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The right choice of lifting points

Slinging loads on and off safely

What is an lifting point?

Anschlagpunkte sind damit ein wichtiger Teil im Anschlagsystem

According to DGUV regulation 109-017, Lifting points are detachable or fixed devices that are attached to the load so that it can be lifted. Lifting points thus belong to the group of slings. Load-bearing devices, load handling devices and slings together form the generic term „Load handling directions“.

Lifting points of Carl Stahl

Load handling devices from Carl Stahl

Must use Lifting points

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, DIN EN ISO 12100:2011-3 Safety of machinery: If the load e.g. a machine or its various components cannot be moved by hand due to its weight, dimensions or shape, the machine or each of its components must be equipped with fastening devices so that they can be taken up by load taking devices or, that they can be equipped with such a fastening device (e.g. threaded holes). Or be shaped in such a way that the usual load-bearing devices can be easily applied.

What are the mounting types for Lifting points?

Lifting points screwable Lifting points weldable Lifting points

There are different variants of lifting points which are mostly screwed- or welded Plug-in lifting points with threaded support bolts are nowadays also a quick and easy solution. The following points must generally be observed during installation:

  • The load must not damage the slings.
  • The sling must not damage the load.
  • The location of an Lifting point must be chosen in such a way that the forces applied can be absorbed by the base material of the load without deformation.
  • The Lifting point must always sit firmly and flat on the screw mounting surface. The tightening torque is therefore decisive for the screw connection and must not be neglected.
  • An important factor in the correct selection of a screwable or pluggable Lifting point is the thread length.
  • The centering hole in the load must be sufficiently filled by the thread of the Lifting point.
  • The screw-in depth depends on the grade of the screw and the base material of the load.
  • Since shear forces act on the thread during the application of force, thread lengths that are too short inevitably lead to thread breakage, which causes the load to tip or slip out. Threads that are too long are also not permitted.
  • Online calculators for the correct screw-in depth can also be of help here.
  • Longer screws are available as inch thread or metric system. Pay attention to your requirements when purchasing.
  • Weldable Lifting points may only be installed by certified welders in accordance with EN 287-1. The installation specifications also differ in the type of welds to be used.
  • Always follow the installation instructions of the Lifting point manufacturer.
  • Likewise, the approval of the manufacturer of the machine on which the Lifting point is to be mounted must be available.

Are there requirements for Lifting points?

Marking and load capacity

Lifting points must be marked. In addition to the manufacturer, the type and the CE mark, the load capacity must also be clearly indicated on the Lifting point. It applies to the most unfavorable case of the load types. Each lifting point can have a preferred load direction due to its design. For this load direction, a higher load capacity may be specified in the operating instructions in deviation from the load capacity for which the lifting point is marked. Lifting points are crack-inspected or inspection-loaded by the manufacturer and must be able to bear the associated load with at least 4 times the safety against breakage in all load directions. Nevertheless, lifting points must not be loaded beyond the load capacity. Bolts with high tensile strengths, highly tempered base bodies and suspension links are reliable characteristics of qualitative lifting points.

Self-made attachment points represent a high safety risk! Avoid at all costs the grossly negligent use of such self-made devices.

Form and function to suit the application

The form and function of the Lifting points must be suitable for the intended use. A special feature are Lifting points for the area of personal protective equipment against falls from a height, which can be recognized by specific characteristics and differ from other lifting points. (e.g. year of manufacture, number of persons carrying instead of load capacity).

Inspecting the Lifting points

Lifting points are considered load suspension devices and must be inspected in accordance with the regulations of the Betriebssicherheitsverordnung (BetrSichV) and DGUV Rule 109-017.

How must loads be attached and who is allowed to attach loads?

The following always applies: The load must be attached strongly enough and safely. The man at the load, the slinger, together with the crane operator, forms a team that carries out load transport with cranes. The behavior of the slinger is important for the safe transport of loads.

How heavy may the load be?

There is no direct requirement in the Machinery Directive to indicate the weight on a rating plate. However, if a machine part must be handled with lifting equipment during use, its weight must be indicated legibly, permanently and unambiguously. For this reason, a weight specification is usually found on the type plate.

There are different loads and not all lifting is done with machines.

The weight of a load is determined from the density (spec. weight) of a material. Before this, it is important to determine the volume of the load. Online weight calculators are available for various basic materials and offer quick help.

But if you can't use an online calculator and don't have a scale handy, you'll have to do the math yourself.

