A Brief Note on Rope Usage & Safety

Always Put Safety First.

Always Inspect your rope

Any rope or steel cable will fail if it is worn out. Be sure to visually inspect your cordage before and after every use. While some rope fibres handle certain elements perfectly fine, the following rules generally apply.

  • You should always keep your cordage clean
  • Protect it from making contact with sharp edges, abrasive surfaces, harsh chemicals and unnecessary prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Safe Use

Understanding a specific rope’s strengths and weaknesses is an important first step in understanding whether it is suitable for a particular application or not.

  • It is ultimately the responsibility of the end user to take all possible precautions when using a rope.
  • It is also the end user’s responsibility to have sufficient knowledge and a complete understanding of the proper techniques required for any specific rope application.

Rope Specifications & The WLL

Tensile strength is determined by testing done on new cordage under laboratory conditions. NEVER use the nominal/tensile/break-strength listed for a rope or steel cable as the working load limit. A safe WLL (working load limit) is determined by dividing the minimum break strength of a rope by an appropriate design factor (also known as a Safety Factor). For example: A design factor of 10 to 1 means that a rope with a minimum break strength of 30,000lbs will have a WLL of 3,000lbs. 

For more information on this subject, consult the Cordage Institute’s International Guideline on the “Safer Use of Fibre Rope”.