Synthetic round slings are one of the most commonly used items on any jobsite requiring rigging equipment. Their high strength and versatility make them a staple for nearly any project. With that said, one of the most important things to remember is the need to inspect the sling, at minimum, before each use or at the start of every workday.
Performing a regular inspection of your round sling is as important as it is to prevent several situations including catastrophic failure of a lift, using incorrect equipment for the load, risking the lives of your workers from worn or damaged slings, and incurring replacement costs of a failed lift.
Fortunately, ASME has some simple guidelines for what to look for in your daily inspections that would indicate that the synthetic round sling must be removed immediately from service. Per ASME guideline B30.9, if you notice during your inspection that any of the following criteria are met, you should remove your sling from service.
- Missing or illegible sling identification
- Acid or caustic burns
- Evidence of heat damage
- Holes, tears, cuts, abrasive wear or snags that expose the core yarns
- Broken or damaged core yarns
- Weld splatter that exposes core yarns
- Discoloration and brittle or stiff areas on any part of the slings, which may mean chemical or other damage
As you can see above, inspecting your round sling is relatively easy. A simple visual inspection can spot most potential issues that can arise during use and could save your lift and, potentially, a life. Any sling that is missing its sling identification tag should no longer be used since there is no way to know for certain what the rated capacity is. Every manufacturer uses its own color for each capacity so there is no industry standard and it is not worth the risk of damage or death to assume the rating on a sling.
Looking at the cover of the sling, noticing any wear, snags, discoloration from prolonged UV exposure or chemical markings is an indication that the outside of the sling is compromised and you have no way of knowing the extent of the damage and whether it extends into the core yarns. If core yarns are exposed, you’ve also got to expect that their strength may have been weakened.
While some of the above may seem common sense on paper, in the field, it’s all too common for someone to accept the status quo and use what’s available. With the availability of slings at a relatively low replacement cost, it’s never worth it to take a chance on your job site. For more information on synthetic round slings, please take a look at our section on our website here. You can also see our video on synthetic round slings at this link and make sure to check out our other videos on our YouTube channel.