Various Chains, Ropes, and PulleysDropped loads and swinging materials pose a significant threat to construction workers. Our New York construction injury lawyers explain state regulations to protect workers during hoisting operations and how violations affect your compensation claim.

NY Industrial Code Provisions for Rigging, Ropes, and Chains for Material Hoists on Construction Sites

NY Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. Under Section 241(6), owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to carry out the provisions of the law.

The Department of Labor has created specific construction safety rules in Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code to protect people employed in construction, demolition, or excavation work. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12 § 23-6.2 set forth the following guidelines for rigging in hoisting operations:

  • Approved hoisting ropes. Power-driven hoisting machinery may only be used with wire rope of the improved plow steel classification or equivalent having a safety factor of at least six. The sole exception is winch heads or capstan hoists, where fiber rope may be used.
  • Fiber rope. Fiber rope must be first-grade manila hemp or synthetic fiber stored in dry conditions and protected from the elements. If fiber rope is frozen, it must be thawed before use. All fiber rope must be used with proper size blocks and the means to prevent chafing where necessary. If acid or any other harmful or corrosive agent or chemical is used, fiber rope must be adequately protected. Fiber rope that is unsound must be removed from the job site.
  • Wire rope. Wire rope must be lubricated to prevent corrosion and stored in a way that prevents kinks. Kinked wire rope may not be used on any material hoist. Means such as substantial covering, fencing, or guarding by location must be provided to prevent accidental contact with or damage to any hoisting rope. Wire ropes must be discarded and replaced when 1) over 10 percent of the total wires of any lay are broken, 2) the wires on the crown of the strand are worn down to less than 60 percent of the original cross-sectional area, 3) the original strength of the rope has been reduced to 80 percent or less, or 4) when visual inspection indicates significant corrosion, deterioration, or abrasion.
  • End attachments. The ends of all wire ropes must be securely attached to the hoist drums, and at least four turns of rope shall remain on each drum at all times. Attachment of the rope to the hoist drum is not required on traction-type hoists.
  • Wire rope fastenings. Wire rope fastenings must consist of zinc-filled sockets, wedge sockets with at least one rope clip above each socket, eye splices with pear-shaped thimbles to fit the rope, and proper size thimbles with rope clips or other approved fastenings. If clips are used as fastenings, the spacing between clips must be at least six times the diameter of the rope, and U-bolts of clips must be placed over the short ends of the ropes.
  • Sheaves. Load-bearing sheaves for wire rope must be of proper diameter and grooving to accommodate the rope but may not be less than 20 times the diameter of the rope. Sheaves intended for use with fiber rope may not be used with wire rope. Sheaves must be maintained and adequately lubricated. Any sheaves or blocks that are worn, damaged, deteriorated, or otherwise defective in a way that may cause equipment failure must not be used.
  • Fittings. All hooks, shackles, and other fittings subject to tension or shear must be drop-forged. Suspended pulley blocks, sheaves, well wheels, or similar devices must be securely fastened, or safety hooks must be used. The use of deformed or damaged hooks, shackles, chains, or other fittings is prohibited.
  • Use of chains. Chains may only be used as slings in hoisting operations involving the raising or lowering of wooden piles, large timbers, large stones, or large pieces of masonry. Chains must not be defective, knotted, shortened, or spliced with nails or bolts. The manufacturer or an authorized agent may only perform heat treating, annealing, or normalizing of chains.

Injured New York Construction Workers Have Rights

If you or someone you love was seriously hurt on a construction site, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or damages through a third-party claim. Contact the attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer today at 800-362-9329 to have us explain your options at no cost to you, or learn more about your rights in our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.