Press Release: TT Club Issues New Guidlines on Safe Slinging

20 April 2010

In today's world of containers and roll-on, roll-off cargo, one does not so often come across the need for using slings for moving goods on and off vessels. However, many cargoes in various parts of the world still require individual lifting, and engineering divisions at terminals will continue to use slings in the normal course of their work.

"This is a feature of cargo handling that is often ignored from the safety point of view, yet there are some simple guidelines that can ensure safe cargo handling using slings", says Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club's Risk Management Director.

The new pocket-cards are published jointly by ICHCA International and TT Club, and were derived from a briefing pamphlet on safe slinging published by ICHCA's International Safety Panel as part of its development of a comprehensive cargo handling safety library.

The guidelines explain that all slings, whether made from wire rope, chain, fibre rope and man-made fibres or webbing, are marked with a safe working load (SWL). This refers to the sling being used in a single straight pull, but single slings can also be wrapped around a load in a choke hitch, basket hitch or parallel basket hitch and it is also possible to have two, three or four legged sling assemblies. To determine what the SWL is in each of these slinging applications, a mode factor is applied to the straight pull safe working load.

The guidelines also set out various other principles relating to sling handling: for example, ensuring the sling does not damage the load nor the load the sling, and selecting the correct type of sling. The guidelines indicate what defects should be looked for in a sling, and the criteria by which it should be determined when a damaged sling should be discarded.

"We hope that these pocket-cards will provide a quick and easy reference for all operators using slings to handle cargo, and that they will serve to reduce accidents", commented Storrs-Fox.

The guide comes both in printed form and as a PDF, the latter providing links to related information. The PDF is downloadable from the publications menu on the Home page of the TT Club website at

. It is also possible to request the printed version free of charge however; a contribution to production costs may be required for larger orders. Please follow the instructions on the website for ordering printed copies. The guide is also available from ICHCA International Ltd at


A full archive of all TT Club news releases and photographs is available from the ISIS Communications Press Room at

Staff Author

TT Club