A procedure is described for the calculation of stress intensity factors for surface cracks in a section roll. Load acting on the roll can be determined for individual cases by experimentally measuring the deformation of the roll, this obviates the necessity of relying on theoretical estimates of the roll pressure. The stresses in the uncracked roll are determined using an axis symmetric finite element model. The samples of prematurely failed roll samples collected from steel plant were examined for their content, microstructures, hardness and the retained austenite content. The residual stresses were also measured on the inner as well as the outer surface of the roll. Several suggestions have also been made for smooth operation of the mill and consequently for the extension of life of a work roll. Finite element method has emerged as a powerful tool for finding the numerical solution of a wide range of engineering problems, where closed form of analytical solution is not feasible. Due to the rapid development in computer technology, large number of packages programs has been developed for finite element analysis, which made it possible for wider use of this technique in practice.