The Lions Library | Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

The Lions Library | Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

For this month’s Lions Library, let’s talk about workplace health and safety protocols in Ontario! The goal of Lions Library is to provide you with short-form, easy to understand, explanations of workplace health and safety topics as well as act as a database for where to learn more. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing information on Ontario’s provincial workplace health and safety programs and where to find the best information to keep yourself and your employees safe working within the province of Ontario.

We will be posting a new Lions Library each month this year focusing on all of the Canadian provinces! Tune in to our blog, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linkedin) so you’ll be sure to catch when we publish your province’s! 

What are workplace health and safety guidelines?

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) states, “A health and safety program is a definite plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases.”

In most Canadian jurisdictions, some sort of a health and safety program is required under the occupational health and safety legislation. Because every organization is different, a specific health and safety program must be developed for each organization and cannot necessarily be expected to meet the needs of another.

Workplace Health and Safety in Ontario 

Ontario workplace health and safety is regulated by The Occupational Health & Safety Act which sets out the rights and duties of everyone in the workplace, as well as the procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and for enforcement.

Other contributing legislation includes the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA), Part II of which deals with the prevention of occupational injury and disease and the Human Rights Code, which often has to be considered in dealing with OHS issues. Both OHSA and WSIA are available along with all of Ontario’s other Acts and regulations at the e-Laws website.

The Occupational Health & Safety Act came into force first in 1979 and with changes that were made in 1990 and subsequent years it has evolved into what it is today. These changes strengthened the requirements for occupational health and safety in Ontario workplaces and reinforced the internal responsibility system (IRS), in particular, the joint health and safety committees.

It’s important for employers to note that The Occupational Health & Safety Act makes it clear that employers have the greatest responsibilities. However, everyone has a role to play to ensure that health and safety requirements are met in the workplace. The respective roles and responsibilities for all workplace parties are detailed in The Occupational Health & Safety Act.

For Employees

As a worker in Ontario, you have three basic rights related to health and safety.

  • The right to know and to be trained in safe work practices in all aspects of your job.
  • The right to participate in health and safety matters either directly or through a worksite health and safety committee or representative.
  • The right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that the work process, equipment or environment poses an undue risk of injury to you or another person

If you’re a supervisor you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide a safe workplace and assign safe work taking all reasonable precautions to protect your coworkers from illness and/or injury
  • Inform your coworkers about job hazards and training them to do their jobs safely
  • Provide supervision to ensure that coworkers work safely and use equipment and protective devices properly where required

Supervisors who fail to comply with these and other Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act regulations can result in individual fines up to $25,000.

Here are some resources that will help you educate yourself around Ontario OH&S:

For Employers 

Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act gives employers responsibility to:

  • Keep a safe and well-maintained workplace, taking all reasonable precautions to protect workers from illness and/or injury
  • Provide information about the hazards in the workplace including proper safety equipment, training, and competent supervision
  • Post the WSIB’s “In Case of Injury at Work” poster and follow proper procedures in case of injury
  • Post the Occupational Health & Safety Act in your workplace
  • Have worker representation for health and safety. If you workplace has 20 or more employees or you deal with a designated substance you must have a joint health and safety committee (JHSC). Construction projects that last more than 3 months with 20 or more workers must also have a JHSC. Workplaces with more than 5 employees, but less than 20 employees are required to have a health and safety representative

Failure to comply with these and other Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act regulations can result in individual fines up to $25,000 and/or up to a year in prison. Corporations who fail to comply with these regulations can be fined up to $500,000. Employers are also subject to penalties for failing to report to the WSIB-within 3 days of learning of a workplace injury or illness.

Occupational health and safety compliance By Sector

Construction

The Construction Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the construction sector. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, “construction” includes, erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earthmoving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting or concreting, the installation of any machinery or plant & any work or undertaking in connection with a project, excluding any work or undertaking underground in a mine.

Health care

The Health Care Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the health care sector. This includes long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, nursing services, supported group living residences, treatment clinics and specialized services, professional offices and agencies, including medical laboratories. Most of these workplaces are also governed by Ontario Regulation 67/93 – Health Care and Residential Facilities.

Industrial sector

The Industrial Health and Safety Program enforces health and safety laws in industrial workplaces. This program is a large and diverse program that enforces Ontario’s workplace health and safety laws in 29 different sectors with includes the most provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario including education, government services and retail.

Mining sector

The Mining Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the mining sector. Ontario’s mining sector can vary based on location, setting or activity including large and small firms, unionized and non-unionized workplaces, underground and surface operations, processing plants, including mills, smelters and refineries, sand and gravel operations, mineral exploration sites and oil and gas extraction facilities.

