18. Upkeep of wire and fibre ropes1
18.1. General provisions
18.1.1. All ropes should be of sound material, good construction and adequate
strength for the service required.
18.1.2. Before use, all ropes should be inspected and confirmed adequate for the
intended working load.
18.1.3. All ropes used for load-bearing purposes should be periodically inspected
by a competent person.
18.1.4. When any rope has been lengthened, altered or repaired, it should be
examined and tested as necessary before it is used again.
18.1.5. (1) All ropes should be maintained in good order.
(2) When not in use they should be stowed under cover in clean, dry and well-
(3) Ropes should not be exposed to excessive heat or harmful chemicals.
18.1.6. (1) Care should be taken to avoid damaging or weakening a rope through:
(a) excessive stress and strain;
(b) rubbing or chafing against sharp objects; or
(c) passing it through too small a sheave or block.
(2) Care should be taken to avoid the formation of a kink in any rope under strain.
18.1.7. (1) Care should be taken in withdrawing rope from a new coil.
(2) For stranded rope this should be done from the inside of a coil, taking it counter-
clockwise for a rope for right-hand lay in order to retain the twist.
(3) Kinks should always be taken out by correct coiling (a right-hand coiling for a
18.1.8. Any rope, whether natural, synthetic or wire, and of any construction,
should not be put under a load suddenly or taken up with a jerk, since such action may
18.1.9. Where thimbles are required for eye splices on ropes, they should be of
18.1.10. Rope ends and splices should be properly seized with yarn or other
1 The ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Dock Work contains further guidance on the
upkeep of wire and fibre ropes, particularly ropes used with lifting and other cargo-handling equipment.