Guide to the Care and Safe Use of Chain Slings

Always store and handle chain slings correctly.
Always inspect chain slings and accessories before use and before placing in storage.
Always follow safe slinging practice.
Always fit slings carefully, protect them from sharp edges and position hooks to face outward from the load.
Always apply the correct mode factor for the slinging arrangement,
Always back hook free legs onto the master link.

Never attempt to shorten a sling other than by means of an appropriate integral chain clutch or a free shortener designed specifically for the sling.
Never force, hammer or wedge chain slings or their fittings into position.
Never lift on the point of a hook.
Never expose chain slings to chemicals, particularly acidic conditions without consulting the supplier.
Never use chain slings at temperatures above 200°C or below minus 40°C without consulting the supplier.
Never shock load chain slings.

Selecting the Correct Sling

Select slings to be used and plan the lift taking the following into account.

  • The type of sling to be used – endless, single, two, three or four leg, reeved, choked or basket.
  • The capacity – the sling must be both long enough and strong enough for the load and the slinging method.
  • Apply the mode factor for the slinging method. (See below for more information on mode factors.)
  • If adjustment of the leg is necessary, select a sling with chain shorteners.
  • For use at temperatures above 200°C or below minus 40°C refer to the suppliers instructions.
  • Where slings may come into contact with chemicals especially acids or acidic fumes, consult the supplier.
  • In the case of multi-leg slings the angle between the legs should not be less than 30° or exceed 120°.
  • Multi-leg slings exert a gripping force on the load which increases as the angle between the legs increases and this must be taken into account.

Storing and Handling Chain Slings

Never return damaged or contaminated slings to storage. They should be dry, clean and protected from corrosion.
Store chain slings on a rack and not lying on the ground. The storage area should be dry, clean and free of any contaminates which may harm the sling.
Do not alter, modify or repair a chain sling but refer it to a Competent Person.
Never galvanise or subject a chain sling to any other plating process without the express approval of the supplier.

Using Chain Slings Safely

Do not attempt lifting operations unless you understand the use of the equipment, the slinging procedures and the mode factors to be applied.
Do not use defective slings or accessories.
Do not force hammer or wedge chain slings or fittings into position; they must fit freely. Check the correct engagement of fittings and appliances.
Position hooks of multiple leg chain slings facing outwards form the load. Do not lift on the point of the hook and ensure that the chain is not twisted or knotted.
Back hook free legs to the master link to avoid lashing legs which might accidentally become engaged or otherwise become a hazard.
Take the load steadily to avoid shock loads.
Do not leave suspended loads unattended. In an emergency, cordon off the area.

In Service Inspection and Maintenance

Maintenance requirements are minimal. Keep chain slings clean and protect from corrosion.
Regularly inspect chain slings and, in the event of the following defects, refer the sling to a Competent Person for thorough examination: bent or twisted links; ineffective safety catches; cuts, nicks, gouges, cracks, corrosion, heat discolouration or any defect apparent to the chain or fittings.

For a PDF version of this page please click here: Care and Safe Use of Chain Slings

Mode Factor

The following chart uses made factors from what is referred to as the “Uniform Load Method” .