Herc How-To | Keeping Cool at the Construction Site

Herc How-To | Keeping Cool at the Construction Site

When people think Canada they probably aren’t thinking a beautiful sunny paradise – But for a couple of months a year, it actually does gets hot outside! Summer has arrived, and parts of the country have already seen record or near-record highs this month & meteorologists say 2020 on course to be one of the hottest years since records began

The risk is increased for workers where the temperature can reach higher than the outside air temperature such as those performing roof work, road construction or doing interior work on a building with no air conditioning and poor ventilation.

Here are some tips that both employers and employees can use to keep cool, comfortable, and therefore safe when the weather rises.

Work in Extreme Temperatures: Legislation

Legislation can be a bit vague surrounding the rules and regulations on what employers specifically must do to keep employees safe with regards to heatstroke, and often these standards & regulations will differ provincially.

Generally, there is no specific temperature federally in Canada where work can’t be performed, however, the temperature might be a risk factor for potential hazards that make work unsafe to perform. In these cases, employers and employees have a responsibility to adjust conditions, or the right to refuse work if the temperature creates hazards.

The reason for this? There are factors that contribute to exposure limit (the time a worker can safely be exposed to a condition like heat) beyond just the temperature. Some of these are:

  • Relative humidity
  • Exposure to other heat sources
  • Air circulation & flow
  • Demands of work
  • If workers are acclimatized to the workload under the conditions
  • If workers have proper clothing & PPE
  • Amount of work compared to the number of breaks

There isn’t one magic temperature where work is canceled, but each province does have some legislation that describes temperatures suggested for different workplaces & conditions, particularly those in industrial jobs such as construction workers.

Another way employers, managers or supervisors might determine if the heat can be dangerous is to use TLV® Values. Sometimes these are used as legislation, and sometimes as guidelines provincially.

This table represents the criteria for workers’ exposure to heat stress, and are used as a guideline (and sometimes legislation) for employers to determine when work can be unsafe.

TLV® value chart

 

It’s also worth noting that TLV® Values are subject to change annually. Work levels are defined as:

  • REST: Sitting
  • LIGHT WORK: Sitting, standing to control machines, light hand or arm work
  • MODERATE WORK: Moderate hand & arm work, light pushing or pulling,
  • HEAVY WORK: Intense arm & trunk work, pick & shovel work, digging, carrying, pushing/pulling heavy loads and walking at a fast pace
  • VERY HEAVY: Intense activity at fast to maximum pace.

What Heat Does to Your Body

Heat does more than give you a burn (that’s bad, too—we’ll get into that later) which can result in vomiting. fainting, and is the worse cases, even death.

A healthy, normal human body maintains an internal temperature of 37°C, and generally feels most comfortable with an air temperature between 20°C-27°C, and humidity ranges from 35 to 60%. As the external environment warms, the body warms, too. Your ‘internal thermostat’ will introduce more blood to your skin and produce more sweat. This means the body increases the amount of heat it loses to make sense of the heat burden.

When environments are hot, the rate of ‘heat gain’ is more than the rate of ‘heat loss’ and the body temperature begins to rise. This rise results in heat illnesses.

When your body begins to heat up too much, you may become:

  • Irritable
  • Unable to focus or concentrate on mental tasks
  • Loss of ability to do skilled tasks or heavy work

Over-exposure to heat can lead to:

Heat Edema: Swelling (typically in the ankles) caused by work in hot environments.

Heat Rashes: Inflammation, which causes tiny red spots that prickle during heat exposure due to clogged sweat glands.

Heat Cramps: You might feel sharp pains in muscles in addition to the other symptoms of heat stress we list above. Cramps from heat are caused when your body fails to replace lost sweat with salt, and often happen when you drink too much water and don’t replace it with enough salt (electrolytes).

Heat Exhaustion: Caused when you lose body water and salt from excessive sweating. Symptoms involve heavy sweat, weakness, dizziness, visual disturbances, intense thirst, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, breathlessness, palpitations, tingling, and numb hands & feet.

Heat Syncope: Heat-induced dizziness and fainting caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain while someone is standing. This usually happens when people aren’t used to an environment (are unacclimatized) and your body loses body fluids through sweat, blood pressure lowers & blood pools in the legs. Luckily, recovery is very quick when you simply rest in a cool area.

Heat Stroke: This is the most serious type of heat illness. Signs of heatstroke include a body temperature over 41°C and a complete/partial loss of consciousness. There are two types of heat stress, one where the victim does not sweat and the other, where they do sweat.

Heat Stroke: What Employers can do

As an employer, you have a responsibility to create the safest environment for your workers as possible.

Employers of workplaces under federal jurisdiction have the responsibility under clause 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes precautions to protect workers while working in heat, or with processes that use heat.

Here are some things employers & employees can do to make work in heat more comfortable:

  • Use fans or other mechanical cooling measures
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Increase break frequency and reduce laborious physical activity when peak temperatures emerge
  • Drink cold beverages without salt, caffeine or alcohol, which can dehydrate you
  • Implement measures to create shade—For example, umbrellas, screens or tents

Heat Stroke: What Employees can do

Here are some tips & steps employees should take to protect themselves from the heat at work:

KNOW THE SIGNS

  • Recognize the signs of heatstroke, not just for yourself, but your coworkers, too. People suffering from heatstroke often don’t see their own signs, so being able to notice symptoms in others will help keep everyone on-site safe.
  • Symptoms of heatstroke include:
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dry, hot skin
    • Confusion/Hallucinations
    • Seizures
    • Partial to complete loss of consciousness

You Notice That Someone has the Signs of Heat Stroke—What Should I do? 

These are some first aid measures you should use when you see someone suffering from heat-related symptoms.

