OSHA 1926.251(a)(1): “Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use on each shift and as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe. Defective rigging equipment shall be removed from service.”

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A place for every sling, and every sling in its place. Photo courtesy of Dan Ignasiak

Fabric and cable slings are widely employed in shops to lift and move bundles of barstock in particular, as well as scrap totes, pallets and other equipment when needed. They often carry weights as much as 5 tons, over valuable equipment and in the vicinity of employees.

A failed sling could cause thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage as well as potential injuries or death.

Do you know where your slings and straps are?

Do you know their condition?

Do you have a process to assure compliance?

Documentation, Baby! Documentation!

It doesn’t take a lot to get your shop into compliance for 1926.251.

The key is to:

  1. Be aware of the requirement 
  2. Set up a simple system to track slings 
  3. Execute with training to inspect before use and to inspect monthly

Training Tip: It’s also critical to train your people that slings are not to be used without affixed, legible identification markings, required by paragraph (a)(2)(i) of the OSHA regulation.