Page 8 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - December 2019
P. 8

Equalizer Sheaves and

                     “Other Rope Dead Ends”:

                                    How We Inspect

                                              by Dennis J. O’Rourke, CSP
         For decades, the national conferences attended, magazines I read, schools, and
         the experts telling me a complete rope inspection on a timely basis is vital to crane
         safety - mandated by “law.” As a person who performs rope inspections, how am
         I to accomplish this mandated requirement? That is the $64,000 question.

                                                                                                          Fig. 1
              he  standards  tell  us  “what”  to
              do, conditions dictate “when” we
         Tdo, training tells us “how” to do,
         and motivation tells us “if” we do! This
         little summary (what, when, how, if)
         says it all for me. Sometimes, what a
         guy can do, and what a guy will do are
         two different things. I find this espe-
         cially valid when it comes to rope in-
         spections; here’s why. This article will
         discuss  that  sometimes  inspections
         are  difficult  (Fig.1).  And  sometimes                                                               Photos and illustrations courtesy of Dennis O’Rourke.
         they are easy (Fig.2) – depending on
           The words “complete and thorough”
         are used in 1926.1413 (c)(2)(ii) de-
         scribing an annual wire rope inspec-
         tion. How do you interpret the word
         “complete” in this content, an end to   (lawyers  love  confusion.)  We  should   rupting what caused the rope’s condi-
         end inspection? This regulation also   consider the intent of this OSHA regu-  tion or general mechanics? Inspecting
         states the person performing the   lation, finding the location of damaged   rope can  be hard work,  and always
         “thorough” inspection is competent in   rope and take it out of service, that’s   up in  the air,  sometimes at extreme
         his/her work.                      the measure of competent.          heights, are they okay with that? Some
           OSHA plays with the word mean-     The persons performing the inspec-  issues to think about as we assign the
         ings unnecessarily in this regulation.   tion, are they motivated to “do it right   people to the job!
         The  words,  competent,  designated,   the first time?” How much time is al-  What creates obstacles to accomplish-
         and qualified for job descriptions have   lowed for inspecting,  and under what   ing a proper and complete inspection of
         confused people who do this work   conditions?  Are they skilled  in inter-  ropes? Some of the areas I will discuss
                                                                               are; weather, reeving, access, equip-
                                                                               ment  type,  and  location.  The  concern
                                                                               is,  if  one  or  more  of  these  difficulties
                                                                               presents itself to the inspector, what ac-
                                                                               tion should be taken? Inform the crane
                                                                               owner of what he/she could not accom-
                                                                               plish – and why. “Failure to warn” is the
                                                                               greatest exposure to the rope surveyor’s
                                                                               liability insurance carrier.

                                                                               REEVING SYSTEMS;
                                                                                 The equalizer sheave starting show-
                                                                               ing up on cranes due to their useful-
                                                                               ness  years  ago.  Beams  are  still  in-
                                                                               stalled on some hoists but, they have
                                                                               mostly been replaced by a sheave. The
                                                                               equalizer beam, or an older term “sin-
                                                                               gletree,” provides the connecting point
                                                                               for  two dead-ends  of the  ropes  in a
           Fig. 2                                                              muti-reeved hoist system, many parts
                                                                                                continued on page 10

         8      Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   December 2019
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