When to Remove Wire Ropes from Service

Wire ropes are strong and durable, which make them ideal for many industrial and commercial applications. As a result of the application, environment, and length of use, ropes begin to deteriorate and breakdown. It is the sole responsibility of the wire rope operator to care for, inspect, and properly use ropes.

There are specific guidelines to follow to determine the suitability of continued use. Strict standards should be adhered to when doing inspections. Although inspections take time, they greatly minimize potential damages and hazards.

Both OSHA and the ASME think it is a good idea to inspect ropes at different intervals. They also say that only authorized professionals should be allowed to conduct the inspection.

Proper inspections should follow systemic procedures. Follow these guidelines below:

  1. All parts of the sling should be visible. Lay the sling out, so every piece is accessible
  2. Clean dirt and debris from wires to make visual inspections easier. Wire brushes and rags are commonly used for cleaning
  3. Give the rope a thorough, systematic examination over its entire length. While doing this, pay close attention to sections that show the most wear.
  4. Be mindful of end attachments and fittings, as well as areas of the sling that are adjacent to the fittings.
  5. Make sure to label and identify slings that are inspected
  6. If a rope is rejected, dispose of it immediately.

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