Slinging Basics

FIRST – Here are some basic terms to help you understand the information available on this site.

Sling – an assembly which connects the load to the lifting equipment. Eye – a fabricated loop, normally at the end of a sling, used as an attachment or choke point.
Leg – the extending portion of a sling used in a basket hitch or one extension of a sling with multiple parts.
Fitting – a general term for a piece of lifting hardware such as a hook, oblong, pear link, coupling, etc.
Master Link (Oblong, Pear) – a forged or welded steel “gathering” link used to support a sling’s legs.
Reach – the working length of a lifting sling when pulled taut. It is measured from the load bearing point at one end of the sling, to the load bearing point at the opposite end.
Hitch – the way the sling is fastened to or around a load.
Headroom – clearance above the load to allow for an unobstructed lift.
Sling Angle – for an explanation of the angle CLICK HERE.
Working Load Limit (Rated Capacity) – the maximum static load permitted by the manufacturer.
Proof load – the load applied in a non-destructive “Proof Test” performed by the sling manufacturer or testing facility to verify the safe capacity of a sling or fitting

No matter what kind of sling you choose, there are certain common elements you will need to consider to plan a safe, effective lift:

  The Weight of the load

You will need to know, or estimate accurately, the weight of the load to ensure a safe lift.

Type of hitch and number of slings or legs

Consider the load’s size and shape, load control (balance, slippage), attachment points, and any fittings that will be needed to connect the sling to the lifting device or the load. Loads should be lifted from a point directly over the centre of gravity.

Reach and angle of the sling

Available headroom, any obstructions, and type of hitch are important factors in this determination. The angle at which a sling is used significantly effects its capacity. Use the longest reach possible for completing the lift; this will provide the largest angle possible for minimum stress on the sling.

Protect the load and sling from damage

Select the best sling material for the load and environment. Use softeners such as shims, padding or sling protectors to prevent damage at corners or projections.

Inspect slings before each use.

Inspection criteria is available elsewhere on this site

Protect personnel

Plan to position and utilize personnel safely during rigging and lifting. Use a tag line to stabilize or manoeuvre the load during the lift.