Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps for In-Depth Inspection from CM

chain by columbus mckinnon

In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps

How should you conduct an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection? Columbus McKinnon is here on the Hercules SLR blog to share what a professional rigger needs to know when they perform an alloy chain sling inspection. 

This blog will cover: 

  • Twists and bends in your chain sling,
  • Nick, cuts & gouges in the chain links 
  • Wear and corrosion 
  • Chain stretch and elongation
  • OSHA guidelines for chain sling inspection 

Read on to become a chain sling inspection pro. 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 1: TWISTING & BENDING

Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly.

Rigging chain around edges or corners alters the normal loading pattern significantly. A lack of proper padding or consideration of the D/d ratio (see above) for chain can result in twisted and bent links. Once a chain is twisted or bent it will alter inner link stresses which can result in failure. For this reason, all chain containing twisted or bent links must be removed from service immediately.

Since 1933, the National Association of Chain Manufacturers represents domestic manufacturers of welded and weldless chain and have conducted D/d testing on alloy chain. 

As a result of this testing, the NACM came out with the chart below which shows reductions in working load limits based on D/d ratio of alloy chain rigged around an edge or a corner. Consult the manufacturer for any D/d below 2.  ASME B30.9 2014 has adopted this chart into the new standard.

columbus mckinnon chain sling rated capacities

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 2: NICKS & GOUGESchain sling link tensile and compression stress pattern

When chain is used to lift, pull or secure materials, the outside surface of the links can come in contact with foreign objects that can cause damage. Nicks and gouges frequently occur on the sides of a chain link, which are under compressive stress, reducing their potentially harmful effects.

The unique geometry of a chain link tends to protect tensile stress areas against damage from external causes. Figure 1 shows that these tensile stress areas are on the outside of the link body at the link ends where they are shielded against most damage by the presence of interconnected links.

Tensile stress areas are also located on the insides of the straight barrels, but these surfaces are similarly sheltered by their location. However, gouges can cause localized increases in the link stress and can be harmful if they are located in areas of tensile stress, especially if they are perpendicular to the direction of stress. Refer to Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows nicks of varying degrees of severity. Reading clockwise, at three o’clock there is a longitudinal mark in a compressive stress area. Since it is longitudinal and located in a compressive stress area, its effect is mitigated, but good workmanship calls for it to be filed out by hand.

At about five o’clock there is a deep transverse nick in an area of high-stress. A similar nick is located at six o’clock in the zone of maximum tensile stress. Both of these nicks can create a potentially dangerous escalation of the local stress and must be filed out with careful attention to not damage other parts of the chain link or chain. A nick that was located at eight o’clock has been filed out properly.

Although the final cross section is smaller, the link is stronger because the stress riser effect of the notch has been removed. The remaining cross section can now be evaluated for acceptability by measuring it and applying the criterion for worn chain. See the “Wear Allowances Table” below. 

chain sling wear allowances table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 3: WEAR & CORROSION

When used in rigorous material handling applications, chain becomes worn or corroded easily. It is important to inspect chain for defects on a regular basis to avoid an unsafe lifting condition or even operator injury. When corrosion and wear occur, it results in a reduction of link cross-section which can lead to decreased strength of the chain.

Corrosion can occur anywhere chain comes in contact with harsh chemicals, water or when it is used in tough environments.

Wear can occur in any portion of a link that is subject to contact with another surface.

The natural shape of chain confines wear, for the most part, to only two areas. These are, in order of importance, (a) at the bearing points of interlink contact, and (b) on the outsides of the straight side barrels that may be scraped from dragging chains along hard surfaces or out from under loads.

collapsed chain link example
Figure 2: Inspection for interlink wear can easily be detected be collapsing the chain.

Figure 2 illustrates the condition of interlink wear and shows how to inspect for it. Notice how easily such  wear can be detected by collapsing the chain to separate each link from its neighbors. An operator or inspector can also check for corrosion using the same method.

When chain wear or corrosion is observed, the next step is to determine how severe the damage is and if the chain can still be safely used.

