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Wire Rope Safety and Operation

SKU: C-454Duration: 18 Minutes Certificate Included

PPV format perfect for individual users.

Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Great for in-person classroom training or as an alternative to DVD.

Includes printable documents and Convergence Video Player for Windows systems. Content expires after 1 year.

Ideal for corporate licensing and volume users who also need administrative tracking and reporting on training.

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Course Details


Training Time: 18 minutes

 Mobile Compatible

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices


  • English

Wire ropes are used on machines that lift and move heavy loads. Because of the potentially high loading on wire ropes, they can be one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment at a worksite. In this course, you will learn which personal protective equipment to wear while using wire ropes, safety guidelines for working with wire ropes, and how to recognize potential wire rope hazards. Because of the potential for accidents, knowing how to properly use and safely work around wire ropes is crucial to your safety and the safety of your co-workers.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify safety guidelines when working with wire ropes
  • Describe steps to break in a wire rope
  • Define maximum working load
  • Describe the importance of wire rope inspections
  • Describe hot to recognize wire rope hazards

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What personal protective equipment should be worn when working around wire ropes?
When working around wire ropes, one should wear: heavy leather gloves to protect your hands from cuts, abrasions, bruises, and rop burn, steel-toed shoes, to protect your feet from dropped loads or equipment, a hard hat, eye protection, and hearing protection.

What are ways to improve safety while working with and around wire ropes?
You can improve safety by: selecting a wire rope to match the conditions it will experience during use; only use wire ropes for jobs they are intended for; properly maintain all equipment the rope is being used with; never lubricate a rope using heavy grease, used engine oil, or any other lubricant that might corrode or damage the rope; always break in a newly installed wire rope; keep tension on the rope and never allow slack when a load is applied; and never overload a wire rope.

Why and how do you break in a wire rope?
Breaking in a wire rope allows the strands and wires within the rope to settle and align properly with one another. To properly break in a wire rope, run the rope with no load attached through the rope's entire operating cycle. Keep tension on the rope while doing this so that no slack or kinks develop. hen, apply a light load equal to about 10 percent of the working load limit to the rope and run the rope through its entire operating cycle again at a slow speed.

What are some of the conditions that can cause wire ropes to become dangerous?
Immediately notify your supervisor if you see: Abrasion or wear, bird caging starts occurring, broken wires start to appear, heat damage, kinking or bending, high stranding, corrosion, or crushed wire starts occurring.

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

There are many conditions that can cause a wire rope to become dangerous. Immediately notify your supervisor if you see abrasion or wear. This can occur during the normal life of the rope. If the diameter of the outside wires has been reduced by more than 33%, the rope should be taken out of service. Bird caging. This is when the rope strands have become separated creating a bird cage effect. Bird caging is caused by sudden release of tension and greatly weakens a rope. Broken wires. Broken wires can occur within the rope or on the surface. The internal breaks are harder to find, but are very dangerous. Surface breaks can be spotted visually or detected by running a cloth over the surface to find snags.

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) –
  • OSHA Training Documents -
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) –
  • NIOSH Publications -
  • US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) –
  • USBR Safety and Health Standards -

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