In order to ensure safe lifting and handling of loads, slings, connectors, grips, etc. should be inspected regularly. Inspection rules and procedures should be developed by specialised organisations or qualified engineers in accordance with national health and safety recommendations. According to current standards, all load handling equipment used is subject to a mandatory inspection to assess its suitability. For this purpose, an inspection log must first be drawn up and the results recorded for each item. Based on the results of the inspection, a decision is made as to whether or not the equipment in question can be allowed to work. During the inspection, the current technical condition of the sling components and the strength of the sling is checked. By checking the technical condition, any nicks, cracks, deformation, discolouration, excessive corrosion, elongation of sling components or wear on links are detected. Strength tests are performed when defects and damage have not been detected during the detailed inspection. The timing of the inspection depends primarily on the intensity of their use. Slings should be checked by a qualified person before each use of the equipment. If they are used frequently and under heavy load, they should be inspected regularly. Periodic inspections should be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's operating instructions. Provisions for the inspection of slings made of different materials have both common elements and some differences due to their specifications. Wire rope slings are tested in three stages: external, tooling and internal. Chain and textile slings only pass the external and tooling stages. As a result of the inspection, if defects and damage are found, the slings cannot be released for use.
Inspection of individual sling types
During the inspection of rope slings, the conformity of the slings to the technical data sheet, the condition of the rope, loops, fasteners and handles is checked. During the external inspection along the entire length of the rope, defects and damage are examined with the naked eye or with a magnifying glass with 10x magnification. Measurements are then taken of any defects found:
- Reduction in rope diameter
- Degree of corrosion or other wear
- Degree of corrugation
In order to be able to reliably assess defects and damage detected during the inspection, especially mechanical damage, the specialists use a special device - a calliper, as well as a micrometer, a standard ruler and a measuring tape. The internal inspection is carried out selectively - in order to be able to assess the current state of the weave, especially the core.
The inspection period for chain slings is standard. During the visual inspection, the markings on the sling and their correspondence to the data sheet are checked. The entire length of the sling is also checked for defects and damage. Measurements are also taken using a universal measuring tool. It is recommended to pay attention to the following parameters: diameter and link length, diameter reduction, signs of wear and deformation.
Fibre slings must be visually inspected in the same way as other types of cargo securing equipment. In particular, the presence of a label with full information must be checked, in accordance with the rules established by law, and the compliance of the slings with the parameters stated on the certificate. Also the seams at the end of the slings and also the entire length must be checked for damage and defects.