  • Call 911
  • Move them to a cooler location with shade
  • Stay with the person until help arrives
  • Remove shoes, socks & as many clothes as possible
  • Apply cool water/cloths to their head, face, neck, armpits & groin
  • Do not force the person to drink liquid

6 Herc How-To Top Tips for Keeping Cool

1. Let Your Body Acclimate

Especially if you are a new worker or returning from any sort of extended leave due to illness or vacation – it’s important to let your body acclimate to work when in heat. All workers should expect work to be a bit harder in the heat near the beginning of summer, but as time goes on your body will adjust. Employers should expect and allow employees to work at a slower pace, slowly working up to 100% over 5 to 7 days so your body can adjust to the heat and strenuous activity.

2. Get an Early Start

Air temperature usually peaks between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, so the early bird gets the cooler worm! Try to schedule your jobs/days in a way that outdoor strenuous work can be completed early in the day. You’ll be in the best position if your days can be structured to be completed before these hot hours, but even just leaving the easier, or inside, work for these hours of the day can help you survive the heat.

3. Sunscreen

Whenever you are working outdoors you should be using sunscreen. Even on cloudy and overcast days, ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you and cause sunburn. When working outside you should reapply often with a sunscreen that is either sweat-proof or waterproof to help ensure that you don’t sweat it all off in the first few minutes of work. It’s also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat to block the sun’s deadly rays.

4. Proper Clothing

When working outside doing strenuous activity in the heat, light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing is the way to go. Choosing natural fibered clothing such as cotton is a good choice as it will be more breathable and will absorb moisture well. Moisture-wicking clothing is also a smart choice, as it will draw sweat off your body which will allow your body to cool quicker – this is especially important if you work in a humid climate where sweat evaporation becomes difficult.

5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

When working in hot weather conditions you should be drinking water or other fluids at least every 15-20 minutes. Cool water should be your main source of hydration. Sports drinks and coconut water are good options for restoring electrolytes and fresh fruits or fruit juices are good options if you’re feeling a drop in blood sugar. You should avoid coffee, soda, and alcohol as they all contain diuretics which will cause you to become more dehydrated.

If you experience any of the following symptoms you should immediately take a break to rehydrate:

  • increased thirst
  • dry mouth
  • swollen tongue
  • inability to sweat
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • decrease in urine output

6. Take Frequent Breaks 

Taking frequent breaks in the shade is an important step to avoid heat-related illnesses. Whenever you are feeling overheated or presenting any of the above symptoms of heatstroke, you need to take at least a 5-minute break in a shaded area. This is also a good time to rehydrate or eat some food to restore your energy.

To really cool your body temperature down, try getting inside an air-conditioned space like a vehicle or job site trailer. You can also apply a cool, wet cloth to pulse points on your body such as the neck, wrists, and elbows. If you are working indoors with no air conditioning consider setting up some portable fans to increase air circulation and cool you off. There are also a number of personal cooling devices on the market like cooling vests or neck coolers that can help you beat the heat.

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

5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely

5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely

One of the most popular methods for securing cargo, especially when it comes to shipping, is using ratchet straps – also known as lasing straps or tie-downs. Ratchet straps are the hammer of the transporters toolbox – with applications ranging wide from professional use to everyday common use. You may not realize it, but these simple straps are a large and important component in material handling.

As with any material handling equipment, it is important that you use it correctly, and take proper care of it. Your equipment is what keeps your load, yourself and your employees safe – so it’s your job to make sure it is set up for success! In this blog, we’re going to be sharing our 5 top safety tips to ensure your ratchet straps are being used to their full, and proper, compacity!

1. Using them Properly

When not used properly, ratchet straps can become damaged very quickly, and potentially cause road hazards. The proper way to use a ratchet strap is:

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

  • Step 1: Insert loose end of strap into mandrel of the ratchet
  • Step 2: Pull strap through slot in mandrel
  • Step 3: Pull slack out of strap to make strap tight
  • step 4: Crank the ratchet to desired tightening
  • Step 5: Make sure strap stays in line with other to avoid tangling/locking
  • Step 6: Lock handle down after tightening

How to Release a Ratchet Strap

  • Step 1: Pull trigger toward back handle
  • Step 2: Open ratchet all the way
  • Step 3: Webbing should release
  • Step 4: Pull webbing out of mandrel
  • Step 5: Pull trigger to unlock
  • Step 6: Close ratchet back down

2. Storage Methods

The working life of your equipment is affected by more than just how you use it – storing it incorrectly is one of the leading causes of damage. There are three main things you want to avoid when storing ratchet straps:

  1. Moisture – Storing ratchet straps is a place where they are exposed to moisture can cause it to mold and mildew. Mold can extremely weaken the strength of the webbing and the polyester can actually be destroyed, even in heavy-duty straps. This is a problem many people run into when choosing to store their ratchet straps in the back of their truck. This is also something to be aware of when using the straps in the rain – always ensure they are able to dry before putting them away.
  2. Direct Sunlight – Ratchet straps should always be stored in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight. When exposed to harmful UV rays, they can get sun damaged – you’ll notice this by seeing the color of the strap fade.
  3. Friction & Heat – Exposer to heat, such as the sun, fire, or other heat sources can cause weakening issues. This can also occur if the straps rub against a sharp edge or other objects while in use. If you notice any burn marks in your straps, they must immediately be placed out of service.

3. Choosing the Right Ratchet Strap

You’ll need to consider the following when choosing tie-down straps:

  • Weight capacity (WLL – working load limit)
  • Length of straps
  • Type of hook: S-hooks, double J-hooks, flat hooks, and E-track systems
  • Whether you need extra security offered by tie-down straps that latch or lock
  • Whether you want extra protection for your cargo, vehicle, and straps

Weight Capacity of Ratchet Straps

One of the most important things to consider when choosing ratchet straps is their weight capacity. To get the right ratchet straps, you need to know the weight of your cargo and the total number of straps you will use to tie it down.

The weight capacity of a ratchet strap is designated by its safe working load limit (WLL), which is a measure of the maximum weight the strap can safely handle. To safely secure a load, the combined WLL of the ratchet straps used must be greater than the weight of the secured cargo. For example, if your cargo weighs 1,000 lbs and you are using 2 ratchet straps to tie it down, each strap must have a WLL of 500 lbs or greater. It is recommended that you always use ratchet straps in pairs.

