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Slings General Requirements


October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

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This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the general industry standards 29 CFR 1910.184 and the construction standard 29 CFR 1926.251. It applies to slings used with other equipment to move material by lifting or hoisting. Slings might be used to wrap around engine blocks to lift them out of automobiles. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation. Definitions of terms in bold type are provided at the end of the checklist.

check mark symbol Questions marked with this symbol may require the help of an outside expert.

  1. Safe Operating Practices

  2. Are damaged or defective slings immediately taken out of service? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(1); (d); (e)(3)(iii); and ( e)(9) and 1926.251(a)(1)]
  3. Are slings the original length without the use of knots, bolts, or other devices to shorten them? (i.e., have not been shortened by the use of knots, bolts, or any other device) [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(2) and 1926.251(c)(6)]
  4. Are slings free of kinks? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(3) and 1926.251(c)(7)]
  5. check mark symbol Are sling loads always at or below the rated capacities? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(4) and 1926.251(a)(2)]Note: Consult the OSHA regulations or the manufacturer’s requirements for permitted load ratings.
  6. If a basket hitch is used, has the load been balanced to prevent slippage? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(5) and 1926.251(c)(8)]
  7. Are slings always securely attached to their loads? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(6)]
  8. Are slings padded or protected from the sharp edges of their loads? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(7) and 1926.251(c)(9)]
  9. Are suspended loads kept clear of all obstructions? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(8)]
  10. Are employees and students kept clear of loads to be lifted and suspended? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(9)]
  11. Have all employees and students been instructed not to place hands or fingers between the sling and the load while it is being tightened? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(10) and 1926.251(c)(10)]
  12. Is shock loading prohibited? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(11) and 1926.251(c)(11)]
  13. Have employees and students been instructed not to pull a sling from under a load when the load is resting on the sling? [29 CFR 1910.184(c)(12) and 1926.251(c)(12)]


  14. Are all slings, fasteners, and attachments inspected for damage or defects by a competent person each day before they are used? [29 CFR 1910.184(d) and 1926.251(a)(1)]


Basket hitch: a sling assembly made by passing the sling under the load. It has both ends, end attachments, eyes, or handles on the hook or a single master link.

Shock loading: loading the sling suddenly.

Sling: an assembly that connects the load to the material handling equipment.