General surface corrosion can be removed by cleaning and oiling the chain. If pitting is observed after cleaning and oiling, remove from service. Next, the operator should take a caliper measurement across the worn section of chain and compare it to the minimum allowable dimension for that chain.

See the Wear Allowances chart above for minimum section dimensions or chain wear allowances for Grade 80 and 100 Chain. If the chain does not meet these minimum dimensions, it should be removed from service and replaced.

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 4: STRETCH & CHAIN ELONGATION

A visual link-by-link inspection is the best way to detect dangerously stretched alloy chain links.

Reach should be measured from the upper bearing point on the master link to the bearing point on the lower hook. The smallest sign of binding or loss of clearance at the juncture points of a link indicates a collapse in the links’ sides due to stretch. Any amount of stretch indicates overloading, and the chain should be removed from service.

Note: A significant degree of stretch in a few individual links may be hidden by the apparent acceptable length gauge of the overall chain. This highlights the importance of link-by-link inspection.

Alloy steel sling chain typically exhibits well over 20% elongation before rupture. The combination of elongation and high strength provides energy absorption capacity.

However, high elongation or stretch, by itself, is not an adequate indicator of shock resistance or general chain quality and should not be relied upon by riggers to provide advance warning of serious overloading and impending failure.

Prevent overloading the chain sling by selecting the right type and size of sling. Again, any amount of stretch means the sling’s been overloaded and it should be removed from service.

There is no short-cut method that will disclose all types of chain damage. Safety can only be achieved through proper inspection procedures. There is no adequate substitute for careful link-by-link scrutiny.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 5: OSHA CHAIN SLING INSPECTION

OSHA Chain Sling Inspection standards have gone through minimal changes since they were published on July 27, 1975. These regulations serve as a guide for rigger’s and other competent personnel that will inspect chain slings. 

Applicable sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1910.184) include:

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(d) Inspections

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.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(e) Alloy Chain Slings

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(1) Sling Identification

Alloy steel chain slings shall have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity and reach.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(2) Attachments

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(I)

Hooks, rings, oblong links, pear shaped links, welded or mechanical coupling links or other attachments shall have a rated capacity at least equal to that of the alloy steel chain with which they are used or the sling shall not be used in excess of the rated capacity of the weakest component.

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(ii)

Makeshift links or fasteners formed from bolts or rods, or other such attachments, shall not be used.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(3) Inspections

  • 1910.184(3)(I)

In addition to the inspection required by paragraph (d) of this section, a thorough periodic inspection of alloy steel chain slings in use shall be made on a regular basis, to be determined on the basis of (A) frequency of sling use; (B) severity of service conditions; (C) nature of lifts being made; and (D) experience gained on the service life of slings used in similar circumstances. Such inspections shall in no event be at intervals greater than once every 12 months.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The employer shall make and maintain a record of the most recent month in which each alloy steel chain sling was thoroughly inspected, and shall make such record available for examination.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The thorough inspection of alloy steel chain slings shall be performed by a competent person designated by the employer, and shall include a thorough inspection for wear, defective welds, deformation and increase in length. Where such defects or deterioration are present, the sling shall be immediately removed from service.

Please note that while the requirements under (d) for daily inspections are not explicit as to scope or maintenance of records, it is possible that individual OSHA inspectors may have different views on conformity—The minimum 12-month interval inspections required under (e) call for thorough inspection and written records.

To ensure you remain compliant with chain sling inspection in your area, be sure to check both manufacturer and provincial standards. 


FIND MORE CHAIN SLING INSPECTION READING ON OUR BLOG:

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Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

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

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

What should you do before you use a hoist?—Hercules How-To

what should you do before you use a hoist

HERCULES HOW-TO: WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST?

What should you do before you use a hoist? If you’re a rigger, or have worked in construction, you’ve likely used some sort of hoist before. Hoists are mechanical devices use to lift, pull and hoist, and are equipped with a pulley. They’ve also been around for awhile—historians haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly when the first hoist was used, but even Leonardo da Vinci had a hoist design.

