OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article on sling regulations originally posted in 2011. This article continues to be one of our most visited, and we feel it our duty to keep this very important safety information up to date.

sling regulationssling regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for slings:

  • 1910.184 (general industry)
  • 1915.122
  • 1915.113
  • 1915.118 (for shipyard employment)
  • 1926.251 (construction)

Effective June 8, 2011, all slings, chain, synthetic & wire rope, are required to have identification tags/labels permanently attached to them. This sling regulation applies to slings sold and used in the United States.

Historically, companies did not require wire rope slings to have permanently affixed identification tags/labels on them; it was not required per OSHA 1910.184. This has since changed. Tags/labels are now required.

Also, original load capacity tables found in the OSHA standards were based on information found in ASME B30.9 dating back to 1971.  New tables reflect the current industry standards for working load limits for slings, chain, and synthetic or wire rope.

Changes include:

  • All load charts for slings have been updated to current industry standards.
  • All slings, regardless if made of chain, wire rope or synthetic, must be marked with a tag/label. Now only properly tagged/labeled slings can be used.
  • Slings with detached tags/labels must be removed from service until new tags/labels can be permanently reattached.

To view the OSHA changes made in 2011 in its entirety or to download a copy click here.

For information on rigging training, please click here

Henry Brozyna

Henry Brozyna is a Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

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50 Replies to “OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations”

  1. Dan,

    I share your concern about marker on slings.
    Unfortunately I do not know of any standard that would require the sling to be removed from service.
    I would however recommend to anyone not to write on any sling with marker.
    The materials used to make the ink may deteriorate the webbing material.


  2. Hi Jim,
    Thank you for reaching out to us on our blog. The identifiers/tags are required per ASME B30.9.

    Sling Identification:
    Chain Slings ASME B30.9-1.7.1
    a) name or trademark of the manufacturer, if repaired, the entity performing the repairs
    b) grade
    c) nominal chain size
    d) number of legs
    e) rated load for at least one hitch type & the angle upon which it is based
    f) length/reach
    g) individual sling identification (e.g., serial number)

    Wire Rope ASME B30.9-2.7.1
    a) name or trademark of the manufacturer, if repaired, the entity performing the repairs
    b) rated load for at least one hitch type & the angle upon which it is based
    c) diameter or size
    d) number of legs

    Synthetic ASME B30.9-4.7.1

    a) name or trademark of the manufacturer, if repaired, the entity performing the repairs
    b) manufacturer’s code or stock number
    c) rated load for at least one hitch type & the angle upon which it is based
    d) type of fiber material
    e) number of legs if more than one

    Out of all the slings mentioned, chain, synthetic & wire rope, the only sling that requires an individual identifier is a chain sling, ASME B30.9-1.7.1(g).

    As for OSHA, not directly referencing this is not uncommon for OSHA.
    Here is what the General Duty Clause says:

    (a) Each employer —
    (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

    29 USC 654
    (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
    (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

  3. Question: Our 3rd party inspector has been finding synthetic slings, cables and chains that pass inspection , except if the sling identification tag is missing a Manufacturer’s serial number. We’ve been removing from service.

    I want to make sure I’m not incurring unwanted cost on the business by replacing these otherwise useable slings. Some of our slings are brand new. From what I’ve reviewed, the OSHA standard doesn’t say anything about serial numbers. The ASME code (which is not referenced by OSHA) states a sling identifier is needed (an example is a serial number) .

  4. I have been in the construction industry for 30 years and I am wondering about marking on Synthetic slings? I have seen marking done with a permanent marker on the slings to identify owner at job sites and even identify what department they belong to as facilities. I have seen annual inspections by certified companies not reject these slings but have recently been told they must be removed from service. Event if they do not meet any of the items listed in rejection check list. Has there been a change in the inspection requirements?

  5. Hi Rhett,

    Thanks for your comment. First, let’s ensure you’re using alloy chain for the lifting portion, Grade 80 or Grade 100.

    The tag rule that you are referring to is OSHA 1910.184(e)(1). I pulled it from OSHA’s website for your reference below:

    Sling identification. Alloy steel chain slings shall have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity, and reach.

    In ASME B30.9, when doing a frequent (ASME B30.9-1.9.3) or periodic (ASME B30.9-1.9.4) inspection, it is not required to do a load test. When slings have been altered, modified or repaired, a load test is required per ASME B30.9-1.9.6(h).

    I hope this information helps!


  6. I am looking for information on something that I am not sure pertains to my situation. I have 3 chains that are used for pulling robotic vehicles when they break down. They weigh 3600 pounds and roll on wheels. We also use them with a cherry picker that is rated at no more than 2 tons. This is used to lift 600 pound batteries that go in the robotic vehicles. They are not used on a daily bases. In fact, they are only used about 5 times a year. There safety guy came by the other day and said that the chains needed to be load tested and the tagged with a label showing their max load capacity. What OSHA rule is he using to make this statement?

  7. Hi Larry,
    OSHA will reference ASME B30.26 as the rigging hardware standard.
    In that standard, it does not differentiate domestic from imported rigging gear, in this case, shackles.
    The important thing you have to be aware of are the markings on the shackles.
    You must be able to identify the manufacturer, capacity & size of the shackle.
    This information needs to be embossed on any shackle to satisfy the standard.
    If this information is not present and legible, the shackle shall be removed from service.


  8. Good morning Henry,
    I am looking for information either in OSHA or ANSI that limits use of non-domestic rigging when making overhead lifts in the U.S. Could you guide me in that direction? Thank you.

  9. Hi Jay,
    If you tag them, you are now the manufacturer of that sling. All of the responsibility and liability will be yours.
    A qualified person will need to do the inspections.
    You will need to have all the documentation for that sling in place if there is an inspection.
    Tags need to have specific information, so make sure that it is included.

    You will likely have some issues in the center core. You can’t open up the strands to inspect the core wires. If they have issues, you could have a failure. I would highly recommend replacing the slings.


  10. Henry,
    Is it “legal” to test & tag our used wire rope slings (that don’t have tags) ourselves or does it need to be the original mfr? Some of our wire rope assemblies are old & we have no idea who the mfr is anyway.

  11. Hi Brandon,
    Here’s the link to OSHA’s site, standard interpretation. This section may be what you are looking for.

    As for records of inspection, you must retain the latest periodic inspection record per ASME B30.9.
    As for recording the date on the tag itself, there is nothing that requires you to place the test date on the tag.

    Thanks for reaching out to us.

  12. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. when I was in the military I was told it was osha standard to have the last weight test date on the tag of any below the hook lifting device. do you know what the osha reference number is to this standard is.

  13. Hi Alexandra,
    As for an expiration date on slings, there is none.
    It is up to the user and inspector of the sling to determine whether or not it should be removed from service.
    This applies to synthetic, chain & wire rope slings.
    This is the reason why the user does a pre-use or frequent inspection on the sling.

  14. Hello,

    Thank for sharing this informative post.

    I am looking for a standard or regulation that states the length of time a sling is good for from the marked date on the tag. How long from the date of manufacture are round synthetic slings good for? 5 years, 10 years? Or is that an expiry date?

    Thank you in advance,

  15. Hi Sean,
    Yes. The reason is the chain sling itself falls under ASME B30.9 for slings, which states all slings must be identified with a tag, and the tags must be legible.

    As for the plate clamp, it falls under ASME B30.20, below the hook lifters. This standard states that the plate clamp also must have legible tagging to identify the clamp & capacity. So the manufacturer of this lifting system has combined two different standards into one device, which is acceptable.
    But as an inspector, you should know the difference between the two.

    Thank you for your question.

  16. If you have a 1 leg chain sling with a tag up on the master and you have a renfroe plate clamp connected on the other end… Does it matter if the manufacturer tag that gives the capacity and model number has been torn off? Or even iledgible ?.. is that something that would deem this chain sling out of service? Thank u

  17. Hi Sean,
    As per OSHA 1910.184, a wire rope sling must have legible identification. If there is no identification, the sling does not meet OSHA 1910.184.
    Your inspection will start with the tag. The tag tells you what you’re looking at. The two must match. If they don’t match, the inspection is over.
    So ask yourself, without a tag how do you know what the sling capacity, size, length & attachments are?
    Here is a link of the OSHA requirements for slings that may assist you: http://owl.li/fYzo306WGrX

    1910.184(f)(1) Sling use.
    Employers must use only wire-rope slings that have permanently
    affixed and legible identification markings as prescribed by the
    manufacturer and that indicate the recommended safe working load
    for the type(s) of hitch(es) used, the angle.


