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Subchapter 14. Petroleum Safety Orders--Drilling and Production
Article 41. Wire Rope Lines
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§6642. Catheads.

(a) All catheads and their mechanisms shall be designed, constructed, installed and maintained to conform to good engineering practices.

(b) When a cathead is mounted on a shaft end that projects outside the guards for other moving parts of machinery, the shaft end, or the key or other device for securing the cathead to the shaft, shall not project more than one-half the diameter of the shaft beyond a point flush with the outer end of the cathead.

(c) The projecting shaft end and key or other device for securing a cathead to the shaft, as allowed in subsection (b) above, shall be covered with a smooth thimble. The thimble shall be of a shape and design that will prevent the winding of a rope around it.

(d) Every cathead on which a rope is manually operated shall have a reasonably smooth surface and shall be free of projections on which employees' clothing may be caught. Cracked or broken catheads shall not be used.

(e) The horizontal friction surface of every cathead on which a rope is manually operated shall be of uniform diameter between the inner and outer flange. The maximum depth of grooves in the cathead shall not exceed one-fourth inch.

(f) Every cathead on which a rope is manually operated shall be equipped with an anti rope-fouling device that will separate the beginning of the second wrap of rope from the first wrap at the point where the first wrap begins contact with the cathead. The device shall be so designed and fitted in place that its inner edge is not more than three-eighths inch (3/8") at any point from the friction surface of the cathead.

(g) Every cathead on which a rope is manually operated shall have a rope guide that will hold the on-running breaking rope, spinning rope, snapping-up rope, and kelly pull-back rope in alignment with their normal running position against the inner flange of the cathead. This shall also apply to ropes, other than the cat line and high line, used on the cathead for loading and unloading or otherwise handling supplies and equipment.

(h) Anti rope-fouling devices and rope guides shall be maintained free of sharp edges that will cut or materially abrade the ropes in use on the cathead.

(i) Only trained employees shall be permitted to operate the cathead.

(j) A kill switch shall be located at each cathead. The kill switch shall be painted red or otherwise made conspicuous.

(k) Each cathead using chain shall be of the automatic type and shall be equipped with a manually operated cathead clutch or with another device to keep the rotation of the cathead under control when it is in use. Such clutch or device shall be of the "non-grab" type and shall release automatically when not manually held in the engaged position.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 7-20-59; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 59, No. 12).

2. Amendment of section and Note filed 5-8-95; operative 6-7-95 (Register 95, No. 19).

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