Since then, hoist technology has come a long way – hoists are available in manual, electric, hydraulic and even universal styles. They’re used in a number of different industries. Today, we cover more about hoists used for securing, lifting and rigging applications and what exactly you should do before you use one. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? HAZARDS 

We talk a lot about hazards, how to avoid them and prevent them on a job site. There are a number of hazards that present themselves at work – both chemical and physical. When rigging with hoists, there are a number of hazards there.

Some of the most common hazards are: 

  • Falling equipment, materials, etc. 
  • Electrical issues 
  • Loading hoist beyond it’s WLL or SLL, known as overloading 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? TRAINING

It’s important that anyone using the hoist, or operating rigging equipment in general, has proper training in hoist safety and operating procedures. Hoists are often used in rigging, and are commonly-known as a component for cranes. Hercules’ highly-skilled trainers teach a variety of courses that will prepare you to rig with hoists.

The Hercules Training Academy courses include: 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? TYPES OF INSPECTION

According to the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), there are thee main types of inspection that rigger’s (or any end-user of hoisting equipment) have to do. 

PREOPERATION INSPECTION

Before each shift, have a qualified person inspect hoisting equipment for:

  • Ensure mechanisms operate properly – check for unusual sounds, and make adjustments as needed 
  • Hoist limit device, for electric or air-powered hoists without a load on its hook: The load block should inch on limit device, or run at a slow speed when on multi-speed or variable-speed hoists. Using travel-limiting clutches as a limit device? Follow inspection methods detailed in the travel-limiting clutch’s manual. 
  • Hoist’s braking system
  • Check lines, valves and other parts of air system for leakage
  • Check hooks & latches; ensure hooks are in accordance with ASME B30.10
  • Check hoist rope for gross damage, and these features that could cause immediate hazards, including:
    • Rope distortion: kinking, crushing, unstranding, bird-caging, main strand displacement and/or core protrusion
    • General corrosion
    • Broken or cut strands 
    • Number, distribution and type of broken wires (if visible)
  • Check load chain for gross damage, and any of these conditions which can be hazardous for work. These are: 
    • Gouges, nicks, weld splatter, corrosion and/or distorted links. 
    • Test the hoist with the load in lifting and lowering directions, and watch the operation of the chain and sprockets. The chain should feed smoothly with the sprockets. 

FREQUENT INSPECTION

Frequent inspections should happen continually, during use and rest periods. During frequent inspections, a qualified person will determine if issues found are hazards and whether the hoist should be removed from service temporarily, inspected further and repaired, or removed from service permanently and replaced. 

During frequent inspections, inspect:

  • Operating mechanisms for proper orientation, adjustment and unusual sounds
  • Braking system
  • Lines, valve and other parts of air systems for leakage
  • Check hooks & latches; ensure hooks are in accordance with ASME B30.10
  • Hoist limit device, for electric or air-powered hoists without a load on its hook: The load block should inch on limit device, or run at a slow speed when on multi-speed or variable-speed hoists. Using travel-limiting clutches as a limit device? Follow inspection methods detailed in the travel-limiting clutch’s manual. 
  • Check hoist rope for gross damage, and these features that could cause immediate hazards, including:
    • Rope distortion: kinking, crushing, unstranding, bird-caging, main strand displacement and/or core protrusion
    • General corrosion
    • Broken/cut strands 
    • Number, distribution and the kind of visible broken wires 
  • Check load chain for gross damage, and any of these conditions which can be hazardous for work. These are:
    • Gouges, nicks, weld splatter, corrosion and distorted links 
    • Test the hoist with the load in lifting and lowering directions, and watch the operation of the chain and sprockets. The chain should feed smoothly with the sprockets. 
    • Check rope/load chain reeving and make sure it complies with the manufacturer recommendation. 

PERIOD INSPECTION 

Periodic inspections can be conducted wherever your hoist is set up, as they don’t require the rigger to disassemble the hoist. 

