Product Spotlight | Lifting Magnets

Product Spotlight: Lifting Magnets

Lifting magnets, also known as magnetic lifters, or magnetic lifting systems, are a versatile piece of rigging equipment that can be used in a variety of applications ranging from lifting small metal pipes or scraps to large heavy metal blocks.

If your business deals with a lot of heavy ferrous metals (generall meaning, containing iron) it may be a good idea to invest in a lifting magnet! Most general permanent lifting magnets have a working load limit (WLL) ranging from 500 to 3,000 pounds, with some electromagnets reaching a WLL of 11,000 pounds – This offers an easy, efficient and cost-effective way to lift an array of metal loads.

Lifting magnets are commonly used in steel mills, scrap yards, loading docks, warehouses, foundries, shipyards, coil and pipe distributors, and other users of applicable steel products.

Types of Lifting Magnets

There are two basic types of lifting magnets – permanent magnets and electromagnets.

Permanent Magnets

Permanent magnets are exactly what you’d think- They’re permanent! What that means is that these magnets use materials that are permanently (or naturally) magnetized to establish the magnetic field. These are called ferromagnetic materials and are usually iron, nickel, or alloys that are made or rare-earth metals.

Fun fact: The main way that permanent magnets are created is by heating a ferromagnetic material to a key high temperature – Specific to each kind of metal. This is similar to the natural process that takes place inside the Earth which is what creates materials that are naturally magnetized.

The majority of permanent lifting magnets can be “turned on” and “turned off” by way of a lever. These magnets generally have two parallel poles which give the magnet a deep penetrating magnetic field for rougher flat surfaces and round pipe or shaft material. When both pole’s fields are lined up, with North to North and South to South, the magnetic field is activated, but when you pull the lever those fields are reversed which will cause the lifting magnet to let go of the load.

Electromagnets

Electromagnets, unlike permanent magnets, rely on electricity to charge the magnet and hold the load to the face of the magnet. This takes place by the use of an energized electrical coil wrapped around a steel core creating a magnetic field. This, of course, means the lifting magnetic depends on a constant power source, which also means a lack of access to power or a power failure can mean the equipment can’t be used.

A safety hazard to keep in mind when using electromagnets in the fact that If the electric current is interrupted, any load being hoisted would be released and dropped. Some electromagnets feature a battery that will protect against accidental loss of power or power outages.

Fully battery-powered magnets are also available which use a self-contained gel cell-type batteries. Battery-powered magnets can be moved from hoist to hoist, offering generous lifting capacity without an external power connection with only a need for periodic recharging.

The Advantages of Lifting Magnets

The three main advantages of lifting magnets are their ability to lift materials without needing to cause surface damage, their cost-saving benefits, and their level of efficiency.

And this is how…

Damage-Free Lifting: Like lifting clamps, lifting magnets provide a way to transport materials without needing to cause surface damage to the load, such as needing to drill a hole to place an eyebolt. They can also minimize the potential of causing scratches, holes, or dents in the material if the magnets are used properly!

Cost-Effective: Since you are able to perform lifts without causing any damage to the load, it results in a more cost-effective lift since there’s no need to then fill and re-finish said damage. It also can be a more costly lift, simply because of the time saved in its efficiency…

Efficiency: Beyond lifting loads with no damage, lifting clamps are also often used to pick materials that may not be accessible enough to properly attach other rigging equipment. For example, if you have a crate of tightly packed materials come in, you may be able to use a lifting magnet to access one part from the top and lift it out quickly and easily! If this crate was say, filled with pipes stacked horizontally, using a strap or chain to lift a single pipe would require one end of the part to be manually lifted in order to pass the strap or chain underneath – Which would at the very least take much more time – If not being totally impossible, impractical or unsafe.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Using Lifting Magnets

Every type of lifting equipment has downfalls you need to keep in mind to ensure you’re rigging safe – And lifting magnets are no exception to that rule!

Above all, it’s imperative to have proper training on the correct use of ANY rigging equipment you come in contact with on the job. Once you have that base of knowledge, these are a few things you’ll want to be reminding yourself when using a lifting magnet.

1. Air Gaps

An air gap between the magnet and the load’s surface can reduce it’s holding performance. Magnetic lines of force pass easily through ferrous metals, but not air – Therefore anything that creates space or an air gap between the magnet and the lifted object will have a negative impact on the lifting capacity of the magnet. To get the best holding performance, air gaps must be kept to a minimum. You can determine the possibility of air gaps by looking at the profile of the load and its surface. Keep an eye out for things like thick paint, dust, chips, paper or packaging, rust, moisture or textured surface finishing which can all cause air gaps.

2. Magnet Contact to Surface 

Always ensure the entire magnet surface is making contact with the load during the lift. The lifting capacity of the magnet will be reduced in direct proportion to any amount of lack of contact with the material surface.

3. Material Being Lifted

Not all ferrous metals are made alike – Some contain non-magnetic materials that have a negative impact on the magnetic conductance. Heat treatments that affect the structure of the metal can also reduce the lifting capacity.

The lifting force percentage of various materials:

  • St37 (0,1-0,3% C) = 100% lifting force
  • Non-alloy steel (0,4-0,5% C) = 90% lifting force
  • Cast steel = 90% lifting force
  • Alloy steel F-522 = 80% – 90% lifting force
  • AISI430 (magnetic stainless steel) = 50% lifting force
  • Cast iron = 45% – 60% lifting force
  • F-522 tempered (60 HRC) = 40% – 50% lifting force
  • AISI304 (stainless steel/nickel) = 0% – 10% lifting force
  • Brass, aluminium, copper, etc. = 0% lifting force

4. Bending of the Load

If you’re lifting material with a single magnet such as a thin sheet, or something much wider then it is long, be conscious of the load bending and possibly, ‘peeling off’ the magnet. To combat this, thin sheets should be lifted with multiple magnets evenly distributed over the entire surface, and the magnet contact surface should always be in line with the lifted load, not perpendicular to its length.

5. Thickness of the Load

Think of magnetism as lines flowing from one material to the next, sticking them together – like a bunch of invisible nails. Have you ever tried to hang a photo on the wall with a nail and it fell right back out because the drywall wasn’t thick enough for the nail to properly be secured? Magnetism works very similar to that. Only if the load is sufficiently thick is it possible to utilize the magnet’s full capacity. Once this point is reached, a greater material thickness will not result in any additional lifting capacity. If the material you’re trying to lift is too thin, you won’t be able to use your lifting magnets full capacity.


Hercules SLR makes lifting magnets for a wide range of applications using permanent, electro-permanent, battery-powered, and electromagnetic technologies. Lifting Magnets are versatile, compact, easy to operate and can be used on flat and round material ranging from 0 to 11,000lbs. Our larger lifting magnets are designed for applications such as handling billets, bundles, bar stock, slabs, plates, structurals, long bar stock, rail, hot material, coils, pipe rebar, radioactive material, slag, and more.

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Safety Tips | Working in Cold Weather

Safety Tips | Working in Cold Weather

If you have a job in Canada that involves being outside at all, you’ve probably experienced working through the cold weather. If we didn’t work when there’s snow on the ground, when would we ever work – right?! Working in cold conditions isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Yes, even for us Canadians, no amount of adjusting to the cold will make you immune to the possibility of frostbite, numbness, dehydration or hypothermia. If you’re working outside in the cold, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and be prepared to stay safe.

A cold environment presents challenges to workers in three ways:

Air temperature – Air temperature is measured by an ordinary thermometer in degrees Celsius (°C) or degrees Fahrenheit (°F).

Air movement (wind speed) – There are many different types of anemometers that can be used to measure wind speed or air movement. These are calibrated in either meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h) or miles per hour (mph). The general rule of thumb is that you’ll find air movement measured in m/s and wind speed in km/h or mph depending on the region. You can estimate wind speed using the following guidelines if accurate information is not available to you:

  • 8 km/h (5 mph): light flags will move
  • 16 km/h (10 mph): light flags will be fully extended
  • 24 km/h (15 mph): raises a newspaper sheet
  • 32 km/h (20 mph): causes blowing and drifting snow

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) also provides recommendations to protect workers from hypothermia and frostbite. Included in these recommendations is the following wind chill temperature index:

Source: Adapted from Threshold Limit Values (TLV) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEI) booklet: published by ACGIH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2018, page 222.

