Sling & Rigging Workplace Safety Program


The purpose of this safety policy and procedure is to establish the methods and guidelines for the safe use of slings throughout [COMPANY]. Slings, a component of hoisting and rigging systems, are used to lift and move loads. In [COMPANY], alloy steel chain, wire rope, natural and synthetic fiber rope, and synthetic web slings are typically used. Slings are capable of lifting tremendous loads.

This safety policy and procedure provides guidelines for implementing an effective safe sling use program. It includes provisions for training, recognizing the types of slings used in [COMPANY], understanding the attachments used with slings, and inspecting slings. Additionally, it presents information on sling repair requirements and subsequent removal from service.

It is the policy of [COMPANY] is to provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees or the public. Therefore, to minimize and eliminate material lifting hazards, properly rated slings that are not damaged or defective will be used in [COMPANY]. When hazards exist that cannot be eliminated, then engineering practices, administrative practices, safe work practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and proper training regarding Slings will be implemented. These measures will be implemented to minimize those hazards to ensure the safety of employees and the public.


It is the responsibility of each manager/unit head, supervisor and employee to ensure implementation of [COMPANY]’s safety policy and procedure on Slings. It is also the responsibility of each [COMPANY] employee to report immediately any unsafe act or condition of equipment to his or her supervisor.

Managers/Unit Heads

 Managers/Unit Heads are responsible for ensuring adequate funds are available for the purchase of chains and slings for their areas. They will also be responsible for identifying the employees affected by this safety policy and procedure. Managers/Unit Heads will obtain and coordinate the required training for the affected employees. Managers/Unit Heads will also audit their safe sling use program to ensure effective implementation with this safety policy and procedure.


Supervisors. Every six months, supervisors or a designated employee will inspect all slings in their work area for wear and for defects in composition and welds. Supervisors will ensure that defective or damaged slings are removed from service. Supervisors will also ensure that employees are provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as necessary for their job (e.g., foot, hand, or eye protection as necessary).


Employees shall comply with all applicable training. Additionally, employees shall report all damaged slings and/or unsafe conditions to their supervisors.

Safety and Loss Control

Safety and Loss Control. Safety and Loss Control will provide prompt assistance to managers/unit heads, supervisors, or others as necessary on any matter concerning this safety policy and procedure. Additionally, Safety and Loss Control will assist in developing or securing the required training. Safety and Loss Control will work with Purchasing to ensure that all newly purchased slings comply with this safety policy and procedure. Additionally, Safety will provide consultative and audit assistance to ensure the safe use of slings.

Equipment Issue

Central Equipment unit shall maintain an adequate supply of appropriate slings. Central Equipment Unit will ensure that all components are delivered with the appropriate manufacturer’s certification.


Employees who use slings will be trained in:
• Types of slings
• Applications and limitations of the various types of slings
• Inspection procedures for slings
• Removal of slings from service
These employees will be trained upon initial employment or upon new job assignment. Subsequent training will be determined by employee’s supervisor.

Selection and Use of Sling Types

Several types of slings are used throughout [COMPANY] and include:
• Alloy Steel Chain Slings
• Wire Rope Slings
• Natural and Synthetic Fiber Rope Slings
• Synthetic Web Slings
Sling selection for a particular task is based on:
• Rated capacity of the sling• Nature of the task
• Amount of weight required to be lifted, hoisted or moved
The user should determine that the sling is being used in accordance with rated capacity as listed in the manufacturer’s catalog. The alloy steel chain, wire rope and fiber rope slings are typically used where sling damage to the load is not critical. Synthetic web slings are ideal where sling damage to a load is not acceptable.

Alloy chain slings will have permanent identification affixed to the sling indicating the size, grade, rated capacity, and reach of the sling. Untagged slings will be removed from service. Alloy steel chains and chain slings should not be heated above 600 degrees after being received from the manufacturer.

Wire rope slings must be proof-tested by the manufacturer to ensure quality. A certificate verifying rated capacity will accompany each wire rope sling. This certificate must be available for review.

Synthetic web slings must be marked or coded to show the rated capacities for each type of hitch, type of web material, and manufacturer. Additionally, synthetic web slings must not be exposed to fumes, vapors, sprays, mists, liquid acids, liquid phenolics, or liquid caustics.

Equipment Inspections are conducted to ensure specific safety equipment is in good working order and will function when needed. Examples and frequencies are:


All attachments including hooks, rings, oblong links, pear shaped links, and welded link components will be rated at least at the capacity of the sling itself. Makeshift links or other shop fabricated attachments will not be used. Slings twisted more than 10 degrees from the plane of the unbent hook will not be used.


Slings will be inspected each day prior to use. Any visual defect will be reported. Damaged slings will not be used. In severe conditions (e.g., temperature, corrosion, etc.), slings will be inspected throughout the day. Alloy chain slings will be inspected every six months by a supervisor or designated employee for wear and defects in composition and welds. This inspection will consider not only the physical aspects, but also the total service life of the slings. This inspection will be recorded and maintained on file with the date of the inspection and name and signature of the employee performing the inspection.

