The first edition of the NFPA 1983 was originally intended to give requirements only for ropes used by the fire service. However, it quickly became apparent that requirements for all other rigging components - hardware, software, and harnesses - would also be needed. As NFPA 1983 has continued to undergo updates and revisions, the standard has grown to encompass a much broader range of equipment, now stipulating requirements for design, construction, and performance.
The above is a question we get all the time, and I'll do my best to explain the story on rope life.
A disclaimer: this is provided in the context of legislation for British Columbia - so while it won't be directly applicable to other jurisdictions, it will hopefully this will give you a better understanding of where your regulations might come from.