Your winching equipment can reach the end of its line sooner rather than later if not maintained correctly or used in the correct way. It can also prove to be very dangerous if not used in the correct way. That is why when using a winch certain safety guidelines need to be followed.
When you use your winch and handling or winding in the rope you should always wear the correct gloves. This is to protect your hands from any sharp rope strands that may have broken. Before using the winch ensure the vehicle is 100% secure before using and after moving the item. Never rely solely on the winch to gold a load for an extended time because a winch does not have a locking mechanism.
If the winch is fully extended then do not apply direct weight. The correct procedure is to allow the winch to have at least five complete turns of rope onto the drum before you apply load. When you re-spool the load be careful not to put your fingers through the hook. This is simply because if your fingers get trapped either in the rope or the hook you can say goodbye to the finger or fingers. For this exact reason never ever use your hands to guide the rope back onto the drum. Remember to always keep your hands away from the fairlead when you are using the winch.
When using the winch keep it to short duration. This is because winches are not designed to be used on a constant basis. Check the maximum load rate the winch can handle, if the load is close to that rating then only use the winch to pull for one minute. Whilst winching, if you notice that the motor has become very hot, stop winching immediately and allow the winch to completely cool down before you continue.
One of the most important safety rules to follow is to make sure that the load you are winching does not exceed the maximum rated load for the winch. If you do exceed the maximum rating then it is dangerous and unsafe as well as it resulting in a shorter life for the winch.
Overall the person operating the winch must always use their commonsense and make sure they are safe at all times and that they are operating the winch in the correct manner. Before attempting to use a winch you must be familiar with the safety guidelines.