Three Reasons to Remove Your Slings from Service

September 8, 2015


In rigging and lifting, safety of both your equipment and your personnel is paramount. No operator wants to put either at risk, because they’ll be responsible for personal injury and harm and the expense accrued due to damaged equipment. You’ll want to take every precaution when inspecting your lifting equipment prior to a job.

Your slings are an important part of your lifting operation, but when they’re showing signs of degradation or being used in unsafe environments, it’s important to remove them from use, or replace them with a more appropriate sling.

Damage or Defect

In section 1910.184 of OSHA’s Regulations of Standards, they first delineate that damage and defect should be your primary concerns when considering whether an equipment is suitable for use. “Damage” can mean a wide range of things depending on the type of sling that you’re using. For alloy chain slings, kinks, cracks are signs of damage. For wire rope slings, OSHA recommends that you remove them from service if you detect ten randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay, wear of one-third the original diameter of outside the original wires, kinking, crushing, deformed end attachments, or notice evidence of heat damage.

Damage to slings can occur during use so be sure to inspect your gear before and after every operation.

Defects can occur during manufacturing or during use and they’re typically defined as something that impedes the regular use of the sling. Unnatural mends or ties in the sling, frayed fittings, and more can be described as a defect.

Signs of Wear and Tear

There are several different indications that your slings are suffering from wear and tear. Typically, after heavy use, your slings will start to breakdown and need to be replaced. That’s why regular inspection is imperative to ensuring the stability and safety of your equipment.

Typical signs of wear and tear include:

  • cracking in alloy chain slings
  • fraying on wire rope slings
  • kinking in steel slings
  • crushing in steel slings
  • bird caging in wire rope slings
  • distortion in steel slings
  • corrosion in steel slings
  • stranding in natural and synthetic slings
  • powdered fiber between strands in natural fibers
  • discoloration or rotting in natural fibers
  • variations in size or roundness in all slings

Environmental Conditions

In any lifting operation, extenuating circumstances in your environment impact how your lifting materials perform. Corrosive elements, temperature, and sharp or serrated edges can all cause issues throughout your lifting operation.

For more information on slings and recommended operation conditions, get in touch with Minco today.


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