Ratchet straps are also rated by their maximum load (or break strength), which is the amount of weight that will cause the ratchet strap to fail. The break strength is usually 3 times the WLL. You should always use the WLL to determine what ratchet straps are best for your application.

Length of Ratchet Strap

Ratchet straps need to be long enough to reach from tie-down point to tie-down point or from your cargo to a tie-down point on your trailer or truck. If the ratchet straps are too short, they won’t work at all. If they are a lot longer than you need, you will have long, loose ends that could get in your way. Even if you are using ratchet straps of the ideal length, there will still be a portion of the strap that must be secured so that it doesn’t flap in the wind. And because the same ratchet straps are often used for multiple applications, it’s almost impossible not to have long ends of the strap to deal with at some time.

4. Using the Right Amount

As we mentioned above, the industry standard is to use ratchet straps in pairs. Depending on the type of cargo you are transporting, there may be specific regulations as to how many ratchet straps need to be used. For example, if you’re transporting goods in pallets, boxes or stillages, you will need at least one strap per row. Or, if you’re transporting logs in a truck fitted with a headboard, you need to use at least one strap per bay for logs up to a maximum length of 3.3 meters with the bark still present. It’s important you look into regulations specifically for your region, industry, and type of cargo!

5. Daily Inspections Checking for Damage

Ratchet straps must be regularly inspected to ensure they are not damaged. Even “minor” damage can drastically reduce the strap’s capacity and increase the chance of failure during use.

The entire ratchet strap assembly must be inspected before each use and removed from service if any of the following are detected:

  • If the identification tag is missing or illegible
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags or embedded materials
  • Broken or worn stitches in the load-bearing splices
  • Knots in any part of the webbing
  • Acid or alkali burns
  • Melting, charring or weld splatters on any part of the webbing
  • Excessive abrasive wear or crushed webbing
  • Signs of ultraviolet (UV) light degradation
  • Distortion, excessive pitting, corrosion or other damage to buckles or end fittings
  • Any conditions which cause doubt as to the strength of the ratchet strap

Hercules SLR can design and manufacture heavy or light duty ratchet assemblies that are weather and wear-resistant and will secure your load properly and safely.

All our tie-down straps and ratchet assemblies are manufactured from the highest quality proof tested webbing hardware. They can be supplied with any one of several standard or custom made end fittings to ensure that your load is adequately and safely secured. Larger ratchet assemblies are available in standard or long-handled versions.

Hercules SLR is here for you and all your transportation requirements! Load Binders, ratchet straps, tie downs, tarps, chains, ropes, slings, hardware and more. We remain open, while respecting the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advice.

We have set up specific drop-off and pick-up points in-store and you can call us ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before your arrival. Your safety is our priority and when you need us, we are here for you. Call us: 1 800 461-4876 or visit us online here to find the nearest branch: https://buff.ly/2FFkXMu

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

Employee Spotlight | Lee-ah Durance, Customer Service Representative

Get to Know your Customer Service Representative, Lee-ah Durance

Get to know the team at Hercules SLR in Sarnia, Ontario! Meet Lee-ah Durance, the Customer Service Representative extraordinaire who wears many hats at the Sarnia branch.

Read on to learn more about Lee-ah’s role at Hercules SLR and what she loves about the rigging industry!

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I come from business to business sales but in a different sector. This has helped me in my role at Hercules SLR. I have grown up with valley workers and understand the long hours and hard word that is everyday life of Chemical Valley. I am proud to now work alongside these men and women and can relate to them- which I think aids the customer relations and keeps them coming back!

An interesting fact about you is…

When training and learning about chain slings I found them easier to understand because of my jewelry making background. Chain sling components are just like jewelry components and comparing the two ensures I don’t miss pieces (like hammerlocks) in my chain slings.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

I have been working outside the house (I say this because I grew up on a hobby farm and have always had chores) since grade 9. Most of my experience is within an office, but I’ve worked on a farm; at a gas station and restaurant mix; and waitressed- to mention a few.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

When I first saw the job description I was drawn to apply because of my previous sales experience. I researched the company and read through the website. I felt like Hercules SLR was a company that treated their employees fairly and that there was room to grow both personally and professionally. Once I met Brian Moniz I found he was the personification of everything I had already read about Hercules SLR. This made me feel comfortable and excited to work with him and the company. When I was offered the job I was overjoyed- I knew that Hercules SLR was somewhere I wanted to work and grow.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I am proud every time we get a return customer because of our service. A customer showed me a few pictures of a big lift they did with 8 black round slings. I had worked closely with him on this order and was really proud of the final product and images.

What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I enjoy talking to the customers and hearing about our products in action. I grew up with industry workers and am proud and happy to be a part of it now.

Why do you work safe?

I work safe because at the end of the day I want to get home to my partner and step-daughter. I believe in a work-life balance. Although I love my job and believe I go the extra mile for my customers- I also want to be able to go home and enjoy time with my family and friends.

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

The Hercules Team During COVID-19 | #HercAtWork #HercAtHome

The Hercules Team During COVID-19| #HercAtWork #HercAtHome

The entire world has felt the effects of COVID-19, all in different ways than others. The Hercules Group of Companies has remained open during this time providing uninterrupted & safe customer service to Canada’s vital essential services.

Although we have remained open, business has most certainly not been as normal. We’ve been working very hard to take special measures to ensure the health and well-being of our employees, customers, and community while adhering to provincial guidelines. These measures are detailed here.

This has meant changing up the ways we do things – with some employees shifting to work from home while others on-site made changes to their work routine and procedure to allow for social distancing. Personal time at home also took a shift, just like everyone else!

