To ensure safety during lifting it is crucial that you choose the correct type of sling for the job. There is such a variety of options available on the market that it can be difficult to know if you have the most suitable sling for your lift. Each type of sling has its own benefits but these won’t be suitable for all types of lifting, so it’s important that you are using the right one for your type of lift. Below we have put together a list of factors you should consider in order to select the right sling.

Factors To Consider When Selecting A Sling

Load + Working Load Limit

Although this seems like an obvious consideration it’s worth mentioning, as oversight of this could be costly in a number of ways. The type of load you are lifting is also important to consider because protecting your lifting equipment from damage is just as valuable as protecting the load you are lifting. It’s necessary you ensure that your chosen sling has the suitable Working Load Limit (WLL) in the intended configuration to lift the load. To check this refer to the relevant WLL charts or Australian Standard. Round and flat slings from Elevate have the WLL clearly marked on each of them to make differentiating them easy. If you’re ever unsure, please get in touch with an expert at Elevate for assistance.

Frequency of Use

The longevity of a sling will depend on how frequently it is used and in what way the sling is used. The type of sling will also play a factor in this. A chain sling typically offers a longer life compared to a wire rope sling, but only if they are utilised correctly and receive routine maintenance. This is important to consider as it will determine whether you want a more long-wearing sling or something more cost-effective. Regardless of durability or cost-effectiveness, you still need to check that the sling has the correct WLL for your load.


This is the space between the load and the crane hook. Where headroom is limited, consider:

  • Making use of shorter slings
  • Shortening chain slings lengths
  • Increasing the included angle of multiple slings
  • Utilising double part grommets
  • Operating a lifting beam
  • If using a wire rope sling, there is a minimum length allowance in AS 1666 for slings that use mechanically swaged eyes.

Slinging Method

Chain slings and wire ropes are the most suitable in situations where slings are being shackled to the lifting points in a multi-leg application. Synthetic webbing and round slings are generally the most efficient in situations when choking of the load is necessary, though in specific applications wherever abrasive surfaces are common or in log hauling, Grade 80 and Grade 100 chain slings are far more appropriate. Where the shortening of sling legs is called for in multi-leg applications, Grade 80 and Grade 100 chain slings with shortening or grab hooks will be the most suitable option. If in doubt, ensure you refer to the appropriate WLL chart, Australian Standards or qualified professional, such as those at Elevate Lifting.


Make sure you consider the environment that your sling will be operating, such as the temperature, chemicals or elements like water or dirt. Although chain slings might be considered more long-wearing and durable, synthetic slings have particular advantages in some applications that are chemically hazardous. If you’re using a wire rope sling in an environment that’s corrosive, the use of ferrule secured flemish eyes should be evaluated, aluminium ferrules are unsuitable in some mining areas or alumina refineries. In situations where alkalis and acids are prevalent, it would be beneficial to use webbing slings. If operating your sling in or around temperatures above 200°C Grade 80 chain slings will be affected. Wire rope slings being utilised close to heat should be manufactured with steel core in the wire rope.


Slings should always be utilised in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and Australian Standards. Incorrect usage of a sling could result in a dangerous situation that could result in damage to property, severe injury or death.

If the included angle of multiple leg sling assemblies is increased it derates the sling. Therefore, higher capacity slings will be required. Never use a sling with an included angle in excess of 120 degrees.

It’s recommended you store all of your slings vertically so that their length and condition can be easily inspected. When stored this way it is also less likely that water, corrosion or mechanical damage will occur, plus the WLL of each sling can be clearly determined.

If you’re ever uncertain or have any questions concerning your slings or lifting equipment, never guess, always ask a trained professional. Contact the experts at Elevate Lifting on 1300 437 842 or email