Rope sheath damage

email print page

Upon completion of a recent rope access inspection the rope sheath on the primary work rope was damaged and the core of the rope was exposed. After descending and during the transition of the technician hanging on the rope to standing on the ground, the rope became trapped while the throttle was engaged. The increase in friction within the system damaged the rope. Nothing was dropped, and the secondary rope and backup system were not loaded during the incident.

The following factors have been identified as contributing to the incident:

Worn Rope Wedge – The rope wedge was worn and a visible gap was identified between the lowermost point of the rope wedge and the inside of the rope grab. The rope wedge must be touching the lowermost part of the rope grab, between the discs. The rope wedge must be positioned centrally within the rope grab and should be visually inspected as part of the pre-use check procedure. See photo above.

Rope Slippage - Lifting operations should not be continued and ascenders should be returned for service if any rope slippage is experienced. Rope slippage experienced should be taken seriously and considered an early warning sign. Worn rope grabs and soft ropes can result in slippage with a reduction in grip between the ascender and the rope.

Rope Handling - If the rope becomes stuck or trapped, particularly when it is being pulled into the ascender, rope damage is likely to occur. Poor rope handling can lead to potentially dangerous situations.

The specific inspection criteria has been added to the ACCII annual inspection checklist, and all ActSafe registered service centres have been informed. The paperwork for the ACCII checklist has also been updated into a digital editable PDF form and distributed to our distributor network and trained service technicians.

Click here for ActSafe General Safety Notice

Click here for ACCII User Manual

Click here for ACCII Pre-Use Checklist


ActSafe operate a worldwide distributor network covering the complete range of ActSafe products. Find the distributor in your region

Find a distributor


ActSafe operate an open communication policy with distributors and end users regarding safety alerts, information and correct use of ActSafe ascenders.

Safety alerts & info


Apply online now


Safety alerts & info