These unprecedented times have been tough for many people. But the Hercules Group of Company has been holding on and trying our hardest to make the absolute best of the situation and changing routines. We’ve been sharing some of the highlights over on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin) but thought it would be fun to compile them all together here.

Here are some of the bright moments our team has shared with us during this time – Because we all need to be reminded to reflect on and relish the good:

1. Stuck-at-Home Entertainment

At work and at home our Hercules team, like everyone else, helped to flatten the curve and had to find all sorts of creative ways to entertain themselves. Here’s what Jeff Sheehan our Branch Manager from Newfoundland and his family got up to. T-shirt making, face/beard painting, and indoor hockey capers!

2. Creative Outlets

Many of our Hercules Team transitioned to working from home, and kept their sanity by finding different outlets for their creativity! These cute wood paintings were created by Hercules SLR National Program Manager, Lisa Barkhouse.

3. Work-From-Home Buddies

Our Hercules SLR Branch Manager in BC, Deanna MacDonald, shared this funny #HercAtHome moment she had with her son, Jaxton.

4. Sending Love to Healthcare Heros

Our Branch Manager Deanna in Langely BC, decided to show some love in her front window – Showing that all of our hearts, collectively go out to every healthcare and front line worker during this difficult time.

5. Working with Fur-Babies

Our furry friends had to adjust as much us, as many of them we not used to having us around all day. These two beauties are the fur babies of our VP of Sales and Operations Rose Efford.

6. Taking on Projects

Our National Program Manager Lisa Barkhouse kept herself busy building a new road on her property – Now that’s a way to keep busy!

7. Diving into Hobbies

Many of us took this time as an opportunity to dive into hobbies or pick up a new one! Our CSR in Langely BC, Paula Terrell did some awesome planting projects!

8. Keeping Active With the Family

This has been a time to cherish family, whether remotely or in person, it’s been so important we all remain connected. This is our Sudbury Territory Sales Manager Kelly having some fun with her family and keeping the Hercules Brand strong with those awesome toques!

9. Father-Son Projects

Our Hercules MMS Machinist Gregg Kinsman and his son Gage made this awesome project with oodles of creativity!

10. Social-Distanced Team Lunches

At Hercules SLR Brampton the distance may have changed but their team spirit is stronger than ever! They found ways to adapt to the current situation without having to give up team activities. These photos show how they re-organized their team lunch so they could still enjoy some Popeyes together.

11. Remote Family Coffee Dates

Our Service Supervisor, Arthur Lewis shared this moment where he was able to have a coffee with his daughter and granddaughters before work even though they have had to social distance from each other – How sweet!


Hercules SLR is proud to be an essential service in these unprecedented times. We remain open, while respecting the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advice.

We have set up specific drop-off and pick-up points in-store and you can call us ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before your arrival. Your safety is our priority and when you need us, we are here for you. Call us: 1 800 461-4876 or visit us online here to find the nearest branch: https://buff.ly/2FFkXMu

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

Safety Tips | Working in the Wet & Rain

Safety Tips | Working in the Wet & Rain

Even if your job doesn’t take you outside, you may find yourself out doing yard work in the wet and rain because let’s face it, some of those spring-time jobs would simply never get done if you waited for a day that was completely beautiful and dry.

Safety should ALWAYS come first – if you feel you cannot safely complete a task in the wet and rain, communicate with your employer and re-prioritize to shift the timeline of this task. No job, project, or yardwork is worth an injury. However, we humans won’t melt, and there are many tasks that with a bit of extra precaution can be complete in the wet and rain with no issue! Read on for 8 tips on how to keep safe while working in the wet and rain:

1. Slow and Steady…

We all have an instinct when in the rain to quickly complete our task so we can get back inside as soon as possible. However, since rain makes everything more slippery, you need to work against that instinct and work more slowly and carefully. Be deliberate with your movements and take your time, especially when working at a height or climbing ladders. In reality, you’re getting wet either way, so you might as well just go with it and safety return inside once you’ve taken the time you need to complete your task.

2. Power Tools?

It’s important to use the correct equipment. Do not use electrical tools and equipment that are not specifically rated for outdoor use when working in the wet or rain. We all know what happens when electricity and water come together – You’ll be lucky if you walk away with just broken equipment.

When using hand tools, ensure you are using tools with textured nonslip grip handles. Wet hands and/or tools can lead to losing your grip and dropping your tools. Your toes will thank you for using tools with a grip handles!

3. Stop the Drop!

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. Fall protection is particularly important when working in the wet and rain because your chance of slipping is increased working on a wet surface.

It’s also important to remember that certain fall protection equipment is designed to be worn as close to your body as possible. This means you cannot wear this equipment on top of bulky, heavy, or slick rain gear! You shouldn’t wear your fall protection equipment over anything but your base layer of clothing – this being your underwear, pants, and shirt. So what are you supposed to do? You can purchase special rain gear made to be worn with fall protection equipment that allows workers to wear their harness snug to their body and the jacket on top while still being able to safely attach to connectors and lifelines through holes.

4. Gear Up!

Speaking of rain gear, it is important to wear appropriate rain gear. If you are cold and wet, you are going to have a hard time concentrating on the work at hand. Rain gear which includes both a coat and pants or overalls and is ventilated should be worn for prolonged wet-weather work. If it’s cold and rainy, wool or synthetic fibers specifically designed for cold weather use are the best for wear under rain gear because it will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Also, wear rain gear that is the proper size; if it’s too large it may interfere with movement. (pssssttt…if you’re in Atlantic Canada, our sister company Spartan Marine is a great place to pick up rain gear).

5. These Boots Are Made For…

And the gear shouldn’t stop there, appropriate footwear is just as important! #1 most important for working in the wet and rain is footwear with deep treads to help prevent slipping. Footwear that’s in poor condition will be your ultimate enemy when working in the wet and rain as it will often fail to keep water out, and cause you to slip and fall if the tread has been worn smooth. A tip to really keep that water out is to wear a shoe that extends above the ankle, and rain gear that extends to the ankle – and keep the boot inside of the pant leg opposed to tucking the pant leg into the footwear.