Specialized Professional Services and Radiation Protection Services

The Specialized Professional Services Unit provides technical support and expertise to ministry staff in ergonomics, occupational hygiene, engineering and emergency management. This unit also continues in the development of standards and legislation of health and safety guidelines.

Radiation Protection Services staff administer and enforce workplace radiation health and safety laws.


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.

A Family Day Craft for Future Riggers

Family Day Crafts for Future Riggers

With Family Day/Heritage Day coming up next week we wanted to feature a fun craft perfect for family time with our next generation of Hercules SLR Rigging Technicians! Turn your old paper towel and toilet paper rolls into your very own crane and trucks to drive around your construction site.

We challenge you to try this craft with your family this upcoming holiday weekend (or anytime!) and send us a photo of the results by email, on Instagram or on Facebook. We trust your crane will be totally up to inspection!

Recycled Crane Construction Site

Created by Marie-Laure Pham at Howwonderful.co 

Materials:

  • Recycled paper rolls large and small
  • Craft paper colored rolls
  • Colored construction paper
  • Colored tape
  • Tape, glue, paper cutter
  • Compass and scissors

Instructions:

Step 1: Roll and glue your large paper towel roll with colored construction paper. Make crosses over the tube with colored tape. (Tip! Don’t have colored tap? Color your own masking tape for extra customization)

Step 2: Make the top of your crane by drawing and cutting a triangle out of colored construction paper.

Step 3: Make the “hook” by cutting a long rectangle (around 10″ by 1″) and rolling it to make it round and gluing it. Take a piece of embroidery string and make a knot around your loop.

Step 4: Take your finished paper towel roll from step one and make a cut on top across both sides with scissors. Now insert the top of your crane into the cut slot. Glue the end of your string attached to your hook to the end of the crane top.

Step 5: Make the conductor box by cutting a rectangle out of your construction paper. Roll it to make it round and glue it. Add a rectangle, either out of paper or thin cardboard (like a cereal box); glue it to your circle. Draw 2 circles and glue on top and bottom of your shape. Add the box to your crane.

Step 6: Make a truck by taking one small colored craft roll. Make a hole on top. Make similar paper circle shapes as in the crane elements and attach to a piece of embroidery string and then, link the roll to the circle by gluing them together. Roll leftover pieces of paper and insert inside your construction truck circles. Repeat for as many trucks as you want your construction site to have!

For all your rigging repairs, inspections and services, call Hercules! Our inspectors are trained to the highest standard and are LEEA registered.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

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

Tips for Forklift Driving Safety | Ask the Experts

Tips for Forklift Driving Safety | Ask the Experts

Forklift driving takes a lot more than just lifting and moving materials – Forklift operators should have an understanding of safety & balance, to keep materials, themselves, and others safe. One of the biggest risks forklift drivers face is tipping-over. According to OSHA, approximately 25% of forklift fatalities were from tip-over incidents.

Yes, it might seem basic, but it’s important to recognize the forklift’s center of gravity and stability triangle. In this blog, we’ll discuss tips to keep you balanced and everything else you need to know to stay safe in, out, and around the forklift.

In this blog we’ll cover:

  • Some of the biggest safety risks associated with balance and the most common type of forklift
  • Forklift center of gravity & the stability triangle
  • Other factors that contribute to forklift accidents and tip-overs
  • How to conduct visual & operational forklift inspections
  • Safety tips to remain balanced & safe while driving a forklift

There are four main potential safety risks considering balance and forklift driving. These are:

  1. How likely the forklift is to tip-over forward;
  2. How likely the forklift is to tip-over on its side;
  3. Maximum braking-level (or stopping distance) the forklift can perform;
  4. The maximum level of reversed-acceleration the forklift can perform.

In Canada, counter-balanced forklifts are one of the most often-seen types of forklift.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | CENTRE OF GRAVITY & STABILITY TRIANGLE

CENTRE OF GRAVITY & STABILITY TRIANGLE

forklift driving stability triangle diagram

As we mentioned earlier, a counterbalance forklift has three ways it can tip—forward, or sideways, on the left or right.

While driving a forklift, it’s important to maintain its center of gravity. The center of gravity lives within the stability triangle.

The Centre of gravity is defined as the point within the triangle where the bulk of the mass is located. Although we don’t recommend trying it out, the center of gravity is also the point where the forklift could balance. Again—Take don’t try this one out, we recommend taking our word for it.