Humidity (wetness) – Be aware that water conducts heat away from the body 25 times faster than dry air.

It’s important to take these three factors into consideration in order to work safely in the cold. Understanding how these three things can affect you on the job is the only way to be properly prepared!

What Are The Health Concerns Of Working In Cold Temperatures?

Environment Canada has developed the following chart which describes the health concerns and potential for frostbite when being outside at various temperatures. Click to check out the full document, Wind Chill – The Chilling facts.

How to Mitigate Cold Weather Challenges

Physical Activity

Keeping moving is one of the best ways to keep your body warm. While the production of body heat by physical activity (metabolic rate) is difficult to measure – It’s broken down into kilocalories (kcal) per hour, with one kcal being the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by 1°C. But if you don’t speak science talk – think about how hot you get when you work out or do something physically difficult. This works the same on a smaller scale too, so simply keeping yourself moving can help a lot with body temperate regulation.

Work/rest schedule

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) references the “work warm-up schedule” as developed by the Saskatchewan Occupation Health and Safety Division as a good standard practice – But your region may have similar or different regulation in place. This schedule shows the warm-up breaks required for working in cold conditions including the normal breaks that are always to be provided every two hours. The schedule allows additional breaks for workers as the wind velocity at the work site increases and/or the temperature drops.

Note: The information in the chart applies to moderate to heavy physical work activity in any four-hour period. At the end of the four-hour period, an extended break in a warm location is expected. 

Warm-up breaks are assumed to be provided for ten minutes in a warm environment. This guideline applies to workers wearing dry clothing. This guideline is not intended to replace established cold weather work practices that provide workers with better protection.

Protective clothing 

Clothing – Protective clothing is needed when working in temperatures at or below 4°C. Clothing should be selected to suit the temperature, weather conditions (e.g., wind speed, rain), the level and duration of physical activity, and job type. It’s not always about putting on the warmest things possible because if your type of work causes you to excessively sweat, that garment’s insulation value will decrease dramatically. It’s about finding a balance of warm enough – but not too warm.

10 Tips For Optimum Cold Work Clothing 

  1. Clothing should be worn in multiple layers rather than a single thick garment. The air between layers of clothing will actually provide better insulation than the clothing itself! Having several layers also gives you the option to open or remove a layer before you get too warm and start sweating or to add a layer when you take a break.
  2. Your inner layer should provide insulation and be able to “wick” moisture away from the skin to help keep it dry. Thermal underwear made from polyesters or polypropylene is a great option because polypropylene wicks perspiration away from the skin. It also keeps the second layer away from the skin.
  3. The additional layers of clothing should provide adequate insulation for the weather conditions. It’s best to have an outer jacket that’s able to close or open at the waist, neck and wrists to help control the amount of heat that is trapped in, or let out.
  4. When working in wet conditions, the outer layer of clothing must be waterproof.
  5. If the work area cannot be shielded against wind, an easily removable windbreaker garment should be used.
  6. Under extremely cold conditions, heated protective clothing should be made available to you if the work cannot be done on a warmer day (e.g. emergency services)
  7. Always wear a hat suitable for the conditions that will keep your ears warm. If your personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements include a hard hat, a knit cap or liner can reduce excessive heat loss. Consult with the hard hat supplier or manufacturer for appropriate liners that do not compromise the protection provided by the hard hat.
  8. Keep clothing dry. When entering a heated area to rest, remove as much snow as possible to avoid it melting into your clothes. Also allow perspiration to escape by opening up or removing some layers.
  9. If fine manual dexterity is not required, gloves should be used below 4°C for light work and below -7°C for moderate work. For work below -17°C, mittens should be used. (Learn more about the importance of gloves in all conditions and more helpful tips in our blog, Safety Gloves: An Important Part of Your PPE)
  10. Try to avoid cotton as much as possible as it tends to get damp or wet quickly, and loses its insulating properties. Wool or synthetic fibers, on the other hand, will retain heat when wet.

Footwear

Felt-lined, rubber bottomed, leather-topped boots with removable felt insoles are best suited for heavy work in cold since leather is porous, allowing the boots to “breathe” and let perspiration evaporate. Leather boots can be “waterproofed” with some products that do not block the pores in the leather. However, if work involves standing in water or slush (e.g., fire fighting, farming), then waterproof boots must be worn.

You may prefer to wear one pair of thick, bulky socks or two pairs – one inner sock of silk, nylon, or thin wool and a slightly larger, thick outer sock. Liner socks made from polypropylene will help keep feet dry and warm by wicking sweat away from the skin but if the outer sock becomes wet, its insulation properties will decrease. Always have extra socks available so you can dry your feet and change socks during the day!

Check out CCOH’s Foot Comfort and Safety at Work for more general information on how to select footwear!

Face and Eye Protection

In extremely cold conditions, face protection can be used to protect the face from the cold and wind. In this case, any if your required PPE includes eye protection, the eye protection must be separated from the nose and mouth to prevent exhaled moisture fogging or frosting your eye protection. Choose eye protection that will protect against ultraviolet light from the sun, which reflects off of snow as well as protect against blowing snow or ice crystals and high winds at cold temperatures.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)

Education and training is your #1 tool in workplace safety. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and If it’s not treated in the early stage, the condition will become life-threatening – Know the signs and you can save a life!

Early Stage

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation

Late Stage

  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Request immediate medical assistance

First Aid Steps for Hypothermia

  • Request emergency medical assistance
  • Move the victim into a warm room or shelter
  • Remove any wet clothing
  • Warm the center of the victim’s body first (the chest, neck, head, and groin) using loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets
  • If the victim is conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature. Do not give alcoholic beverages (if that’s not obvious!)
  • After the victim’s body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck

As mentioned, the #1 way to ensure you’re safety while at work is being in the know – And that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.

Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.

LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

Top 10 Construction Marvels Completing in 2020

Top 10 Construction Marvels Completing in 2020

Crossing into a new year always feels like a new chapter, filled with endless opportunities – And this year, being the start of a new decade, feels like a whole new book just waiting to be filled with amazing accomplishments.

Inspired by the B1M video, Top 20 Projects Completing in 2020, in this blog we’ll be diving into some of the most mind-boggling construction marvels that are set to complete in 2020!

In this blog we will just cover 10, and go a bit deeper into the backstories of these incredible feats of construction – but we highly recommend checking out the video to see a quick snapshot of their entire list of 20!

1. Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower, tallest residential building in the world.

New York City, New York 

Once completed, this architectural landmark will be 1,550 feet tall making it the tallest residential building in the world. The building is positioned in one of the world’s most famous skylines, along Manhattan’s Billionaire Row, with a North-facing view of beautiful Central Park. Once completed the building is set to house 179 of the most exclusive homes in the world.

Designed by a top architectural firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the tower features elements of glass, satin-finished steel, and light-catching vertical and horizontal details that are designed to accentuate both texture and light. At the base of the tower, will be Nordstrom’s first full-line department store and the building will also feature one of the world’s most exclusive private clubs, Central Park Club.

The 179 ultra-luxury two-to-eight-bedroom residences begin on the 32nd floor of the building and range in size from 1,435 square feet to over 17,500 square feet. The sale of these residences begin this year and start at $6.9 million.


2. Dubai Expo 2020 Campus

Rendering of Expo 2020 Dubai UAE

United Arab Emirates

World Expos are one of the oldest and largest international events on the planet, taking place every five years and lasting six months

Fun Fact: Innovations launched at World Expos include the telephone, the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel, the X-Ray machine, the ice cream cone, the commercial broadcast TV, IMAX, touchscreens and the humanoid robot! 

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and is expected to attract 25 million visitors between it’s opening on Oct 20th, 2020 to closing on April 10, 2021.

