How To Inspect Your Rope Grab Assembly

Rope grabs are designed to provide continuous fall protection in today’s rugged work environments. Rope grabs must move freely up and down vertical lifelines. Checking that rope grabs function properly is essential for keeping workers that use them safer from being injured during a fall. Below are suggestions and a general checklist to ensure that your rope grab assembly is working correctly.

General Reminders:

  • After a fall occurs, the rope grab assembly must be removed from service and checked by a qualified person per OSHA. The qualified person should check the product user manual for information on how to replace damaged parts–if replacement parts are available. If the rope grab assembly cannot be repaired, it must be destroyed immediately.
  • Do not exceed the maximum weight capacity found on the label. Don’t forget to include the weight of tools!
  • A competent person must ensure compatibility of all connections and system elements.
  • Regular inspection by a competent person for wear, damage, or corrosion should be a part of your safety program.

Before each use, inspect the rope grab assembly by visually checking for the following:

  • Inspect for physical damage, cracks, wear, and corrosion.
  • Check cam and/or springs for damage or loss of tension.
  • Check pawl and locking mechanism.
  • Check that all parts move freely without hesitation.
  • Check rivets for damage, cracks, wear, or corrosion.
  • Inspect for malfunctioning components and broken or missing springs.

If any parts are found defective, remove them from service immediately per the requirements of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.66 and 1926.502.

Other Helpful Information:

  • Remember to clean the equipment to remove any dirt, corrosives, or contaminants.
  • Store equipment away from excessive heat, steam, or long periods of sunlight in a clean and dry area that is not exposed to fumes or corrosive elements.

Regularly inspecting the rope grab assembly will contribute toward the performance of its vital safety function. Remember to follow the user manual that came with the equipment to help keep workers safer at height.

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Nathan Muller

Senior Technical Writer |
Nathan Muller is the Senior Technical Writer for Spanco and Rigid Lifelines. Nathan has nearly four years of experience in technical communications and copyediting. He graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Writing. He is also a member of the Society of Technical Communication.