6. Get a Grip!

What gets the coldest in the rain? Your fingers and your toes! Now that we have your toes covered in tip number 5, we’re moving on to those fingers. Use proper hand protection that fits snuggly and provide a non-slip grip. That non-slip grip will work together with the grip on your hand tools and will make it very easy to keep a firm grip on your tools, no matter how wet they get. To prevent water from getting into your gloves, make sure that the sleeve of the glove is tight-fitting and is long enough to fit under the cuff of your jacket.

7. See Clearly Even if the Rain Isn’t Gone…

You’ve got to make sure you can see! Be sure your work area is well lit, and if needed, ensure any lights used are rated for outdoor use. If you choose to wear goggles or eyeglasses, use an antifogging spray or wipe on them before heading outside.  Hoods and hats can also be used to keep the rain out of your face and eyes, but they can limit your vision, so make a point to turn your head when looking around you.

8. Visibility! Visibility! Visibility!

And it’s just as important to be seen. Especially if you are working in an area with traffic, always wear bright-colored, reflective vests or rain gear, even during the day. Stear away from rain gear or vests that have become wore and dull and therefore are no longer as reflective.


The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, 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.

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

Self-Retracting Lifelines | Inspection Checklist

Self-Retracting Lifelines | Inspection Checklist

Not keeping up with inspections and maintenance can cause equipment failure, unscheduled outages, increase business cost and most importantly, can have a major effect on your workplace safety.

Self-retracting lifelines (SRL) must be inspected before each use, annually inspected by a competent person and recertified every five years.

When it comes to fall protection, you must be sure your equipment is up to the job. The reality is, when working at heights, workers are depending on equipment like SRLs to ensure they can return home to their family. You never know when an accident may take place, and when it does, you want to be connected to an SRL that is up on its inspection and ready to do its job!

Who should inspect SRLs?

Daily inspections should be performed by trained employees before beginning the workday. It can be helpful to do inspections alongside other co-workers, so that way if something of concern is found, you have the opportunity for a second set of eyes to look at it. However, if anything does look concerning, always turn to certification experts. The checklist and tips to follow in this blog will cover how to best perform these daily inspections.

Mandatory annual inspections are only to be performed by a trained and competent or designated person. Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and repair your securing, lifting and rigging equipment on-site or in one of our full service, rigging shops. Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with provincial regulations. Once inspections, repairs, and testing is complete, we will supply full certification on your equipment to show that it complies with provincial and national safety regulations.

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your equipment inspections, try our web-based certification tracking system Hercules CertTracker ®, which helps maintain your inspection records, provide notice of inspection due dates and schedule service times to ensure your worksite equipment remains certified. Contact us to learn more!

SRL Inspection Checklist

Before you begin, it’s important to always inspect and operate the SRL in a mounted position – do not pull the cable out of the housing or let it retract while the unit is lying flat. As you go through these steps, the SRL fails anything mentioned, it must be removed from service immediately.

  • Visually Inspect the external housing or cover for any cracks or damage. The housing is not removable and will require special tools open – DO NOT open the unit unless you have been authorized and trained.
  • Ensure you can read the label including the date of manufacture, serial number, manufacture information, and warnings. If you can not read this information, you must remove it from service.
  • FOR WIRE ROPE SRLs – Using a glove to protect your hand, slowly pull the cable from the housing looking for cuts, frayed areas, worn or broken strands, rust, pitting corrosion or deterioration. Also look for any misshapenness in the rope including things like crushed, jammed, or flattened stands, kinks, bulges in the cable, gaps between the strands, or heat damage.
  • FOR WEB SRLs – Slowly pull the webbing from the housing look for holes, tares, abrasions, discoloration, or fraying of the webbing. Make sure you look at both sides and pull on the webbing to visually confirm there are no holes or tears.
  • FOR WEB SRLsBend the webbing to make an inverted “u” shape so you can get a better view of the surface. Look for any shiny spots, loose stitching or broken fibers.
  • FOR WEB SRLsRub the surface of the sling using a bare hand feeling for any hardened spots as this could be a sign of heat damage.
  • Ensure there is a wear pad in place.
  • Check the carabiner ensuring there are no cracks, bends in the metal, discoloration, and make sure the lock is functioning properly. You can test this by opening and closing the carabiner to make sure it locks into place on its own and doesn’t get caught.
  • Perform a retraction and tension test by pulling out 50% of the lifeline, and then allow it to slowly retract retaining a light tension on the cord (do not let it go). Check to make sure the lifeline can retract smoothly. Then repeat this, pulling out the full lifeline. It is important to maintain a light tension on the lifeline at all times during this test as a bird’s nest could be formed within the housing if it retracts too fast.
  • Test the brakes by grasping the lifeline and apply a sharp and steady pull downwards until the breaks engage, and then keep tension on the lifeline until the breaks are fully engaged. There should be no slipping felt during this process. Again, allow it to retract keeping light tension. The brakes should release and allow the lifeline to retract smoothly back into the housing. Repeat this several times at different length points.

Download a printable version of this inspection checklist by clicking below:

Web – SLR Inspection Checklist Downloadable PDF 
Wire – SLR Inspection Checklist Downloadable PDF

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. Hercules SLR offers LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

We inspect, repair, and certify:

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

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

5 Top Tips | Caring for Wire Rope

5 Top Tips | Caring for Wire Rope

Rigging equipment has a tough job lifting and moving heavy loads for hours and hours a day. In order for that equipment to be able to be its job, we have to take proper care of it. We expect longevity and endurance from equipment like wire rope, but that can easily turn if not properly treated. Equipment that is properly treated, handled, installed, inspected and stored will reward us with a prolonged life of service, better job performance and peace of mind in knowing it won’t fail.

Riggers don’t have the luxury of simple equipment slip-ups. If your rigging equipment fails you, it can cause damage to product, property and worst-case scenario, an extreme safety hazard resulting in injury or loss of life. Since wire rope is a material of choice in heavier lifts, extreme safety hazards can be a real possibility if you’re using rope that’s in an unsafe condition.

