The Blue Label Explained

Ratchet straps are some of the most widely used products in the world for securing cargo and restraining loads. We’ve spent many years listening to our customers and developed what we believe are the best on the market.

Regardless of manufacturer, every ratchet strap has a blue label sewn into the strap. Here at CargoStop we also include a second copy under the stitched webbing for added safety value. But, why are the blue labels required and what is the purpose of the information they display?

What is the blue label?

The blue label is all about making transport as safe as possible. It has to be stitched into the webbing of each ratchet strap to comply with UK and European standards relating to the packaging of goods for transport by road.

Under European legislation (EN 12195-2:2001), a visible intact data label must be securely attached to all detachable sections so that all the critical information about the strap is instantly visible in the case of a health and safety incident.

Why is the label necessary?

It has been estimated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work that up to 25% of accidents involving trucks are the result of cargo being insufficiently secured. [1]

Without the blue label, the strap will not conform to the relevant legal standards and you may incur a hefty fine or, even worse, any insurance policies covering securing the cargo being transported may be invalidated.

The blue label can also help with transport efficiency as it can be used as a document to show authorities that the load has been secured in accordance with the minimum requirements for resistance against shifting.

What is it made of?

Uniquely, the blue label on CargoStop rachet straps is made of heavy-duty embossed vinyl so that it is robust enough to resist daily wear and tear. It is stitched securely into the strap fabric.

To ensure that the information is still available to access in the unlikely event the label does become detached, a portion of the label is covered by webbing. This hidden portion replicates the critical information displayed on the full label and can be exposed by unpicking the stitching.

What is the critical information?

Every one of our blue labels carries a lot of information for its size!

For those of you who are curious as to what this information is, and what the terminology means, here is a summary of what is included on the visible section of the label:

CargoStop Logo - It is mandatory to identify the supplier of the strap so the name and/or logo of the manufacturer is clearly visible at the top. So, in combination with the batch number and production date, it can be tracked back to the manufacturer and the exact batch it was part of.

Contact Details - To make it as easy as possible to contact the supplier for whatever purpose – including replacing stock.

Website Address - Quick reference for finding out more about CargoStop, our products and services.

Lashing Capacity (LC) - The number prefixed with ‘LC’ indicates the load resistance in terms of the forces it can withstand when the strap is used for direct lashing.

The Lashing Capacity of a strap is determined by the weakest link in the assembly and is measured in units called Dekanewton (daN) where 1 daN is 10 Newtons, equivalent to 1 kilogram-force.

For example, ‘LC 2500 daN’ indicates a 5 tonne ratchet strap with a breaking strain on the webbing of 7500kg.

This figure should NOT be used for tie down lashing, Standard Tension Force (STF) should be used instead.

Breaking Force (BF) - The number pre-fixed with ‘BF’ indicates the Breaking Force when the strap is used for direct lashing, again measured in Dekanewtons.

Standard Tension Force (STF) - The Standard Tension Force is the force created by the standard hand force transferred to the webbing and is crucial for tie down and frictional lashing.

If, for example, the Standard Tension Force is 500daN and you are tying down your load, the downwards force created on the load is 500daN. Therefore, the higher the Standard Tension Force, the fewer ratchet straps needed to secure your load.

The Standard Tension Force will usually be 350 for a standard 5 tonne ratchet strap, or 500 for an Ergo Ratchet.

Elongation - Elongation is the maximum webbing stretch factor as required by EN12195-2:2001 and should be no more than 7% at LC.

Length - This relates to the length of the strap from the fixed to the adjustable end. On a 5 tonne Ratchet Strap, for example, the short tail end is usually 300mm.

British Standard (BS) - This is the legal standard to which all our straps comply. The current legislation is the European Standard EN12195-2:2001.

Batch Number - This code is used to trace products back to the exact batch the strap was produced in. With our batch numbers, we are able to see when the batch was tested, who tested it, and even which components from which batches were used in the final assembly.

Date - This is the date the strap was produced so, in combination with the name of the supplier and the batch number, it can be used to trace products back to the exact production batch.

100% Polyester - The colour of the label will depend on the material used to manufacture the webbing. Most webbing used for ratchet straps is 100% Polyester, which has a blue label.

Not For Lifting - For safety reasons, the European legislation requires this statement to be put on all lashing labels because the safety factors for lifting equipment differ from the safety factors for cargo control. It is strictly forbidden to use lashing equipment as lifting

Accreditations - All ratchet straps are tested in line with the EN 12195-2-2:2001 regulations and the label includes accreditation for the certified company involved in the testing. For example, TÜV Rheinland are used to test the securing load of our ratchet straps, and provide a GS (Geprüfte Sicherheit) certificate to confirm that they are reliable and independently tested.

The blue label may be something most of us take for granted, until we need to check the ratchet strap we have is up to the job we have planned. Then the information becomes invaluable. Having explained its purpose and the information it contains, you will hopefully feel even more confident when you reach for the right CargoStrap for the job.

At CargoStop we design, produce and supply innovative products that help make the transport industry safer and keep drivers’ and operators' boots firmly on the ground.

If you have any questions regarding the blue labels or our extensive range of ratchet straps in general, don't hesitate to contact us on 01206 224422. We are always happy to help!