Stop the Snap: Prevent Rope Snapback

rope snapback, rigging service, hercules slr

Dwayne Fader’s been with Hercules SLR for over 30 years and recently, he decided to ditch the dark Canadian Winter for summery, sunny Florida—before he flies away, we sit down with Dwayne to ask him a few questions about rope snapback. 

Rope snapback never fails to shock workers – it’s fast, forceful and damaging, yet preventable. Read on to learn more about the dangers of rope snapback, and discover our tips to prevent it. 

WHY DOES ROPE SNAPBACK?

When rope has too much tension applied to it and it breaks, it will snapback toward the direction of the pull because of kinetic energy—both wire and synthetic rope does this. Rope will always snapback, but you can’t always determine how fast it will snapback. It will always snapback to its pulling point, which is visible before or when you lift. This can cause terrible injuries, or even be fatal. 

The biggest thing you can do to prevent rope snapback is to inspect your rope before, during and after use. 

If you notice that there’s a lot of tension applied to the rope, you should re-rig the operation.  

rope snapback, rope, hercules slr, rigging ropeHOW-TO PREVENT ROPE SNAPBACK

How does one prevent rope snapback? Unfortunately, once the rope has broke there is nearly nothing you can do – except try to get out of its way.

Prevention is the main way to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by rope snap back. No matter the strength of a rope, it undergoes wear and tear like exposure to chemicals, harsh environments, friction and bends – this causes rope fibres to degrade over time. 

The best way to do this is with education and training for all workers—not just those who operate the rope. To keep rope in good working order, educate workers on:

  1. How to select the correct type of rope to use for the application/job; 
  2. Proper methods to handle the rope for application and beyond;
  3. When to remove the rope from service. 

To know when to remove your rope from service, you must conduct a rope inspection. To do this, inspect ropes before, during and after use. Training should also include inspection criteria for the ropes being used on the job, which can vary depending on the type of rope. This will help workers know what to look for, so they can tell if a rope should be taken out of service, or not. 

It should also cover the reality of what happens when a rope snaps back, areas where it’s most likely to snapback in a dangerous way (for example, sailboats typically have marked off “snapback zones” that indicate dangerous zones to stay away from) and an emergency plan of what to do when snapback occurs. 

ROPE MAINTENANCE TO PREVENT SNAPBACK 

SPLICING

Rope splicing is a method use to add a termination or join two ropes together without tying a knot.

Don’t tie a knot in rope, as knots reduce their safe-working load – splice rope instead to add terminations to a rope’s end. This also (typically) retains all of the rope’s strength or WLL. 

END-FOR-ENDING

End-for-ended rope is rope that’s rotated – the frequency depends on the rope and the application its used for. End-for-ending rope adds variety to the points of the rope where stress is regularly applied, which allows you to get more life from your rope. 

STORAGE

It may sound like common sense, but it’s important to store your rope properly. Improper storage could make your rope deteriorate and fail faster. 

ROPE SNAPBACK TRAINING

An effective method to make people aware of how wrong snapback can go is to educate them in the areas and methods discussed above – and to show how scary the reality is. 

Watch the video ‘Aircraft Carrier Cable Snap’ below for a frightening example of rope snapback. Note the crew near the back who are knocked to the ground by its force, also see the person who jumps it – TWICE: 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember – to prevent rope snapback, ensure you’re using the right kind of rope for the move or lift you’re planning. Be sure to train workers on proper use of rope, like rope splicing, end-for-ending and safety issues. 

 

References: Miles, A., & Prentice, G. (1986). Synthetic Line Snapback (pp. 1-9, Rep.). Naval Sea Systems Command., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuIbvX_B7sY, https://www.samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care, http://www.workingwaterfrontarchives.org/2015/01/29/rope-snap-back-and-parting-among-marine-safety-hazards/, https://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge-publications/article/best-practice-mooring-snap-back-zones-135637/, https://samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Samson Introduces: Innovative Running Rigging Lines

samson rope rigging lines at hercules slr

INTRODUCING: NEW RUNNING RIGGING LINES FROM SAMSON ROPE 

Samson, the worldwide leader in high-performance rope continues to introduce innovations in sailing, with rigging lines that are stronger, easier to splice and highly responsive.

Samson is pleased to introduce a breakthrough in engineering and design, with three new double-braid running rigging lines for sailors and upgraded the XLS and MLX franchises.

Samson presents XLS3 TM and MLX3 TM, plus a brand new line for the elite racer, GPX TM. These new sailing lines have all been built on a unified framework, and are tailor-made with the best materials to meet sailors’ unique demands.

Samson is also changing the way recreational marine lines are discussed, adding focus on a more relevant specification for sailors, Elastic Stiffness.

Until now, focus has been on the strength of a line. While strength is important, it is not representative of the sailor’s experience using a particular line. Samson’s rope is already stronger than sailors need—so they took their cue from professional racers, who look at elastic stiffness (resistance to stretch under load) as the most meaningful measurement of responsiveness to a particular command or action. Each of Samson’s new running rigging lines has an elastic stiffness measurement:

rigging lines, samson-rope-elastic-stiffness-lifting-equipment, Samson Introduces: Innovative Running Rigging Lines

 

 

 

 

RIGGING LINES | GPX

GPX is Samson’s grand prix racer: Samson’s highest performing racing line, built with a special blended core of Dyneema® SK99 and DM20, which results in almost zero stretch under constant load (also known as ‘creep’).

This means that its elastic stiffness is low – the line does what you want it to do, when you want to. The cherry on top? Samson GPX is a blend of polyester and Technora® UV-protected fiber, that provides heat resistance and superior grip.

RIGGING LINES | MLX

MLX3 is a club racer’s dream – super light and strong to keep you in the lead. It’s built with a blended-HMPE and polyester core, and has a 24-strand polyester cover. MLX3 offers the best line for the recreational racer who’s just as competitive as the pros.

RIGGING LINES | XLS3

XLS3™ is built for the weekend cruiser who desires optimal performance. XLS3 is a strong polyester/polyester-double-braid rope and is stronger and more responsive than its XLS – this results in a high-performing, reliable line.


READ MORE ABOUT SAMSON ROPE,

ON OUR BLOG:

SAMSON K-100 HOIST LINE: THE FIRST SYNTHETIC CRANE ROPE


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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.