Updated Feb 1, 2022

HSE issues safety notice for offshore crane boom hoist rope

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued a safety notice for offshore crane boom hoist ropes following two separate incidents that resulted in the failure of a crane boom hoist rope.

The HSE described that in both incidents the hoist rope came off a sheave in the "A" frame and then dropped down onto an adjacent sheave bearing housing. It was not detected, resulting in severe damage to the ropes and resulting in their catastrophic failure. Although there were no injuries reported following those incidents, the failing crane booms caused severe structural damage to the crane booms.

The HSE advises duty holders to ensure that:

  • when high winds are forecast, the positioning, and if necessary, the securing of crane booms, is in accordance with the relevant crane manufacturer’s guidance;
  • if manufacturer's guidance outlines that the boom should be stowed in the boom rest, slack rope should not be allowed to form between the sheaves in the "A" frame and those at the boom tip or bridle assemblies;
  • cranes are operated in a controlled and smooth manner to reduce, so far as is possible, any bouncing of the crane boom;
  • when a crane is designed to have sheave rope retention bars fitted, these are in a good condition;
  • crane pre-use checks include the requirement to verify that all the ropes are correctly seated and running in the rope sheaves; and
  • when new boom hoist ropes are fitted, the method of installation reduces the possibility of a twist being introduced into the new rope.

For more information on this subject, see: