Frequently Asked Questions

How does SlingSpector work?

A user creates their profile for their organisation via the SlingSpector website and becomes the main administrator. Normally this is done by the Occupational Health and Safety Manager, or Risk Manager. You can then then log in via the website portal, or via the free App. Facilities and Users can be added, and sling or hoist profiles created, assigning each with an ID, which can be any combination of letters and numbers. Creating a sling or hoist profile is normally a quick job done in under a minute. Your facility may well already have some sort of unique ID system in place, and Sling ID Barcode Tags are also available with show a barcode and number, to help make this job easier. Having an ID allows every sling or hoist to be easily tracked, and all data securely stored and easily retrieved.

Details such as the manufacturer’s name, design, date of manufacture and date of purchase can be entered. Dates for inspections can be entered, and a photo taken, to make identification at inspection time easier. A decommission or disposal date can also be entered, if the manufacturer specifies a lifetime of the sling.

Monthly reports are emailed to one email address detailing sling and hoist inspections and decommissions overdue, inspections completed over the last month, and inspections and decommissions due over the next 3 months.

Inspections can be conducted by retrieving a sling or hoist profile and answering the simple on-screen questions. Photos can be taken at any time during the inspection to show any damage requiring repair. Certain checklist questions also require photos to be taken. Although not compulsory, slings can also be marked as having been washed, which is useful when seeing how long a particular sling lasts for, before deteriorating and needing replacement. Slings and hoists can be marked as decommissioned to complete their life cycle.

All data is securely stored and is easily retrievable if required following an accident.

We are an aged care organisation with various locations. What’s the best way for us to use SlingSpector?

You can choose to either:

– Purchase SlingSpector one time and create multiple facilities and users. The information can still be sorted by location. The monthly email report will be sent to all users.

– Purchase SlingSpector for each location, facility, ward, etc. For large organisations this may be a simpler way to store the information. It also means only the relevant users receive the monthly email report.

Can I trial SlingSpector for free?

Yes – we would love you to try it out!

Following the link on our homepage and we will set up a free trial account for you. This is a great way to explore what SlingSpector is with no functional restrictions. If you decide to become a paying subscriber, the data you have entered will be migrated across.

I’m a new SlingSpector user – how do I get started?

Once you have completed the subscription process via the SlingSpector website, log in to access the How To Videos, and How To Guide. The How To Videos show some of the more commonly used procedures. The How To Guide is a written guide which contains more information.

After signing up and logging in, the first thing to do is create a facility. Once that is done, you can create a sling or hoist profile, and assign it to a facility. If you have multiple facilities in your organisation, you can create as many as you need.

If you need to, you can also set up new users to give them access.

 

Who needs to do sling and hoist inspections?

Facilities who use slings and hoists made to the ISO 10535 Standard should be carrying out periodic inspections in order to remain compliant. Although many people are aware of the ISO 10535 standard and the fact that the Standard dictates what testing requirements are placed on slings and hoists, most people do not realise that the Standard also includes the following periodic inspection requirements:

• 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspection
• Annual Hoist Inspection (or 6 Monthly under the UK’s LOLER Regulations)

(Inspections may be required more often is stated by the manufacturer)

The Standard requires 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspections to be conducted by a competent person who is familiar with how slings are used and maintained. We believe that anyone who has had the appropriate training, complemented by SlingSpector’s inspection guidance videos, could be considered a properly qualified person. Inspections are generally carried out by carers, nurses, physiotherapists, or occupational therapists.

In addition to the 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspection, most sling manufacturers, and SlingSpector, recommend a Sling Inspection Before Use. This is often the most important inspection as any damage should be found during the inspection, rather than waiting for the next 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspection.

Similarly, hoist inspections should be completed by a competent person who is familiar with how hoists are used and maintained, and the manufacturer should provide instructions for what constitutes a periodic inspection. We recommend using a hoist servicing company to carry out these inspections as they have the necessary expertise.

SlingSpector is designed specifically for anyone whose role includes sling or hoist inspections. Sometimes inspections are carried out as part of an organisation’s asset audit.

What types of organisations would benefit from using SlingSpector?

  • Aged care facilities or nursing homes – from large organisations with hundreds of facilities, to an independently run single facility
  • Group homes
  • Hospitals
  • Palliative care facilities
  • Hospices
  • Disabiltity centres
  • Hoist servicing companies
  • Home care
  • Any scenario where a patient lifting sling and hoist is used

What are the key features of SlingSpector?

