Sling replacement indicators

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by 2 years, 1 month ago.

  • Author
  • #2321

    Elizabeth Greenbank

    Hi all,
    Are there any clear ‘rules’ or at least guidelines as to when we should be replacing patient lifting slings. I understand that a regular visual test is a basic expectation but my understanding is that a sling should be replaced if the label is no longer readable. Would be interested in peoples opinions on this but I also want something concrete that I can present to the person who holds the purse stings.I have a situation where all slings are 10 years old and used regularly, have no legible SWL or size on them. I have thrown out any that are obviously frayed but am concerned that the remaining ones have never been load tested and am sure that after 10 years there must be some degree of material fatigue??? Look forward to responses. Liz

  • #2322

    Ann Newsom

    Hi Liz
    You could check recommendations on length of use. with the supplier if you can find out which firm the slings came from. With the the keyhole clip slings its important to test that they still click into place firmly as well as checking fabric.. Slings that are 10 years old would generally be worn out but it does depend on the number of times they are used.The guidelines tend not to be specific on times but you could check on line at ACC or Worksafe.

    Kind regards
    Ann Newsom

  • #2323

    Eleanor Barrett

    Hi, At the MHANZ roadshows there was a session about sling care and maintainence – run by Ram Rai of Hill-rom. ( He had a very informative presentation but I do not think we were able to add his slideshow to the website resources. There may be info on their website. Do you think it would be useful to run a session on this topic at the next roadshows?
    Good luck and best wishes

  • #2324

    Elizabeth Greenbank

    Thanks for responses. Anne I havent been able to find anything on ACC or Worksafe that gives any specifics…all very generic. I havent talked to suppliers yet as figured they would have vested interest in replacing slings more often. I was hoping I would find some clear guidelines somewhere so I can convince the boss! And..yes Eleanor it would be a topic of interest to me and others I am sure. I will fish around a bit more. Liz

  • #2325

    Rebecca Washbourn

    Hi Liz,
    i think this is a general problem!
    i know that Angela did some work around making labels last longer so that they matched the use-ability of the sling as they do wear out much sooner than the sling appears to. am i right in thinking there was some engineer testing to check the slings as part of that process??

  • #2326

    Elizabeth Greenbank

    Have had a tiny bit of success. Euromedical have contacted their suppliers and this is the reply.
    ‘I have talked to our supplier of slings and he said the following:
    If you cannot read the label anymore on the slings with the purple label, then they are past their use by date
    If you have more recent slings on site with a white label, their is a possibility that you could replace the label.’
    (This is just for their particular slings though.)
    More questions:
    Does anyone get their slings ‘load tested’?
    Do the slings, as part of the business, depreciate financially yearly? Maybe we should align replacement with depreciation? (This logic might appeal to the accountants?)
    I think I will send out an email to all suppliers and see what other responses I get. Watch this space.

  • #2327

    Elizabeth Greenbank

    Reply from Nathan at Active Health Care

    ‘Active Healthcare can organise to have the Superslings tested in the factory in Invercargill. I know Angela Greetham has someone in Tga that tests and relabels as well. Not sure if they do out of town work though.
    There is a charge of $140 including freight to Invercargill and back to you for one sling. This obviously get cheaper the more you send at once. We cannot test and relabel other manufactures slings unfortunately as we are the original manufacturer.’

  • #2328

    Angela Greetham

    We do not load test the patient slings. We perform a complete visual check of all stitching, loops and condition once a year. When the slings are new they come with safety labels but as the slings are laundered the labels fade and within 3-5 yeas they become unreadable, it neither is neither safe nor permitted to use a sling if the safety label has faded to the point of being unreadable.
    Slings only need to be replaced when they are not fit for purpose. NZS 3551: 2012
    (Management programs for medical equipment) and NZS 10535: 2011 (Hoist,
    requirements and test methods) provide for lifting equipment and slings to be
    inspected and visually tested on a regular basis (i.e. yearly) by a trained and
    competent person, and if the equipment or sling is certified to be in safe condition
    then it can continue to be used until the next inspection.

    A proposed solution is to remove the old faded labels and fit more durable labels to the slings that are still in good condition. The new labels would be compliant with the relevant Standards and they would neither fade nor become unreadable for the life of the sling.
    The labels would comply with the relevant Standards and slings only replaced when annual testing identifies them as no longer fit for use. It is likely that most slings would last 6 to 10 + years and this would generate an amortized saving of
    $15-25.000 per year.
    The new labels are purpose designed for our DHB: they are consistent in colour and condition and contain clear and concise text. This ensures that staff using the slings can immediately and easily identify the sling they are using for what purpose. The new labels also have a test date for the next ten years so staff can identify when the sling is due for testing.
    There is no mandated requirement in any standard that records the slings should be replaced just because the safety label has faded. Hope this helps,

  • #2329

    Elizabeth Greenbank

    Great, Thanks Angela. I have cut and pasted this response to the manager.
    Can you tell me what a ‘trained and competent person’ has to do to be deemed thus? Will a physio do? Or an RN?

  • #2388

    Hi all
    have managed to upload the presentation from the 2015 roadshow for sling inspection and maintenance.
    check out the resources page

  • #2389

    Hi all
    have managed to upload the presentation from the 2015 roadshow for sling inspection and maintenance.
    check out the resources page

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