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Mike Parnell Oct 26, 2010 8:44:00 AM 1 min read

Shackle Use & Inspection: 12 Best Practices

These are some of the key safety highlights we recommend that our clients keep in mind during there day-to-day rigging operations.


  1. When attaching a shackle to a load or a sling as a lifting member tighten the pin securely in place and employ any means necessary to β€œmouse” the pin to prevent it from backing out.
  2. Check the shackle pin (nut/ cotter pin if that style), ears and bail for deformation, cracks or metal loss prior to each lift.
  3. Avoid sudden acceleration, deceleration or shock loading to any rigging equipment.
  4. Never weld on to a shackle body or pin.
  5. Never substitute a shackle pin with anything other than the exact replacement pin from the manufacturer.
  6. Always position the shackle in such a manner so it is being pulled bail to pin, not side-to-side.
  7. Never force too small a shackle onto a hook.
  8. Never allow the pin to be in contact with a β€œrunning” portion of a sling body, as the pin may be unscrewed.
  9. Never load shackles beyond their Safe Work Load Limit.
  10.  Check with the manufacturer as to chemical affects on shackles when using caustic or acidic environments. Remove shackle from service for chemical pitting on pin body.
  11. Check with the manufacturer as to top-end heat range and subsequent loss of rated capacity if involved in high temperature work environment of 600+ degrees F.
  12.  Remove any Shackle from service if SWL marking is not legible.

UPDATE - As of 2006, ASME B30.26- Rigging hardware states that the manufacturer shall be consulted if the shackles are used below -40 degrees Fahrenheit and about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (See number 11)  

Happy Rigging,

Mike Parnell

This is an article from The Professional Rigger newsletter, 1989.