  • Open or remove covers and other items to inspect components. 
  • A qualified, competent person will determine if conditions found during inspection make a hazard, or whether disassembly is required.
  • Inspect the following for wear, corrosion, cracks and distortion:
    • Ensure fasteners aren’t loose, or on the verge of coming loose 
    • Load blocks
    • Suspension housings 
    • Hand chain wheels 
    • Chain attachments 
    • Clevises
    • Yokes 
    • Suspension bolts
    • Shafts
    • Gears
    • Bearings 
    • Pins
    • Rollers
    • Locking and clamping devices 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? WHEN DO I INSPECT?

We’ve covered the three types of hoist inspection required in Canada, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). This is when you should conduct each type of inspection.

1. PREOPERATION INSPECTION

A visual inspection should be conducted before each shift. This inspection does not have to be recorded, but a designated, competent person should inspect the hoisting equipment.

2. FREQUENT INSPECTION

Frequent inspections, like pre-operatation inspection, are visual and don’t need to be recorded but should be done by a designated, competent person. Just how often are ‘frequent’ inspections, you ask? 

A) Normal Service—Yearly

B) Heavy Service—Semiannually

C) Severe Service—Quarterly 

3. PERIOD INSPECTION

Visual, period inspections should be conducted by a competent person who makes records of external coded marks on the hoist. This is acceptable identification in lieu of records. Periodic inspections should be done: 

A) Normal Service—Yearly

B) Heavy Service—Semiannually

C) Severe Service—Quarterly 

Since this article is about what to do before using a hoist, we’re going to focus on what your preoperation – or, preuse inspection should include. 

  • The pre-use inspection should be performed during each shift before the hoist is used. 
  • A competent, qualified person will determine whether conditions found during inspection could create a hazard and, if a more detailed inspection is required. 
  • Inspect the following:
    • Operating mechanisms for proper operation, proper adjustment and unusual sounds.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? HAND SIGNALS

what should you do before you use a hoist? hercules slr
Hoisting hand signals.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? KNOW THE ROPES  

Before operating a hoist, it’s important to conduct an inspection before-hand. The inspection should consist of: 

Rope Type: Ensure you select the proper type of wire rope. The wire rope you select will depend on the hoist type and the features of the load you will lift. 

Are you familiar with the concept of rope stability before using that hoist? Hoists often use wire rope, which can kink, twist or become crushed if the wrong type or the wrong application is used. 

Drum crushing is a type of rope deterioration that can happen with multiple layers of wire rope on a drum. Whoever inspects the wire rope must evaluate the potential for wire rope crushing. Inspections should detect points where crushing is more likely to happen, and the level of deterioration and appropriate course of action (ex. repair or replacement) can be made. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE YOU USE A HOIST? YOUR CHECKLIST

Before rigging or lifting with a hoist, know: 

  • The hoisting devices capacity
  • The WLL of: the rope, slings and hardware, and the rigging hardware’s weight

Here are some basic tips from CCOHS for inspecting your hoist: 

  • Pre-Lift: Make sure both hooks (upper and lower) swivel, replace worn chain or wire rope and tag it so it can be removed from service.
  • Post the SLL (safe load limit) in the hoist. 
  • Daily: Inspect hooks, rope, brakes and limit switches for wear and damage.
  • Ensure swivels move freely and there are no cracks or breaks in the hook. 
  • Conduct periodic inspections according to manufacturer rules or legislation. 


NEED A LIFT?  

Hercules SLR offers everything you need for your hoist, crane or lifting project. We offer equipment inspections, repairs, maintenance and hoists from reliable, respected and durablebrands like Crosby, CM and Bronze & Blue


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR HOISTS & SERVICES,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

CM’S TIPS: CRANE & HOISTING IN HAZARDOUS AREAS

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Click here to learn more about our rigging services at Hercules SLR. 

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.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Become a Rigger: Your Career Map

"become a rigger"-become-a-rigger-hercules-slr-rigging-careers

BECOME A RIGGER.

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP

                                    

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING & EDUCATION                                                                               

 

 

So you want to become a rigger?

