One of the pre-requisites for the safe use of rigging equipment is that the wire rope should be inspected regularly before use. The inspection of these ropes should be thorough and must be conducted by a professional. A professional in this case can be the supervisor in charge of the rigging or somebody specially qualified in the inspection of rigging equipment.
Let’s take a look at 3 important factors that mustn’t be ignored while inspecting a wire rope:
Look at the rope very closely. Check for visible broken wires and if you find some, and you think that they will impact its safe use in an application, replace the wire rope. Of course, a wire rope shouldn’t be replaced every time you see a broken wire. If the person in charge thinks that the broken wires aren’t going to affect the safety of the rigging process, you can go ahead and use the rope.
A corroded wire rope is dangerous, as its fatigue resistance has gone down. This is why its importance to lubricate your wire rope regularly to decrease instances of corrosion. Something else that you need to watch out for, during inspection is wear and tear. If a particular part of the wire rope has experienced a lot of wear and tear, it is time that the damage is rectified if possible; if the damage is considerable, it’s time to replace the wire rope. Another important factor is ‘kinking’; this happens when the wire rope is bent sharply. In this case, the damage sustained is permanent and you will need to discard the rope and go for another one.
What the wire rope faces during application is a lot of external pressure. This can lead to the crushing, abrasion or flattening of some part of the rope. Any distortion of the rope has detrimental impact on the safety of the rope. Through the course of your inspection, if you find that certain portions of the rope have been distorted, the rope should be removed from service immediately. These portions have a tendency to break when they cannot withstand the tremendous external pressure exerted on them. In such cases, there is a good chance that the rope will break in the midst of a task, putting the lives of everyone around in jeopardy. This is why using a new wire rope is a must.
Inspect the wire rope every time before its use. It’s important that you do so, because you never know whether the last job has led to the irrevocable wear and tear of the rope. Any laxity in inspection and you might have a tragedy on your hands. What’s more, it doesn’t really take a lot of time to inspect the wire rope before use. Making inspection an integral part of the rigging process will ensure that the use of rigging equipment meets the highest standards of safety and efficiency. This will allow you to get the best returns on investment.