  • Compliance & safety – Ensures compliance with regulations to ensure the highest possible level of safety to help prevent accidents, injuries and litigation
  • Automatic inspection reminders – Monthly reports detailing sling and hoist inspections and decommissions overdue, inspections completed over the last month, and inspections and decommissions due over the next 3 months
  • Guidance videos and information – Inspection guidance videos to help support staff training, including a monthly reminder for any new staff who need the information
  • Consistency across an entire organisation – Ability to create organisation groups with unlimited users
  • Take photos of sling or hoist damage and log repairs – Use a smartphone or tablet to take photos, and keep repair logs

What are all the features SlingSpector offers?

  • Ensures compliance with the International Standard ISO 10535
  • Ensures compliance with local regulatory requirements such as the UK’s LOLER 1998 requirements, and Australia’s TGA requirements
  • Clear explanation of the elements of an inspection required by the Standard and local regulatory requirements
  • Simple to set up
  • Simple to use
  • Unlimited sling profiles
  • Unlimited hoist profiles
  • Unlimited users with an organisation
  • Unlimited facilities with an organisation
  • Individual sling and hoist IDs created by the user
  • Inspection records can be signed off by the inspector on-screen
  • Print, email an retrieve inspection records
  • Monthly email reports showing
    • Inspections and decommissions overdue
    • Inspections and decommissions done over the past month
    • Inspections and decommissions coming up over the next 3 months
  • Guidance videos showing
    • 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspection
    • Sling Inspection Before Use
    • Trolley Hoist Inspection
    • Ceiling Hoist Inspection
  • Consistency in reporting across an entire organisation
  • Take photos of damage and wear & tear
  • Log service repairs
  • Stay up to date with regulation changes and updates
  • Devices with a camera can quickly read a barcode attached to the sling or hoist, rather than manually entering the ID number (SlingSpector supplies unique Sling ID Barcode Tags  which can be fitted to any brand of sling, and sticky labels for hoists – see our shop!)
  • Slings can be marked as having been washed, to track the number of washes before deteriorating and requiring replacement
  • Allows for generic user profiles (e.g. inspections@nursinghome.com) where all users use the same profile
  • Allows for staff-specific user profiles
  • Links to local regulatory bodies
  • Robust back up system in case your handheld device is unavailable – written reports can still be performed
  • Data securely stored and easily retrievable
  • Ability to change the sling or hoist ID and retain all previous information
  • Free for nursing colleges, so that new staff employed are already familiar with SlingSpector
  • Free for people being cared for at home (up to 20 inspections per year)

What guidance does SlingSpector offer?

Not only does SlingSpector make completing the periodic inspection record easy, it also offers excellent, clear and simple guidance videos detailing:

  • How to carry out a Sling Inspection Before Use
  • How to carry out a 6 Monthly Thorough Sling Inspection
  • How to carry out a Trolley Hoist Inspection
  • How to carry out a Ceiling Hoist Inspection

What is the difference between the App and the Website Portal?

When you purchase SlingSpector you can use it in two ways:

The App – for smartphones and tablets the App is a great way to use SlingSpector as you can use the device’s camera to take photos.

The Website Portal – you can log in via the portal at www.slingspector.com, which is great if you do not have a smartphone or tablet handy.

Due to the programming required for the App and the Website Portal, there are some slight differences in the look and feel, and the Website Portal contains some functionality which is not available from within the App.

Do I need WiFi or cellular data for the App to work?

Yes. The App will not work with either WiFi or cellular data turned on. The website portal will work with an internet connection.

We are a facility and we use a hoist servicing company for our hoists. Can we use SlingSpector only for our facility’s slings, and not our hoists?

Yes.

Your hoist servicing company is the expert on hoists, and your staff who use the slings everyday should be considered suitably qualified people to inspect slings, after receiving the facility’s training, supported by SlingSpector’s guidance videos.

We strongly advise that you continue using your hoist servicing company to service your hoists, because they have expertise in mechanical and electronic components. Your servicing company may well choose to use SlingSpector to make their inspections quicker and easier.

You can easily upload inspections carried out by your hoist servicing company into SlingSpector, which is a neat way to store the information. By creating hoist profiles in SlingSpector it also means that you get reminders when inspections are due, in case your hoist servicing company ever misses an inspection, and you will receive reminders when a hoist is due for decommissioning. You would then be covered if your hoist servicing company ever stops trading.

Can I just use the parts of SlingSpector I want to?

Yes. You can just use the parts of SlingSpector you want to use. For example, if you only want to enter sling information and complete sling inspections, that’s fine. You do not have to use the sling washes features, or any of the hoist features. Check with your hoist servicing company that the inspections they do, keep you covered for your obligations.

Our organisation already conducts inspections. Why should we use SlingSpector?