Calculating the forklifts’ center of gravity is complex (and unnecessary for daily use), but there are a few important things to understand in order to remain balanced as you operate the forklift.

When the forklift is stationary, it won’t tip as the force is on the center, but tilts forward when force is applied to the front tines (also called forks) or its back. It’s also worth noting that a forklift is more likely to tip sideways, than forwards. Therefore, adding a load to the front forks decreases the chance the forklift will tip on its side.

Alternatively, lifting the forks on the truck with a load will cause the forklift’s stability to decrease on all sides.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | WHAT ELSE CONTRIBUTES TO ACCIDENTS? 

The type of load and how it is placed on the forklift contributes significantly to forklift accidents. First and foremost, you should always avoid awkwardly stacking or piling your load in a way that causes instability. Unmaintained pallets, too heavy of a load, or too tall of a load can also cause a hazard by having the load break apart mid-travel, or by obstructing the driver’s view.

Making sure your forklift is in top shape is also key to avoiding accidents. Another common contributor to forklift accidents is faulty or malfunctioning mechanics. This includes faulty steering, brakes, clutch, transmission or mast assembly, inadequate or malfunctioning safety devices, improper forklift emissions, or poorly organized controls and displays on the forklift.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | SAFETY TIPS

To help maintain the center of gravity, there are three main things to keep in mind with driving a forklift:

  1. Don’t distribute the load unevenly on the forks, this will increase the frequency of sideways tip-overs
  2. Don’t load the forklift beyond its WLL, this will make the forklift prone to tipping
  3. Be sure to move the load all the way to the back of the forks

If you’re driving a forklift, you should never:

  • Drive a forklift without any capacity ratings listed
  • Travel in a forklift with a load raised more than 4 inches
  • Leave the forklift alone while running, or with a load
  • Let unauthorized personnel operate a forklift
  • Attempt to adjust the load from the operating cab
  • Raise a load extending over the load backrest, unless no part of the load can slide back toward the operator
  • Use pallets with forks as a make-shift elevated work platform (it’s more common than you think!)
  • Let personnel stand/walk under any elevated part of the forklift

It’s important to communicate potential hazards for everyone working in a space where forklifts are found, and use proper signals to keep yourself and others safe. Here are some tips to help keep others safe while driving a forklift:

  • Restrict access to areas where forklifts are used (and create procedures to keep workers safe when they must enter spaces where forklifts operate)
  • OR, create designated walkways or traveling paths to separate pedestrians from forklifts
  • Pedestrians should always let the forklift driver know when they’re in the area—Eye contact is a simple way to make your presence know
  • Keep the area, particular the traveling path free from obstacles and ensure it’s well-lit
  • Be careful when driving around sharp/blind corners, doorways, and narrow aisles. Honk your forklift horn at intersections.
  •  Wear hi-vis clothing & PPE
  • Load the forks so your line of vision is clear
  • Avoid driving the forklift near people-heavy areas
  • Don’t walk under or near forks

FORKLIFT DRIVING | INSPECTION

A forklift operator should inspect their forklift daily, at the beginning of each shift and before each use.

The operator should do a visual circle-check of the forklift (a walk-around) and an operational pre-use check. What do these involve?

During a visual inspection before use, the operator should: 

  • General condition/cleanliness (this includes the forklift and surrounding floor & overhead work areas)
  • Ensure a charged fire extinguisher is nearby
  • Make sure engine oil, fuel, and radiator fluid levels are correct
  • Establish that the propane tank’s fuel-tank mounting system, fuel-tank position pin, propane relief valves, and hose are in good condition
  • Make sure the battery is fully charged, there are no exposed wires, plug connections are in good condition, vent caps are clear, electrolyte levels in cells are acceptable and are in-place with hold-downs or brackets
  • See that bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels are not damaged, disconnected or missing
  • Check for wear, damage, and air-pressure (pneumatic tires) in wheels & tires
  • Ensure forks/tines are not bent or chipped and are level & properly positioned—Also check that positioning latches and carriage teeth aren’t broken or worn
  • Make sure chain anchor pins aren’t worn, loose or bent
  • Make sure there are no fluid leaks, damp spots, or drips
  • Ensure hoses are secured and not loose, crimped, or worn
  • Check for grease & debris in the operator compartment
  • Make sure the seatbelt fastens & works properly
  • Guards: Ensure guards, overhead guards, and roll-over protection structure (ROPS) are secure & undamaged

During a pre-operational inspection, the forklift operator should check: 

