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Guidelines for Chain Sling Use




1. Visually examine the sling before each use. Look for stretched, gouged, bent or damaged links and components, including hooks with opened throats, cracks or distortion. If damaged, remove from service.


6. Slings shall not be shortened with knots, bolts or other makeshift devices.

2. Know the load. Determine the weight, center of gravity, angle of lift and select the proper size and type of sling.

3. Never overload the sling. Check the Work Load Limit on the identification tag. Always consider the Sling-to-load Angle ”C”. The tension on each leg of the sling increases as the Sling-to-Load Angle decreases. Use the charts in this catalog to select the sling with adequate capacity, taking into account the effects of angle and tension. Sling tension is indicated by the rigging.

4. Do not point load hooks. The load should bear on the bowl or base of the hook.

5. Ensure that chain is not twisted, knotted or kinked before lifting the load.



7. Protect chain with padding of sufficient strength, thickness and construction when lifting on loads that could damage the sling. Also protect the load from damage resulting from sling contact, if necessary.

8. Lift and lower loads smoothly, do not shock load.

9. Hands and fingers should not be placed between the sling and load while sling tightens around the load. When lifted, the load should not be pushed or guided by employee’s hands. Use a tagline. One Sling is depicted for illustration purposes only.

10. Do not expose alloy chain slings to excessive temperatures. Refer to Never use a sling in extreme temperatures. .
11. Protect chain slings from corrosion during storage.
12. Store slings properly on an A-Frame.

Chain Sling Inspection

Recommendation: Daily or before each shift, Inspections shall be conducted by a competent person designated by the employer.

Periodic Inspection – OSHA specifies that all alloy steel chain slings shall have a thorough periodic inspection, by a competent person, at least once every 12 months. These inspections must be recorded and maintained for each individual sling.

The inspection schedule should be based on:

  • frequency of sling use.
  • severity of service conditions.
  • nature of lifts being made.
  • experience gained on service life of slings used in similar circumstances.

1. Clean chain prior to inspection, to more easily
see damage or defects.

2. Hang chain vertically if practical, for preliminary

Measure reach accurately (bearing point of masterlink to bearing point of hook). Check this length against reach shown on tag. If the “inspected” length is greater than that shown on tag, there is a possibility that the sling has been subjected to overloading or excessive wear.


3. Make a link-by-link inspection of the chain slings for:

A. Excessive wear – If the wear on any portion of any link exceeds the allowable wear shown in Table 6, Refer to (TABLE 6 GR80 AND GR100) remove the sling from service.

B. Twisted, bent, gouged, nicked, worn or elongated

C. Cracks in the weld area of any portion of the link. Transverse markings are the most dangerous.

D. Severe corrosion.


E. Check masterlinks and hooks for all of the above mentioned faults; hooks especially for excessive throat opening. Slings showing any of the damage described above should immediately be removed from service and returned to the manufacturer for repair.