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Sling Safety Guidelines: How To Ensure Safety When Using Chain Slings

Working with slings means being able to assemble them for various loads and purposes and being knowledgeable in handling massive slings properly. The rigging industry uses slings the most, which is why riggers must know how to use, maintain, and handle slings in the face of potential hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends following specific guidelines for the safe use of slings in any relevant industry, most commonly in the general industry, the maritime, and the construction industry.

If you are interested in knowing more about how to properly use and maintain slings at the workplace, continue reading our article as we disclose relevant safety information regarding sling use. Moreover, we’ll recommend where to turn for top construction services carried out by top professionals.

Why Is a Fully Functional Sling So Important?

Manual workers, especially those part of the construction industry, are often faced with handling or relocating materials and other heavy objects from one place to another. These activities can lead to severe injuries without specific safety gear.

Site managers or project managers should use proper rigging equipment and mechanical gear for moving clunky, heavy objects and prevent employees from suffering sprains, muscle tears, or even life-threatening injuries.

To accomplish that, special industry-specific machinery like trucks, hoists, derricks, and cranes move heavy objects. As an essential part of the machinery, chain slings hold loads in place during transport. Thus, sling safety is a vital aspect of smoothly running operations, which is the main reason chain slings need to undergo sling inspection.

How to Safely Use Chain Slings

How to Safely Use Chain Slings

Handling and maintaining chain slings takes education and focus. An inexperienced worker will have a hard time using chain slings to secure cargo, leading to an interrupted workflow and even causing harm to themself, others, or the gear.

For instance, a 4-leg rigging chain might seem like rocket science to someone without experience handling such suspension gear.

To make sure you are using chain slings safely and properly, keep these in mind: 

  • Always store chain slings correctly;
  • Apply the correct mode factor for slinging arrangement;
  • Inspect chain slings and accessories before use and before storing them;
  • Fit slings carefully;
  • Protect them from sharp edges;
  • Position hooks outwards the load

How To Properly Check Chain Slings During an Inspection 

Chain slings should only be inspected by a designated person knowledgeable on the matter while following the OSHA sling inspection checklist:

  • Thoroughly clean the sling before the inspection;
  • Check the ID tag;
  • Place the chain on a levelled floor or hang it up until fully stretched;
  • Untwist twisted sections;
  • Measure the length of the sling;
  • If a sling is stretched, remove it;
  • Check the master link, the load pins, and the hooks;
  • Take note of the manufacturer, the load limit, the type, and the dates of inspection 

If the hooks are in either of the following conditions, replace them immediately:

  • They are open more than 15% of the standard throat opening;
  • They are twisted more than 10° measured from the plane of the normal hook

What to Avoid When Using Chain Slings

To make sure you have maintained your chain slings in pristine condition, follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t apply pressure on the point of the hook;
  • Do not practice impact loading (don’t jerk the load while lifted);
  • Always keep an eye on suspended loads;
  • Do not use chain slings as means to drag a load over ground or floors;
  • Never use damaged or worn-out chain slings;
  • Don’t force the hooks into place;
  • Don’t stand under a suspended load or pass under it;
  • Never apply chemicals to chain slings unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer

Many project or site managers should never approve of using damaged or defective slings. They may seem alright to use if the wear and tear is minimal, but they can put your workers at risk.

Southeast Rigging: Your Go-To Provider for Everything Safety!

We at Southeast Rigging take great pride in being Florida's premier safety gear provider trusted by thousands! Trust us to offer you a massive selection of lifting and rigging gear by renowned manufacturers. Moreover, you can turn to us for training services and become a pro yourself. Get in touch with us, or visit us at one of our offices in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando — we’re always happy to help! 

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