Wire rope slings are essential pieces of rigging hardware, especially for industrial sites, and designed to lift and hoist heavy objects. The lifting device remains connected to those slings with several different configurations. While these slings are generally durable, proper inspection and maintenance are required to keep up their integrity. Damages from wear and tear are likely without detailed inspection. According to ASME and OSHA standards, users must inspect wire rope slings regularly and correctly to operate them safely. Continue reading for more information regarding the inspection of wire rope slings.
Why and When Should You Inspect Your Wire Rope Slings?
The main reason for inspecting your slings is to find potential damages and risks before they cause a serious problem.
According to OSHA guidelines, inspections on wire rope slings should be conducted at a regular interval. The frequency of the inspections will largely depend on the frequency of use. However, you should stick to these general recommendations when it comes to wire rope sling inspections:
- Inspect slings immediately after receiving them from the manufacturers
- Inspect slings to identify manufacturing defects
- Be sure that you have received the correct slings for your needs
Before using your wire rope slings, it’s essential to inspect them properly. An inspection will allow you to detect the damage that may have been caused during your previous use. Be sure to take appropriate steps to solve the issues if you come across them.
Create a Schedule for Additional Inspections
Be sure to create this schedule based on your wire rope sling use frequency, the type of your lifts, and the severity of regular service conditions.
Visual inspections should be conducted daily. An inspection can be as simple as the person who is using the sling to identify any signs of deterioration. Even the most minor of damage can potentially weaken the wire rope sling. The user should attempt to identify defective wires, crushing potentials, corrosion, and faulty attachments.
It is also imperative to conduct an annual inspection. This inspection should include every part of the sling, including the fittings, end attachments, and splices.
Who is the Right Person to Be Conducting the Inspections?
A certified and qualified person should be conducting the inspections on your wire rope slings. If you’re only using the slings occasionally, a yearly inspection may suffice. However, for severe use, a quarterly inspection would be optimal. Consider contracting an inspection service.
The sling inspectors who check the sling periodically should know the system. Operators, however, may also perform some basic inspections.
Wire Rope Sling Inspection Steps
- Position the wire rope sling in a way that every part is viewable and accessible to the inspector.
- The inspector will remove dirt and apply grease using a wire brush to reveal fittings and wires.
- The inspector will closely inspect the sling to test the parts with a high chance of wear and tear.
- The inspector will also focus on the end attachments, fittings, and the parts adjacent to those fittings.
- The inspector will look for the damaged and worn-out parts of the wire rope sling. The inspector will also label the parts that were already inspected.
Be sure to keep a record of your sling inspections. A record will help you keep track of your last inspection date and sling conditions.
When to Replace Your Old Slings
You may find some signs of damages after the inspection. However, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to decide between repair and replacement of the damaged slings. This is a guide that might help you determine when it’s time to replace those damaged slings.
- Deteriorated wires: Five damaged wires in a strand indicate that it’s time for a replacement if you are using single-part slings. If you’re using a multi-part sling, ten randomly damaged wires in a rope lay should warrant replacement.
- Metal loss: The loss of metal may be indicated by the outer diameters of wires showing wear and tear signs. In this case, you should strongly consider replacing the sling.
- Bent and cracked end attachments of wire rope slings should also warrant replacement.
- Severe rope corrosion is a sign that you should replace your slings. However, light rusting will only reduce the strength of your slings. In this case, whether you replace them or not is entirely up to you.
- Bent hooks: The standard throat opening is 15%. Once the hooks start to become bent, you should consider replacing them.
Disposing of Damaged Slings
You need to cut the fittings and eye of the sling first. Then label them properly to avoid accidentally using them. It is imperative that you do not use those slings at all.
Remember that proper inspections will prevent you from using damaged wire rope slings. It’s strongly recommended that you hire professionals to inspect your slings. Checking and maintaining wire rope slings throughout the year can help you avoid costly repairs.
Proper maintenance and upkeep will help make sure you get the most out of your wire rope slings. It’s also imperative to understand the correct ways to store your slings while they aren’t in use. As a general rule, you should keep slings away from heat, liquids, sprays, and corrosion. With proper maintenance and care, you can easily use your wire rope slings for several years.
At Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging, we know everything there is to know about wire ropes and rigging. If you have any questions about wire rope slings, inspections, or anything else regarding wire ropes, feel free to contact one of our professional staff members.