guide. Six monthly checks can be carried out in-house or by an independent party.
If any defects are discovered during visual checks or the six-month inspections, we urge customers not to use the bag and to contact us before disposing of it. In some cases, we may be able to repair the bag; however, this depends on the size of the defect, type of defect and where it is on the bag.
If you have discovered any defects in any of your bags and want to know it is repairable, or if you have any questions about the lifespan of your bag, please get in touch with our team or phone 01792 851 298.