But that can be avoided! Here are 5 top tips to help you keep you wire rope in tip-top condition…

1. Seizing Your Wire Rope

Seizing and cutting operations are not difficult to perform, but are crucial in the performance of wire rope. Proper seizing must be applied to both rope ends to protect the wire ropes from loosening – Carelessly or inadequately seized ends may cause distortion or flattening of the rope. If you use wire rope that is not properly seized it will cause uneven distribution of the load over the strands causing the life of the wire rope to be drastically shortened.

Normally, one of two methods are used to do this. Typically method one is suitable for wire ropes with a diameter over one inch, and method two is those with a diameter one inch and under.

Method One:

  1. One end of the seizing wire is placed between the valleys of two strands.
  2. Turn another end around the rope and the fixed end of seizing wire closely and tightly at right angles.
  3. Stop turning after the proper length of seizing has been applied.
  4. Twist two ends of seizing wire together and make sure they are seizing the rope tightly.

Method Two:

  1. Wrap with small wires as shown in the picture.
  2. Twist the two ends of seizing wire together.
  3. Alternatively tight twist with end cutters.

2. Care When Unloading & Handling

If you’re dealing with loading or unloading wire rope in a reel or coil, it’s important to know that that is not a protected storage method and if you drop the reel during this process, it can lead to serious damage to your wire rope. Because of this, it is important to handle reels of wire rope with care and focus not to drop or damage the reel. Damage to the reel can also make it incredibly difficult to remove the wire rope from the reel, so it’s not only an important safety precaution but will also save you time and frustration in the future.

It’s also important to take care when removing wire rope from the reels or coils. When doing this, ensure the reel or coil is rotating as the wire rope unwinds. Below you will see some of the rights vs. wrongs for unwinding rope.

3. Installation By Trained Professionals

In the rigging field, it’s very important that workers be properly trained in any and all tasks they are performing because many lifts can become extremely dangerous if even one aspect is done incorrectly. So the most important thing to take away from this tip is to seek out proper training from certified professionals before taking on tasks like installing wire rope!

Once you have that training you will know how important it is to take into account the design factor of any equipment being used with wire rope, being sure to take note of the nominal diameter of wire rope to use with the equipment, as specified by the manufacturer. Installing an incorrect size will result in a failed rope or shorter service life as the rope can get pinched into a smaller space compromising its integrity.

Wire rope diameter is determined by measuring the outer circle of the strands, which is the greatest dimension that can be measured with a pair of parallel-jawed calipers or machinist’s caliper square. You can easily make a mistake if not taking care in measuring the largest dimension, as shown below:

 

4. Keeping up with Inspections and Assessments

Keeping up with the required inspections is something that must be prioritized for all rigging equipment. Wire rope is often used for heavy lifting, which means they are being used in situations where they are trusted to keep not just your load safe, but the people and the environment around it. That means that you have to be confident that your wire rope is up to the task – And how do you do that? Inspections!

Based on manufacturer/organization recommendations, ensure your wire rope is being inspected by a certified professional where the rope can be dismantled and tested through visual assessment and non-destructive testing. Hercules SLR can make this a worry-free part of your business – Our experience and LEEA certified team can take this completely off your hands, on-site or in our fell service rigging shops! 

On top of these professional inspections, wire rope should also be visually assessed by trained and experienced workers at the start of every shift or when resuming stalled work. Thorough visual assessments should also be carried out after reattaching or refitting the wire rope on the same or different equipment. Machine operators should be trained to visually assess the entire wire rope, with emphasis on points of attachment.

Things to look for when visually assessing a wire rope:

  • Broken Strands –  One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire (if possible), 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.
  • Surface Wear and Tare – 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.
  • Internal Ware and Tare –  It is recommended to remove the cable whenever possible 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. If you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections, this is particularly necessary as it is possible for wire rope to look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you move it around, it completely fails.

5. Proper Storage Methods

Wire rope needs to be stored in a well-ventilated, dry, and covered area and should not come in contact with the floor. If it is necessary to store it outside, they must be covered so that moisture cannot get inside and cause corrosion. You should also make sure that they are protected from dust, water, steam, salt, chemical fumes or adverse climatic conditions.

Turning the reel occasionally is a good practice to get in the habit of. This will prevent the wire rope’s lubricant from wearing off. If ropes are stored for a long time, it is advised for you to get them examined periodically and apply a coat of lubricant to them.

Bonus tip: If you live in an area that is prone to termites, protect the wooden reel by storing it on cement flooring. 


In the market for wire rope? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With our full service, one-stop-shop 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.

Cost of A Fall | How it Can Effect Your Business

Cost of A Fall | How This Hazard Can Effect Your Business

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?

So how do these falls happen?

The majority (around 67%) are the result of slips and trips while the remaining are falls from a height. Same level falls can be caused by slippery and uneven surfaces, debris and tripping hazards, dark and obstructed pathways, and unsuitable footwear. Falling from heights can be caused by working where there is a chance of falling more than 3 meters (10 feet).

What the Law Says

If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety (OHSA) 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.

OHSA also requires that employers take every reasonable precaution to protect workers, provide information and instruction, and ensure that workers properly use or wear the required equipment. Employers, supervisors, and workers can be prosecuted for not complying with the law.

**Refer to industry-specific regulations for details on legislative compliance. Your health and safety association can provide this information to you.

How can this Hazard can Affect Your Business?

The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario published a study on this and found the following:

  • Each year there are about 17,000 lost-time injuries due to falls in the workplace
  • One in five lost-time injuries result from falls
  • Every year about 20 people die in Ontario because of workplace falls
  • 80 workers are injured every day because of a fall – that’s one every 20 minutes

These numbers are for Ontario alone, and display just how important it is to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Like we always say, every worker has the right to return home safe each and every day, and fall prevention and protection is a large part of that.

But let’s take a moment to step away and look at this through a monetary lense. Keeping your employees safe should be enough of a reason to prioritize fall prevention and protection – But the reality of the situation is, a fall can also cost your business a fair amount…

  • An average WSIB claim is $11,771; factor in other costs like lost productivity and staff replacement, and the cost can be as much as four times more – approximately $59,000 per injury
  • with a profit margin of 5%, sales/services required to cover the total cost of one injury equals about $1.2 million

What You Can Do

Preventing Falls due to Slips and Trips

The most basic way to prevent slips and trips is to maintain proper housekeeping measures, such as:

  •  Cleaning spills immediately if possible, and marking them as ‘wet areas’ if not
  •  Ensuring debris is mopped or swept from floors
  •  Removing obstacles from walkways
  •  Securing mats, rugs or carpets to the floor to ensure they lay flat
  •  Covering and securing cables that cross walkways
  •  Replacing used light bulbs and faulty switches to ensure all work areas are well lit

While following these suggestions will reduce your risk for slips and trips, it’s impossible to completely eliminate all risk.

As an employee, it is important to recognize the risk and prepare yourself as much as possible. There are lots of easy ways to reduce your chance of falling, which include:

  • Wearing the proper footwear—Consider slip-resistant shoes with flat heels, especially when working in an oily or wet environment
  • Keep your hands to your sides, not in your pockets, for balance
  • Walk slowly on slippery surfaces—Slide your feet to avoid sharp turns
  • Always focus on where you are going, what you are doing, and what lies ahead
  • Don’t carry loads you can’t see over
  • Watch out for floors that are uneven, have holes, etc.

Preventing Falls from a Height

Just because falls from a height happen less often doesn’t mean you should be discounting them as a serious risk. These falls are the incidents that commonly lead to grave injuries or even death.

The best way to prevent falls from a height is having a fall protection plan. Fall protection plans outline policies and procedures involved in assembling, maintaining, inspecting, using and dismantling any equipment you may be using to work at a height. Fall protection plans need to be customized for each work-site, as requirements and equipment will vary based on many different factors.

A site-specific fall protection plan will incorporate many things, including:

  • Site location – address, description, work areas, tasks, etc.
  • Site-specific fall hazards (e.g. maximum working heights or proximity to power lines)
  • Type of fall protection to be used, including all anchor points and clearance requirements
  • Equipment inspections
  • Any other work requirements (e.g. presence of first aid or rescue personnel, barricades, etc.)
  • Rescue procedures
  • Worker sign off

Like we mentioned above, 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. Hercules SLR offers a wide range of fall protection equipment and our experts would be happy to set you up with the right equipment based on your needs – All it takes is a quick phone call or email!

Ensure that required personal protective equipment, and other equipment, is in good repair and used properly.

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 in proper condition, and that it’s being used properly. These are aspects of your safety measures that Hercules SLR can aid with greatly. Our LEEA certified inspection technicians can inspect and certify your fall protection equipment and you can get trained on the proper way to used fall protection at the Hercules Training Academy!


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.

Safety Tips | Vision Health Month

Safety Tips | Vision Health Month

Since May is Vision Health Month, we thought for this blog it would be the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about the importance of vision health!

According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, over 700 Canadian workers per day sustain eye injuries on the job, resulting in lost time and/or temporary or permanent vision loss.

That statistic sounds impossible, right? Well, it’s not! Eye injuries on the job can be caused by flying debris like metal pieces or glass, tools, chemicals, harmful radiation or even eye strain due to digital devices. What makes this statistic worse is that 90% of those injuries could have been avoided with the use of proper safety equipment, including safety eyewear.

But Why Are People Not Wearing Safety Glasses?

With an issue like this, you may find yourself thinking, “those people just didn’t put on their safety glasses”, and that’s that. And, to some extent, it is that easy! However, it’s important to take into consideration WHY people aren’t wearing their safety glasses. The Alberta Association of Optometrists found these were amongst the most common when asking people why they don’t wear their safety glasses on the job:

  • “I hate layering glasses over glasses.” If the worker already wears prescription eyewear, putting safety glasses over regular glasses is a hassle. In addition, the worker may not feel he or she can see well enough to do a proper job.
  • “It doesn’t fit right.” If your glasses were ordered online without a fitting, or if they are a generic size, they can be very awkward fitting, and fall off when you most need them.
  • “They look ridiculous.” If workers are self-conscious about wearing safety glasses, they will take them off at the first chance, and could forget to put them back on when necessary (if indeed they know where they left them!).
  • “It’s not necessary, the employer is just doing a CYA” If the bosses don’t wear the safety gear, or exhibit a casual atmosphere toward enforcing it due, employees may think the rules are just for insurance or liability purposes. They may think the dangers are only superficial.
  • “They don’t have sun protection.” If workers are outside without lenses coated with sun protection they may be tempted to wear sunglasses instead of safety glasses. Having any lens in front of the eye can fool workers into thinking they have protection, but there is a huge difference between sun glasses and real fitted safety glasses.

So, with all of those points taken into consideration, our #1 tip for proper vision health in the workplace is access to properly fitted eyewear, and if necessary, prescription safety eyewear dispensed by an Optometrist. Safety eyewear is not a one size fits all solution, you need to be fitted with the correct PPE for your circumstances. If you find yourself wanting to take them off for any reason, fix that reason!

How To Choose the Right Safety Glasses

The Most Important Components of Safety Glasses

Lenses: CSA-certified eye and face protectors must meet the criteria for impact resistance as outlined in the standard. Only devices made of approved materials are permitted.

Markings: The manufacturer or supplier certification mark must be present on all approved safety lenses, frames (front and temple), removable side shields, and other parts of the glasses, goggles, or helmets.

Frames: Safety frames are stronger than street-wear frames and are often heat resistant. They are also designed to prevent lenses from being pushed into the eyes.

What are the pros and cons of the different lenses?

As Defined by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Hi-Vex

  • More impact-resistant than CR39 plastic
  • Available with all surface treatments (coatings)
  • 100% UV filtering
  • Light weight
  • Material is very clear

Polycarbonate

  • Most impact-resistant of all lens materials
  • Lightweight
  • Can be coated for scratch resistance
  • Most have built-in UV radiation absorption properties

Plastic (CR39)

  • About one-half the weight of glass
  • Resistant to solvents and pitting

Trivex

  • More impact resistant than CR39 Plastic
  • Less impact resistant than polycarbonate
  • UV radiation absorption properties

Glass

  • High-density material resulting in heavy lenses
  • Loses impact resistance if scratched
  • Does not meet impact criteria as set by CSA Z94.3

Proper Fit & Care

Fit
  • Ensure your safety eye wear fits properly. Eye wear should cover from the eyebrow to the cheekbone, and across from the nose to the boney area on the outside of the face and eyes. Eye size, bridge size and temple length all vary. Eye wear should be individually assigned and fitted so that gaps between the edges of the device and the face are kept to a minimum.
  • Eye wear should fit over the temples comfortably and over the ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and adequately supported by the bridge of the nose.
  • Users should be able to see in all directions without any major obstructions in their field of view.
Care

Eye and face protection devices need maintenance.

  • Clean your devices daily. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Avoid rough handling that can scratch lenses. Scratches impair vision and can weaken lenses.
  • Store your devices in a clean, dry place where they cannot fall or be stepped on. Keep them in a case when they are not being worn.
  • Replace scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting devices immediately. Damaged devices interfere with vision and do not provide protection.
  • Replace damaged parts only with identical parts from the original manufacturer to ensure the same safety rating.
  • Do not change or modify the protective device.

Eye Protection Classes & How to Choose the Right One

As Defined by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Safety at Home and At Work

Vision health hazards aren’t just present at work! It’s important to maintain your vision health all the time, not just when you’re in workplace environments. You may have the perfect eye protection down for work, but if you’re not keeping up with your vision health at home, you could still risk losing one of the senses you rely on the most.

Healthy Vision Checklist:

  • Get an annual eye exam – 75% of vision loss is treatable or preventable if caught early.
  • Wear sunglasses – Sunglasses protect against serious eye conditions caused by UV exposure.
  • Don’t smoke – Smoking increases the likelihood of cataracts, optic nerve damage, macular degeneration. Smokers are also 4x more likely to go blind in old age.
  • Avoid common sources of eye injury – Common sources of eye injury in the home include, home renovations, makeup applicators, fingernails, household cleaning products, poorly fit contact lenses and misused contact lenses.
  • Know your history – Many eye diseases are hereditary, talk to family members about their eye health history.
  • Take eye infections seriously – Symptoms can include redness, pain, discharge, itching, blurry vision, light sensitivity and swelling. If you suspect an eye infection, visit your Doctor of Optometry immediately. Delaying treatment could lead to vision loss.
  • Have an eye doctor who knows you – Having a Doctor of Optometry that knows you and the history of your eyes helps ensure you get the right care at the right time.

Download the printable version of this checklist so you can always be reminded of your Vision Health! 

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.

National Space Day | Rigging in Space

National Space Day | Rigging in Space

Did you know that today, May 1st, is national space day? We here at Hercules Group of Companies wanted to participate in the fun spirit of today by having a look at some of the ways rigging and fall protection equipment is used in outer space!

Yes, you heard us right – Rigging is essential in many different sectors, and space exploration is included on that list, how cool?! Check out these 5 ways rigging and fall protection equipment like wire rope, harnesses and shackles make space exploration possible:

1. Specially Designed Steel Rope Riser Cables – Orion Spacecraft

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

In order for the Orion spacecraft to safety return to Earth, it relies on it’s parachute – a parachute that’s equipped with specially designed steel rope riser cables! in 2014, NASA conducted a test flight for the Orion Space Capsule where after making two orbits of the Earth, it reentered the atmosphere and was brought to a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

 

2. Cicoil engineered Biomedical Harness – Apollo 11

When Neil Armstrong took his historic first step on the surface of the Moon, he was wearing a bio-belt that was fitted with a Cicoil engineered Biomedical Harness. This harness took the typical safety measures of a lead and harness and kicked it up a notch, with special biotelemetry technology that allowed for tracking vital signs of the astronauts, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, body temperature, and pulse rate to be recorded and evaluated.

Since at the time they were uncertain of the effects on the human body associated with Space flight, this elevated harness allowed for surgeons at the Ground Command Center in Houston to identify problems in real-time and provide quick solutions. Without this important piece of what we like to think of as EXTREMELY elevated fall protection, who can say that the Moon landing expedition would have been possible.

 

3. Exercise Countermeasures – ISS

The human body goes through a lot when going into space, and negative effects on the body can be associated with long periods spent in space. NASA uses exercise countermeasures on the International Space Station (ISS) in order to maintain their crew’s health and combat these negative effects. Most of these countermeasure exercise systems rely heavily on textile and wire rope as well as fall protection style systems and harnesses.

There are many different specially designed exercise machines used in space. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about these, click here for some examples! In the photo here you see an astronaut using a specially designed version of a treadmill, strapped in using a lead and harness to allow him to complete his workout without floating away!

 

4. PBI Fiber Rope Sleep Restraint – Apollo 11

Looking at another example from the famous Apollo 11, sleep restraints were made out 10-foot PBI (polybenzimidazole) fiber rope with plastic ferrules on the ends to prevent fraying. Sleeping bags were latched to the center aisle of sleeping quarters using this special rope. This is a system that at its core is still in place in modern space exploration, but has of course been updated.

The photo featured here is one of the five ropes flown on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. These were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1970 as important aspects of history being made in space exploration!


No matter how out of this world the project – Hercules SLR is here to support you every step of the way.

Hercules SLR is your source for craneshoistswire ropefall 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.