When Should You Retire Your Wire Ropes
Without a doubt, rigging gear is put up to the most stringent conditions of wear and tear. Because of the nature of wire ropes and rigging supplies (nylon sling), they are not meant to last forever. With proper use and care, you can greatly extend your products' life, but they will not last forever. As an owner or manager, it is your direct responsibility to ensure that the highest quality stainless steel wire ropes and nylon slings are used and that at the first sign of distress or breaking, the ropes and gear are replaced.
In most cases, rigging trouble is the result of a failure to maintain and retire gear. When warning signs are ignored, it can lead to a catastrophic failure. In worst-case situations, employees can be badly hurt and even killed. What should you do when your rigging supplies no longer meet the highest standards of safety and performance? OSHA has clear guidelines for what to do with broken and worn stainless steel wire ropes, but below, we want to highlight some of the most important information.
Dispose of your wire ropes if you notice any of the below issues or signs:
- Broken wires/strands
- Severe corrosion
- Wear and tear
- Distortion or bird caging
- Damaged end fittings
- A reduction in a wire that is greater than 1/3 the diameter of the outer wire