OSHA Issues Guidance on Sling Selection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance recently that will help employers select and use the appropriate slings when handling and moving materials.

"OSHA's current general industry standard is more than 30 years old," said Edwin Foulke Jr., assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "This guidance document will aid users in the safe selection and use of slings, including synthetic round slings, which are not covered in OSHA's standard, as well as the newer grades of materials being used in alloy steel chain and wire rope slings."

OSHA adopted its general industry sling standard in 1975, based on ANSI B30.9-1971 Slings standard. OSHA has since made only minor corrections. OSHA issued its construction industry sling standard in 1979 and its sling standard for shipyards in 1982. Improper selection or use of slings can result in sling failure or load slippage, which in turn can lead to injuries or death. OSHA accident data for the years 1994 through 1996 show that there were four fatalities in general industry involving the misuse or failure of slings.

To read the full document, Guidance on Safe Sling Use, visit http://www.osha.gov/dsg/guidance/slings/sources.html.