• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    STD 02-01-009
  • Old Directive Number:
    STD 2-1.9
  • Title:
    HAZARD ALERT--Use of 4 x 29 Wire Rope as Cargo Runner (Hoisting Wire)
  • Information Date:
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Assistant Secretary for

Occupational Safety and Health Washington, D.C. 20210

OSHA Instruction STD 2-1.9 OCT 01, 1990 Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Programs

SUBJECT: HAZARD ALERT--Use of 4 x 29 Wire Rope as Cargo Runner (Hoisting Wire) for Loading/Discharging Cargo in the United States

A. Purpose. This instruction issues a HAZARD ALERT for 4 X 29 classification wire rope having a 1-1/4-inch (1.25-inch) outside diameter (O.D.) used as a cargo runner (hoisting wire).

B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.

C. References. The following OSHA Maritime standards and instruction are applicable:

1. OSHA Maritime Standards, 29 CFR Part 1918--Longshoring.
a. Subpart F--Ship's Cargo Handling Gear, 29 CFR 1918.51, General requirements; and
b. Subpart G--Cargo Handling Gear and Equipment other than Ship's gear, 29 CFR 1918.74, Cranes and derricks other than vessels gear.
2. OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-3, February 27, 1990, the State Plan Policies and Procedures Manual.

D. Action. Regional Administrators and Area Directors shall ensure that compliance officers conducting maritime inspections:

1. Ensure that 4 x 29 wire rope, 1-1/4-inch O.D., which is used for loading or discharging cargo in the United States, is being used with a minimum of 64.0-inch diameter sheaves, rollers drums, and/or blocks. The 4 x 29 wire rope shall not be used if such configuration arrangements are not met.
2. Issue citations citing 29 CFR 1918.51(b) for shipboard cargo handling gear installations, and 29 CFR 1918.74(a)(8) for shore-based material handling devices, if they observe 4 x 29 wire rope, 1-1/4-inch O.D., being used with sheaves, rollers, drums, and/or blocks that are less than 64.0 inches in diameter.

OSHA Instruction STD 2-1.9 OCT 01, 1990 Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Programs

E. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal Program Change which affects State Programs. Each Regional Administrator shall:

1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State designee, using a format consistent with the Plan Change Two-Way Memorandum in Appendix P, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-3.
2. Explain the technical content of this change to the State designee as requested.
3. Ensure that State designees are asked to acknowledge receipt of this Federal program change in writing to the Regional Administrator as soon as the State's intention is known, but not later than 70 calendar days after the date of issuance (10 days for mailing and 60 days for response). This acknowledgement must include a description either of the State's plan to follow the guidelines in Paragraph D., Action, to implement the change, or the reasons why this change should not apply to that State.
4. Review policies, instructions and guidelines issued by the State to determine that this change has been communicated to State compliance personnel.

F. Background.

1. It has been brought to OSHA's attention that a potentially dangerous hazard exists when 4 x 29 wire rope is used for the purpose of loading or discharging cargo. This 4 x 29 wire rope is being used as replacement rope for cargo handling gear originally designed for use with wire rope of 6 x 37 classification. Failures resulting from the use of the 4 x 29 wire rope have been reported to have occurred on at least 10 occasions in the past 2 years. Reported failures of the 4 x 29 wire rope include:
a. In February 1987, a 4 x 29 wire rope from the M.V. KAKUSHIMA failed when loading 20 tons of logs. A similar failure occurred on the M.V. SANKO VENUS when a cargo of logs was dropped into the Number 1 hold.

OSHA Instruction STD 2-1.9 OCT 01, 1990 Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Programs
b. In April 1988, the M.V. HELLESPOND VANGUARD experienced a sudden failure at the Number 1 hold resulting in a load of logs being dropped onto the dock.
c. In March 1990, the M.V. PUFF (ex. KORYU MARU) experienced a failure while loading logs. A 4 x 29 cargo hoisting wire failed dropping a load of logs about 3 feet into the hold.
2. In April 1990, one of the manufacturers of the 4 x 29 wire rope recommended using a 4 x 10-type wire rope in lieu of 4 x 29 wire rope in cargo handling applications because it was considered to be more "adaptable in various cargo handling works."
3. The 4 x 29 wire rope has an added stiffness factor due to its construction which makes it less flexible than "conventional" wire rope (normally 6 x 37 classification) used as cargo runner/hoisting wire. The nature of previous failures and subsequent laboratory examinations confirm that visual inspections are unreliable since failure starts on the inner wires of the stands and, therefore, cannot be detected by normal field inspection methods. Large diameter sheaves, rollers, drums and blocks will compensate for the higher stiffness of this particular wire rope.
4. The Canadian Coast Guard issued a Ship Safety Bulletin, dated September 29, 1989, advising that 4 x 29 "Sun wire ropes are not to be used in Canada on any shipboard lifting appliances. This bulletin noted that "Sun" wire ropes (4 x 29) are considerably less flexible than the more common six stranded construction wires and there was an added danger in that they are difficult to inspect visually since the known deficiencies are not visible externally.

G. Rope Description.

1. This 4 x 29 wire rope is a galvanized 32 mm (1-1/4-inch) four strand, left-hand regular lay. Safe working load is 34,500 pounds. The component wires are as follows:


OSHA Instruction STD 2-1.9 OCT 01, 1990 Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Programs

1 core wire - 4.0 mm (.157 in) 7 inner wires - 3.0 mm (.118 in) 7 filler wires - 1.4 mm (.055 in) 14 outer wires - 2.3 mm (.090 in) 2. Fatigue failure of the 4 mm and 3 mm inner component wire occur prior to failure of the outside wires of the strand which are of smaller diameter and do not fail as easily. Therefore, the external appearance of the 4 x 29 wire rope is satisfactory, even though the strength of the wire is seriously reduced due to the early failure of the inner wires.

H. Test Results. Sections of failed 4 x 29 wire ropes were examined and tested by different laboratories. The conclusions are as follows:

1. Failure occurred due to 4 x 29 inner wire fatigue fractures.
2. The sheaves, rollers, drums and blocks used were too small (26-34 inches in diameter) for use with 4 x 29 wire rope.
3. Failure mode is due to a lack of 4 x 29 wire rope flexibility.
4. This 4 x 29 wire rope is very difficult to inspect in the field by employers and stevedores.

Gerard F. Scannell Assistant Secretary

DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional, and Area Offices All Compliance Officers State Designees 7 (c)(1) Project Managers NIOSH Regional Program Directors