For this purpose, the depth, width and height of the load must be multiplied by the density of the material (spec. weight).

e.g. A load of unalloyed steel: 1000 mm x 1000 mm x 1000mm x 7,9 g = 7.900 kg/m³

What is the symmetrical property of the load?

unsymetrical weight

Symmetry is the property of a geometric structure. If the structure can be mapped congruently after a reflection, it is symmetrical. Loads are often not symmetrical and the mass distribution is variable and lies off-center, sometimes even outside the body. It is therefore important to determine the load center of mass (LSP). However, for fluid-filled loads, the center of gravity varies. The load center of gravity must be geometrically centered below the central lifting point. This means for your sling with a uniform mass distribution:

Equal angles and strand lengths = center of gravity. In the case of an uneven mass distribution, you can achieve the position of the centre of gravity by using a multi-strand and shortenable sling, a weight balancer and/or a variably adjustable load handling device. This prevents the load from tipping over.

What kind of handling is planned?

Lifting points in action

Before you reach for the next best Lifting point, do you need to clarify what handling should be done with the load? Is the load only lifted, or do you want to turn, tilt or turn the load additionally? There are also special restraint points to keep loads safely on loading areas. These are called lashing points and have lashing force specifications instead of load-bearing capacity specifications. There is a suitable lifting point for every application.

Once the question of load handling has been clarified, you still need to determine whether you want to use a rotatable and/or foldable Lifting point for the operation. In doing so, ask yourself which side of the Lifting point is loaded. Rotatable Lifting points, for example, can be adjusted in the direction of load. Other variants without a rotation function can only be loaded in the folding direction in places.

We would be happy to advise you on the optimal application:

Get expert advice on Lifting points

Are jerk-free movements required when lifting?

Simply mounted lifting points align themselves in the direction of force when lifting. It happens, that this alignment does not run smoothly under load, the suspension link of the Lifting point clings and thus the accumulated tensions are discharged abruptly. This dangerous transverse load and the sudden sagging of the load lead to dynamic vibrations in the load-bearing, slinging and load handling equipment and, in the worst case, can lead to structural overloading of all components. A safe lifting process without the risk of clamping can only be achieved without jerking if the lifting points you have chosen are ideally equipped with a spring mechanism or a ball bearing.

Ball bearing lifting points offer another relevant safety benefit and prevent unintentional release from the load. Double ball-bearing variants recommend them, especially for large dimensions, and make it easier for you to use.

How long is the lifting point connected to the load?

You should also always ask yourself how long the lifting point should be connected to the load? Fast and economical handling during the assembly and disassembly of screwable or pluggable, but temporarily detachable connections makes your everyday life easier. However, there are also applications where the lifting point must be permanently screwed together.

Make sure that you use a suitable tool and always use the original and inspected screws, washers and locking nuts from the manufacturer. Annoying obstacles on the load, between the Lifting point and the load hook, can nowadays be overcome by spacers as extensions.

Tool-free Lifting points with captive screws should already be part of your standard equipment today. Outdated designs of eyebolts and ring nuts according to DIN 580 or DIN 582 have no alignment in the direction of force and should only be used primarily for permanent attachment to components such as motors, control cabinets, gearboxes, etc. for their transport.

At high loads, the number of screws at the lifting point also increases in order to optimally distribute the force of the Lifting point into the load. Weldable Lifting points such as load and ring blocks, universal connections and attachment hooks, are intended for inseparable connections.

Which connection should the lifting point have?

Now you should make sure that the connection of the lifting point and the sling fit together. Lifting points have various connection variants. loops, hangers, rings, eyelets, or shackles; but hooks or even chain connections and textile slings are also possible. Basically, this decision depends on the choice of your sling. Slings made of wire, chain, textile or rope have a wide variety of end designs and the size of the load connection (hook size) ultimately determines the connection at the lifting point.

Do lifting points need to be checked?

The following principle applies: lifting points must be in a safe working condition. Lifting points must be inspected regularly before use, e.g. by the slinger. After the installation work and at least once a year by an expert, to be inspected and documented.

During the inspection, focus on the correct screw fit, severe corrosion, cracking of the weld, fractures, deformations, completeness of all parts and components, malfunction of safety devices (nuts and bolts), signs of unacceptable heat effects and excessive wear.

Cross-sectional changes >10% or heavy wear on the bearing can be recognized by existing closing lenses. These are usually located on the suspension link and base body.

In principle, the following applies to the expert and also to the striker; if there are doubts as to the safe condition of the work, the lifting point must be withdrawn from use and, if defects are found, the readiness for discarding must be declared.

In order for lifting points to be used for as long as possible, they must be used and stored properly. Protect your lifting points from the weather and aggressive substances. In doing so, they must not be able to tip over, fall or slide off.

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