  18. When inspecting wire rope slings.. if they are older slings with out tags of any kind.. are they so to say grand fathered in from back when tags did not to be on them? And can they still be left in service or do they need to be taken out?

  19. Hi Terry,
    The orientation of sling tags is not mentioned in any of the standards.
    It is a best practice to keep them away from the load as much as possible to keep them from being damaged.

  20. Hello Erick,

    The standard for slings is ASME B30.9
    It states that when a periodic inspection is done, that inspection shall be recorded.
    Frequent inspections, which are normally daily inspections, do not have to be recorded.
    As for load testing any rigging gear, slings included, you only have to do a load test when that gear is repaired, replaced or altered.
    When load tests are done they also shall be recorded.


  21. Renier & Henry

    I’ve a question regarding the load test for used rigging equipment

    You posted that you make every 6 month load test for your equipment? Does it exists and standard for that?


  22. Is there any specification that stipulates that round slings need to be taken out-of-service after 10 years since manufacture date? Or, as long as the inspection process is done properly and the unit passes, it’s still fine to use?



  23. Hello Erik,
    Your use of the word lanyard indicates to me that you are manufacturing safety harnesses for people.
    Unfortunately I can’t help you with that.
    If you are manufacturing slings for lifting, I would go to the WSDTA, Web Sling Tie Down Association http://www.wstda.com/
    WSTDA writes the standards for the manufacture, testing & use of synthetic slings.
    If you visit their website, the standards are there & can be downloaded at no cost.
    I hope this helps you.

  24. Good morning Henry,
    Our company wants to start manufacturing our own custom web lanyards. What specifications are required for us to adhere to, and where can they be found. I have searched OSHA and they are for safe use of lanyards, not building them. ANSI and ISO won’t let me browse for the correct specs unless I buy the whole thing.

  25. Henry,

    Trying to get our slings retagged since you can’t read them anymore, but manufacturer we purchase them from will not do it. What I was wondering is if they can be retagged and how?


  26. Hello Henry,

    The Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA) writes the standards for synthetics. The info that you are requesting can be found on their website: http://www.wstda.com/ You can download any of the synthetic standards that apply to you for free.


  27. Henry,

    what are the standards on replacing a web sling? is there so much on a abrasion or cut that is still eligible? What ever the answer is may you send me a link to that information?


  28. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your question. Please know that straps used for overhead lifting are not rated for people. Please refer to the following regulation: ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Code, 2007.


  29. 1st time to your page thx. Its info i can use. Question. plz what is the reg regarding use of lifting straps as saftey or beam straps to support humans?

  30. Hello Frank,
    Shackles are covered by ASME B30.26 Rigging Hardware.
    As such they are required to have a manufacturer or trademark, size & WLL/capacity rating.
    When one or more of those items is not present or illegible the shackle must be removed from service.
    I copied the section that applies to shackles from ASME B30.26

    ASME B30.26 – Rigging Hardware
    CHAPTER 26-1 SHACKLES – Selection, Use, and Maintenance

    26-1.8.4 Removal Criteria. Shackles shall be removed from service if damage such as the following is visible and shall only be returned to service when approved by a qualified person:
    (a) missing or illegible manufacturer’s name or trademark and/or rated load identification,
    (b) indications of heat damage including weld spatter or arc strikes,
    (c) excessive pitting or corrosion,
    (d) bent, twisted, distorted, stretched, elongated, cracked or broken load bearing components,
    (e) excessive nicks or gouges,
    (f) a 10% reduction of the original or catalog dimension at any point around the body or pin,
    (g) incomplete pin engagement,
    (h) excessive thread damage,
    (i) evidence of unauthorized welding,
    (j) other conditions including visible damage that cause doubt as to the continued use of the shackle.


