Wire Rope Maintenance

Wire Rope Maintenance Ensures Work Site Safety

As the world leader in power line warning systems, Sigalarm takes safety to the next level. Part of that safety involves properly maintaining machines on the work site. When developing power lines, wire rope serves as an important tool within the process. It is used to lift and equip cranes which then assists workers in lifting other necessary materials. A wire rope consists of hundreds of components that must move and interact in unison in order to bend and support massive weights. Workers must keep this mind when planning their next project. To ensure a successful and timely project, it is beneficial to take safety precautions from the very first step.

Maintaining Wire Rope

Wire rope is a complex piece of mechanical machinery. There are numerous specifications and properties that can affect the performance quality and service life of wire rope. For this reason, it is crucial to properly maintain it. One of the most important maintenance aspects is proper lubrication. Each individual wire rope strand glides within the sheave when in use. Lubrication reduces the amount of friction and enables a smoother surface. Also, the lubrication must seep into the strands rather than linger on the outer surface. Without the proper penetration of the lubricant, the wire rope may not pass its inspection.

Preventing Damage

After long periods of using the ropes, they are subject to abrasion. While the rope is wound up into multiple layers around the drum, crushing and tension may occur. Workers must ensure that they sufficiently tension the drum during installation. As a result, the rope tightens and gains stability when lifting objects. Disregarding this step can lead to crushing and loose tension.

OSHA Wire Rope Inspection Guidelines

According to an OSHA Regulations Fact Sheet, there must be monthly, annual, and per-shift inspections on wire ropes that are in use on equipment. This is to ensure safety on the work-site and to prevent damage or injury. Overall, the goal of inspections is to evaluate the remaining strength of the ropes. Possible signs of wire rope deterioration include:

  • Distortion of the wire rope structure
  • Signs of core failure
  • Corrosion
  • Electric arc damage
  • Improperly applied end connections
  • Steel core protrusion between the outer strands

Shift Inspections

Shift inspections must occur prior to every shift by a competent leader on the job. They are visual inspections that consists of observing wire ropes in order to permit further use. Some deficiencies to consider include the following:

Monthly Inspections

Similarly, monthly inspections include the same criteria as shift inspections. However, any deficiencies found in the observation must be monitored by a qualified person. Once no further corrective action is necessary, workers on the site may continue using the wire ropes.

Annual Inspections

At least every 12 months, all wire ropes in use in equipment must be inspected by a qualified shift inspection leader. Surely, this is a precaution not to miss as it will enhance work site safety for companies. Each inspection should cover the surface of the entire rope length and give special attention to reverse bends and wire rope passing over sheaves. If a deficiency that presents safety hazards is noted during inspection, the use of wire rope is strictly prohibited. Once the leader monitors each deficiency, they must document the inspection.

Safety Year Round

Cranes are a critical tool in the development of power lines. In fact, about 44 people in the U.S. are killed or injured from crane accidents every year! As a frequently used machine, maintaining wire ropes is essential. Sigalarm’s mission is to save lives. Visit our website and contact us today to get a quote!