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.
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.
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!
- 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.
- 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: