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7-6 | Best Practices for Maintaining Synthetic Rope Slings

Maintaining a synthetic rope sling during and in between uses is the best way to help extend the life of it and help to ensure that it stays in service. Inspections are easier to perform—and probably more thorough—when slings are easily accessible and organized, kept off of the ground, and stored in a cool and dry environment.

Hang up your slings or keep them in a designated locker or rigging box where they are off of the ground and will not be subjected to mechanical damage, corrosion, chemical or ultraviolet exposure, or extreme temperatures.

Synthetic Rope Slings Maintenance


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Polyester and nylon rope slings shall not be used in contact with objects or at temperatures above 194°F (90°C) or below –40°F (–40°C).

Chemically Active Environments

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The strength of synthetic rope slings may be degraded by chemically active environments. This includes exposure to chemicals in the form of solids, liquids, gases, vapors, or fumes. The sling manufacturer or a Qualified Person should be consulted before slings are used in chemically active environments.

When slings or their fittings are to be exposed to acidic or alkaline fumes, vapors, sprays, mists, or liquids, the sling manufacturer or a Qualified Person should be consulted.

Polyester and nylon materials have different chemical resistance properties. Please refer to the chart for guidelines on polyester or nylon material in specific chemically-active environments.

Synthetic Sling Inspection Chemically Active Chart

Sunlight and Ultraviolet Light

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The strength of synthetic rope slings is degraded by exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light. The sling manufacturer or a Qualified Person should be consulted for additional retirement or inspection requirements.

Edge and Cut Protection

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Slings in contact with edges, corners, or protrusions, should be protected with a material of sufficient strength, thickness, and construction to prevent damage.

Edge protection and cut protection should be used on all edges and corners—even the ones that aren’t load-bearing surfaces.

Keep Your Slings Clean

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Continual exposure to dust, dirt, and moisture can degrade the materials and cause corrosion—shortening the life expectancy of the product. Wipe grease or oil off of your slings and try to keep them clean of dirt, grit, chemicals, or other particulates which can break down the material over time.

Slings exposed to salt water should be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water to prevent mechanical damage from salt crystals when the rope dries.

Avoid Misuse and Abuse

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Use rigging best practices when lifting a load with synthetic rope slings. Avoid the following before, during, and after an overhead lift to prevent damage to the sling:

  • Avoid shock loading
  • Slings shall not be shortened or lengthened by knotting or twisting
  • Loads should not be rested on the sling
  • Slings should not be pulled from under a load if a load is resting on a sling
  • Avoid twisting and kinking
  • Do not drag the slings across the floor or over an abrasive surface
  • Slings should not be constricted, bunched, or pinched by the load, hook, or any other fitting
Lesson tags: synthetic rope sling best practices