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General Guidance for safe use of Lifting Shackles

This information is of a general nature only covering the main points on the safe use of lifting shackles. It may be necessary to supplement this information for specific applications.

Lifting Shackles – Dos and Don’ts


  • Store and Handle lifting shackles correctly
  • Inspect shackles before use and before placing them into storage
  • Select the correct pattern of shackle and pin for the application
  • Fully tighten the pin
  • Ensure the load acts through the centre line of the shackle using spacers if necessary.


x     Use shackles with bent pins or deformed bodies.

x     Eccentrically load shackles.

x     Force, hammer or wedge shackles into position.

x     Replace pin with a bolt.

x     Fit pins in contact with moving parts which may loosen or unscrew them.

x     Shock load shackles.

Choosing the Right Shackle

12mm 1.5 Ton Safety Pin Dee Shackle
12mm 1.5 Ton Safety Pin Dee Shackle
Self-colour SWL 0.45 Ton Large Bow Shackle
Self-colour SWL 0.45 Ton Large Bow Shackle

Shackles are available in a range of material grades, sizes and designs. Select the shackle to be used and plan the lift taking the following into account:

  • Type of shackle to be used – Dee or Bow, British standard or other design.
  • Type of pin – screwed with collar and eye are suitable for general purposes; with countersunk head where clearance is limited; bolt and nut for where the pin may be out of sight or subject to movement.
  • Full resultant imposed load – when using shackles with multi-leg slings remember that as the included angle increases so does the load in the leg and any attachments to the leg. When used to suspend pulley blocks, account must be taken of the imposed load due to operating effort.


If you require more information in regards to lifting shackles, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0845 602 1100 or email us – Our advice is completely free.


Blog Written by Dale Woods