OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

April 11, 1988

Mr. Bo Collier
Sales and Marketing Director
Certified Slings, Inc.
P.O. Box 127
Casselberry, Florida 32707-0127

Dear Mr. Collier:

This is in response to your letter of January 26, 1988, concerning the rated capacity of alloy steel chain slings and confirms your telephone conversation with Mr. Bode of my staff.

As you are aware, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard at 29 CFR 1910.184(e), copy enclosed, incorporates the rated capacity of alloy steel chain specified by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) at ASTM A391-65. The working load values listed in table N-184-1 are applicable to alloy steel chain slings manufactured from material specified by the ASTM A391-65 standard only.

The ASTM revised A391 in 1986 and now describe a new variant of alloy steel chain in ASTM A391-86. 29 CFR 1910.184(e)(5) specifies that alloy steel chain slings not included in the table N-184-1 shall be used only in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Therefore, the OSHA standard continues to be applicable to the new alloy.

Manufacturers are cautioned to observe footnote B, table 2, of the ASTM A391-86 standard, copy enclosed. The A391 committee recommends a working load not to exceed one fourth of the specified breaking force (minimum) value. Therefore, in the absence of manufacturer's recommendations, OSHA would use this criteria for evaluating compliance when new slings are observed.

Thank you for bringing this information to our attention. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs