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Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Safe Working Load (SWL)

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Definition- What does the Safe Working Load (SWL) Mean?

Safe Working Load (SWL) sometimes stated as the Normal Working Load (NWL) is the maximum safe force that a piece of lifting equipment, lifting device or accessory can exert to lift, suspend, or lower, a given mass without fear of breaking. Usually marked on the equipment by the manufacturer. It is a calculation of the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) aka Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) divided by a safety factor, usually ranging from 4 to 6 on lifting equipment. The factor can be as high as 10:1 or 10 to 1 if the equipment has posed a risk to a person’s life.


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