Sling Repair

Slings must be in good condition and not damaged or defective to ensure safe and reliable use. If slings are worn, damaged or defective they shall not be used. If the slings are believed to be repairable, then those slings will be returned to the sling manufacturer for repairs. The manufacturer must proof-test all repaired slings before they are accepted for reuse. Under no circumstances will employees attempt to repair slings for reuse. Broken links or attachments on steel alloy chain slings will not be repaired using mechanical coupling links. Additionally, any sling with temporary repairs will not be used.

Removal From Service

If slings are damaged or defective, they shall not be used. Until repairs are made on defective or damaged slings, they will be removed from service. If these slings are not repairable, they will be permanently removed from service. Appendix G lists the conditions that must be present to remove any sling from service.

Safe Sling Operation

The following procedures will be followed when using Slings:
• Slings damaged or defective will be removed from service.
• Slings will not be shortened with knots or bolts or other makeshift devices.
• Sling legs will not be kinked.
• Slings will not be loaded beyond their rated capacity.
• Slings used in a basket hitch will have the loads balanced to prevent slippage.
• Slings will be securely attached to their loads.
• Slings will be padded or protected from the sharp edges of loads.
• Suspended loads will be kept clear of obstructions.
• All employees will be kept clear of loads about to be lifted and of suspended loads.
• Hands or fingers will be kept clear of loads and not placed between the load and the strap.
• Shock loading will not be allowed.
• Slings will not be removed while loads are resting on the sling.

Natural and Synthetic Fiber Rope Slings Splices

The use of natural and synthetic fiber rope slings utilizing splices will not be used unless the following requirements for design are met:
• In manila rope, eye splices will consist of at least three full tucks, and short splices will consist of at least six full tucks, three on each side of the splice center line.
• In synthetic rope, eye splices will consist of at least four full tucks, and short splices will consist of at least eight full tucks, four on each side of the center line.
• Strand end tails will not be trimmed flush with the surface of the rope immediately adjacent to the full tucks. This applies to all types of fiber rope and both eye and short splices. For fiber rope under one inch in diameter, the tail will project at least six inches beyond the last full tuck.
• Fiber rope slings will have a minimum clear length of rope between eye splices equal to ten times the rope diameter.
• Knots will not be used in lieu of splices.
• Clamps not designed specifically for fiber ropes will not be used for splicing.
• For all eye splices, the eye will be large enough to provide an angle of not greater than 60% at the splice when the eye is placed over the load or support.

Wire Rope and Wire Rope Slings Inspection Procedure

The following information is to be used as a guide for inspecting wire rope and wire rope slings. Inspection frequency should be based on safety factors, property damage, and the cost of replacing destroyed or damaged goods and material dropped due to the use or misuse of improper or damaged wire rope and slings. Additionally, slings should be inspected at regular intervals. This interval should be determined by the user and is dependent upon the particular use of the sling and [COMPANY] safety requirements. A sling should be inspected after any unusual situation that may have damaged it, such as overload, accident, or fire. It should not be returned in service until continued safe operation has been verified.Each sling should have a serial number. If no number is available, a tag should be attached at the time of inspection. This number should be listed on the inspection report. Inspection should be performed only by persons with sufficient experience and knowledge to properly apply the criteria for rejection. The following should be considered criteria for rejection:
Randomly Distributed Broken Wires in One Rope Lay: There should be no more than 10 broken wires in one lay for the entire length of the sling.
Broken Wires in One Strand of One Rope Lay: There should be no more than five broken wires in any one strand (single wire) of any one rope lay.
Abrasion: There should be no wearing, scrubbing, or preening of any outside wire causing the reduction of the diameter of a single wire by more than 1/3.
Kinking and/or Crushing: There should be no kinking, crushing, or other damage that results in detrimental distortion of the rope structure.
Bird Caging: There should be no opening or unlaying of the rope lays nor should the fiber core of the rope be exposed.
Heat Damage: There should be no evidence of heat damage including bare electrical conductor, grounding, or welding arc.
Corrosion: There should be no evidence of pitting or heavy coating of rust due to corrosion.
Reduced Diameter: There should not be any reduction of the diameter of the rope along the main length or of any section (overloading or contact with sharp edges of load without permission).
End Attachments: There should be no evidence of cracks, deformity, excessive corrosion, or excessive wear of the fittings forming the splice or socket.
Hooks and Rings: Check for throat opening (no more than 15% stretch), twist (no more than 10%), cracks (none), and corrosion.

Chain and Chain Sling Inspection Procedure

A good chain and chain sling inspection program should provide more than a physical check of the chain’s condition. It should be a complete recorded history of each unit. If conditions and/or time make it impossible to write such a history,



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