  • FOOT & PARKING BRAKEEnsure pedal holds & unit stops smoothly, and brake holds against slight acceleration
  • DEADMAN SEAT BRAKE: Make sure it holds when the operator rises from the seat
  • CLUTCH & GEARSHIFT: Make sure they shift smoothly and don’t jump or snag
  • DASH CONTROL PANELCheck that all lights & gauges are operational
  • HORN: Make sure the horn sounds loudly enough to be heard overwork
  • BACK-UP: Make sure the reverse alarm and other warning devices work properly
  • LIGHTS: Ensure headlights and warning lights function properly
  • STEERING: Make sure the steering-wheel works smoothly
  • LIFT MECHANISMMake sure they operate smoothly—You can check by lifting forks to their maximum height, then lowering them completely
  • TILT MECHANISM: Make sure the tilt mechanism works properly & holds the load—You can check by tilting the mast forward and backward completely.
  • CYLINDERS & HOSESCheck these last and make sure they’re not leaking after doing these checks.

BE SURE TO LISTEN FOR UNUSUAL SOUNDS/NOISES! 

There are many work-related issues that contribute to forklift driving, safety & general operation.

Ensure you conduct the three types of inspections we cover in this blog, be mindful of the forklift’s stability triangle & forks, keep travel slow, steady & free from obstacles to ensure your safety and others around you—And never let someone drive the forklift without proper training, or who hasn’t been designated.


Forklift Driving training course outline

Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses, including Forklift Safety (Narrow or Counterbalance) 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. training@herculesslr.com.

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

Nova Scotia Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

The Lions Library | Nova Scotia Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

For this month’s Lions Library, let’s talk about workplace health and safety protocols in Nova Scotia! The goal of Lions Library is to provide people with short-form, easy to understand, explanations of workplace health and safety topics as well as act as a database for where to learn more. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing information on Nova Scotia’s provincial workplace health and safety programs and where to find the best information to keep yourself and your employee’s safe working within the province of NS.

Since The Hercules Group of Companies head office is in Nova Scotia, we thought this would be a good place to start, but don’t worry – we will be posting a new Lions Library each month this year focusing on all of the Canadian provinces! Tune in to our blog, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linkedin) so you’ll be sure to catch when we publish your province’s! 

What are workplace health and safety guidelines?

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) states, “A health and safety program is a definite plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases.”

In most Canadian jurisdictions, some sort of a health and safety program is required under the occupational health and safety legislation. Because every organization is different, a specific health and safety program must be developed for each organization and cannot necessarily be expected to meet the needs of another.

Workplace Health and Safety in Nova Scotia 

Nova Scotia workplace health and safety is regulated by the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education are also a key part of Nova Scotia’s workplace health and safety efforts. Their staff promote, coordinate, administer, and enforce occupational health and safety across the province.

For Employees

As a worker in Nova Scotia, you have three basic rights related to health and safety.

  • The right to know and to be trained in safe work practices in all aspects of your job.
  • The right to participate in health and safety matters either directly or through a worksite health and safety committee or representative.
  • The right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that the work process, equipment or environment poses an undue risk of injury to you or another person

Here are some resources that will help you educate yourself around NS OH&S:

Free E-Learn Courses

Novia Scotian residents can take advantage of 3 free E-Learning courses from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) per year. The courses are sponsored by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Safety Branch, Occupational Health and Safety Division making them an amazing FREE safety resource. You can register for these courses by visiting: CCOHS Nova Scotia OHS e-training site.

For Employers 

Every workplace and employer must provide access to the following things in order to be compliment under the OH&S Act :

  • Posted Nova Scotia OH&S Act
  • Posted Nova Scotia OH&S contact information sheet
  • A posted Emergency Communication procedure
  • Copy of the WHMIS/GHS regulations
  • A Trained first aid provider
  • A first aid kit appropriate to the size and type of business you have
  • A posted copy of your workplace violence prevention statement

In addition to the above list, you may have further requirements based on the number of employees you have.

In order to successfully manage the workplace health and safety guidelines in your workplace, as an employer, you are obligated to the following:

  • Ensure the health and safety of the people at or near your workplace
  • Provide and maintain equipment, machines, and materials that are properly equipped with safety devices
  • Provide information, instruction, training, supervision, and facilities to keep your workers safe
  • Ensure that all workers are told about any health or safety hazards at your workplace
  • Ensure that all workers know when and how to properly use all devices, equipment, and clothing required for their protection
  • Conduct your business so that workers are not exposed to health or safety hazards
  • Work with your health and safety representative, if you have 5 or more workers
  • Cooperate with anyone performing a duty or exercising a power under occupational health and safety legislation
  • Comply with the Occupational Health and safety legislation that applies to your workplace, and make sure that your workers also comply
  • Establish an occupational health and safety policy, if you have 5 or more workers

As an employer, it is also your responsibility that all employees know and understand their three most basic rights working in NS: The right to refuse unsafe work, the right to know of any hazards in the workplace, and the right to participate in identifying and resolving safety issues.

In Nova Scotia, failure to comply with the OH&S Act can be charged as an offence. Business owners found liable could be subjected to a fine up to $250,000, two years in prison or both.

The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act

 If you are an employer, it is your responsibility to know your obligations under the NS OH&S Act that affect your workplace. It is recommended that all employers and employees familiarize themselves with the OH&S Act in order to know your responsibilities and rights within the workplace.

You can contact the OHS Division at 1-800-952-2687 if you have questions about which regulations apply to your workplace, but the following regulations apply to most workplaces in Nova Scotia and are a great place to start when educating yourself:

  • First Aid Regulations
  • Occupational Safety General Regulations
  • Violence in the Workplace Regulations
  • WHMIS Regulations
  • Administrative Penalties Regulations
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulations including Part 21: Fall Protection and Part 23: Scaffolding

You can find the act here, or you may request a paper copy of the OH&S Act from the OHS Division by contacting them at:

Tel: 902-424-5400 or toll-free within Nova Scotia at 1-800-952-2687
Email: ohsdivision@gov.ns.ca
For federally-regulated workplaces contact Labour Canada at: 1-800-641-4049.

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.

Top 10 Hercules SLR Blogs of 2020

Top 10 Hercules SLR Blogs of 2020

As 2020 comes to a close we here at The Hercules Group of Companies are reflecting back upon the year. While I think we can all agree that 2020 may not have been the wonderful start of a new decade we all hoped for, it’s always good practice to try to reflect upon the good – whether that’s big or small.

We’ve done a lot of learning this year at the Hercules Group of Companies. These unprecedented times have been tough for many people, but the Hercules Group of Companies has been learning how to be adaptable to changing Canadian and provincial health and safety guidelines in order to keep our employees, customers and community safe while remaining open. Since The Hercules Group of Companies service and provide materials to many essential Canadian industries, this was especially important.

We hope despite the toughness of this year, you too found the opportunity to learn and grow through it. The goal of the Hercules SLR blog is to provide short and easy to understand articles and educational resources for all things securing, lifting and rigging. Hopefully, these blogs allowed some of you to step up your workplace health and safety this year!

So, in a reflection of 2020 – Let’s take a look at 10 articles from the Hercules SLR blog this past year. If you missed any on this list, click to read more!

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

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!

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…Read more

2. 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…Read more

3. International Women’s Day | Innovative Industry Inventions

We have compiled 8 extraordinary women throughout history whose inventions have made impacts on industries including, transportation, construction, marine, health & safety, fire prevention, and so many more – whether that be directly or indirectly. We are certain there are so many more notable women that have made significate contributions to the industrial world, but today we’re starting by shining a light on these few!…Read more

4. Safety Tips | Working on Scaffolds

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. 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone! …Read more

5. Safety Tips | Working on a Roof

Did you know that rooftop falls are responsible for a third of fatal construction falls? Rooftop falls can be a “perfect storm” when it comes to falling hazards, because oftentimes they are from a height high enough to cause serious injury, but low enough that you have little time to react or re-position yourself. Rooftop falls happen too often, and when they do, they are incredibly dangerous. But the good news is, rooftop falls are easily avoided with proper understanding of hazards and how to combat them…Read more

6. National Space Day | Rigging in Space

Did you know that 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?! …Read more

7. Cost of A Fall | How it 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?…Read more

8. 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…read more

9. Rigging Through History | Skyscraper Appreciation Day

Skyscraper Appreciation Day is recognized on August 10 as it is the birthday of the famous architect William Can Alen, who is the genius behind the construction of the Chrysler Building, which is one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks. Skyscraper Appreciation Day was initiated and founded by Dr. Tom Stevens – It was created so that the general public could admire the structural and architectural brilliance of skyscrapers and man’s ability to construct industrial masterpieces!…Read more

10. Ask the Experts | Everything Synthetic Web Slings

If you’re a rigger or work in material handling, you likely encounter synthetic web slings (or webbing slings) often in your work. A synthetic web sling is fantastic to lift delicate or soft materials, since their soft surface offers more protection than abrasive materials, like wire rope…Read more


The Hercules Group Of Companies would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year from all our team.  We look forward to serving you in the new year!

