Standards Australia Thanks Ranger for Roundsling Expertise

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Standards Australia, the nation’s peak non-government, not-for-profit standards organisation, has expressed its gratitude to Ashley Thacker, the general manager of Ranger Lifting, for his contribution to the development of AS 4497:2018, a new national standard covering roundslings that was launched in April 2018.

AS 4497:2018 superseded AS 4497.1 Roundslings—Synthetic fibre, Part 1: Product specification; and AS 4497.2 Roundslings—Synthetic fibre, Part 2: Care and use (both 1997).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.

That document was produced by Australian Standards (AS) Committee ME-025 Lifting Tackle, which recently welcomed Thacker. As the standard defines it, a roundsling is an endless sling comprising a load-bearing core of high-tenacity continuous-multifilament yarn that is completely enclosed in a woven cover, with or without end fittings. Roundslings are a popular and useful rigging tool and a key component of Ranger’s below-the-hook product offering.

Bronwyn Evans, chief executive officer at Standards Australia, said: “Committee members are the lifeblood of this organisation, and standards development would not be possible without your contribution. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the contribution of employers who make expert staff available for this important national work.”

Thacker reiterated the importance of adhering to such documentation. He said: “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.”

The 50-plus-page document that covers AS 4497:2018 includes a host of fresh or updated content, in addition to new figures, tables, and appendices. For example, protective pads and corners; markings; working load limit (WLL) tags; colours and stripes; materials, including high modulus polyethylene (HMPE); cut protection; and more are all cited in the early pages as incorporated changes.

Thacker concluded: “The motivation to serve on this committee is to be part of a process that makes the lifting industry safer. My peers work tirelessly to that end and, as Bronwyn says, do so despite busy schedules at their varied employers. I am grateful to Standards Australia for recognising my contribution but the value in any public references to AS 4497:2018 and other works is in placing great emphasis on the importance of industry’s adherence to such documentation.”

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