With companies now spending around $1.5 trillion on shipping every year, items of every size and shape are being hauled across the country. One of the ways that heavy industrial materials are kept secure is with steel strapping. If you’re working with it for the first time, avoid making some costly or dangerous mistakes.
Check out our guide for six things to think about when working with strapping.
1. Wear The Right Gear
When you’re working with steel strapping, you need to wear clothing to protect yourself. You also need to use appropriate equipment to ensure that you maintain control over it. Without providing the right gear, you’re putting your staff and anyone nearby in danger.
You should have a hard hat and some safety shoes to protect yourself from bands that recoil and bounce out. Never allow anyone working with steel strapping to wear shorts. Long durable pants and longsleeved shirts should be worn.
Bands of steel strapping could bounce back and cause lacerations, even when wearing long sleeves. Make sure everyone has strong protective clothing.
Since everyone on your staff works with their hands, provide leather gloves to help protect your workers.
2. Choose The Application Carefully
While some companies might prefer polyester strapping for the price, it’s not appropriate for every application. If you have sharp-edged materials that could cut through polyester, steel banding might be your only option. If you’ve chosen steel banding, you’re going to ensure that everything you wrap will be seriously secure.
If you have large and heavy loads, steel banding is the choice for you. When the items you’re shipping stay stable under any circumstances, steel banding is the right choice.
For long distance shipping, you’ll have better luck with steel than with polyester. Steel straps can’t be broken without shears and a whole lot of leverage. Polyester can be broken through friction if items get shipped in close contact with one another.
When the large items you’re shipping have to be loaded and unloaded several times, steel bands will hold up without fail.
Just make sure that the items you’re shipping aren’t subject to being damaged by contact with the steel. Some materials might interact poorly while others might suffer abrasions, ruining your material.
3. Make Space
When working with steel straps, you need to give yourself plenty of room to work. HAving your personnel in close quarters could put them in danger. Make sure that everyone knows how much room they should leave when working with this material.
The same goes for when the bands are cut off when items arrive at their location. If items are wrapped tightly, cut bands could spring backward and cause lacerations.
Anyone cutting bands before wrapping or after receiving a shipment should wear face protection to be sure they’re not harmed.
4. Choose Cutting Tools Carefully
When you’re cutting steel straps, using the wrong tool can put you in danger. When you use a lot of force to cut something, you put your body into the work. As you lean into your cut, you could slip and harm yourself.
Shears should have long handles so that you get plenty of leverage. Duck-billed shears work well because they apply more pressure on the cut, ensuring the cut is done easily and cleanly.
You need squarely made cuts, as an angled cut will lead to sharp and pointy ends. Make sure that you have the right tools for this job. Trying to snap the straps with a claw hammer or a crowbar will put everyone nearby in danger.
You could be injured by putting too much force into trying to tear the straps off. You could also get hurt by an angled cut created by using the incorrect tool.
5. Think Before You Act
Sometimes, a staff is excited to get a shipment and opens it up hastily. Other times, a team will rush to get a shipment out. Either way, everyone should pause before you make a cut.
Wrapping something with several straps should be one in the correct order. The ones that are doing the most work need first priority. If there’s one angle that holds more weight than another, that should be the first one cut and wrapped.
When removing steel straps, cut the one that’s farthest away from you first so that you can stay away from the zone created by its potential springing back. Call that area the “danger zone” and warn anyone else from being near it.
You need to wrap your shipment appropriate to how your recipient handles it and what kind of product it is. You could damage your products when you wrap them.
If you’re sending mattresses with springs, too many steel straps could damage those items. Make sure that the manufacturer secures these items before you start wrapping. Items will sometimes items arrive compressed in advance.
Compressed soft materials like burlap or cotton receive damage or arrive defective upon receipt if they’re over compressed. These are more examples of the kinds of products that manufacturers should be preparing for shipment.
6. Clean Up Routine
You need to have a routine for cleaning up your strap materials. Ends that have been cut off or binding materials shouldn’t be left around.
If your space will be populated by employees that aren’t wearing protective gear, they need to be accounted for. It’s up to your staff doing the strapping to make sure everyone is safe before, during, and after the work is done.
Stainless Steel Strapping Is The Most Secure
One of the reasons that companies continue to use steel strapping time and time again is that it’s one of the most reliable materials for securing items. If you’re sending materials that you need to be secure, steel is the way to go.
For more reasons why we recommend steel strapping, check out our latest guide.