Federal Work Rules Require Specific Inspection Intervals
Government regulations are specific on when to inspect. Both ASME Standard B30.9 and OSHA require that wire rope slings receive two types of inspections: a daily visual inspection, and additional inspections where service conditions warrant.
Daily visual inspections are intended to detect serious damage or deterioration which would weaken the sling. This inspection is usually performed by the person using the sling in a day-to-day job. The user should look for obvious things, such as broken wires, kinks, crushing, broken attachments, severe corrosion, etc.
Additional inspections should be performed at regular intervals based on, (1) frequency of sling use, (2) severity of service conditions. (3) nature of lifts and (4) prior experience based on service life of slings used in similar circumstances.
It is required that these additional inspections be carried out by a designated person who must have good knowledge of wire rope. An accurately written and dated record of all conditions observed shall be maintained. Any deterioration of the sling which could result in appreciable loss of original strength should be carefully noted and determination made on whether further use would constitute a safety hazard.
WRTB Technical Bulletin: Guidelines on Strand Clearance in the Eyes of Wire Rope Slings
When an eye is formed in a sling, the rope is formed into a relatively sharp bend to form the eye. This bend increases the clearance between the strands on the outside of the eye and, in some cases, this clearance accumulates between two strands. This is not a reason for concern in a new sling, and the sling is acceptable for use.
During the initial and subsequent loadings, this clearance between strands, and position of the strands in the eye of the sling, may change. The condition of all slings must be evaluated in accordance with ASME B30.9, or other applicable standards or regulations, in order to determine the suitability for continued use.
How to Inspect
Precisely how to make proper, adequate inspections is not detailed by OSHA—yet it is in the knowledge of the inspector that the big difference between a good inspection and something less becomes apparent.
Inspection should follow a systematic procedure:
- First, it is necessary that all parts of the sling are readily visible. The sling should be laid out so every part is accessible.
- Next, the sling should be sufficiently cleaned of dirt and grease so wires and fittings are easily seen. This can usually be accomplished with a wire brush or rags.
- The sling should then be given a thorough, systematic examination throughout its entire length, paying particular attention to sections showing the most wear.
- Special attention should also be paid to fittings and end attachments, and areas of the sling adjacent to these fittings.
- When the worst section of a sling has been located, this area should then be carefully checked against the OSHA and ASME criteria.
- Label or identify slings that are inspected.
- Keep records of inspections that include dates and corresponding conditions of slings.
- Dispose immediately of slings that are rejected.
A knowledgeable inspector will also insist on proper storage for out-of-use slings—to make his job easier, if not for the good of the slings. Inspections are much easier—and probably more thorough—when slings are available for inspection in an orderly arrangement, out of the weather and away from heat and dirt.
Like any other machine, wire rope is thoroughly lubricated at time of manufacture. Normally, for sling use under ordinary conditions, no additional lubrication is required. However, if a sling is stored outside or in an environment which would cause corrosion, lubrication should be applied during the service life to prevent rusting or corroding.
If lubrication is indicated, the same type lubrication applied during manufacture should be used. Your sling manufacturer can provide information on the type of lubricant to be used and best method of application.