Who Should Inspect Wire Ropes And When?

A few weeks ago, I talked with one of my friends. He mentioned wire ropes to me and asked me if I was familiar with them and if I perhaps knew anything about them. He wanted to find out who should inspect wire ropes and when.

Training personnel should only do inspections on wire ropes and lifting equipment. The end-user should inspect the wire ropes visually before the start of every shift and every workday; you need to keep records of the inspections that are done daily. Professionals should also inspect them quarterly.

I started my research on wire ropes and the safety around them, who should implement the procedure regarding their safety, and who should be doing the inspections. I found out with the help of experts through my research that only a trained safety officer can be held responsible for the inspection, and it is their responsibility to do the inspection on the wire ropes daily.

Who Should Inspect Wire Ropes And When?

Only a trained safety officer can inspect wire ropes. The inspection of the safety of the wire ropes should be done on a daily basis, and it should be a visual inspection that happens before every use of the wire ropes and should also be done every workday.

The end-user should also inspect the wire rope when it is installed to ensure that the installation was safely and properly done according to the safety regulations. There should also be records of these inspections when they are done. Wire ropes should also be inspected by professionals every quarter.

How Should You Visually Inspect Wire Ropes?

In my research, experts mention a rag and visual method; they explain the following on this method. Grab lightly on the rope and with a rag or with a soft cotton cloth, and move the rag or cloth slowly and gently along the wire of the rope.

If the cloth or rag catches, stop and closely and visually inspect the rope to see why the rag or cloth catches on the rope.

Measure the rope diameter and compare the current measurement to the original measurement of the wire rope. If the current measurement is different from the original, the change in the measurement or diameter can indicate wear and internal or external damage to the wire rope.

Inspect visually for any abrasions or corrosion on the wire rope and check for traces of lubrication inside the rope. The inspection can be done by inserting a marlinspike beneath two strands of the rope and then rotating to lift the strands, and then effectively opening the rope to do a safety check.

Why Are Wire Ropes Being Used?

Wire ropes are being used as slings for their strength, durability, abrasion resistance, and the ability of wire ropes to hold and lift hot materials in and around the workplace. Wire ropes are made from different rope lays, and the lay of a wire rope describes the direction that the wires and strands were twisted during the rope construction.

Wire ropes are made and tested according to the guidelines supplied by the health and safety administration and quality standards. When grades of wire ropes are being used, you have to use them according to the information supplied on the tag of the wire rope; the information stipulates the requirements,  the recommendation, and the guidelines of the manufacturer.

How Does A Wire Rope Break And What Causes It To Break?

Wear on wire ropes is caused on areas of the rope that make contact with hoist sheaves and drums. It can also be caused by corrosion or by a lack of lubrication. Exposure to heat can also cause damage to the wire rope.

Fatigue from repeated bending or abuse, even under normal working conditions, can cause damage to the wire rope and breakage. Overloading of the rope or any mechanical abuse of the rope can also cause weakness that will lead to the rope breaking.

When it is cold, and there is freezing weather, and the rope is used, it can be harmful to the rope. If the temperatures are lower than the specified degrees and the rope is used to perform work, it could lead to the rope breaking. The wire rope must only be used by following the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions.

If the rope wire is not properly installed, it can cause a kink in the rope and can lead to a weakness being created in the rope, which makes the rope weaker, and this can cause the rope to break. It is also not advisable or recommended to make any knots to the rope to make it shorter; this can again create weakness in the rope and, as a result, cause breakage of the rope.

A kink or a knot cannot be removed without causing further damage or a weak spot on the rope that can make the rope unsafe and prone to breakage. It is advised to replace a kinked or knotted wire rope.

When Is A Wire Rope No Longer Safe According To Inspection?

The condition of the rope must be assessed and inspected daily. If any conditions that can cause the wire rope to break are found on the wire rope, it must be removed from being used and replaced or discarded.

Excessive stretch or a sharp reduction in the measurement of the rope can cause the rope to be too long and unsafe, and it must then be removed and discarded. Knots and kinks are not allowed in the rope as it is unsafe, and the rope must be discarded.

If the wire rope’s identification tag is missing or no longer visible and information stating the wire rope’s capabilities, it must be discarded. The manufacturer information must be on the tag clearly stating the workload of the rope as well as the size and diameter of the rope.

Heat damage can be harmful to the wire rope, and if there are any visible burn marks on the rope, it is regarded as unsafe and be removed from being used and discarded.


It is evident from the contents of this post that trained personnel should inspect wire ropes before any lifting operations take place on a daily basis; this should be done visually and recorded on a checklist.

An inspection should be done by a professional quarterly, and this is normally done by a person that is not employed by the organization. This is done to ensure that all lifting equipment remains in a safe and serviceable state.


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