World expo buildings are exceptionally grand, the 2020 campus is no exception. It is set to cover over 4 square kilometers and will include a major addition to the Dubai Metro. Near the beginning of what has been a 3- year construction project, there was reportingly an on-site batching plant for concrete, three 132kb substations, 12 tower cranes with 5,000 cubic meters of concrete being poured every week and an additional 500 tonnes of steel being brought in every seven days.

Designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects including Santiago Calatrava, Grimshaw and Foster Partners this construction project will be one to watch as it comes to its competition this year!


3. Premier Tower

Melbourne, Australia

Frame capture of dancers from Beyonce’s ‘Ghost’ music video – The inspiration for Premier Tower.

Premier Tower is one of Melbourne’s tallest and most prestigious developments, best known for how it was inspired…by Beyonce’s music video ‘Ghost’ (yes, you read that correctly) which features dancers tightly wrapped in fabric. Designed by Elenberg Fraser, this elegantly designed high-rise sits on an island across from the city’s main train terminal. once completed this year, the building will include at least 1 million square feet of space, comprising of 780 apartments, 180 hotel suites, 78 levels, 139 car parks and a variety of communal spaces including lounges, swimming pools, gyms, and dining areas.

Mimicking the curves seen in the dancers above using glass, concrete, and steel, as you’d imagine, is no walk in the park. The building has a very slender structure, with the ratio of height to a structural width of 8.3 from the ground up, with a much more challenging 10.8 above the podium. To maintain the building’s stability while moving in the wind, mega-columns on the façade maximize the width of the stabilizing structure and these are tied to the core by two-or three-story outriggers concealed in party walls, and secondary outriggers at the mid-height plant floor. These mega-columns are sized to be able to carry both gravity and the wind’s load – which were tested extensively in a wind tunnel to ensure they would be successful in doing this.


4. Australia 108

Melbourne, Australia

Rendering of the Australia 108, tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere

Australia 108 is a residential skyscraper in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, Australia. Late last year, in November of 2019, it was topped out and become the tallest building in Australia by roof height and second tallest building by full height – This makes it the highest residence in the southern hemisphere. Construction on the $900 million skyscraper commenced in October 2015 and is just getting those final touches going into 2020.

Once completed the building is set to house 1105 residential units over 100 stories. The building recently broke records for the most expensive apartment ever sold in Australia, when they sold the 750-square meter penthouse for $25 million.

Fun Fact: In the initial plans for the Australia 108 included 108 stories, but had to be reduced to 100 following concerns it would interfere with airplane flight paths – Now that’s a tall building! 

Nobody describes this breathtaking feat of construction quite like it’s architect…

“Australia 108 is a highly sculptural residential tower unlike any other in Australia. Its slender form is highlighted at the Cloud Residences levels by a golden starburst expression and then morphs into a curvaceous profile against the sky. The starburst which contains the resident facilities is inspired by the Commonwealth Star on the Australian flag and is an obvious celebration of the sense of community within the building.” – Fender Katsalidis


5. F1 Street Circuit

Hanoi, Vietnam

Rendering of T1 Street Circuit

Also known as simply the Hanoi Street Circuit, this is a bit different than the rest of the construction projects on this list, as it’s a motor racing venue! Located in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, this street circuit is designed to host the Vietnamese Grand Prix a round of the Formula One World Championship in 2020.

The circuit has 22 turns, is 5.607 km long and features one of the longest straights at 1.5 km in length. What makes this circuit interesting is that when it was designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke, it was made as a temporary street section that will be open for regular public commuting once the race is completed – So it’s not just a race track, but a public street upgrade!


6. National Stadium

Rendering of 2020 National Stadium

Tokyo, Japan

Set to have the final touches finished early this year, this impressive 60,000 seat stadium will be ready in time for the 2020 Olympic Games which begin in Tokyo on July 24, 2020! National Stadium, also referred to as 2020 Olympics Park, is as you may have already guessed, where the Olympic’s opening and closing ceremonies will take place. It will also be the venue for some of the Olympic competitive events such as track and field and soccer. National Stadium will also be the location of this year’s Paralympic Games. Located in one of the busiest and most densely populated parts of Tokyo, Shinjuku City, this stadium will surely continue to be marveled far beyond the Olympic games.

This stadium was built to replace the previous National Stadium, which was also build to host the Olympic games, back in 1964. Updates were made from the last stadium to include seating arrangements that can better accommodate wheelchair access and 185 fans and 8 mist-cooling devices that will cool athletes and spectators in what is expected to be an extremely hot summer. Construction for this project has been in progress since December 2016 and once finished will have cost about $2 billion Canadian dollars to build.


7. Sofi Stadium

Rendering of Sofi Stadium

Los Angeles, California 

Another stadium to make the list, this time, the soon-to-be home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The Sofi Stadium is located on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack and will act as the centerpiece of a 298-acre mixed-use development featuring retail, commercial office space, a hotel, residential units, and outdoor park spaces.

This 70,000 seat venue is set to be a world-class football venue and is already confirmed to host the Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and the College Football Championship Game in 2023. It will also play a major role in the Olympic Games in 2028 by hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.

Even outside the sporting world, this stadium will also serve as an unparalleled entertainment destination and is set to host a string of high profile concerts beginning in the summer of 2020 (with Taylor Swift being the very first person to perform in the venue!).


8. Resorts World

Las Vegas, Nevada

Rendering of Resort World

Resorts World Las Vegas in a hotel and casino that is currently under construction on the famous Las Vegas Strip. It is set to complete it’s construction this year and open in 2021. The location of this hotel has had quite the journey – It started as the site of the Stardust Resort and Casino which was closed and demolished in 2007, then become the site for a new resort in 2008, the Echelon Place, which had construction halted that same year due to economic conditions. In 2013 the property was sold to the Genting Group who then announced their plans for Resorts World Las Vegas.

The groundbreaking was initially scheduled to begin construction in 2014 for a 2016 open date, but it has been delayed multiple times due to redesigns of the project. Groundbreaking actually happened in May of 2015 and construction began in late 2017. Once finished, it’s estimated cost to build will equal a whopping $4.3 billion making it the most expensive resort property to ever be developed in Las Vegas.


9. PWC Tower

Milan, Italy

Rendering of PwC Tower by Struttura Leggera

Milan is known for its fashion, elegance and cutting edge architecture – And the PWC Tower fits perfectly into those expectations, if not blowing them totally out of the water. Standing at 175-metres this skyscraper designed by Studio Libeskind is slated for completion in 2020!

Dubbed, “Il Curvo” (translation: The Curved One…doesn’t sound quite as fancy)  is known for the way its prismatic outline catches the eye as it leans forward into the Tre Torri Square with arching steel and glass. It accompanies two neighboring skyscrapers within Tre Torri Square, the already completed Allianz Tower, and Generali Tower.

While the buildings don’t directly match in the way one might expect, Studio Libeskind principal Yama Karim explains in an interview for AchiExpo e-Magazine, “these towers were always conceived as a group, I see them as chess pieces, in dialogue with one another. Our tower completes the composition”.


10. Allegiant Stadium

Las Vegas, Nevada 

Rendering of Allegiant Stadium as captured in Ep. 8 of ‘From the Ground Up’

The 1.84 billion USD Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will become the most expensive stadium ever built when it’s complete for the 2020 NFL season. With space for 65,000 spectators, Allegiant Stadium will be the future home of the Raiders who are relocating from Oakland, as well as UNLV football. It’s also set to host the Vegas Bowl beginning in 2020 which will feature a Pac-12 opponent versus either a Big Ten or SEC opponent, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

The Allegiant Stadium is a great project to follow if you’re interested in top-of-the-line huge construction projects as they have done an extraordinary job capturing every moment. You can visit the website to check out a 24/7 live stream of the building, capturing any new construction being done, as well as a time-lapse which (currently) has captured 23 months of progress.

They have also created a Youtube video series on the Raider’s Youtube channel called “From the Ground Up“, which (currently) has 9 episodes which takes the viewer on an unprecedented look into the techniques and technologies, the steel and the stress, and the lives of the men and women responsible for building an ultra-modern stadium in Southern Nevada.


No matter how BIG or small the project – Hercules SLR is here to support you every step of the way.

