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Roundsling Inspections

How to Recognize When a Sling Should Be Removed from Service

Inspections are key to a safe rigging environment. OSHA 1910.184(d) states, “Each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments shall be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Additional inspections shall be performed during sling use where service conditions warrant. Damaged or defective slings shall be immediately removed from service.” When inspecting slings, there are key elements to look for in order to recognize when a sling should be removed from service. Let’s take a look at each type of sling and their inspection criteria.

Proper Tagging

ASME B30.9 requires all slings to include identifiable and proper tags. The tag must include a name or trademark of the manufacturer, among other important details. Riggers should reference these details during inspections. Do not use tags as an attachment point. When you purchase from Ashley Sling, all of the tags are made to remain legible and last as long as possible. Remove improperly tagged slings as well as unidentifiable tags from service immediately.

Example of tag on a nylon web sling
Example of a tag on a nylon web sling.

Wire Rope Slings Inspections

For wire rope slings, there are immediate hazards to be aware of. These include mechanical damage, corrosive damage, chemical damage, and heat damage. Always inspect wire rope slings for kinking, crushing, and birdcaging as well. Additionally, ensure that there is no damage to the rope structure. It is also important to remember to look inside the eye during an inspection, as there can be broken wires inside the eye.

Tip: Bend the wire rope in order to expose broken wires.

When should you remove wire rope slings from service? (ASME B30.9) A wire rope sling shall be removed from service if conditions such as the following are present:

  1. Missing or illegible identification
  2. Broken Wires
    • For strand-laid and single-part slings, 10 randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay, or 5 broken wires in one strand in one rope lay.
    • For cable-laid slings, 20 broken wires per lay.
    • For less than eight-part braided slings, 20 broken wires per braid length.
    • For eight-part or more than eight braided slings, 40 broken wires per braid length.
  3. Severe localized abrasion or scraping resulting in a reduction from nominal diameter of more than 5%.
  4. Kinking, crushing, birdcaging, or any other damage resulting in damage to the rope structure.
  5. Evidence of heat damage.
  6. Fittings that are cracked, deformed, or worn to the extent that the strength of the sling is substantially affected.
  7. Severe corrosion of the rope or fittings.
  8. For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  9. For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  10. Other conditions, including visible damage, that cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling
Inspection Training
A sling inspection training session.

Synthetic Web Slings Inspections

It is important to take environmental factors, such as types of acids and temperatures, into consideration when inspecting web slings. Immediate hazards to a web sling include chemical damage, heat damage, mechanical damage, as well as UV damage. Environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight, dirt or gritty-type matter and cyclical changes in temperatures and humidity can result in an accelerated deterioration of the web sling. Additionally, web slings must have protection from cuts and other damages. We recommend our TUFF-ASH® Sling Protection products.

Tip: Do not wash web slings. A loss of strength is possible due to mechanical/chemical damage when a web sling is washed.

When should you remove web slings from service? (ASME B30.9) A synthetic webbing shall be removed from service if conditions such as the following are present:

  1. Missing or illegible sling identification.
  2. Acid or caustic burns.
  3. Melting of charring of any part of the sling.
  4. Holes, tears, cuts or snags.
  5. Broken or worn stitching in load bearing splices.
  6. Excessive abrasive wear.
  7. Knots in any part of the sling.
  8. Discoloration and brittle or stiff areas on any part of the sling, which may mean chemical or ultraviolet/sunlight damage.
  9. Fittings that are pitted, corroded, cracked, bent, twisted, gouged, or broken.
  10. For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  11. For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  12.  Other conditions, including visible damage, that cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling.
Sling Armor Inspection
A Web Sling and TUFF-ASH® Sling Armor® inspection. There was no sign of damage.

Alloy Chain Slings Inspections

Use Grade 80 or 100 alloy chain for overhead lifting applications. When inspecting alloy chain slings, immediate hazards and cause for removal include mechanical damage, corrosive damage, heat damage, and chemical damage. Additionally, you may notice cracks, nicks, or gouges that require immediate removal. Riggers must also inspect for any stretching of the chain links.

Tip: When inspecting for signs of stretching, measure the chain sling from pull to pull then compare to the tag. Remove the sling from service if there is any sign of stretch.

When should you remove alloy steel chain slings from service? (ASME B30.9) An alloy chain sling shall be removed from service if conditions such as the following are present:

  1. Missing or illegible sling identification.
  2. Cracks or breaks.
  3. Excessive wear, nicks, or gouges.
  4. Stretched chain links or fittings.
  5. Bent, twisted, or deformed chain links or fittings.
  6. Evidence of heat damage.
  7. Excessive pitting or corrosion.
  8. Lack of ability of chain or components to hinge (articulate) freely.
  9. Weld splatter.
  10. For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10
  11. For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  12. Other conditions, including visible damage, that may cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling
Alloy chain sling inspection
An alloy chain sling inspection during a training course.

Polyester Round Slings Inspections

If you notice chemical damage, heat damage, mechanical damage or UV damage to polyester round slings, stop and remove the sling from service immediately. Those damages are immediate hazards and can also cause harm. Exposed core yarns are another common hazard. When core yarns are exposed, it means there has been a cut to the sling. Riggers must also remove round slings with exposed core yarns from service.

When should you remove polyester round slings from service? (ASME B30.9) A synthetic round sling shall be removed from service if conditions such as the following are present:

  1. Missing or illegible sling identification.
  2. Acid or caustic burns.
  3. Evidence of heat damage.
  4. Holes, tears, cuts, abrasive wear, or snags that expose the core yarns.
  5. Broken or damaged core yarns.
  6. Weld Splatter that exposes core yarns.
  7. Knots in the roundslings, except for core yarns knots inside the cover installed by the manufacturer during the fabrication process.
  8. Fittings that are pitted, corroded, cracked, bent, twisted, gouged, or broken.
  9. For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  10. For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  11. Other conditions, including visible damage, that may cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling
Roundsling Inspection removed from service
An example of a round sling that must be removed from service.

In addition to inspecting slings, riggers should inspect all rigging hardware as well. Learn more in the article Tips on Inspecting Rigging Hardware. Be sure to refer to manufacturer warnings and other standards as they may apply. We also recommend all riggers to take a Qualified Rigger Training Course. Our rigger preparation training courses discuss sling inspection in detail and give riggers insight into warnings, applications, and other information as well.


Immediate Hazards Chart

Sling TypeImmediate Hazards
Wire Rope SlingsMechanical Damage
Corrosive Damage
Chemical Damage
Heat Damage
Synthetic Web SlingsChemical Damage
Heat Damage
Mechanical Damage
UV Damage
Alloy Chain SlingsMechanical Damage
Corrosive Damage
Heat Damage
Chemical Damage
Polyester Round SlingsChemical Damage
Heat Damage
Mechanical Damage
UV Damage

Warning

Note: This is not a full list of inspection criteria. You may also visit https://ashleysling.com/inspection-criteria/. For additional information, please refer to OSHA, ASME, and WSTDA standards as they may apply. It is not intended, nor should be construed, that the information contained herein takes precedence over any regulations and requirements, local, state, federal, OEM or any other ruling body.