From rigging hardware to the lifting slings, all components involved in rigging and lifting phases must all be assessed and inspected first. Any signs of damages such as cracks, stretch, deformation, and others must all be checked and fixed right away. Some components that must be assessed include the shackles, adjustable hardware, compression hardware, links, rings, rigging blocks, and lifting slings. — ADZ Lift

Today’s “Safety Saturday” installment comes from the ASME B30.26–2015 (Reaffirmed 2020).

This blog will be the first of 2 parts! More specifically, we’ll be discussing Wire Rope Clips and Wedge Sockets.

First, I need to mention the fact that not all wire rope clips are created equally and therefore NOT universal! There are various makes and models for various applications and they are all “size-specific”.

Clips that are used for heavy-duty applications have material properties and characteristics that allow for environmental stresses and strains. Those wire rope clips you may find in a home improvement store or cattle feed store are not necessarily the type that are designed for such strains and are not designed to take heavy loads. Unfortunately, from time to time, they make their way onto a job site and jeopardize the operation…

This is why it is extremely important to purchase equipment that is rated for the types of work you will be performing. Not only do the manufacturers of this equipment know and understand the testing and identification requirements set forth by ASME, but they also make this information readily available to the customer to ensure you are using exactly what you need for the job!

But…it doesn’t stop there. Daily inspections of ALL rigging hardware is A MUST to ensure safe and consistent performance.

The first mention of the wire rope clips says that the strength of the clip will be such that the wire rope will fail before the clip does, which means your basic wire rope clips from the corner store are NOT going to be sufficient.

The next section refers to the assembly of the clip itself. As I mentioned before, the manufacturer information is so vital, that it is actually mentioned 5 out of 6 times in the assembly section alone.

All but 1 of the topics mentioned, such as:

Minimum Number of Clips
Spacing and Turn-Back
Torque, Etc.

…are followed by a statement that instructs the user to consult recommendations made by the manufacturer or a qualified person. Once again, proving that one size does not fit all when it comes to compression hardware! The only thing universal is the “never saddle a dead horse” rule which refers to the placement of the saddle (on the live end), and U-Bolt (on the dead-end).

Everything else in the Volume is specific to the job.

While most wire rope clips do not have a conventional design factor, ASME does require a minimum of 80% efficiency of the wire rope itself, so you do need to know the minimum breaking force in order to select your equipment accordingly.

In fact, the rated loads are based on these 3 factors:

…minimum breaking force of wire rope…
…termination efficiency…
…design factor…

As far as Proof Test requirements go, compression hardware is not required. But, if the manufacturer specifies a test, ASME states that once the test is complete, the assembly shall be re-tightened to the manufacturer's torque specifications or by a qualified person.

Selection requirements include equipment characteristics for the type of application and environment the equipment will be used in, which means you need to know things like: types of stress and angles of stress prior to making adequate selections.

Rigging Practices include guidance for proper assembly and operation which include the avoidance of shock loading, abrasive surfaces, and the contact between wire rope clips and any obstruction during load handling activities.

The last point in the Practices section (and certainly not the least), states that wire rope clips should not be used to fabricate slings.

Although it says “should” (recommendation) and not “shall” (mandatory)…people tend to interpret that as it being acceptable to make slings out of wire rope using only wire rope clips.

Nothing can be further from the truth! There are ways to go about it precisely, and they involve means of testing and certifying your slings which, most times, are not available to the average user. Specific Exemptions to that can be found in ASME B30.9.

Next week we will explore what ASME has to say about Wedge Sockets, in part 2 of Compression Hardware. Feel free to get ahead of the curve, and educate yourself!

As always, from Craneology, be SAFE!

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