Hercules SLR is your source for cranes, hoists, wire rope, fall arrest equipment and much, much more. We also provide equipment rentals and perform inspections, repairs, and certifications, at your business or in one of our fully-equipped shops. Need assistance staying safety compliant? Our experienced consultants help with risk assessment, PPE specification, hazard analysis, fall protection, and incident investigation. Other services include the design and installation of horizontal lifelines, vertical lifelines and anchor points.

Hercules SLR is your one-stop-shop for securing, rigging and lifting!

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Ask The Experts | Sling Identification Tags

One of the first things Inspection Technicians look for when inspecting a rigging and lifting sling is if it has a missing or illegible identification tag. But what do all those markings mean, and why are they important? Hercules SLR rigging experts from Brampton, Ontario are on-hand to explain it all.

Your sling’s identification tag provides you with a wealth of essential information to ensure you are lifting safe including: The manufacture of the sling or where it was most recently repaired, the material of the sling, the working load limit (WLL) of the sling, the serial number, the manufacture’s code or stock number and the type of sling.

This is all information that should be taken into account when creating a lifting plan in order to choose the best type of sling for the job based on the WLL, hitch configuration, and capabilities and different sling angles.

All types of sling will come with an identification tag provided by the manufacturer. Over the lifetime of the sling, it’s important to maintain the tag as best as possible in order to keep it legible. If your tag does become damaged, missing, or illegible the sling should immediately be removed from service.

Keeping up with regular inspections will ensure you are never using a chain sling without a tag in proper condition. If you notice a damaged, missing, or illegible tag before your required inspections -- Simply have the tag replaced. While it is considered a repair, additional proof testing would not be needed at that time (unless otherwise required).

What are the Identification Tag Requirements?

The experts at Hercules SLR in Brampton Ontario are answering some key rigging questions over on the Hercules Group of Company’s social media platforms—And this is one of those questions! In the video below, they (quickly) go over the indication tag requirements for chain slings and show you the difference between a tag in good condition, and one that wouldn’t pass inspection.

Alloy Chain Sling Requirements

Each alloy chain sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Number of legs
  • Chain size
  • Grade
  • Length (reach)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Individual sling identification (i.e. serial number)
  • Date of Manufacture

To keep up with tips like these, follow The Hercules Group of Companies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!

But what about all of the other types of sling? Keeping in mind what a legible tag vs. an illegible tag looks like, continue on to see what the requirements are for a variety of different types of sling. However -- ALWAYS check in with the regulations in your jurisdiction, as there may be specialized requirements in your location.   

Wire Rope Sling Requirments

Each wire rope sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Diameter or size
  • Number if legs (if more then one)

Metal Mesh Sling Requirements

Each metal mesh sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Individual sling identification (ex: serial number)

Synthetic Rope Sling Requirements

Each synthetic rope sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Type of fiber material
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Synthetic Web Sling Requirements

Each synthetic web sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Type of fiber material
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Polyester Roundsling Requirements

Each Polyester roundsling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Core material
  • Cover material (if different from core material)
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

High-Performance Roundsling Requirements

Each high-performance roundsling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Core yarn including fiber type(s) or blend
  • Cover material (if different from core material)
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Performing a lifting job safely doesn’t happen due to luck—It happens with the proper knowledge and preparedness! Keeping an eye on your sling’s indication tag to ensure it’s not damaged, missing or illegible is an important part of that preparedness.

But when it comes to ensuring your equipment is operating correctly and safely, leave it to the experts! Keeping up with regular inspections will keep you worry-free when it comes to the safety of your equipment and will have a major effect on unscheduled outages and business costs!

Find all your Securing, Lifting and Rigging solutions under one roof at Hercules SLR. Whether you’re in the market to purchase a sling, needing it inspected or seeking out maintenance Hercules SLR has you covered!

We’ve got you covered for more than just slings! Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoist & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with ASME and provincial regulations. Once inspections, repairs, and testing is completed, we will supply full certification on your equipment to show that it complies with provincial and national safety regulations.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

CALL OUR BRAMPTON, ONTARIO BRANCH: 

 

7 Common Misuses Of Fall Protection Equipment

common misuses of fall protection equipment

7 Common Misuses Of Fall Protection Equipment

Every worker has the right to return home safe each and every day. The most recent report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), showed that 251,508 Canadian’s accepted claims for lost time due to work-related injury or disease in just one year.

Did you know that approximately 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone? You can prevent falls and incidents like these by wearing proper fall protection equipment, and wearing it right.

If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety laws generally require fall protection measures to be in place. You can check with your jurisdiction as requirements do vary, but in most cases fall protection measures such as fixed barriers, surface opening protections, control zones, fall or travel restraint systems, fall containment systems or fall arrest systems are required. You can learn more about some of these systems by reading our fall protection glossary.

But it’s not good enough just to throw on the required minimum fall protection equipment and call it a day – It’s important the equipment be used properly.

In this blog, we will be talking a bit about 7 common misuses of fall protection equipment, to serve as a reminder for things to look out for, but should be used in conjunction with proper training. The Hercules Training Academy offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses, including a course on fall protection!

1. Misuse of Rebar Snap Hooksfall protection repair snap hooks

Rebar hooks (also referred to as pelican hooks, large gates or form hooks) are frequently used pieces of equipment in the fall protection world because their large openings make them quick and easy to use. They also allow for connection to many objects, eliminating the need for additional anchorage connectors. However, not using an additional connector can be very dangerous in the wrong circumstances and rebar hooks are only approved for specific configurations so if you use them outside of those configurations, it can present a safety hazard to workers.

The best way to mitigate the misuse of rebar snap hooks is to ensure that the anchorage connector D-ring is larger than the snap hook to avoid side loading. Since this is difficult to achieve, oftentimes workers choose to use a small anchor strap instead with some workplaces not allowing the use of snap hooks all together!

2. Misuse of Lanyards

A common mistake made with lanyards is users wrapping them back upon themselves. Most fall arrest lanyards are not designed to wrap around a structure and hook onto themselves, but a worker may try to set it up in that way if no other anchorage point is available. This can cause equipment failure due to damaged to the lanyard material or improper gate loading. This problem can be solved with anchorage straps, which are designed to be wrapped back on themselves – providing the proper strength needed to be safe while also remaining accessible.

Furthermore, regardless of if a lanyard is designed for wrapping around beams, piping, ductwork, or around a guardrail, with time, the sawing action could damage it. This problem can be mitigated by using a beam clamp or beam straps as an anchorage connector.

3. Inappropriate Anchorage Connection or Strength

A fall protection system is only as effective as its anchorage. Always ensure the anchorage is strong enough to support the weight of the individual wearing it in the case of a fall. To be sure you can rely on your fall protection equipment, always test the strength of the connection after set up.

To be certain you have the right anchorage strength, only use certified anchorages and make sure there is always someone on the scene with the correct training to properly identify the appropriate anchorage to use for the circumstances of the job. Since the average weight of the individuals using the fall protection system will very, the anchorage system must be designed for the maximum weight of any potential users.

3m dbi-sala fall protection anchorages

4. Anchoring Below The Dorsal D-Ring

Another common misuse of fall protection systems is workers anchoring themselves to a point below their dorsal D-Ring (sometimes even below their feet). This increases the free fall weight and distance, sometimes beyond the equipment’s ability to arrest it. Pushing these limits can cause the lanyard or anchorage to fall, or can exceed the allowable force on the body, which can increase the likelihood of a serious injury.

The goal is always to minimize free-fall distances, so connecting to a point above the dorsal D-ring should be the choice if in any way possible. However, if there is no overhead structure to provide an anchorage point, the worker must use a free-fall lanyard that is approved for the greater free-fall distance and force.

5. Unproperly Adjusted Harnesses

For fall protection equipment to be used correctly and effectively, workers must be wearing their equipment correctly. Most fall protection harnesses are designed with adjustable leg, waist, shoulder, and chest straps, which all must be sized to the user. A fall protection system is no good if you can’t stay in it, which is exactly the risk presented if the harness is not tightened properly to the user’s body. As you can imagine, being ejected from a harness mid-fall can lead to serious injury.