You may already be compliant, but some important things to consider:

  • Are all required inspection criteria according to ISO10535, and any local requirements being met and recorded?
  • Are you using a paper-based system or electronic system?
  • Are all your inspections conducted in the same format?
  • Are all inspection records securely saved and able to be produced if required?
  • What inspection guidance are your staff given?
  • What is your back up system in case your data is lost?

How can SlingSpector be used for people being cared for at home?

Most people who are cared for at home come under the care or help of a healthcare agency or organisation. We recommend the organisation subscribes to SlingSpector, and their therapists conduct the inspections. This means that SlingsSpector can be used for all the people being cared for at home by that organisation, and the data is held by the organisation.

Alternatively, the person at home can subscribe to SlingsSpector at the discounted Home rate.

We are a hoist servicing company. Why should we use SlingSpector?

SlingsSpector is not designed to take the important role of servicing hoists away from other companies. We recognise that there are certain skills required for servicing hoists which are different to sling inspections. Some advantages of using SlingSpector for patient hoist inspections are:

  • To ensure compliance with all regulations and produce the required inspection record
  • Automatic reminders
  • The ability to take photos of damage
  • The ability to automatically email inspection records to your customers
  • Reduce paperwork – all reports are electronic, and able to be printed if required
  • A secure back up system of your inspection records, both for you and your clients
  • Keep pace with technology

How does the Sling ID system work and what are the Sling ID Barcode Tags?

A sling ID is simply a unique series of numbers or letters that are assigned to a sling. Your organisation probably already has some sort of system in place, such as an asset number, or a facility-assigned number or code. SlingSpector allows you to use whatever ID you like, or you can use SlingSpector’s unique Sling ID Barcode Tags.

These Sling ID Barcode Tags have a unique barcode, and a corresponding number, which makes it easy to recall the sling when doing an inspection. We use a Code 39 barcode system, which can also be read by your asset management system (if compatible).

Sling ID Barcode Tags can be purchased via our online shop. These Tags can be quickly and easily fitted, and have been tested to withstand the rigours of washing and drying

Sling ID Barcode Tag on sling

How does SlingSpector fit in with an asset management system?

The Sling ID Tags and Hoist ID Labels use a Code 39 barcode system, which may be readable by your asset management system.

SlingSpector is a standalone software product and does not otherwise directly integrate with a separate asset management system.

Many users view SlingSpector as their dedicated asset management system specifically for slings and hoists, as it can retain many details (except sling or hoist purchase price).

Can SlingSpector be used to physically track slings?

No – SlingSpector cannot track exactly where a sling is. However, if you choose to use the SlingSpector feature which allows you mark as sling as being washed, and, for example, make this a job of the laundry, then at least you will know the last know place the sling was located was at the laundry.

How do we pay for SlingSpector?

When you sign up to SlingSpector as a paying subscriber you will be asked to enter your credit card details. Each year your credit card will be debited.  You will be required to update your credit card details if they change.

We do offer an option to pay by Direct Deposit (Wire Transfer) if required. If you need to pay by direct deposit, please click here to link the our ‘quote or invoice request’ page, to request an invoice. Once paid, we will email you your log in details.

 

I’ve received my monthly email report with no information – what does this mean?

This just means there were are inspection or decommissions overdue, none done over the last month, and none coming up over the next three months.

What does the International Standard ISO 10535 require for inspections and labelling?

The International Standard – ISO10535 – Hoists for the transfer of disabled persons – Requirements and test methods

The Standard covers period inspection requirements in “Annex B (informative) Periodic inspection”. The requirements are summarised below. Please refer to the Standard for clarification and confirmation.

Hoists

  • Hoist inspections should be completed as recommended by the manufacturer, but at least annually. The inspection should cover testing all the functions of the hoist, plus lifting the maximum weight, from the lowest lifting position to the highest and back again. The Standard’s reference to maximum weight can reasonably be assumed to mean the Safe Working Load (SWL), and not the actual maximum possible load of the hoist.
  • Hoist inspections should be completed by a competent person who is familiar with how hoists are used and maintained. The manufacturer should provide instructions for what constitutes a periodic inspection.
  • An inspection record of any safety issues with the hoist should be maintained.
  • A general periodic inspection record should be maintained, and the person doing the inspection should sign the record. Any hardware sling parts must be clearly marked and recorded in the inspection record. The location of where the hoist is used must also be recorded.
  • If any safety issues arise with a hoist then the owner or organisation where the hoist is used should be notified, and removed from service.
  • An inspection record of all repairs to the hoist should be maintained.
  • An inspection record of any manufacturing faults and damage should be maintained and reported to the manufacturer.

