When should you inspect chain slings?

Inspect chain slings and accessories before each use and before placing into storage.
Check for visible faults in links and hooks and distortion of fittings.

How should you check chain slings during inspection?

A competent person should inspect chain slings periodically, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. For record keeping purposes it is useful if each chain has a metal tag with an identification number and load limit information. Information about the chain length and other characteristics and an inspection schedule should recorded in a log book.

  • Clean sling before inspection.
  • Hang the chain up or stretch the chain out on a level floor in a well-lighted area. Remove all twists. Measure the sling length. Discard if a sling has been stretched.
  • Make a link-by-link inspection and discard if:
a) Wear exceeds 15% of a link diameter.


b) Cut, nicked, cracked, gouged, burned, or corrosion pitted.

Cut, nicked

c) Twisted or bent.

Twisted or bent

d) Stretched. Links tend to close up and get longer.


  • Check master link, load pins and hooks for any of the above faults. Hooks should be removed from service if they have been opened more than 15% of the normal throat opening, measured at the narrowest point, or twisted more than 10° from the plane of the unbent hook.
  • Manufacturers’ reference charts show sling and hitch capacities. Record manufacturer, type, load limit and inspection dates.