Wire Rope Integrity Regulatory Update
Current state-of-the-art wire ropes, updated regulation references, and flow diagrams to assist with the wire rope integrity management process have been included in the revised ‘Guidance on Wire Rope Integrity Management for Vessels in the Offshore Industry’ just published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA SEL 022 Rev.1/ IMCA M 194 Rev. 1).
“This document offers guidance on the necessary elements of an integrity management system required to achieve an acceptable level of ongoing safety for the use of wire ropes in a marine environment,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “The guidance takes account of the range of environments including the sometimes harsh conditions experience in the global marine environment and, for this reason, provides guidance which represents universal good practice.”
The 48-page document includes guidance on selection of wire ropes; storage; transport; maintenance; descriptions of the causes of wire rope deterioration; thorough examination, inspection, testing; discard criteria and documentation for wire ropes used by vessels in the marine industry. It can be downloaded free of charge by members and non-members alike from the IMCA website at www.imca-int.com. Hard copies can be ordered from [email protected] at £20.00 for members and £40.00 for non-members (zero VAT, plus delivery charge where applicable).
The wire ropes covered by the guidance include, but are not limited to, crane ropes (but not standing rigging), pipelay equipment and diving bells. The guidance does not cover general deck winch wire ropes, rigging, mooring, towing gear, anchor lines, lifeboat davits, overhead cranes and passenger lifts.
Background to the guidance
The Wire Rope Integrity Management Workgroup was formed from IMCA’s Crane & Winch Operations Workgroup and other interests from the industry, including the European Federation of Steel Wire Rope Industries and the UK Health & Safety Executive. The work on the guidance document was overseen by the IMCA Technical Committees.
The development of the guidance drew on elements of what is considered current good practice from informed sources such as ISO 4309:2010; various company procedures; regulatory bodies and manufacturers’ guidance. It has been developed to form a basis for industry good practice and to provide an auditable integrity management system, and incorporates a list of relevant current standards at the time of publication. When first published in October 2008, ‘Guidance on Wire Rope Integrity Management for Vessels in the Offshore Industry’ replaced ‘Guidance on the management of life cycle maintenance of non-man riding wire ropes’ which had been published in December 2004.
None of the recommendations in the revised guidance is intended to conflict with, or set aside, any other recommendations, statutory or otherwise, which may relate to the inspection, maintenance and integrity management of wire ropes.
“All IMCA documentation is constantly subject to review and we would be interested in feedback regarding any improvements,” says Jane Bugler. “These should be emailed to [email protected]”