Safe Use & Maintenance of Chain Slings

Safe Use

Never load chain slings in excess of the rated capacity for the application.

  • Keep a register of all slings in use.
  • User should remove all twists from a chain leg before lifting and must never knot a chain.
  • Always use a shortening hook or clutch when chain legs require shortening.
  • Always inspect slings to ensure that chain is free from damage or wear before each use.
  • Always inspect all sling components prior each use.
  • Ensure that chain is protected from any sharp corners on the load.
  • Ensure that the master link articulates freely on the crane hook or other lifting appliance.
  • Never point load hooks. The load should always seat correctly in the bowl of the hook.
  • Always use the correct size sling for the load, allowing for the included angle and the possibility of unequal loading.
  • Persons must stand clear of all loads while lifting.


  • A thorough examination must be carried out by a competent person at least every 12 months or more frequently according to statutory regulations, type and frequency of use.
  • Chains with bent links or with cracks or gouges in the link should be replaced, as should deformed components such as bent master links, deformed hooks and any fittings showing signs of damage.
  • Chain and components wear should never exceed 10% of the original dimensions.
  • Once a chain sling has been overloaded it must be taken out of service.
  • Store chain sling on a properly designed rack. Never leave chai n slings on the floor where they may suffer mechanical or corrosion damage.
  • Alloy chain slings should not be used in acid or caustic solutions nor in heavily acidic or caustic laden atmospheres. The heat treated alloy material used for alloy steel chains and components is susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement when exposed to acids.
  • Chain slings must not be heat-treated, galvanised, plated, coated or subject to any process involving heating or pickling. These processes can have dangerous effects and will invalidate the manufacturer’s certification.
  • Alloy chain slings may be used at temperatures between -40°C to 200°C with no reduction in the Working Load Limit. The use of chain slings within the permissible temperature range in the table does not require any permanent reduction in Working Load Limit when the chain sling is returned to normal temperatures. A sling accidentally exposed to temperature in excess of the maximum permissible should be withdrawn from service immediately and returned to Cookes for thorough examination.
  • When using alloy chain slings in exceptionally hazardous conditions, the degree of hazard should be assessed by a competent person and the Working Load Limit adjusted accordingly.


  Sling Temperature     Reduction in WLL  
-40°C - 200°C None
200°C - 300°C 10%
300°C - 400°C 25%
Above 400°C Do not use