In care homes across the UK, hundreds of manual handling slings are thrown away every year after failing their LOLER inspection. There are perfectly valid reasons why a sling may be condemned, e.g. loose stitching, wear that has become dangerous, or a break-down of the material structure. Slings do inevitably wear after heavy use and frequent washing and it is understandable that they need to be condemned.
However, there is an entirely preventable reason why a lot of these slings are being condemned…When service engineers carry out a LOLER inspection, they assess the safety of a sling, looking out for wear and tear and obvious hazards such as those mentioned above. They also assess the state of the specification label on the sling.Faded specification labels
For a handling sling to pass its LOLER test, the safe working load must be clearly visible. If it is not, the engineer will need to use the serial number on the sling to contact the manufacturer and find out the safe working load. However, if the serial number is not visible either, the sling is condemned and has to be thrown away.
This is a surprisingly widespread reason why so many slings are condemned, and will sound familiar to many care homes. After each wash the ink on the label fades and becomes more and more unreadable. It isn't long before both the safe working load and the serial number are unreadable.
This results in what is an otherwise perfectly safe sling being condemned and thrown away, just because the specification label is faded.There is now a solution!
Not only is the constant renewal of slings costly for a care home, it is also extremely wasteful when they’re being discarded just because the specification label has faded.
As a manufacturer of the Mouva® range of patient handling slings, Alpine HC set about developing a solution. Here’s what they have come up with…
Mouva® Handling Slings: Fully Embroidered and Laser-Etched Specification labels
Meet the recently-launched range of Mouva® patient handling slings. Rather than ink-printed, all specification labels on Mouva® slings are now fully embroidered with intricate stitching that ensures the details on the label never wash out.
On top of this, the serial number of each Mouva® sling is laser-etched onto the label. This provides a virtually indestructible fall-back for the LOLER inspectors should the safe-working load ever become unreadable.
Useful resource - Mouva® Sling Measurement Guide