Sling Inspections

Sling Inspection Safety Talk

Lifting and rigging is a vital and common work task in many workplaces. Slings are devices used to lift and move items mechanically. At times, they can be put under great stress, which can lead to damage.

This safety talk identifies common sling failures and covers best practices when inspecting these devices to ensure a safe working experience.

Common Sling Failures

  • Slings can break apart when overloaded.
  • Slings can stretch and fray over time.
  • Slings exposed to cutting and grinding, along with welding splatter, can become burned and compromised.
  • Slings exposed to chemicals can deteriorate.
  • Slings that are continually wet or left in direct sunlight for extended periods can rot and disintegrate.

Sling Inspection Best Practices lifting sling safety talk

  • Slings should be inspected for burnt marks and unraveled threads.
  • When inspecting slings, if red nylon fibers are visible, the sling should be removed from service.
  • Slings that are discolored and stiff should be removed from service as that is an indicator of chemical exposure.
  • Slings that are rigid and unable to move freely show signs of excessive UV exposure.
  • Threads that are frayed and rotted indicate the sling should be removed from service.
  • Slings that are missing tags complete with loading capacity are no longer compliant and should not be used in the workplace.
  • Slings should be inspected before use. Inspection should occur throughout the workday if the sling is being used over and over.
  • Slings should also be inspected monthly and annually as part of a comprehensive safety inspection process.


Inspecting slings is a best practice that allows employees to identify possible issues with the sling prior to use. If issues are identified, it is vital to stop work and get a functional sling for the work task at hand. A simple inspection may make all the difference in preventing property loss or injury.

Discussion points:

1. How often should employees inspect slings?

2. Discuss potential ways in which slings can become damaged and require removal from service.

3. What are common ways slings can be damaged here?

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