STEVEDORE DP World Australia says it has acted to ensure there are no safety issues associated with wire hoisting ropes on ZPMC cranes.

The Maritime Union (now a division of the CFMMEU) claims there were 11 wire rope breakages in the 18 months to early November.

According to the union, out of gauge sheaves had been “crushing and destroying” the inner core of the ropes, a problem they say may affect all similar ZPMC cranes currently in operation.

The matter was listed by the union as a reason for a seven-shift stoppage at Port Botany in mid-November.

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DPWA chief operation officer Max Kruse said leadership had been working with health and safety committee representatives on improved rope management practices at Port Botany Terminal since earlier this year.

“Safety is our number one priority and we have implemented a number of improvement measures through established safety processes which address the various factors that have the potential to contribute to rope failures,” Mr Kruse said.

“Any suggestion that DPWA does not take rope management practice seriously is completely untrue and is entirely inconsistent with the comprehensive and sustained response to this issue by the DPWA leadership team at PBT,” he said.

“This situation is isolated to our Port Botany Terminal and we are confident that the remedial action being undertaken – which includes upgraded maintenance measures and additional testing – will ensure continued improvements in rope management, performance and safety at the terminal.”

As was recently reported in DCN, DPWA is to commission its ninth new super post-panamax ZPMC quay crane at Melbourne this month, completing an investment of more than $180m in specialist equipment during the past year-and-a-half.

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