Lifting Slings: Inspection, Care, and Use
Guidelines for Nylon Sling, Poly Round Sling, and Web Slings

When properly used Nylon Slings and Poly Lifting Slings are an indispensable tool for any rigging, millwright, or overhead lifting operation. Web Slings & Round Slings provide a versatile, compact, and light weight option that is gentler on both the load and your wallet than wire rope or chain slings. However, synthetic lifting slings can be less durable than their metal chain slings and wire rope sling counterparts and thus require special considerations for their use. Improper selection, inspection, care, and use of a poly round sling or nylon slings can shorten their lifespan and risk harm to users, equipment, and loads.

Inspection of Nylon Slings, Web Slings & Poly Round Slings

It is important to properly and regularly inspect all lifting slings. Nylon Slings, Web Slings, and Poly Round slings should be inspected before initial use, after any repair, before each use, and periodically for damage and repaired or removed from use as needed.

Lifting Slings Initial Inspection

Before any new or repaired lifting sling is placed in service, it shall be inspected by a designated person to ensure that the correct nylon sling, polyester sling, web sling, or round sling is being used, as well as to determine that the sling meets the specification requirements and has not been damaged in shipment.

Pre-Use Inspection of Lifting Slings

This inspection shall be conducted by the person handling the lifting sling each time the lifting sling is being used.

Peroidic Inspection

This inspection shall be conducted by designated personnel. Frequency of inspection shall be based on:

  • Frequency of lifting sling use
  • Severity of Service Conditions
  • Experience gained on the service life of slings used in similar applications
  • At least Annually

When to Remove a Web Sling or Round Sling from Serivce

Nylon slings or Polyester Slings shall be removed form service if any of the following are visible:

  • Missing or Unreadable ID Tag with rated capacity.
  • Chemcial Damage including acid, bleach or alkaline burns.
  • Melting, charring or weld splatter on any part of the web sling or round sling.
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags or embedded particles.
  • Broken or worn stitching in load bearing splices.
  • Excessive abrasive wear.
  • Knots in any part of the synthetic sling.
  • Excessive pitting, corrosion, cracked, distorted or broken fittings.
  • Any conditions which cause doubt as to the strength of the sling.

Caring for Lifting Slings

  • Slings should not be dragged over the floor or over an abrasive surface.
  • Slings should not be twisted, shortened, lengthened, tied into knots or joined by knotting.
  • Slings should be shortened, lengthened or adjusted only my methods approved by the manufacturer.
  • Slings should not be pulled from under loads when the load is resting on the web sling or round sling. Loads resting on slings could damage the sling.
  • Do not drop web slings equipped with metal fittings.
  • Twisting and kinking the lifting sling shall be avoided.
  • Exposures to sunlight or ultraviolet light degrades the strength of slings. Store slings in a cool, dry and dark place when not in use.

Synthetic Slings: Selection and Use

  • Determine weight of the load. The weight of the load should be within the rated capacity of the lifting sling for a specific angle (note: see “Slings angle and sling angle chart”) and hitch type.
  • Select a web sling or round sling having suitable characteristics for the type of load, hitch and environment
  • Slings shall not be loaded in excess of their rated capacity. Consideration should be given to the sling to load angle which effects rated capacity
  • Slings with fittings which are used as a choker hitch shall be of sufficient length to ensure that the choking action is on the webbing and never on a fitting
  • Web slings & round slings used in a basket hitch should have the load controlled to prevent slippage
  • The opening in fittings shall be the proper shape and size to ensure that the fittings will seat properly in the hook or other attachments
  • A combination of moderate edge, combined with none-positive sling to load engagement could result in damage and the ultimate separation of the lifting member. Materials of sufficient strength or thickness need to be employed. Several “test” lifts, done in a none-consequence set of circumstances, may be necessary to determine the suitability of the wear protection device. After each evaluation lift, the wear protection device and the sling need to be inspected for damage and suitability.
  • Lifting Slings that appear to be damaged shall not be used unless inspected and accepted
  • The nylon sling or polyester slings shall be hitched in a matter providing control of the load
  • Personnel, including portions of the human body shall be kept from between the lifting sling and the load; and from between the sling and the crane hook or hoist hook
  • Personnel should not stand under suspended loads
  • Personnel should stand clear of suspended load
  • Personal should not ride the lifting sling or the load being lifted
  • Shock loading shall be avoided
  • Load applied to the hooks on synthetic slings shall be centered in the base of the hook to prevent point loading on the hook
  • During lifting, with or without the load, personnel shall be alert for possible snagging
  • The lifting slings’ legs shall contain or support the load from the sides above the center of gravity when using a basket hitch
  • lifting slings shall be long enough so that the rated load (rated capacity) is adequate when the sling to load angle is taken into consideration
  • Place blocks under load prior to setting the load down to allow removal of the web sling or round sling, if applicable
  • Nylon and polyester slings shall not be used in contact with objects or at temperatures in excess of 194 degrees Fahrenheit or below 40 degree Fahrenheit.

Slings: Additional Information

For more information on selecting, unsing, and caring for lifitng slings and other irgging and hositing equipment check out these grat resourced.