Here’s what to look for to ensure a harness is fitted correctly:

  • The dorsal D-ring sits between the worker’s shoulders blades – If it’s adjusted too high, the metal hardware could cause injury to the user’s head and if it’s adjusted too low, the user can be left hanging in a poor position with an increased risk of suspension trauma.
  • The chest strap should lie across the user’s chest at the base of the sternum – If it’s too high on the user’s chest, it can cause a choking hazard in the case of a fall by putting pressure on the user’s neck.
  • Shoulder straps cannot be pulled off of the user’s shoulders or outward.
  • Sub-pelvic straps are positioned under the buttocks.
  • Leg straps are tightened to a point where four fingers can fit between the strap and the user’s leg, but cannot pull away from the leg.
  • General observation of harness fit – Looking for things like twisted straps or asymmetrical leg straps. 

3m dbi-sala fall protection harness specs and info

6. Using Damaged or Recalled Equipment

Everything from UV exposer, corrosion, wear and tear and everything in between can impact the effectiveness of your fall protection equipment. You can avoid UV and corrosion damage by storing your equipment properly when not in use, but some amount of wear and tear cannot be avoided if you’re actually using your equipment, which is what it’s made for after all! Because of this, all users should be trained on what to look for when inspecting equipment to ensure that it is in proper working order to operate safely.

Steps to ensure your equipment is always in safe working condition:

  1. Have your equipment inspected on at least an annual basis – Another thing Hercules SLR’s experienced and LEEA certified team can take off your hands! 
  2. Register your equipment so you are always notified of product recalls or advisories.
  3. Stay current on advisories and advances in technology.
  4. Store equipment in an environment that is as protected as possible.

7. Confusing Twin-Leg Energy-Absorbing & Self-Retracting Devices

Although these two devices sometimes look and function similar, a common mistake people make is thinking twin-leg energy absorbing & self-retracting lifeline devices are the same or interchangeable. However, since they are designed and tested for specific conditions, it’s important they are used for those appropriate applications.

The self-retracting lifeline (SRL) vs. energy-absorbing lifeline (EAL) is a topic of lively debate among fall protection engineers because both devices have their benefits but the general consensus is that an SRL is preferable in an industrial environment where an overhead horizontal system is (or can be) installed and an EAL is preferable in a construction environment where workers typically do not have access to an overhead anchorage point.

3m dbi-sala fall protecton srl hercules slr


Click this image to view the full Fall Protection course overview.

The Hercules Training Academy is open with brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

In our Fall Protection course, you will learn: regulations, hazard assessments, pre-use inspections, calculating fall distance, donning a harness, selecting fall protection equipment, fall protection plans and procedures, selecting anchor points, ladders, elevated work platforms, suspension trauma

We can customize courses to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!


LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

 

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

What’s a spydercrane? Although this spyder is a little bit too big to squish with your shoe… No need to worry arachnophobes, the only thing the Spydercrane and the actual creepy-crawly have in common are it’s 4 long legs which give it a spider-like appearance.

This new crane is much like a boom lift, but its small base and spyder legs or ‘outriggers’ makes it much more versatile than the typical boom lift.

The spydercrane was originally manufactured by Furukawa UNIC Corporation in Japan, and is called the Mini Crawler Crane. Roger Bassetti and Warren Wagoner from Phoenix-based Smiley Lift Solutions saw the crane while on a business trip to Japan and immediately knew that they needed to bring the mini crane technology to the North American Market. So, the Spydercranes we see around the US and Canada come from Smiley Lift Solutions!

What Makes the Sydercrane Special?

Here you see the Sypercrane easily wheeling through a doorway in travel mode

The key feature of the Spydercrane is that they offer a compact design that allows for operation in confined areas. The smaller models are able to travel through a standard width door frame when compact into their ‘travel position’ and the largest of the models are able to travel through a standard double-door.

Travel-mode in the larger Spydercrane models also includes a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

You may be starting to get that “it’s too good to be true” ring in the back of your mind thinking it must be an absolute pain to get a crane from all tucked up in travel mode to a useable piece of equipment. However, you can easily set up a typical Spydercrane from travel mode to fully deployed and ready for action in less than 5 minutes! Don’t believe it? Check out this video from GLG Canada showing in real-time just how easy the Sydercrane set-up is!

Many of the models of Sypdercrane come with some other cutting-edge features that make the Sydercrane even more unique. Some of these include:

It’s patented Overturn Protection System: This is comprised of an on-board computer system that continually measures the ground pressure of each of the outriggers through an incorporated “load cell”. During a lift, if the system detects an outrigger is losing ground pressure, an alarm will sound and the crane will start to slow done all functions. If two outriggers start to lose ground pressure, the crane will automatically stop all functions that would put the crane closer to an unsafe position. With the alarm sounding and the crane at a safe stopped position, the operator is able to maneuver the crane back into a safe lifting position.

Variable Geometry Outriggers: The outriggers are designed to allow for lifts in tight spaces. It allows for the outriggers to be locked in numerous positions on the swing, knee, and inner box joints. This means the mini crane can be set up around obstacles, on a catwalk, or in a machinery room with very limited space.

Remote Control and Pressure Sensitive Controls: Unlike most cranes, the Spydercrane offers pressure-sensitive controls that will speed or slow the crane’s functions based on the amount of pressure input by the operator. Most models of the Spydercrane are also equipped with a wireless remote control so the operator themselves can be in the best vantage point for the lift, rather than needing to be on board running controls.

Superior Materials and Construction: The Spydercrane is designed with a hexagonal keeled boom instead of the standard square boom, which adds strength and reduces sway. This is made up of steel that is rated at 140,000 -- 160,000 yield (psi), which is the highest tinsel-yield steel making it thinner and lighter but still stronger than most conventional crane materials.

Spydercrane Models

090 Series

This series is made for job sites requiring a small crane with a boom length of 18 -- 28.4 ft and a maximum lifting capacity of 1,990 lbs. There are three models in this series, the URW094, URW095, and URW095S, which are all generally used in confined spaces where the typical crane would never fit.

090 series cranes can be configured around obstacles, can be set-up on uneven ground, or operated in confined spaces like hallways and up against walls.

200 Series

This series of the Spydercrane is deemed the most versatile and is therefore popular among many industries, On of the most popular uses of this crane is as a glazing tool to set glass and other materials. Three models are available within this series that range in boom length from 24.9 ft -- 28.4 ft and maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,450 lbs. The geometric footprint of this model of the Spydercrane makes it suitable for use in hallways, balconies, or around obstacles.

All of the models within this series are equipped with the wireless radio remote control mentioned above, which frees the operator from being tethered to the crane.

300 Series

The 300 series Spyderceane is the perfect lifting solution for modern construction sites, as it’s a bit bigger than other models with an increased boom length of 47’10” and a maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,680 lbs depending on the model.

Though it’s a larger ‘spyder’ when in use, it is only 52 inches wide when in travel mode, which will allow you to move it into any space through a standard double-door -- And it’s zero-emission power options allow for use in indoor construction projects with low ventilation.

500 Series

The 500 series Spydercrane is perfect for steel erection as it offers a lifting capacity of up to 8,920 lbs and a boom length of 8.0 ft. The 500 series Spydercrane is revolutionizing how buildings are built with its heavy-lifting capacity and ability to perform in confined spaces.

This crane is also able to move through a standard double-door when in travel mode and can be used in job sites with low ventilation thanks to its zero-emission power options. And to top it all off, it comes mounted on a dual rubber track with a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

700 Series

You may have sensed a theme and can guess that the 700 series Spydercrane is the largest Spydercrane currently available in the North American market. While it is described as a “beast” it still keeps the key feature of the Spydercrane in being compactable down to 5.48′ wide. The 700 Series Spydercrane can really do it all with a lifting capacity of over 6 tons.

Coming jam-packed with all of the features mentioned before throughout smaller series of the crane, the URW706 model has the ability to rotate 360 degrees in places, making it a dream to maneuver through confined spaces. You can find this tarantula level super Spyder crane being used in almost any industrial industry!


