How to Safely Use Lifting Slings

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How to Safely Use Lifting Slings

If you’re in the overhead lifting business, you need slings that can easily conform to your load and handle it safely. You also need slings that are light enough to transport within your premises and between sites.

Before you decide on a type of sling, consider the following factors: the weight and shape of the load, its frequency of use, and its working limit.


A lifting sling is a piece of flexible, strong material with metal devices like hooks, shackles or links attached to both ends. They can be used with a crane to lift loads in various ways. They are colour-coded according to their safe working load limit (WLL). It is important to use the right sling for a specific job to avoid damage and injury.

There are many different types of materials that can be used to make a lifting sling. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, polyester slings can be used for light or fragile loads as they are abrasion resistant and stand up well to varying temperatures. They also resist bleaching agents and acid exposure but are not suitable for use with sulfuric acids.

They are also able to mold to the shape of the load and protect expensive or delicate items from crushing or scratching. They can be used with a variety of hitch types including vertical, choker and basket. Moreover, they can be made from various lengths and widths to suit the specific needs of your application.


A key element of a quality lifting sling is its strength. They are designed with system and operational requirements in mind to ensure they can withstand the loads they will be used to lift. They also undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet specific standards for life-long tension fatigue, temperature performance and static loading.

They’re often utilised in settings where abstractly-shaped items need lifting slings to be lifted as their soft material can mold around the object to protect it from scratches and crushing. They are durable, strong and cost-effective compared to wire rope slings made of coarse material.

When determining the rated capacity of a synthetic sling, one should take into account the angle of loading. This is calculated by multiplying the minimum load on a leg of the sling by its rated working load limit for angled legs and by its rated capacity at a given angle of inclination. For example, to determine the rated basket capacity required to lift a 2,000 pound load using a 2-leg synthetic round sling at a 60deg angle of inclination, you would use the sling’s load factor chart below.


Depending on the type of load you’re lifting, there are many different options for choosing the right sling. You should consider the weight, size and fragility of the load, as well as the amount of use you’ll be doing on a regular basis. Generally speaking, the more often you will be using a sling, the higher capacity you’ll want to choose.

For example, synthetic slings are used in the construction industry due to their versatility and ease of operation. Their soft texture protects polished, finished expensive and oddly-shaped loads from scratches and bruising, while they also work well with vertical, choker and basket hitches. They’re also ideal for hoisting the huge wind turbines you see scattered across the countryside, as well as vehicles such as lorries, caravans and boats.

Ally chain slings are great for demanding rigging operations in stressful operating climates, including foundries and steel mills. They’re also very tough and can withstand heavy impact. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these slings only support a specific load limit and can snap if they are abused. For this reason, they must be inspected regularly and colour coded for safe use.


When you need to lift a large, heavy load, you can count on lifting slings to get the job done. These industrial lifting devices connect to a crane or hoisting device and the load, providing a way to safely move the object without damaging it.

The type of material a lifting sling is made of can determine how durable it is. For example, steel mesh lifting slings slings are designed to support very high loads. They are also highly flexible and can be used in a variety of rigging applications.

Regardless of the material, it’s important to consider how often the sling is used and what chemicals it may come into contact with when choosing one. It’s a legal requirement to inspect slings for snags, damage or stretching before each use. This helps prevent injuries and equipment damages. It’s also recommended to have a designated person examine the slings for defects and wear points every 6 months. A damaged sling could drop the load and cause serious injuries to employees or damage to expensive equipment.


While flat lifting slings offer great versatility and strength, they also require specific safety measures to ensure that they are used safely. The following tips will help you take the right steps to safeguard your slings and prevent potential injuries or damage to the load.

Slings should never be overloaded, mishandled, or improperly stored. These conditions expedite wear and tear on the slings and can lead to their failure. Slings should be inspected before and after each use and properly stored when not in use. In addition, they should be protected from exposure to extreme temperatures. Alloy chain slings, for example, can tolerate high temperature conditions but must be protected from heat damage like weld splatter and sparks because these can affect their heat treatment properties. Nylon and polyester slings are more susceptible to heat damage.

When choosing a sling, make sure to choose one that is rated to handle the load you need to lift. The rated capacity is determined by considering the type of sling, its size, and the hooks or fittings on which it fits. Alloy slings are marked with their rated capacity on the tag or weld. Nylon and polyester slings have abrasion-resistant layers that protect the core yarns from cuts and abrasions.

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