OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

March 27, 1992

Mr. R. E. Craven
Resident Director
Strategic Weapons Facility
Atlantic Missile Systems Division
Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Inc.
St. Marys, Georgia 31558

Dear Mr. Craven:

Thank you for your inquiry of January 22, addressed to the Director, Office of Safety Standards, requesting an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards at 29 CFR 1910.179(m)(1), inspection of running ropes. Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding.

You specifically requested definitions of the following terms:

1. a thorough inspection; and

2. a certification record.

In response to item 1., the enclosed OSHA standard, 29 CFR 179(m)(1), requires that a thorough inspection of all running ropes shall be made at least once a month. Any deterioration resulting in appreciable loss of original strength, shall be carefully observed and determination made as to whether further use of the rope would constitute a safety hazard. Some of the conditions that could result in an appreciable loss of strength are the following:

(i) reduction of rope diameter below nominal diameter due to loss of core support, internal or external corrosion, or wear of outside wires;

(ii) a number of broken outside wires and the degree of distribution or concentration of such broken wires;

(iii) worn outside wires;

(iv) corroded, or broken wires at end connections;

(v) corroded, cracked, bent, worn, or improperly applied end connections; and

(vi) severe kinking, crushing, cutting, or unstranding.

In response to item 2., also, the enclosed OSHA standard at 29 CFR 1910.179(m)(1), requires that a certification record be made for each wire rope inspection. The certification record must include the following:

(i) the date of inspection;

(ii) the signature of the person who performed the inspection; and

(iii) an identifier for the ropes which were inspected.

The certification record must be kept on file where readily available to appointed personnel.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Raymond Donnelly, Director
Office of General Industry
Compliance Assistance