Lashing and lifting belts are among the simplest components of a packaging operation. However, their importance cannot be overstated. These are the components that keep the entire process safe during lifting and transportation. The packaging industry, for a significant part, deals with heavy-duty lifting. The absence of reliable lashing and lifting belts of adequate strength and appropriate configuration can lead to disastrous outcomes. Not only would it cause heavy losses due to failed shipment, but it could also cause severe injuries or worse, an irreparable loss like death. Such an incident also severely impacts the reputation of a given business. It is due to these economical and ethical considerations that safety standards for lashing and lifting belts are vital to packaging and shipping businesses and that there is an urgent need for the government to regulate the safety standards in India, to avoid any unforeseen situations.
In India, manufacturers of lashing and lifting equipment follow certain safety measures to rule out any possibility of a disastrous outcome resulting from malfunction. Specific materials are used, mainly nylon or woven polyester, to ensure adequate strength and stretchability. The selection of the material is done carefully, after considering its breaking strength and working load limit. The belts are carefully marked for the same to inform the operators about the kind of load a belt can handle.
Lifting belts such as the twisted-eye, flat-eye and other similar belts are stitched using appropriate tools and specific thread that add to the strength. Before the belts are sent for distribution, multiple inspections are conducted to test their safety for a given operation. This is followed by several visual inspections, to check the quality of the belt, its components and threads.
Colour coding, which is based on the working load limit, is an important aspect of lashing and lifting. The working load limit may vary depending upon the length and width of the strap. Its dimensions are determined by studying the physics involved, which help experts determine the dimensions suitable for lifting a specific weight. Colour coding is also an important safety measure. While colour is a significant, determining factor, the information regarding the weight of the load corresponding to each colour is displayed in product description. This is not only a safety standard but also a legal requirement. Other than following safety standards during the process of manufacturing, suppliers also acquire an approval from certain external agencies, such as Indian Standards Institution, TrustSEAL from Indiamart, etc. Many manufacturers also follow European code EN-12195:2000 to meet the safety standards.