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CICA spotlights soft slings compliance issues

various multi color soft slings such as red green yellow blue purple violet gray brown of flat webbing sling or polyester belt for lift and move heavy workpiece or etc in industrial

CICA has published its latest safety bulletin, examining soft slings (endless round slings) and potential compliance issues with some products used in the industry.

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Synthetic slings used widely for lifting operations involving cranes, offer several advantages over traditional steel wire or alloy chain slings, including being lighter and less likely to cause damage to sensitive loads.

However, recent testing has shone a spotlight and raised concerns about the variability in quality and safety compliance of synthetic slings supplied by some manufacturers. Slings used in Australia must conform to strict manufacturing standards like AS 4497:2018 for round slings and AS 1353.2-1997 for flat synthetic webbing slings. When domestic or imported slings do not adhere to these same rigorous Australian standards, they potentially compromise quality and safety.
Non-compliance could lead to catastrophic lifting failures, risking damage to property and serious injury to personnel.

Variations in manufacturing processes and quality control can lead to inconsistencies in product performance. This inconsistency might not be apparent until the sling is subjected to stress during lifting operations. NATA-accredited sling manufacturers can provide comprehensive technical support, inspection services, testing data, and quality assurance that non-accredited sling suppliers may lack. When the quality system adheres to the Australian Standards, the materials and supply chain for manufactured slings are more traceable and accountable compared to some imported slings where the origins and material quality may be less certain. Lack of proper labelling, traceability, and documentation can complicate verifying a sling’s capacity and proof load testing. This absence does not comply with Australian Standards and can lead to the misuse or overloading of slings.


Slings made with Australian-approved polyester may have better resistance to degradation from UV light exposure and chemical contact versus unknown imported synthetic fibres. While cost may be a factor, the potential risks of using non-compliant slings that don’t meet Australian standards include higher chances of damage, premature failure, lack of technical support, and unverified material quality – all of which can severely compromise safety when used with cranes. Rigorous adherence to Australian sling manufacturing requirements and standards helps ensure the reliability and safety of soft endless round slings for crane operations.

Transport for NSW, Bullivants, Fulton Hogan, Master Builders NSW and CICA have worked together to produce the updated NSW Rigging and Dogging Guide. Due to be launched at the end of this month, this comprehensive guide provides detailed information and guidance for doggers and riggers performing high-risk dogging and rigging work. It is an excellent resource, and outlines various types of ropes, slings, chains, and accessories, as well as calculating working load limits and assessing load weights.

The Dogging Guide contains a range of helpful and insightful charts on working load limits. A working load limit (WLL) is the maximum you can lift in a straight/direct configuration, and it must never be exceeded. The Working Load Limit and colour code for synthetic round and flat web slings match the Australian and International standards from 1 tonne to 10 tonne or greater. The WLL may be derated (reduced) under certain conditions. This applies to all lifting slings. The sharpness of the load should also be considered as discussed in Bulletin #283. The safety of lifting operations depends crucially on the integrity and reliability of the equipment used.

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