 

 

 

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

Hercules SLR Rigging at the Winter Wonder Forest

Hercules SLR Rigging at the Winter Wonder Forest

Our Hercules SLR Leduc team is happy to have had the opportunity to support The Winter Wonder Forest this year, donating materials and labour to assist in them getting some portions of their light show up and running. The Winter Wonder Forest is a charity drive-through holiday light show featuring light displays, ice sculptures, musical performances and even guest appearances from Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

The Winter Wonder Forest is presented by the True Start Foundation, which is striving to break the cycle of financial dependency for individuals and themselves as a nonprofit. True Start Foundation helps those that need a hand up to reposition themselves into a better financial situation. Through education and relationships in the community, everyone can help themselves be happier, allowing them to begin to contribute back to a better world. And through The Winter Wonder Forest festival, they are able to secure some of the funds they need to do this, without needing to heavily rely on grant programs that they know are also funnelling into over 26,000 other nonprofits in Alberta.

Here are a couple of photos of light displays that feature Hercules SLR rigging. That’s right, rigging isn’t just found on the construction site! The Hercules SLR rigging experts love being able to go out into our Canadian communities and support initiatives like the Winter Wonder Forest.

Interested in checking these out (and more!) yourself? The Winter Wondeforest Festival in Edmonton, Alberta makes an excellent social-distanced holiday activity. You can learn more about the festival and purchase tickets here: www.winterwonderforest.ca/

Learn more about the True Start Foundation here Donate to the True Start Foundation here

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

How to use a Load Binder | Ask the Experts

How to use a Load Binder | Ask the Experts

Last week on the Hercules SLR Blog we talked about the different types of load binders and choosing the best for the job, and now that we know how to choose a load binder, it’s time to learn how to use a load binder!

If you missed last week’s blog (you can check it out here), a load binder, or chain binder, is a tool used to tighten a chain when securing a load for transportation. There are two basic types of load binders – lever binders and ratchet binders. The difference between the two is right in the name, describing the method for tightening.

Load binders are valuable construction tools, however, there are safety hazards that may arise with their misuse. When you use a load binder, users must be trained in the selection, use and inspection cautions to personnel, environmental effects, all applicable standards, regulations & practices. The content of today’s blog will include basic guidelines and tips & tricks when using load binders but does not replace proper training.

How to use a Load Binder Regulations

Depending on the type of load, size of the load, and type of vehicle used for transport their are many variant requirements in both the US & Canada set by the Department of transportation. Users must be knowledgeable and properly trained on the requirements specific to their circumstances before transporting loads in North America.

Generally, ALL vehicles weighing 10,000lbs or more MUST be secured & tied down at a minimum of all 4 corners, and vehicles below 10,000lbs do not require corner tie-downs.

When calculating the minimum number of load binders and anchor points needed for a load, you have to take into consideration the length, weight, and type of cargo. A good rule of thumb is when you add the working load limits (WLL) of all load binders they must equal at least 50% of the weight of the cargo. Though keep in mind, if the WLL of your chain is less than the load binders, your WLL must be reduced to that of the chain.

Beyond this, some general regulations to keep in mind when using load binders are the following (though always double-check for a location or industry-specific regulations):

  • Cargo that weighs less than 1,100 lbs and is under 5′ only requires one load binder
  • Cargo that is over 1,100 lbs and is under 5′ requires 2 load binders
  • Cargo that is between 5′ and 10′ require 2 load binders
  • Cargo exceeding 10′ requires an additional load binder for each additional 10′ or part there of (2 for 10′, 3′ for 10′-20′, 4 for 20′ -30′ etc.)
  • Cargo prevented from forward movement by a bulkhead or another load requires a load binder for every 10′ and for each 10′ or part thereof.
  • Indirect load binders (across or through the load from one side of the trailer to the other side) should form a minimum angle of 30 degrees to the trailer floor.
  • Wheeled or tracked vehicles over 10,000 Lbs require a minimum of 4 Anchor (Direct) load binders, each with a minimum working load limit of 5,000 Lbs.

If your cargo has accessory attachments such as booms, shovels or backhoes they must be lowered and properly secured, often with additional load binders. Steel coils, paper rolls, concrete pipe, dressed lumber, boulders, flattened cars, automobiles, light trucks, vans, and containers require special calculations. Always follow Transportation Canada’s Cargo Securement Rules regarding special applications, general load securement practices, and out of service criteria.

How to use a Load Binder Ratchet Type 

Step 1: Turn the pawl to the neutral position so that it is disengaged from the binder gears.