No matter how unique and revolutionary your crane is, it’s always important to ensure you’re keeping up with mandatory maintenance and inspections.

Hercules SLR offers crane certifications & LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance and crane parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

When you spend a long day lifting, hoisting and pulling, your body probably has some aches & pains. Did you know your crane is no different? Just like a weightlifter must take care of their body, watch what they eat and even ensure the palms of their hands are prepared to lift, your crane needs a similar level of care. (And, we know what happens when this level of care is overlooked).

Click here to discover what type of cranes Hercules SLR services, the equipment & products we service, sell & inspect and why looking after your crane benefits you in the long-run.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Rigging Throughout History | How the Hoover Dam was Built

Rigging Throughout History: The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam (originally known as the Boulder Dam) is one of American’s most famous landmarks—An engineering marvel of it’s time, that still remains one of the largest and most impressive dams to ever be created.

When the construction of the Hoover Dam was complete in March of 1936, it was the heaviest and tallest dam to exist, surpassing the next in line, The Arrowrock Dam, by double the height and triple the width.

This is impressive in any decade, right? Absolutely! But before we had the technology we have today that makes huge construction projects like these much easier, and more importantly, much safer, this feat was even more notable.

Read on to find out how, and why!

The Hoover Dam: It Begins

hoover dam inspection party 1931
An inspection party near the proposed site of the dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River.

The Hoover Dam was created to solve two different problems. If you’re not familiar, the Hoover Dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. Prior to construction in 1931, the Colorado River would flood every spring, and often destroyed villages and crops along its path. This was one reason to create the dam, because water would be more controlled and displaced in calculated locations. Then, of course, the second reason is why most things get created—Income generation.

How does the Hoover Dam work? As water flows through large pipes inside the dam, turbines rotate, which then spins a series of magnets, past copper coils and a generator to produce electricity. This electricity helps support Nevada, California, and Arizona still, to this day!

As we mentioned before, this was not (and still isn’t) a simple task. Even today this wouldn’t be a construction project to scoff at, so you can imagine how difficult it was in 1931.

The Hoover Dam is 726.4 feet tall from the foundation of rock at the bottom to the roadway that runs along the top, and is constructed from 3.4 Million cubic meters of concrete. And if that’s not daunting enough, it was constructed in the middle of the desert, which at the time had no local workforce, no infrastructure, or transportation. The closest access to civilization was 30 miles away in Las Vegas, which had a railroad. This railroad became their one and only access point to bring in workers, materials, and supplies.

The construction of the Hoover Dam happened in the middle of the great depression, so despite it being in the middle of nowhere, it didn’t take long to get the workforce they needed. Within 3 weeks of the project being announced, the closest employment office in Las Vegas had received 12,000 applications for work. This wasn’t going to be easy work, but it was a stable income—Something many people at the time didn’t have.

black and white frank crowe hoover dam engineer
Frank Crowe.

Unfortunately, this made exploiting workers easy—If a worker wasn’t able or comfortable doing a task, they would simply be sent away and replaced with one of thousands of other men who’d happily step into the job.

An engineer named Frank Crowe was in the charge of the project, and had 7 years to complete it. If the project wasn’t complete within this timeline, there would be an approximate $3,000 a day financial penalty. Crowe was prepared to complete the project by any means necessary, and even earned the nickname ‘Hurry-Up Crowe’ for his constant efforts to ensure the project was unfolding on-time and on-budget.

A rushed project focused on speed above all else, is often not a safe project—And the Hoover Dam is a perfect example of this.

The Hoover Dam: Phase One

Allow me to set the scene for you—Thousands of untrained workers, in the middle of the desert, during one of the hottest summers on record (temperatures peaking at 49°C), faced with the monumental task of diverting one of America’s most powerful, dominating and unpredictable rivers—Sounds like a perfect storm…right?

In order to create a construction site in the riverbed, four diversion tunnels were driven through the canyon walls, two on the Nevada side and two on the Arizona side. These tunnels were 56 ft (17 m) in diameter and had a combined length of nearly 16,000 ft, or more than 3 miles (5 km). They also had to be sturdy enough to handle the powerful Colorado river, which meant about 850-cubic metrics of water a second.

The process of creating these tunnels involved  drilling holes into the rock, then packing the holes with dynamite. In 1931, this work was traditionally very slow and tedious, with each hole being drilled out individually with a simple drill or jackhammer. But, with a tight deadline in mind, Frank Crowe came up with a faster solution. Specialized 10-ton trucks were brought in that would each have 50 men on board, running 24-30 drills at one time. These trucks would be backed up along the walls of the tunnel, and half of the wall would be able to be drilled at a time. With 8 of these trucks and 500 drills, they were able to create the tunnels in record time. and 10 months ahead of schedule.

But, this did not come without consequence. Temperatures within the tunnels could reach upwards of 60°C, and the only solution presented for this was a team of people they called the “ice brigades” who would go into the tunnels to bring out exhausted workers to plunge them into ice water. Fourteen men died of heat exhaustion alone during the construction of the tunnels.

And the hazards don’t stop there – Many other workers were hospitalized or killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning because the tunnels didn’t have the proper ventilation to support the steady stream of trucks going in and out. Many of these deaths were reported as a pneumonia outbreak, according to doctors at the time, but it’s widely believed that it was misrepresented by the construction company to avoid paying death compensation.

The Hoover Dam: Phase 2

hoover dam high scaler 1931
One of the Hoover Dam “High Scalers”.

After the tunnels were complete, cofferdams (small enclosures so the water can drain) made from materials extracted from the tunnels were put in place, and water was drained from the construction site. In order for the dam to rest on solid rock, accumulated erosion soils and other loose materials in the riverbed had to be removed. Since the dam is an arch-gravity type, the side-walls of the canyon bear weight from the dam as well, so the side-walls also had to be excavated.

The team that performed these side-wall excavations was called “high scalers” and they would work suspended from the top of the canyon with ropes (NOT proper fall protection equipment) and would climb down the canyon walls removing any loose rock with jackhammers and dynamite. Falling objects were the number one cause of death on the dam site, with high scalers often being the victims of this hazard.

To protect themselves against falling objects, some high scalers took cloth hats and dipped them in tar, allowing them to harden. When workers wearing such headgear were struck hard enough to inflict broken jaws, they sustained no skull damage.

These hats went on to be called “hard boiled hats” and companies began ordering the hats and encouraging their use—One of the first versions of the modern hard hat (but not NEARLY as safe, so don’t get any ideas about dipping old hats in tar…please, buy a certified hard hat!)

The Hoover Dam: Phase 3

Once excavations were complete, the concrete staring pouring in, 6,600,000 tons of it to be exact. You may notice a squared pattern along the side of the Hoover Dam, and that’s because it’s made of a series of blocks of concrete—Not a large pour. This is because if they attempted to pour out the Hoover Dam in one continuous piece, it would still be drying today!

LEFT, A bucket holding 18 tons of concrete is maneuvered into positions. RIGHT, Concrete lowered into place.

When the ingredients of concrete are combined (cement, aggregate & water), they trigger a chemical reaction. This reaction generates internal heat, and slows down the curing process—The larger the pour, the longer it takes to harden. A series of interlocking blocks allows the concrete to harden in a more reasonable time-frame.

But there was also the opposite problem—Liquid concrete could harden too fast when attempting to transport it to the top of the dam, where the blocks were being formed, because of the intense desert heat.

To solve this problem, Frank Crowe designed an elaborate network of overhead cables and pullies that would move across the construction site carrying buckets of concrete. This was one of the largest rigging systems to ever be used on a construction site at the time! But I think it’s safe to say it probably wouldn’t pass a modern inspection (definitely not from our LEEA certified technicians)—So don’t start taking any notes!

The Hoover Dam: Lessons Learned

The Hoover Dam project was complete in 1936, 2 years quicker then the original timeline suggests. During construction, 112 people died.

Back in 1931, it wasn’t that uncommon to have a high fatality rate on construction sites. Some of that was because they didn’t have access to the technology we have today (or at least not as good quality), like fall protection equipment or modern hard hats, and other personal protective equipment (PPU). Some of it was also due to the fact that employers were not held accountable to ensure they weren’t putting their workers into unsafe working conditions – Like using the proper equipment and ensuring it’s been inspected and in full working order.

Construction is a dangerous industry, even today, but that doesn’t mean we should ever accept fatalities or even injuries. It’s not 1931 anymore—Employers and construction workers have the responsibility and the right to be able to perform their jobs safely. Now we DO have access to the proper means necessary to create a safe work environment, so there’s no excuse not to be using them.


LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US FOR A QUOTE—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

Product Spotlight | What is Aircraft Cable?

aircraft cable blog header

Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

Obviously cables are used in an aircraft, right? Easy—Done!

Well, yes, that’s technically correct…But wait, there’s more!

You would assume aircraft cable is a type of wire rope used throughout an aircraft, for everything from adjustable seat back controls to controlling the movement of the wing flaps and landing gear on planes with analog flight systems. These cables are essentially specialized high strength wire rope, made to withstand the special environmental circumstances found on an aircraft such as harsh temperatures and moisture. Aircraft cable is also known as galvanized wire rope, and is often made from carbon steel and is drawn galvanized. Galvanizing protects the cable from corrosion for a period of time, but will discolor to a white or dull appearance—Prolonged exposure to the elements will eventually cause corrosion, which is why it’s always important to keep your aircraft cable up to date with inspections.

So, what is wire rope?

A piece of wire rope has three main components. Individual wires that make up each strand, the strand itself and finally, the core it’s built around. The core is typically composed of fibre core (FC) or steel wire core, called independent wire rope core (IWRC). The steel core increases strength by 7% and the weight by 10%, which provides more support to the outer strands than fibre cores. Steel cores resist crushing and are more resistant to heat.

The design factor of wire rope tells you the ratio between minimum breaking load of the rope and the working load limit (WLL).

Manufactures, like Hercules SLR, stock aircraft cable to commercial and military specifications in stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel, and a variety of other alloys. If you’re curious, the most common aircraft cable diameters are 1/16 through 5/32 with 7×7 or 7×19 construction. Normal breaking strength varies—Here at Hercules SLR we carry aircraft cable from a normal breaking strength of 480lbs to 14,400lbs.

 

However, aircraft cable isn’t just used on airplanes! It’s typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsh temperatures and corrosion, but can serve effective in a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes.

Some examples of uses for aircraft cable NOT found within an aircraft, are:

  • Securing Cargo: Aircraft cable can be used to tie down heavy cargo on ships. Aircraft cable can be particularly useful because as mentioned above, it is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Boats and Docking: Aircraft cable is used for several applications in boats and docking like securing boats, hoisting them out of the water, sailboat rigging and on fishing boats.
  • Pulleys and Winches: The strength of aircraft cable makes it the perfect choice for lifting and hoisting.
  • Stage Rigging: Once again because of it’s strength and durability it is often the cable of choice for the rigging that opens, closes, and lifts heavy curtains, moves backdrops, raises and lowers lighting and so on.
  • Zip Lines: Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for zip lines, depending on the weather conditions in the location of the zip line.
  • Garage Doors: Aircraft cable can be found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms.
  • Exercise Equipment: Aircraft cable is often used in a variety of exercise equipment, most commonly in weight machines.

Inspecting Aircraft Cable

Aircraft cables, both on and off airplanes, often live in fairly harsh environments—It’s often the wire rope of choice in those circumstances. As well, on some aircraft’s, the cable remains in one static position around pulley bends for extended periods of time. You should always ensure ALL of your rigging gear is inspected on it’s recommended timeline—But it’s especially important when you know the equipment is being exposed to harsh environments.

At every inspection, all control cables must be inspected for broken wires strands—This includes sections of the cable that may be hidden behind or within part of the aircraft structure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire, checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.

You’ll also want to look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.

It is recommended to remove the cable from critical areas and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. This is definitely recommended if you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections. There is a chance that the cable could look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you remove it from the position it has remained in for so long, it will completely fail.


Need aircraft cable? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With a full service, one-stop-shop for rigging companies with all the service, inspections and repairs that any company would need, we can top the rest! Our goal is to make it look like you don’t need us! From advice, help with design, problem solutions, through to seamless procurement and excellent customer service, we are here to support your business and move it forward—Whatever it is, we can help.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Safety Gloves | An Important Part of Your PPE

safety-gloves-blog-header

Safety Gloves: An Important Part of Your PPE

What comes to mind when you think of the number one tool you use at work? For many people, the correct answer to this question is right in front of you—Your hands.

You may not consider it, but your hands do a lot throughout the day, and I bet your job would get a whole lot harder without them. But yet, when it comes to assembling your personal protective equipment (PPE), sometimes proper safety gloves don’t make the list. You, like many others, may not understand why protecting your hands is so important, or what type of glove is the right choice for you—Because it’s not just about wearing safety gloves, it’s about wearing the right safety gloves.

Protect your #1 tool, and read on to learn a bit more about why safety gloves are so important, and how to choose the right ones for your work conditions.

The Importance of Wearing Safety Gloves

Not only are your hands one of your most important tools, they are very complex tools that aren’t always easy to fix (as you can imagine, spare parts are hard to track down). If a severe hand injury accrues, you may have to deal with effects like loss of motion, dexterity, and grip for the rest of your life.

But the good news is – Many of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the right safety gloves. Safety glove technology has progressed to include features like being cut-resistant, heat-resistant, anti-impact, anti-vibration, and so much more! You shouldn’t have an issue tracking down a glove that will protect you from any hazards present in your workplace.

What Hazards do Safety Gloves Protect Against?

Chemical and Biohazards – When handling chemicals or biohazards, it can only take one touch to cause a chemical burn or infection. Because of this, you need a glove that forms a complete barrier around your hands. Typical glove materials for chemical protection are latex, nitrile, neoprene, polyvinylchloride, or other polymers – Like the Chemstop™ – Premium Quality PVC Coated Gloves. For chemical mixtures or jobs where multiple hazards are present, it may be necessary to wear gloves that have the highest chemical resistance or in some cases wearing a combination of different types of gloves. Employers should always refer to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for selecting the correct glove materials. Need to brush up on your WHMIS knowledge? Check out our WHMIS 2015 with GHS course!

Cuts, Punctures and Abrasion Hazards – It’s fairly common for these types of hazards to be present in the workplace. For these hazards, gloves need to be able to protect your hands from things like abrasive surfaces, wood and metal splinters and injuries associated with cut or scrapes while still providing high levels of dexterity and tactile sensitivity. Typical materials for cut and puncture protection are leather, canvas, cotton, cotton blends or other synthetic materials. Often times additional protection is added by applying various coatings to sections of the glove or by lining the gloves with impact or vibration-dampening gels or pads.

Impact Injuries – If you’re performing tasks like swinging a hammer or lifting heavy objects then you need gloves that protect you from impact injuries. Any job where your hands might be crushed or hit by tools, equipment, or supplies requires reliable, impact-resistant work gloves. Impact-resistant gloves feature a padded outer shell strategically placed to the areas on your hands where impacts are most likely to occur. Gloves like Oilbloc™ Goatskin Kevlar “SUP”® Lined Anti-Impact Driver Gloves allow some of the force of the impact to be absorbed and spread out over a larger surface.

Heat and Arc hazards – These hazards are present in many fields such as welding, glass manufacturing, petrochemical plants, oil fields, and the natural gas industries. Safety gloves that are specifically made to protect your hands against these hazards create a barrier that blocks the heat from reaching your skin. Depending on the temperature, type of heat (e.g. dry, moist, thermal, ambient), and other work factors, a variety of materials are used such as terry cloth or neoprene.

Severe Weather and Extreme Temperatures – If you’re working in a cold outdoor environment or even a cold-storage facility, you need a thermal barrier on your hands to protect them from damage and to maintain your body heat. Don’t be fooled, protecting yourself from extreme cold is just as important as protecting yourself from extreme heat. Cold temperatures can cause temporary or permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue – The colder it is, the more protection you need. Gloves made to protect your hands from cold temperatures are often made from materials like PVC, nitrile, animal hide, or Thinsulate™ – as used in the North of 49° gloves.

