The most common forms of fittings for lifting chains in the material handling industry today include quick lines, eye bolts and nuts, shackles, and S hooks. This lifting gear serves to hold materials in their place and move them from one spot to another safely and without the need for people to perform the actual heavy lifting. And the material handling industry has been around for quite a while in this capacity. During the 1800s, for example, the gull chain was patented by a French man named Gull, and it still is in use today. As another example, steel bushing chains have been in use since the time of the Wright brothers, where they were used for the propeller drive. They additionally are used for bicycles, automobiles and other forms of transportation. And even thousands of years ago, 7 millimeter rope was found in Lascaux caves dating back to 15,000 BC that were used to lift heavy items. This was just fossilized rope, but other forms in use today are double braided with an inner and outer braid often made from different materials that are good for both strength and abrasion resistance.
Unlike material handling systems of the past, though, today’s systems employ strong fall protection training to protect handlers from getting injured. Often crane safety training is a component of an overall program that aims to protect these workers. This obviously makes sense because of the inherent dangers that exist in the material handling industry.