• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Marine Terminals
  • Subpart:
    1917 Subpart C
  • Subpart Title:
    Cargo Handling Gear and Equipment
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Miscellaneous auxiliary gear.
  • GPO Source:

Routine inspection.

At the completion of each use, loose gear such as slings, chains, bridles, blocks and hooks shall be so placed as to avoid damage to the gear. Loose gear shall be inspected and any defects corrected before reuse.
All loose gear shall be inspected by the employer or his authorized representative before each use and, when necessary, at intervals during its use, to ensure that it is safe. Any gear which is found upon such inspection to be visibly unsafe shall not be used until it is made safe.

Defective gear shall not be used. Distorted hooks, shackles or similar gear shall be discarded.


Wire rope and wire rope slings.

The employer shall ascertain and adhere to the manufacturer's recommended ratings for wire rope and wire rope slings and shall have such ratings available for inspection. When the manufacturer is unable to supply such ratings, the employer shall use the tables for wire rope and wire rope slings found in American National Safety Standard for Slings, ANSI B30.9-1971. A design safety factor of at least five shall be maintained for the common sizes of running wire used as falls, in purchases or in such uses as light load slings. Wire rope with a safety factor of less than five may be used only:

In specialized equipment, such as but not limited to cranes, designed to be used with lesser wire rope safety factors;


In accordance with design factors in standing rigging applications; or

For heavy lifts or other purposes for which a safety factor of five is impracticable and for which the employer can demonstrate that equivalent safety is ensured.
Wire rope or wire rope slings having any of the following conditions shall not be used:
Ten randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay or three or more broken wires in one strand in one rope lay;
Kinking, crushing, bird caging or other damage resulting in distortion of the wire rope structure;
Evidence of heat damage;
Excessive wear or corrosion, deformation or other defect in the wire or attachments, including cracks in attachments;
Any indication of strand or wire slippage in end attachments; or
More than one broken wire in the close vicinity of a socket or swaged fitting.
Protruding ends of strands in splices on slings and bridles shall be covered or blunted. Coverings shall be removable so that splices can be examined. Means used to cover or blunt ends shall not damage the wire.

Where wire rope clips are used to form eyes, the employer shall adhere to the manufacturers' recommendations, which shall be made available for inspection. If “U” bolt clips are used and the manufacturers' recommendations are not available, Table C-1 shall be used to determine the number and spacing of the clips. “U” bolts shall be applied with the “U” section in contact with the dead end of the rope.

Table C-1 - Number and Spacing of U-Bolt Wire Rope Clips

Improved plow steel, rope diameter (inches/(cm)) Minimum number of clips Minimum
spacing (inches/(cm))
Drop forged Other
1⁄2 or less (1.3) 3 4 3 (7.6)
5⁄8 (1.6) 3 4 3 3⁄4 (9.5)
3⁄4 (1.9) 4 5 4 1⁄2 (11.4)
7⁄8 (2.2) 4 5 5 1⁄4 (13.3)
1 (2.5) 5 7 6 (15.2)
1 1⁄8 (2.9) 6 7 6 3⁄4 (17.1)
1 1⁄4 (3.2) 6 8 7 1⁄2 (19.1)
1 3⁄8 (3.5) 7 8 8 1⁄4 (21.0)
1 1⁄2 (3.8) 7 9 9 (22.9)
Wire rope shall not be secured by knots.
Eyes in wire rope bridles, slings, bull wires, or in single parts used for hoisting shall not be formed by wire rope clips or knots.

Eye splices in wire ropes shall have at least three tucks with a whole strand of the rope and two tucks with one-half of the wire cut from each strand. Other forms of splices or connections which are shown to be equivalently safe may be used.

Except for eye splices in the ends of wires and for endless rope slings, each wire rope used in hoisting or lowering, or in bulling cargo, shall consist of one continuous piece without knot or splice.
Natural fiber rope.
The employer shall ascertain the manufacturers' ratings for the specific natural fiber rope used and have such ratings available for inspection. The manufacturers' ratings shall be adhered to and a minimum design safety factor of five maintained.

