How to Inspect Lifting Slings

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Nylon lifting slings are used to lift heavy loads. When a nylon sling is damaged and is not removed from service, the results can be deadly. Performing routine inspections of nylon slings is important to avoid accidents that can often result in debilitating injuries or death. Not all damage caused to lifting slings is easily visible. Within the nylon slings are colored fibers that can show if the sling has been stretched or damaged from carrying a load beyond its rated capacity.

Things You'll Need

  • Nylon sling
  • Work table
  • Permanent marker
  • Industrial shears
  • Gather the lifting slings and place them on a work table.

  • Separate a sling. Inspect the tag attached to the sling. Make sure that the label is intact and legible. If you cannot read the tag or the tag is missing, mark the sling as unusable with the permanent marker. On a sling that passes the label test, examine the rest of the sling for obvious damage.

  • Carefully examine the sling for visible signs of damage. Burns, tears, acid damage and cuts are easily noticed on the exterior of the sling. If any of the listed damages are noted, mark the sling by circling the damaged area with the permanent marker.

  • Thoroughly examine slings that have passed the label and obvious sign tests. If you notice red interior fibers showing through the sling, immediately remove the sling from service. Lifting straps have a mandated safety feature that shows when a sling has been overexerted. The red fibers lie just below the exterior surface of the lifting strap, the colored fibers only show through the webbing when the strap has been stretched, torn or punctured. Mark the area that is showing the colored fibers, and mark the sling to remove it from service.

  • Look for signs of snags and punctures along the entire length of the nylon lifting strap. Snags and punctures can be small, and since safety is of the utmost importance, there is no need to rush the process. Even a small puncture that is barely recognizable can result in the nylon lifting strap failing under load. Mark the sling out of service if even the smallest puncture or snag is seen.

  • Cut the slings that are damaged with a pair of industrial shears. This will remove the temptation of a worker using the sling because they cannot locate another sling. Do not dispose of all of the cut sling pieces. Some of the better sections can be used as protection of material. The cut pieces of sling can be placed between a lifting strap and the material to eliminate abrasion damage to painted finishes.

  • Place the slings that have passed the inspection back in service.

References

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