Search form

Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert on Wire and Hoisting Ropes

By Justin M. Winter
  • August 16, 2017

Saying new testing on wire and hoisting ropes showed they “no longer met MSHA’s in-service standards,” despite previously passing tests and inspections, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a new safety alert on wire and hoisting ropes.

MSHA said that, although it had previously conducted wire rope nondestructive testing (NDT) and inspections on hoisting ropes, the new results triggered the safety alert. The subsequent hoisting rope testing was performed despite earlier testing that showed this equipment to be sufficient. The earlier testing did not implement NDT.

The federal agency said it is recommending that mine operators use NDT when conducting required six-month inspections of wire ropes.

It explained that NDT equipment uses magnetic or ultrasound waves to view the inner workings of the rope without cutting into it, much like a CT scan or MRI.

MSHA noted, “Loss of metallic area, flaws (broken wires and corrosion) and strength loss can be evaluated through NDT for the entire active length of a hoist rope.”

The agency outlined best practices for mine operators to maintain wire ropes, including conducting NDT and examinations. The best practices include:

  • Conduct wire rope NDT at least once every six months to identify deterioration, including wear, corrosion, distortion, broken wires, and loss of metallic area.
  • Review the wire rope NDT results to identify deteriorated portions of the wire rope to visually examine more frequently.
  • Examine daily any part of the wire rope where a reduction of rope strength is present.
  • Conduct wire rope examinations during daylight hours.
  • Perform visual examinations at a rope speed no more than 50 fpm.
  • Clean and remove old lubricant to conduct a thorough visual wire rope examination, particularly in high-stress sections.
  • Follow the rope manufacturer’s guidance for proper lubrication. Use pressure lubricators to maintain proper lubrication at the core level.
  • Correct mining conditions that cause corrosion to maximize hoist rope service life.
  • Install and maintain wear blocks and rollers to minimize rope wear.

Safety alerts such as this usually coincide with emphasis on the associated regulations during inspections.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to help clients understand and implement federal safety recommendations.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

August 23, 2017

Mine Safety Agency Implements Medical Standards Action Plan for Inspectors, Technical Personnel

August 23, 2017

The Mine Safety and Health Administration will implement an action plan for employees who do not meet the agency’s medical standards.   As a condition of employment, MSHA inspectors and technical personnel must undergo periodic medical examinations, including vision and hearing tests, and meet medical standards set by the Office... Read More

August 23, 2017

OSHA Schedules Second Public Meeting on Voluntary Protection Programs

August 23, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled the second of two meetings to “reshape” the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) for August 28, 2017. The first meeting was held on July 17, 2017. OSHA established the VPP on July 2, 1982, to promote cooperation between government, industry, and labor to improve worker... Read More

August 16, 2017

Need OSHA Action on Ammonium Nitrate and Healthcare Workplace Violence, Government Monitor Urges

August 16, 2017

Focus is needed on two safety and health priorities: healthcare workplace violence and high-risk facilities that handle hazardous substances such as ammonium nitrate, chief of the Government Accountability Office Gene L. Dodaro has urged Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in a letter. In the letter, dated June 27, 2017, Dodaro, the... Read More

Related Practices