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Lifting Sling Safety Presentation for Web Sling and Tie Down Association

Mike Gelskey, Sr., Past President of the Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA) presented the details of a fatality resulting from the use of a damaged sling at the Fall 2012 meeting of the WSTDA held in Minneapolis, MN. The presentation explored the circumstances of the unfortunate and premature death of Rodney Armstrong Guy, a 32 year old lineman.  Rodney Guy was killed at 2:15 PM on March 20, 1992 during a clipping operation of a 500kV transmission line in Rio Vista, CA. The sling had been used for 33 months and twice previously the very day Rodney was killed. Several factors lead to his death. The sling was severely overloaded as it was dynamically loaded to 14,000 lbs. as the line was clipped into the insulator.  The sling work load limit was 8860 Lbs.  In addition to the sling overload, there was no advance calculation done to determine the work load requirement. The sling was also severely UV degraded.  A nylon sling continually exposed to sources of ultraviolet light for periods ranging from 12-30 months may lose 40 to 60% of original strength. The sling was severely damaged and either the damage was ignored or the sling was not inspected prior to use. While making presentations in Mandan, North Dakota Mike Gelskey met Mr. Vince Smith, who was working with Rodney the day he was killed.  Mr. Smith provided Gelskey with a picture of Rodney and eerily the sling that snapped can be seen in its extremely distressed state in the background. The sling separated at the exact midpoint , in a straight line propelling the block into Rodney’s chest, killing him instantly as a result of blunt trauma to chest and abdomen. The damaged $40 sling could have been replaced after a 40 mile drive to West Sacramento. 40 miles, 40 dollars and proper training is all it would  have taken for Rodney  to enjoy Grandchildren at this point in his life. The members of the WSTDA expressed their appreciation for Gelskey’s  presentation. Rodney F. Guy Mr. Rodney Armstrong Guy

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