Herc How-To | Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

Not keeping up with inspections and maintenance can cause equipment failure, unscheduled outages, increase business cost and most importantly, can have a major effect on your workplace safety.

In Canada, the rigging industry recognizes the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards for securing, rigging and lifting industries. Standard ASME B30.9 applies to wire rope slings, chain slings, web slings or synthetic slings and round slings.

In-between those required inspections, it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your workplace safety and perform pre-operation inspections. Below are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your required annual (or otherwise) inspections are being kept up with, and you’re equipped with the knowledge necessary to ensure they are safe in-between.

Who should inspect chain slings?

A chain sling should only be inspected by a trained and competent or designated person. Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and repair your securing, lifting and rigging equipment on-site or in one of our full service, rigging shops. Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with ASME and provincial regulations. Once inspections, repairs and testing is complete, we will supply full certification on your equipment to show that it complies with provincial and national safety regulations.

When should you inspect chain slings?

A thorough examination, including chain usage, should be carried out by a competent person at least every year or more frequently according to statutory regulations, type of use and past records. If slings are being used in extreme conditions, The Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends they be inspected every 3 months instead of the standard once per year. Inspections must be recorded.

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If you’re having trouble keeping track of your equipment inspections, try our web-based certification tracking system Hercules CertTracker ®, which helps maintain your inspection records, provide notice of inspection due dates and schedule service times to ensure your worksite equipment remains certified. Contact us to learn more!

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

The CCOHS recommends the following steps to properly inspect a chain sling. These are steps that can be referenced when performing daily checks before putting your chain sling to use – But leave the scheduled annual (or monthly) inspections to the trained professionals!

Follow along with our checklist here, or download our printable version to have on hand at your workplace. You’ll find other engaging, practical resources on topics ranging from rigging, warehouse safety, fall protection, personal protective equipment, transportation and more by checking out our full list of toolbox topics.

  • Clean the chain sling before beginning the inspection
  • Check the identification tag to ensure it is legible.
  • Hang the chain sling up or stretch the chain out on a level floor in a well-lighted area. Remove all the twists then measure the sling length to ensure it hasn’t been stretched.
  • Perform a link-by-link inspection of the chain, master link, loads pins, and hooks observing for the following:
  • Observe overall wear, discard if this exceeds 15% of a link diameter.
  • Note any surface damage, discard of you find any cuts, nicks, cracks, gouges, burns (or evidence of heat damage), weld splatters or corrosion pits.
  • Ensure no individual links are closed up or stretched longer and that all links are able to hinge (articulate) freely.
  • Ensure hooks have not been opened more than 15% of the normal throat opening, measured at the narrowest point, or twisted more than 10° from the plane of the unbent hook.
  • Manufacturers’ reference charts show sling and hitch capacities. Record manufacturer, type, load limit, and inspection dates.

 

If you find any of the above-mentioned defaults, remove the chain sling from service immediately. If you see something presenting that’s causing doubt as to the safety of your chain sling, even if it’s not featured on this list, ask the experts! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Also note: Slings must be repaired by the sling manufacturer, or a qualified person, per ASME B30.9.

BONUS TIPS: The Dos and Don’ts of Using Chain Slings Safely

Staying on top of mandatory inspections for your chain sling is the best way to ensure it’s up to the task. However, a piece of equipment is only as good as the person using it! Using rigging equipment properly is very important, so proper training is key.

Below are some quick dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using a chain sling. But remember, this does not replace a training course!

Do

  • Always know how to properly use the equipment, slinging procedures before attempting the lift operation. Don’t have that knowledge? Train with the best at the Hercules Training Academy.
  • Inspect the slings and accessories before use for any defects.
  • Replace broken safety latches.
  • Find out the working load limit (WLL) before lifting. Do not exceed the rated load of the sling.
  • Ensure chain slings fit freely – Never force, hammer, or wedge chain slings or fitting into position.
  • Always keep your hands and fingers from between the load and chain when tensioning slings or when landings loads.
  • Ensure the load is free to be lifted.
  • Perform a trial lift and trial lower to ensure the load is balanced, stable and secure.
  • Balance the load to avoid overstress on one sling arm or the load slipping free.
  • Lower the working load limit if severe impact may occur.
  • Pad sharp corners to prevent bending links and to protect the load.
  • Position hooks of multi-leg slings facing outward from the load.
  • Reduce the load limit when using chain slings in temperatures above 425°C (800°F).
  • Store chain sling arms on racks in assigned areas and not lying on the ground. The storage area should be dry, clean and free of any contaminants which may harm the sling.

Don’t

  • Avoid impact loading: do not jerk the load when lifting or lowering the sling. This motion increases the actual stress on the sling.
  • Do not allow access to the lifting area to unnecessary personal.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.
  • Do not drag chains over floors or attempt to drag a trapped sling from under a load. Do not use a sling to drag a load.
  • Do not use worn-out or damaged slings.
  • Do not lift on the point of the hook.
  • Do not overload or shock load a sling.
  • Do not trap slings when landing the load.
  • Do not splice a chain by inserting a bolt between two links.
  • Do not shorten a chain with knots or by twisting other than by means of an integral chain clutch.
  • Do not force or hammer hooks into place.
  • Do not use homemade connections. Use only attachments designed for the chain.
  • Do not heat treat or weld chain links: the lifting capacity will be reduced drastically.
  • Do not expose chain links to chemicals without the manufacturer’s approval.
  • Do not stand in line with or next to the leg(s) of the sling that is under tension.
  • Do not stand or pass under a suspended load.
  • Do not ride on sling.

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. Hercules SLR offers LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

We inspect, repair, and certify:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoist & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Underestimating the importance of equipment maintenance could be taking a toll on your bottom line. The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view equipment maintenance. Why pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it? Believe it or not, there are several reasons. All equipment is an investment — one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape.

BENEFITS OF MAINTENANCE

Preventative equipment maintenance is key to extending equipment life and ultimately saving you time and money. While your perception may be that paying for preventative maintenance is unnecessary spending, the reality is that without it, you’re often left with more expensive repairs. At Hercules SLR we believe in the importance of preventative maintenance, here are just some of the reasons why:

KEEP EQUIPMENT RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

When equipment runs efficiently, work get done on schedule, keeping that optimal condition is key to maintaining that level of equipment efficiency. If maintenance is overlooked, efficiency suffers and ultimately, your bottom line suffers as a result.

SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME BIGGER PROBLEMS OVER TIME

We’ve all seen it; something isn’t working exactly the way it used to, but it isn’t affecting the job, so we continue, sometimes even adjusting how we use the piece of equipment to keep things moving. While it may seem like this is the most efficient way to get the job done in the short term, it could cause you major problems long-term.

THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM, THE MORE THE EXPENSE

While it may seem like it makes no sense to spend the time and money to have your equipment inspected or repaired when you’re able to work around it, the reality is that waiting, is going to cost you even more. Bigger, more complex repairs come with a bigger price tag. Think of more than parts? yes, a more complex problem will likely come with having to replace more and/or larger parts that are expensive, but it doesn’t end there.

Larger problems often translate to more downtime, the more downtime means you’re suddenly behind schedule and/or unable to take on a new project. Employees scheduled to use that equipment need paying, so now you are paying for work that cannot be done during the downtime.

Don’t wait for the bigger problem — invest in the small one.

REDUCE INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Within the construction industry, 17% of fatal construction accidents are due to contact with objects and equipment. If your equipment isn’t being serviced on a regular basis, there’s a chance it isn’t working properly. If it isn’t working properly, you’re increasing your chances of workplace injury or death because of equipment failure.

Regardless of how much safety training you or your employees have been through, they don’t have control over equipment failure. Of course, there will always be unexpected breakdowns, but you can minimize them through being proactive about your equipment maintenance.

Workplace injuries and fatalities are tragic and expensive. Company morale suffers, and so does your bottom line. One of the benefits of maintenance doubles as a proactive step in reducing the number of injuries or fatalities you have on site. You can’t put a price on your team’s safety in the field.

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Service records and documentation answer many of these questions and put many of the concerns of the unknown to rest. At Hercules SLR all our customers have access to CertTracker®, our FREE online equipment management system.

CertTracker® delivers innovative solutions that streamline any inspection and maintenance process. Mobile computing, Radio Frequency (RFID) tagging and internet applications provide you with enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency. Not to mention eliminating most of the paperwork.

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The CertTracker Advantage

 TRAIN OPERATORS AND TECHNICIANS

In conjunction with technology, there is no substitution for the human touch. It takes a trained operator to understand the problem and a trained technician to know how to fix it or to alert someone that it needs repairing. Educating your equipment operators and any technicians you have on staff is key to extending the life of your equipment, as they will be sure that small problems don’t turn in to big ones.

If training isn’t feasible, there needs to be a summary of best practices and an operation manual in place so you can ensure operators are using the equipment the way it was meant to be used. Always respect all weight limits and guidelines. An untrained equipment operator could unintentionally cause costly repairs, so make sure the best practices and expectations are outlined clearly and regularly.

SET AND STICK TO A MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Every piece of equipment is different. They all have their own intricacies and need a maintenance and repair schedule to match. Rather than waiting for parts to cause a problem, replace them when they are scheduled to be replaced.

How do you know when that is? The piece of equipment will have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance recommendation. Commit to it. It may seem like by being proactive you’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, but trust us, neglecting to do this will result in expensive repairs.

CONDUCT REGULAR INSPECTIONS

No, inspections are not the same thing as maintenance schedules. equipment should be inspected every time it’s used. Trained operators should know what to look and listen for to ensure equipment is working properly. Checking for simple things, like signs of wear on equipment, can go a long way. The reality is equipment is often used with vibration, high temperatures and friction? all of which contribute to the wear and tear. Add age to the mix, and you have a recipe for deterioration.

This happens with all equipment, and the key to extending equipment life is to make sure you do something as simple as adding an operator visual inspection to your equipment use requirements. Noticing slight wear and tear may seem small, but these things can be identified through a visual inspection and fixed before they cause a larger problem.

HOW QUALIFIED ARE THE TECHNICIANS INSPECTING YOUR GEAR?

When it comes to inspections, testing, repairs and certification, you need to know that you and your equipment are in safe and experienced hands.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. They provide third party training and examination for technicians in the lifting equipment industry.

At Hercules our inspectors have undergone this internationally recognized training and some hold multiple diplomas.

OUR TECHNICIANS ARE:

  • Familiar with the most recent technology in the lifting industry
  • Skilled and confident in their inspection skills
  • Constantly learning and expanding their knowledge
  • LEEA Registered Technicians

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For all your maintenance requirements, let our experts help. If you need to book your equipment in for service or have any concerns, questions or call us Toll Free on:  1-877-461-4876.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.