Step 2: Use your hand to unscrew and fully extend the binder hooks ensuring you do not exceed the maximum extension length.

Step 3: With your binding chain connected to the load at approximately a 45-degree angle, attach the hooks to the chain while taking up as much slack as possible. Assure it’s in a position that will allow you to operate it while standing on the ground and get in a position with a secure footing. Be aware of ice, snow, rain, oil, etc. that can affect your footing.

Step 4: Turn the pawl to the “in” setting and begin ratcheting the chain to the desired tension needed.

Step 5: Wrap any remaining chain around the binder handle and secure the loose end.

To remove and release: Turn the pawl to the “out” setting and begin ratcheting the binder until the chain becomes slack and the binder hooks can be removed easily from the chain.

*You should routinely lubricate the pawl and screw threads of ratchet binders to extend product life and reduce friction wear. Before each use, always check for wear, bending, cracks, nicks, or gouges. If bending or cracks are present – Do not use the load binder and contact us! Our experts can assist in inspection, maintenance, and if necessary, replacement.

ratchet type load binder

How to use a Load Binder Lever TypeLever type load binder

Step 1: Hook the load binder to the binding chain, taking up as much slack as possible. Assure it’s in a position that will allow you to operate it while standing on the ground and get in a position with a secure footing. Be aware of ice, snow, rain, oil, etc. that can affect your footing.

Step 2: Position the load binder so the handle is faced in a position to be pulled down. If sufficient leverage cannot be obtained, a ratchet type load binder should be used instead.

Step 3: With your arms fully extended, use two hands to grab the top of the binder handle and pull the handle back until it has completely closed and sets in place. Be sure to check the load binder handle to be sure it is in the locked position and that the bottom side touches the chain link. This step may need to be repeated if the binding chain is not at the desired tension. 

Step 4: Wrap any remaining chain around the binder handle and secure the loose end.

To remove and release: With an open hand, slowly pull upwards on the binder handle until the tension has been released and remove the load binder from the binding chain. When doing this, remember there is a great deal of energy in the stretched chain and this will cause the load binder handle to move very quickly and with great force when it is unlatched. Always move the handle with caution and keep your body out of the path of the moving handle/chain as it may whip.

*You should routinely lubricate the pivot and swivel points of lever binders to extend product life and reduce friction wear. Before each use, always check for wear, bending, cracks, nicks, or gouges. If bending or cracks are present – Do not use the load binder and contact us! Our experts can assist in inspection, maintenance, and if necessary, replacement.

WARNING – Improper use of a Load Binder Can Result in Serious Injury or Death

  • Do not operate the load binder while you or anyone else is on the load.
  • When applying the binder, always position the load binder so the handle is tightened in a downward manner. Failure to do so may result in a sudden snapping back of the lever, which might result in serious injury or death.
  • Load binders are designed to be tightened to the approximate Working Load Limit by a substantial hand effort.
  • Do not use a handle extension. They can severely damage the load binder system and result in serious injury or death.
  • The operator should at all times use the load binder from a firm standing position that will ensure protection for himself as well as those in the immediate vicinity.
  • Load binders are a form of machinery and require periodic inspection and maintenance.
  • Inspect for wear, deformation, cracks, nicks, or gouges before using. Replace if damaged. Load binders should be periodically lubricated to give optimum performance and reduce friction losses.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including transportation, energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining, and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

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

Types of Load Binders & Choosing the Best for the Job!

Types of Load Binders & Choosing the Best for the Job!

There are two general types of load binders – ratchet binders and lever binders, defined by their method of tightening. Though the majority of commonly used load binders will fall in one of these two categories, they are available in a range of styles, load ratings, and sizes to match the different types of chain used within the transportation industry.

If you’re a part of the transportation industry you’re likely pretty familiar with load binders, also known as chain binders. Load binders are an essential piece of equipment used to anchor loads for transport by applying tension to the chains that tie-down your cargo. Of all tie-down methods, chain and load binders have the most muscle to handle the toughest tie-down jobs – made for big & heavy loads.

A Closer Look at the Different Types of Load Binders 

Lever types and ratchet type load binders work similarly and usually are chosen based on the personal preference of the user. As with any type of load securement gear, safe practices need to be followed. Let’s take a closer look at these two categories of load binders with some pros and cons so that you can confidently make the choice of which type of load binder will work best for you.

