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    Offshore industry works together on new wire rope guidance

    Publications // November 17, 2008

    A key new document ‘Guidance on Wire Rope Integrity Management for Vessels in the Offshore Industry’ (IMCA SEL 022/M 194) has been produced by a cross-industry workgroup and published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

    The document provides 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. It takes account of the range of environments including the sometimes harsh conditions experienced in the global marine environment and, for this reason, provides guidance which represents world wide good practice.

    “It is a staggering fact that some of the wire ropes under consideration can be as long as 16km, and often over 100mm diameter. All play vital roles in offshore work, for vessels are seeking to carry out lifting operations to and from sea beds in excess of 2,500 metres depth,” said IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams.

    “We were delighted to have input from so many key individuals and organisations in the preparation of this new guidance document. Overseen by our technical committees, the workgroup comprised members of our Crane & Winch Operations Workgroup and other interests from the industry including the European Federation of Steel Wire Rope Industries, representation from the ISO 4309 technical committee, and the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE)."

    "HSE’s guidelines DVIS 6 ‘Maintenance of diving hoist ropes’ are expected to be withdrawn in favour of this new guidance document,” Mr Williams explained.

    The development of the new guidance has drawn on elements of what is considered current good practice from informed sources such as ISO 4309:2004, 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.

    A list of relevant current standards at the time of publication can be found in the guidance, which, after scene setting introductory sections, also includes sections on the selection of wire rope; storage and preservation; transport; maintenance; thorough examination, inspection and testing; causes of wire rope deterioration and guidance on discard; post-retirement examination of wire rope sections; wire rope records; diving bell hoist wire ropes; and IMCA safety material.

    The new guidance replaces IMCA SEL 012 ‘Guidance on the management of life cycle maintenance of non-man riding wire ropes’, which is withdrawn.

    ‘Guidance on Wire Rope Integrity Management for Vessels in the Offshore Industry’ is available for downloading from IMCA’s members-only website with additional printed copies available to members at £15.00; non-members can buy printed copies of the guidance at £30 (plus delivery charge where applicable).

    Copies can be ordered from IMCA at or from or 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.

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