 

Slings

  • Sling inspections should be completed as recommended by the manufacturer, but at least every 6 months. The situation or environment in which a sling is used may require more regular inspections.
  • Sling inspections should be completed by a competent person who is familiar with how slings are used and maintained. The inspection is required to detect any damage before it may become a safety issue.
  • An inspection record should be maintained for examination in case of an incident or accident.
  • The inspection record should include the inspection date, Sling ID, details of the condition of the sling, next inspection date, and ID and signature of the person doing the inspection.

 

What the Standard Requires for Hoist Labelling

The Standard covers period inspection requirements in clause “4.13 Information supplied by the manufacturer”. The requirements are summarised below, and require the Standards EN 980 and EN12182 to be applicable. Please refer to the Standard for clarification and confirmation.

  • All hoist controls must show their purpose.
  • All hoists must be marked with:
    • The manufacturer’s and supplier’s contact details
    • Hoist design name
    • ID (preferably a serial number)
    • Month & year of manufacture
    • Details of any electrical components complying with IEC 60601-1 if applicable
    • Information about any energy source such as water or air, and operating pressure range if applicable
    • Safe Working Load (SWL)
    • If required, an Ingress Protection (IP) rating for parts which may get wet

 

What the Standard Requires for Sling Labelling

The Standard covers period inspection requirements in clause “8.4 Information supplied by the manufacturer”. The requirements are summarised below. Please refer to the Standard for clarification and confirmation.

  • A label must be fitted to the sling with the following details:
    • Sling size
    • An alert to the Instructions For Use (IFU)
    • An indication if the sling is to be used on a specific type of spreader bar
    • Cleaning instructions
  • Further details below may be either on the label if space permits, or if not on the label, then on the Instructions For Use (IFU)
    • Operating instructions
    • Information about the sling design and if it is suitable for lifting people in different positions, i.e. sitting upright, lying down
    • Details of any selection or variations of the sling, the purpose or intention of the sling, and information about the way the sling should be used
    • If the sling is not to be used for people with any specific disabilities
    •  A warning to ensure a faulty, damaged or dangerously worn sling must not be used

 

AS/NZS ISO 10535:2011 © Standards Australia Limited. Paraphrased with the permission of Standards Australia under Licence 1702-c065

What does the UK’s LOLER 1998 regulations require for inspections and labelling?

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

SCHEDULE 1 INFORMATION TO BE CONTAINED IN A REPORT OF A THOROUGH EXAMINATION

Regulation 10(1)

  1. The name and address of the employer for whom the thorough examination was made.
  2. The address of the premises at which the thorough examination was made.
  3. Particulars sufficient to identify the lifting equipment including where known its date of manufacture.
  4. The date of the last thorough examination.
  5. The safe working load of the lifting equipment or (where its safe working load depends on the configuration of the lifting equipment) its safe working load for the last configuration in which it was thoroughly examined.
  6. In relation to the first thorough examination of lifting equipment after installation or after assembly at a new site or in a new location—

(a) that it is such thorough examination;

(b) (if such be the case) that it has been installed correctly and would be safe to operate.

  1. In relation to a thorough examination of lifting equipment other than a thorough examination to which paragraph 6 relates—

(a) whether it is a thorough examination—

(i) within an interval of 6 months under regulation 9(3)(a)(i);

(ii) within an interval of 12 months under regulation 9(3)(a)(ii);

(iii) in accordance with an examination scheme under regulation 9(3)(a)(iii); or

(iv) after the occurrence of exceptional circumstances under regulation 9(3)(a)(iv);

(b) (if such be the case) that the lifting equipment would be safe to operate.

  1. In relation to every thorough examination of lifting equipment—

(a) identification of any part found to have a defect which is or could become a danger to persons, and a description of the defect;

(b) particulars of any repair, renewal or alteration required to remedy a defect found to be a danger to persons;

(c) in the case of a defect which is not yet but could become a danger to persons—

(i) the time by which it could become such danger;

(ii) particulars of any repair, renewal or alteration required to remedy it;

(d) the latest date by which the next thorough examination must be carried out;

(e) where the thorough examination included testing, particulars of any test;

(f) the date of the thorough examination.

  1. The name, address and qualifications of the person making the report; that he is self-employed or, if employed, the name and address of his employer.
  2. The name and address of a person signing or authenticating the report on behalf of its author.
  3. The date of the report.

 

What does Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) require for labelling?

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) (Australia)

Regulations 2002, Schedule 1, part 2, 13.3

13.3  Information to be provided with medical devices—particular requirements

The information mentioned in the following table must be provided with a medical device.

Item Information to be provided
1 The manufacturer’s name, or trading name, and address
2 The intended purpose of the device, the intended user of the device, and the kind of patient on whom the device is intended to be used (if this information is not obvious)
3 Sufficient information to enable a user to identify the device, or if relevant, the contents of packaging
4 Any particular handling or storage requirements applying to the device
5 Any warnings, restrictions, or precautions that should be taken, in relation to use of the device
6 Any special operating instructions for the use of the device
7 If applicable, an indication that the device is intended for a single use only
8 If applicable, an indication that the device has been custom‑made for a particular individual or health professional and is intended for use only by that individual or health professional
9 If applicable, an indication that:

(a) if the device is a medical device other than an IVD medical device—the device is intended for pre‑market clinical investigation; or

(b) if the device is an IVD medical device—the device is intended for performance evaluation only

10 For a sterile device, the word ‘STERILE’ and information about the method that was used to sterilise the device
11 The batch code, lot number or serial number of the device
12 If applicable, a statement of the date (expressed in a way that clearly identifies the month and year) up to when the device can be safely used
13 If the information provided with the device does not include the information mentioned in item 12—a statement of the date of manufacture of the device (this may be included in the batch code, lot number or serial number of the device, provided the date is clearly identifiable)
14 If applicable, the words ‘for export only’

How do I know I am using up-to-date regulations?

The International Standard for slings and hoists that healthcare facilities around the world is ISO 10535.

Different countries also may have their own regulations, such as the UK’s LOLER 1998 regulations, and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requirements.

We stay as up-to-date as possible with worldwide patient sling and hoist safety changes and developments, which helps us ensure SlingSpector is current to ensure compliance and peace of mind.

As SlingSpector is used world-wide, some local authorities may introduce new requirements which we may not be aware of. We encourage users  to inform us of any such changes so we can update our advice.

What is the difference between an Admin User and a Standard User?

You will need to create an Admin User profile for any organisation, whether it is an organisation with multiple facilities, or just a single person. Being an Admin User gives you access to certain features such as adding new facilities, and adding or approving new Standard Users.

Can I add my own questions to the inspection checklists?

No.

We have created the inspection checklists to ensure they satisfy the inspection criteria set out by the International Standard and local regulatory requirements. Currently there is no option to add your own questions, but we do use the feedback we receive and may add questions if there is enough of a need from users.

You can used the notes section during the inspections to store any information, so this may be a good place to keep any other information.

How can I cancel my SlingSpector subscription?

Although we don’t like to see you go, if you feel that you’re not getting enough use from SlingSpector to justify the cost, we understand. Please contact us or email us at slingspector@arizonhealthcare.com and we will cancel your subscription.

What are the Sling Inspection Tags?

The Sling Inspection Tags provide a visual indication that a sling has been inspected, and show when the next inspection is due. They are made from a soft but very strong vinyl-type material, and have been specifically developed to be washable and not deteriorate. There are 3 pattern variations (solid, striped, and dotted) and 4 colours. This allows an alternate colour to be used every 6 months. The back of the Tag is intentionally white to help staff identify, for example, a green Tag on a green sling. It also provides a space for staff to write on the Tag if required. The information contained on a Tag is:

Can I use Sling Inspection Tags and not use the SlingSpector app?

Yes. The Sling Inspection Tags can be used separately from the SlingSpector app. The Sling Inspection Tags have no connection to the app, and are just a visual indication to show that a sling has been inspected.

How does the Hoist ID system work?

Similar to the sling ID system outlined above, the hoist ID system simply means that each hoist is allocated a unique number and barcode. The hoist may already have its own ID allocated by the manufacturer, or the facility may have given it a new ID. As well as these unique Hoist ID Barcode Labels, we also provide separate Hoist Inspection Labels, allowing space for the inspection date, inspector’s details, and date of next inspection. These stickers are changed annually. Here is an example:

Hoist ID on hoist - looking straight on     Hoist ID Label on hoist

 

What is the warranty and returns policy for the shop products?

We will replace any shop product which is found to be defective due to a manufacturing fault, within 1 year of purchase. This does not cover general wear & tear, or accidental or deliberate damage.

Exclusions:

1) Sling Inspection Tags – These may be subject to the commercial washing and drying process on a daily basis. In testing we simulated 6 month’s worth of washing and drying and the products easily withstood this wear without any deterioration.

2) Sling ID Barcode Tags, Sling ID Blank Tags – Although we would like to guarantee that these products will last the life of the sling (possibly 15 or 20 years), we cannot. Rather than conducting 20 years worth of testing, we are confidant they will last the lifetime of a sling in general use, assumed to be 5-10 years. If you are ever dissatisfied with our products please let us know.

Have another question? Contact us.