Persistent Vibrations – Persistent vibration can irritate nerves and nerve endings, damage blood vessels, cause long-term joint and muscle pain, and, in extreme cases, even lead to permanent nerve damage such as neuropathy. You may think you only need gloves that help absorb vibrations when using tools that create a dramatic vibrations such as chainsaws or jackhammers, but in reality, even lower level of vibrations found in tools like sanders or grinders should be protected against because you’re more likely to use these tools for an extended period of time, not noticing the damage being done.

How to Choose the Right Type of Safety Glove

As we mentioned before, keeping your hands safe isn’t just about throwing on any glove you can find – It’s important you’re using the right ones. No single type of glove will provide protection against all safety hazards. You should always check with your jurisdiction to see if there are any regulations around hand protection, but in general, employers are tasked with performing a hazard assessment in order to choose the correct gloves to provide to their employees. But remember, your workplace safety should always be something you take into your own hands. If you feel you haven’t been provided with the correct gloves for your job – speak up!

Based on tips from The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), these steps can help you perform your own hazard assessment and consider whether you’re using the correct gloves for your job.

  1. Take time to think through your work tasks and environments so you have an accurate description in your mind (or on paper if that helps you!) of your day to day work.
  2. Identify all hazards that you come in contact with that may require hand protection. This should include any chemicals you come in contact with as well as physical hazards such as abrasions, tearing, puncturing, fire, temperature, and/or biological hazards.
  3. Determine the amount of flexibility and touch sensitivity you need to safely and effectively complete your tasks. This will affect your choice in thickness of glove material as well as if you may need a textured glove made to aid in grip.
  4. Take into considerating the type of contact you’re making with the hazards you’ve identified (e.g. occasional contact, splashing, or continuous immersion). This will affect your choice in an appropriate length of the glove, as well as the type and thickness of glove material, and whether you need lined or unlined gloves.
  5. Take into account any hazards that may be caused by the gloves themselves keeping in mind your other PPE. For example, heat stress, reduced dexterity, rip or tactile functions, poor comfort or contributing to skin conditions. It’s just as important to have a well-fitted, comfortable, and easy to wear pair of gloves. Gloves won’t protect anything if you’re never wearing them because they hurt your hands or make your job harder. 
  6. Consider any decontamination procedures that need to be followed. Will the gloves need to be disposed of or cleaned after use? If they need to be cleaned, consider the cleaning method, how often they can be cleaned, and any special procedures required for disposing of the “decontamination wash waste”.
  7. Ensure you’ve been given the necessary education and training required which includes: what are the hazards of skin contact with the chemical/materials being used, what are the limitations of the gloves, what could happen and what to do if the gloves fail and when to dispose of or to decontaminate gloves.

Working through this list should give you an idea of what you’re looking for in a glove – working from there you can connect with manufacturers to ensure you’re purchasing a glove that fits your perfect criteria. And remember, it’s not just about the safety features – make sure you’re choosing a glove that’s comfortable, so you’re never drawn to leave them on the table – Even once.

Hercules SLR carries a wide variety of protective gloves and equipment to keep your hands safe no matter the task. Choose from a wide selection of gloves along with rubber gloves, hand guards, finger guards, and more. You will even find glove dispensers to keep items organized. Whatever work you do, Hercules SLR has the hand protection products your job requires.


LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

Product Spotlight | Swivel Hoist Ring

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

What is a Swivel Hoist Ring?

A swivel hoist ring is a type of heavy-duty lifting ring that is used with a hoist to lift or lower a load. It is often the hardware of choice when the object being lifted has no clear attachment points, as the hoist ring is able to be screwed directly into the surface of the load. Once the swivel hoist ring is successfully installed, it essentially creates an attachment point for your hoist chain to attach to.

Swivel hoist rings are of a similar design and intended use to the eye bolt, a piece of hardware that has been around for a very long time in the rigging world. While standard eye bolts are effective when used properly for a suitable job, they often fail when put at any amount of angle. If the load shifts causing the direction of the load to be as much as 10 degrees off the line of force, you could have a bent eye bolt. This can result in a failed lift, causing damage to your load, property damage, and injury to workers.

Swivel hoist rings are designed to lift at any angle because they can swivel 360 degrees and pivot 180 degrees. A swivel hoist ring can rotate with the direction of force without loosing rated capacity, which gives increased safety and peace of mind. When a load is lifted or lowered, wind gusts may cause it to turn—This can result in the chain or rope getting twisted together with static hardware. Swivel hoist rings solve this problem by allowing the load to rotate back and forth as it needs without twisting the chain or rope.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Installing and Using Swivel Hoist Rings

DO:

  • Always read the safety precaution page prior to use or installation.
  • Inspect the hoist ring before each use – see below for what you should look out for when doing this! 
  • Choose a hoist ring with the proper load rating.
  • Only use hoist rings in materials that have a tensile strength of at least 80,000 psi.
  • Make sure the thread engagement is at least 1.5 times the diameter of the
    hoist ring screw.
  • When installing a hoist ring in a through­-hole with a nut and washer, make sure to use a Grade 8 nut that has full thread engagement.
  • Consider periodic load­-testing as an extra precaution.

DON’T:

  • Never exceed the rated load limit or apply shock load.
  • Never use a hoist ring that you believe may be damaged – it’s not worth the risk!
  • Never use a hoist ring that is not tightened to the recommended torque.
  • Never replace the components of the hoist ring.
  • Never use a hook larger than the diameter of the hoist ring opening.
  • Never shim or use washers between the hoist ring and surface of the object being
    lifted.

Swivel Hoist Ring Inspection and Maintenance

Always inspect the hoist ring before each use, make sure that:

  • The screw is tightened to the recommended torque using a torque wrench – If it’s not, the threads may be stripped on a vertical lift.
  • The bushing of the hoist ring is sitting flush against the object being lifted – This ensures that the hoist ring is able to reach its full 5:1 safety factor.
  • The hoist ring is free to swivel and pivot in every direction – If the hoist ring binds up in any direction, it should not be used.
  • There are no signs of corrosion – This can result in the hoist ring cracking or binding up.
  • There are no signs of wear or damage, especially on the screw, shoulder pins, and bail – Damage may be an indicator that the hoist ring is coming into contact with something during use. This should be avoided as such contact can cause binding and shock loads, which exceed the rating of the hoist ring.
  • The shoulder pins are secure and do not rotate or come loose – This can be checked by using pliers to try to rotate the shoulder pins by hand. If it does rotate, it should not be used as this could cause the hoist ring to come loose or break during use.

In need of an affordable and reliable swivel hoist ring? 

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE swivel hoist rings at your local Hercules SLR. A YOKE Swivel hoist ring is innovative and meets all requirements of occupational health and safety. Due to its ball-bearing construction, YOKE hoist ring rotates freely 360 degrees – This free movement means it turns automatically in the direction of the load.

Main Features

  • Easy to install – needs only one tap hole.
  • Comes with both the bushing type and ball bearing inside.
  • Rotates 360º and pivots 180º.
  • Designed to a safety factor of 5:1.
  • 100% rated at 90º angle.
  • 100% magnaflux crack detection.
  • Proof load tested to 2.5 times W.L.L. and certified.
  • 20,000 cycle fatigue rated to 1.5 times W.L.L.
  • Each product has a batch code for material traceability and links to test certificate.
  • Drop forged Suspension Ring.
  • The bolt has a result of Charpy-V-test according to EN 10045, part 1 of at least 27 Joules at -20º C.
  • The bolt is UNC grade 8 per ASTM A 574 and Metric Grade 12.9 per DIN EN ISO 4762.
  • Multi-directional loading.
  • Self aligns in direction of load.
  • Avoids torsion forces to the suspension ring – Which means it’s safer!
  • No friction transferred to the bolt as it turns – Which means it will last longer!
  • The bolt is galvanized with an alternative phosphate treatment for increased corrosion protection.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.