A rigger’s main responsibility is to lift, lower, hoist and pull objects using machinery and lifting equipment like synthetic, chain and wire rope slings, hoists and cranes.

They are responsible to make and determine the best configurations and equipment to lift a load, be knowledgeable about safety & operating procedures and know how to fabricate, repair, inspect, install and service rigging and lifting equipment – lifting equipment can range from synthetic slings, wire rope, lifting magnets or cranes and aerial lifting trucks. 

Certain industries, or niche industries (particularly those that require you to use and operate heavy machinery and equipment like cranes and lifting trucks) will require a specific certification to operate them. 

A rigger can provide these services: 

  •  Inspections, on-site or in-shop
  •  Load tests 
  •  Crane repair, sales, inspection and installation
  •  Training
  • Sales and services 

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS                                                                

 

 

Many industries that use riggers or rig technician’s don’t require formal training, but do require and/or provide on-the-job learning, training courses and certifications.

However, it may be beneficial to complete a college or technical diploma, which can improve your chances of getting a job or apprenticeship.  

At Hercules SLR, our riggers have a combination of LEEA certifications and on-the-job training from our certified trainers and inspectors.  

Some of these include:

  • Lifting Certifications from LEEA
  • Training Courses 
  • College Diploma 

You also have the option to become a rig technician, which is a Red Seal Trade in Canada. According to the NSAA, a rig technician: 

  • Operates drawworks, rotary equipment and pumps 
  • Inspects rigs 
  • Maintains records of drilling operations
  • Oversees rig mobilization and demobilization 

You don’t need formal education to become a red seal technician, but must complete 9,000 apprentice hours to qualify to complete the rig technician red seal exam. A rig technician is responsible for the above duties, but also operating tools, wearing and ensuring the proper PPE is used and must operate lifting and hoisting equipment. 

become a rigger, "become a rigger"
Cranes, chains & cargo – a glimpse at common items and equipment found in rigging industry 

BECOME A RIGGER: ESSENTIAL SKILLS                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                 You might wonder—”This sounds nice, but what should I be good at to be a rigger?” A career as a rigger may be right for you if you’re:  

  • Mechanically inclined;
  • Comfortable with math and physics; 
  • Interested in a balance of both physical and administrative work, comfortable using technology;
  • A strong, effective communicator;  
  • An eye for detail and quick decision-making; 
  • Comfortable in harsh climate conditions, rigging often involves working in the extreme heat or       cold.  

BECOME A RIGGER: INDUSTRIES YOU COULD WORK IN                                                           

 

 

  • Entertainment (set and stunt rigging) & Theatre (stage rigging) 
  • Maritime, marine & fishing – sailboat rigging included 
  • Airline 
  • Construction  
  • Offshore Drilling/Oil and Gas 
  • Mining 
  • Manufacturing
  • Forestry
  • Transportation
  • Utilities 
  • Shipping/Receiving and Material Handling 

BECOME A RIGGER: LIKE THE SOUND OF THESE JOB TITLES?                                                   

 

 

If you become a rigger, you could have one of these job titles: 

  • Slinger
  • Parachute Rigger
  • Sailboat/Ship Rigger
  • Gantry Rigger
  • Machinery Mover
  • Hook Tender
  • Wire Rigger
  • Yacht Rigger
  • Grip
  • Crane Rigger
  • Acrobatic Rigger
  • Theatrical Rigger

BLOGS                                                                                                                                                             

 
 
 
 
Interested to learn more about rigging, becoming a rig technician and rigging and lifting equipment? Check out our blogs below:
 

HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY

TRAINING COURSES

References: https://www.nscc.ca/Learning_Programs/Programs/PlanDescr.aspx?prg=MIRG&pln=MARINDRIG, https://nsapprenticeship.ca/trades#accordion58, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html, http://www.red-seal.ca/trades/rigtech/2012n.4.1_.4v.2rv.3.2w-eng.htmlhttps://www.jobhero.com/how-to-become-rigger/, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html
 

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.