  31. Hello, I work in NY city. We have been coming across rigging equipment i.e. sorting hooks, shackles and master links that have the word “CHINA” stamped on them. There is some question as to the quality of these items as some claim they are of lesser quality that say those of Crosby as an example. My question to you is, do you know of anything in writing by way of code or standard that states the “manufacturers” name must be stamped on the rigging equipment? I know the SWL and other lifting nomenclature is required. Our insurance carrier mentioned this due to potential law suits stemming from possible failure of our rigging equipment. Knowing the name of the manufacturer would help in subrogating a claim. Thank you in advance on any info you can provide. Best, Frank

  32. Hello Selwyn,
    I would like to thank you for the information. You are right – the standards change wherever you go.
    The bottom line is that we want to be as safe as possible with all of our lifting equipment. So being knowledgeable of the local, federal or the industrial standards that apply in the area we are operating in, will help keep people safe.
    Thank you again for your comments.

  33. Hi Henry,
    I am in South africa, and in the lifting game for 30 years. WE have strict legislation and regulations here regarding indentifcation of all lifting equipment and tackle. Our legislation is known as Occupational Health and Safety Act(OHSACT) and we fall under DMR 18. All equipment has to identified via tags or indentations, as well as a register is to be kept and signed. Quarterly visual inspections are to be carried out, and a full inspection and load test is to be carried out annual on lifting machines. Lifting tackle is subjected to 3 monthly visuals.
    All our lifting machine inspectors have to be registered with Engineering Council of SA, which is a government requirement.
    Thought it might be interesting to other parties abroad.
    Differs wherever you go.
    Selwyn Low

  34. Hello Henry,

    The best thing to do is to contact the manufacturer of the slings & see if they are willing to place a tag on the sling.
    If they are willing to tag the slings, after they inspect them, then you should have no issues.


  35. Henry

    How do I get a bunch of steel slings from different manufactures inspected and retagged?

    Thanks, Henry

  36. Hello Eduardo,
    If the line you are speaking of is a winch cable, then we recommend that you contact that manufacturer for recommendations.
    If it is the wire rope sling, then we recommend replacing the entire sling rather then cutting it down. There are too many variables involved.
    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  37. Hello’
    I have a question regarding to a derrick boom winch line, if the winch wire rope is damaged can we cut the line 30 ft of wire or we need to removed it from service. The tag is not available on the wire rope as well. I no for a fact that it requires a tag/label as per osha, but my safety concern is the wire rope, if we cut line would it have the same load capacity.

  38. Hello Ron,
    Thank you for your interest in synthetic sling standards.
    The standard that applies to synthetic slings is: “Recommended Standard Specification for Synthetic Web Slings” WSTDA-WS-1.
    This standard is published by the Web Sling Tie Down Association, in this standard you will find all of the criteria for inspection, use & care of synthetic slings.
    The standard is available from WSTDA for a fee & can be downloaded from their web site, http://www.wstda.com/about/index.cfm
    I hope this answers your question.


  39. Renier,
    Thank you for your question. Here is our response:
    Columbus McKinnon Corporation manufactures chain slings in accordance with ASME B30.9. Unfortunately the standard does not cover testing of a chain sling during a periodic inspection.
    If the chain slings that you have are manufactured by Columbus McKinnon, our recommendation for testing is 125%. I hope this information helps you.
    Thank you again for taking the time to research a question that came up within your organization.

    Have a safe day,
    Henry Brozyna

  40. We are doing every 6 months a load test with a test bench on all the rigging equipment.
    It happened that you cant see a crack on a farrel, but after the load test we pick it up.
    We are testing on 50% more than the SWL. Please advice if we must use 10%,25% or 50%.
    Thank you for this good safety talk.

  41. Calvin,
    Thank you for your comment. We appreciate all comments to our blog. Our goals are the same, to make the industry as safe as possible. We look forward to hearing from you on a future posting. Thanks again!

  42. This is a great article. Thanks for posting. I too wrote a similar article on the same topic last year. It is something we should all be talking about because new changes need to be brought to peoples attention and the more we are talking about it the more people it will reach.

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