Eye splices shall consist of at least three full tucks. Short splices shall consist of at least six full tucks, three on each side of the center line.

Synthetic rope.
The employer shall adhere to the manufacturers' ratings and use recommendations for the specific synthetic fiber rope used and shall make such ratings available for inspection.

Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer, when synthetic fiber ropes are substituted for fiber ropes of less than three inches (7.62 cm) in circumference, the substitute shall be of equal size. Where substituted for fiber rope of three inches or more in circumference, the size of the synthetic rope shall be determined from the formula:

the required circumference of the synthetic rope in inches formula

Where C = the required circumference of the synthetic rope in inches, Cs= the circumference to the nearest one-quarter inch of a synthetic rope having a breaking strength not less than that of the size fiber rope that is required by paragraph (c) of this section and Cm= the circumference of the fiber rope in inches that is required by paragraph (c) of this section.


In making such substitution, it shall be ascertained that the inherent characteristics of the synthetic fiber are suitable for hoisting.


Removal of natural and synthetic rope from service. Natural and synthetic rope having any of the following defects shall be removed from service:

Abnormal wear;
Powdered fiber between strands;
Sufficient cut or broken fibers to affect the capability of the rope;
Variations in the size or roundness of strands;
Discolorations other than stains not associated with rope damage;
Rotting; or
Distortion or other damage to attached hardware.
Thimbles. Properly fitting thimbles shall be used where any rope is secured permanently to a ring, shackle or attachment, where practicable.
Synthetic web slings.

Slings and nets or other combinations of more than one piece of synthetic webbing assembled and used as a single unit (synthetic web slings) shall not be used to hoist loads in excess of the sling's rated capacity.

Synthetic web slings shall be removed from service if they exhibit any of the following defects:
Acid or caustic burns;
Melting or charring of any part of the sling surface;
Snags, punctures, tears or cuts;
Broken or worn stitches; or
Distortion or damage to fittings.
Display of visible warning threads or markers designed to indicate excessive wear or damage.

Defective synthetic web slings removed from service shall not be returned to service unless repaired by a sling manufacturer or similar entity. Each repaired sling shall be proof tested by the repairer to twice the slings' rated capacity prior to its return to service. The employer shall retain a certificate of the proof test and make it available for examination.


Synthetic web slings provided by the employer shall only be used in accordance with the manufacturer's use recommendations, which shall be available.

Fittings shall have a breaking strength at least equal to that of the sling to which they are attached and shall be free of sharp edges.
Chains and chain slings used for hoisting.

The employer shall adhere to the manufacturer's recommended ratings for safe working loads for the sizes of wrought iron and alloy steel chains and chain slings used and shall have such ratings available. When the manufacturer is unable to provide such ratings, the employer shall use the tables for chains and chain slings found in American National Safety Standard for Slings, ANSI B30.9-1971.

Proof coil steel chain, also known as common or hardware chain, and other chain not recommended by the manufacturer for slinging or hoisting shall not be used for slinging or hoisting.

Sling chains, including end fastenings, shall be inspected for visible defects before each day's use and as often as necessary during use to ensure integrity of the sling.


Thorough inspections of chains in use shall be made quarterly to detect wear, defective welds, deformation or increase in length or stretch. The month of inspection shall be indicated on each chain by color of paint on a link or by other equally effective means.


Chains shall be removed from service when maximum allowable wear, as indicated in Table C-2, is reached at any point of link.

Chain slings shall be removed from service when stretch has increased the length of a measured section by more than five percent; when a link is bent, twisted or otherwise damaged; or when a link has a raised scarf or defective weld.

Only designated persons shall inspect chains used for slinging and hoisting.

Table C-2 - Maximum Allowable Wear at Any Point of Link

Chain size Maximum allowable wear
Inches (cm) Inches (cm)
1/4(9/32) (0.6) 3/64 (0.1)
3/8 (1.0) 5/64 (0.2)
1/2 (1.3) 7/64 (0.3)
5/8 (1.6) 9/64 (0.4)
3/4 (1.9) 5/32 (0.4)
7/8 (2.2) 11/64 (0.4)
1 (2.5) 3/16 (0.5)
1 1/8 (2.9) 7/32 (0.6)
1 1/4 (3.2) 1/4 (0.6)
1 3/8 (3.5) 9/32 (0.7)
1 1/2 (3.8) 5/16 (0.8)
1 3/4 (4.4) 11/32 (0.9)

Chains shall be repaired only under qualified supervision. Links or portions of chain defective under any of the criteria of paragraph (h)(3)(iii) of this section shall be replaced with properly dimensioned links or connections of material similar to those of the original chain. Before repaired chains are returned to service, they shall be tested to the proof load recommended by the manufacturer of the original chain. Tests shall be performed by the manufacturer or shall be certified by an agency accredited for the purpose under part 1919 of this chapter. Test certificates shall be available for inspection.


Wrought iron chains in constant use shall be annealed or normalized at intervals not exceeding six months. Heat treatment certificates shall be available for inspection. Alloy chains shall not be annealed.

Kinked or knotted chains shall not be used for lifting. Chains shall not be shortened by bolting, wiring or knotting. Makeshift links or fasteners such as wire, bolts or rods shall not be used.
Hooks, rings, links and attachments affixed to sling chains shall have rated capacities at least equal to that of the chains to which they are attached.
Chain slings shall bear identification of size, grade and rated capacity.
If available, the manufacturer's recommended safe working loads for shackles shall not be exceeded. In the absence of manufacturer's recommendations, Table C-3 shall apply.

Screw pin shackles used aloft in house fall or other gear, except in cargo hook assemblies, shall have their pins moused or otherwise effectively secured.

Table C-3 - Safe Working Loads for Shackles

Material size Pin diameter Safe working load in 2,000 lb tons
Inches (cm) Inches (cm)
½ (1.3) 5/8 (1.6) 1.4
5/8 (1.6) 3/4 (1.9) 2.2
3/4 (1.9) 7/8 (2.2) 3.2
7/8 (2.2) 1 (2.5) 4.3
1 (2.5) 1 1/8 (2.9) 5.6
1 1/8 (2.9) 1 1/4 (3.2) 6.7
1 1/4 (3.2) 1 3/8 (3.5) 8.2
1 3/8 (3.5) (3.8) 10.0
1 ½ (3.8) 1 5/8 (4.1) 11.9
1 3/4 (4.4) 2 (5.1) 16.2
2 (5.1) 2 1/4 (5.7) 21.2
Hooks other than hand hooks.

The manufacturers' recommended safe working loads for hooks shall not be exceeded. Hooks other than hand hooks shall be tested in accordance with § 1917.50(c)(6).


Bent or sprung hooks shall be discarded.

Teeth of case hooks shall be maintained in safe condition.

Jaws of patent clamp-type plate hooks shall be maintained in condition to grip plates securely.

Loads shall be applied to the throat of the hook only.
Pallets shall be made and maintained to safely support and carry loads being handled. Fastenings of reusable pallets used for hoisting shall be bolts and nuts, drive screws (helically threaded nails), annular threaded nails or fastenings of equivalent holding strength.

Damaged pallets shall be stored in designated areas and identified.

Reusable wing or lip-type pallets shall be hoisted by bar bridles or other suitable gear and shall have an overhanging wing or lip of at least three inches (7.62cm). They shall not be hoisted by wire slings alone.

Loaded pallets that do not meet the requirements of this paragraph shall be hoisted only after being placed on pallets meeting such requirements or shall be handled by other means providing equivalent safety.

Bridles for handling flush end or box-type pallets shall be designed to prevent disengagement from the pallet under load.
Pallets shall be stacked or placed to prevent falling, collapsing or otherwise causing a hazard under standard operating conditions.
Disposable pallets intended only for one use shall not be reused for hoisting.

[48 FR 30909, July 5, 1983; 62 FR 40141, July 25, 1997; 65 FR 40938, June 30, 2000]