Lever Type of Load Binders

A lever type of load binder (also known as lever chain or snap binders) is made up of a simple machine, a lever, with a tension hook on each end. The lever is used to increase the force applied to a tie-down. The lever is hinged and takes up the slack by pulling on one end of the tension hook and will lock itself after a 180-degree rotation of the lever around the hinge. They require a relatively high manual force to be applied by the person installing the binder in order for it to tighten and secure the chain. While they take more manual force, they are typically quicker and simpler to install because of their straight forward design and application with less moving parts.

Lever load binder chart

Lever Load Binders Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Quicker and simpler to operate
  • More compact
  • Generally less expensive

Cons

  • Requires more manual strength
  • The threat of “kickback” from the lever if proper care is not taken
  • More likely to break in the handle where kinetic energy is held

Ratchet Type of Load Binders 

A ratchet type of load binder (also known as ratchet chain) uses two types of simple machines and has two tension hooks on each end and handle. The handle again serves as a lever plus there is the screw thread. Having both simple machines can multiply the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly.

When using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw work together and increase the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly. The result is that it takes much less pulling force on the handle to apply tension than you would need with a lever binder. Ratchets also allow for slower, steadier loading and unloading of forces. This reduces any undue stress or strain on your body. Since ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, they will not store up as much energy in the handle as a lever binder will. Another advantage of ratchet binders is that take-up is safer. The take-up distance of a ratchet binder is typically eight to ten inches – twice that of a lever binder. While take-up with a ratchet binder may take a few extra minutes, it is more controlled and ultimately a safer process.

ratchet load binder chart

Ratchet Load Binders Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Less manual force to operate
  • Safer to operate – Not as much energy is stored in the handle, therefore will not “kickback”.
  • Higher mechanical advantage
  • Easier to adjust in finer increments

Cons

  • Generally more expensive
  • Less compact
  • Harder to operate
  • Takes more time to set up

Selecting the Proper Load Binder 

Once you’ve made the choice on what type of load binder you prefer, it’s time to ensure you’re using the correct load binder within that category. Making this choice has less to do with the load binder itself and more to do with the type of chain you are using alongside it, and the weight of your cargo. Chains and load binders work together as a team, so you have to make sure they are compatible with each other.

Capacity is the most important considerations when you’re choosing your chain and load binder team. The load being tied down must not exceed the combined WLL (working load limit) of all the chains being used. For example, if your cargo weighs 4,000 lbs and you will use 4 chains, each chain must have a WLL of at least 1,000 lbs. Four chains of 1,000 lbs WLL each will equal 4,000 lbs total, enough capacity to secure a 4,000 lb load. Each binder must also have a WLL of at least 1,000 lbs. A good rule to follow is to always use binders that have an equal or greater capacity than the chains they will tighten.

Always follow safe work practices and take precautions in the use of binders. Particular attention is called to section 2.1.3 of the Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement by the Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators.

Tune back into our next blog, publishing on Wednesday, Dec 2nd, for the second part in our Load Binder series – How to use a Load Binder | Ask the Experts.


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including transportation, energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

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

Ask the Experts | How to Store Ratchet Straps?

Ask the Experts | How to Store Ratchet Straps?

Any piece of equipment is only as good as you treat it, and how you choose to store your ratchet straps is a very important aspect of their upkeep. Are you reading this right now and realizing your ratchet straps are sitting in their semi-permanent home in the messy heap somewhere in your garage? Then this blog is for you!

In the transportation industry, you have to be able to trust your equipment and 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. Read on to learn how to get the most life out of your ratchet straps.

How to Store Ratchet Straps

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. Ratchet straps that are stored improperly will need to be retired must faster and you may face issues such as mold, mildew, color fading, burns, tears, or loose tie down webbing that may damage the strength of your ratchet straps.

There are three main things you want to avoid when storing ratchet straps:

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.

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.

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.

Ratchet Strap Storage Organization

Keeping your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is not only good for equipment upkeep but will also save you the headache of untangling your ratchet straps every time you need them. Here is the three-step guide on how to properly store and organize your ratchet straps.

Step One – Planning How to Store Your Ratchet Straps

The first and most important step is planning ahead. You need to have a location in mind that you plan to store your ratchet straps. This location needs to be in a dark and dry area away from the sun, as well as away from all sources of moisture. If you don’t have access to a place that fits these criteria we recommend using a ratchet strap duffle bag or a weatherproof bag for storage.

Step Two – Inspecting Your Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps must be regularly inspected to ensure they are not damaged, and before and after storing them is a great time to do this. 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

Step Three – Rolling Your Ratchet Straps

The best way to keep your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is by rolling them up. To do this, start out by threading the strap’s end through the space where the strap attaches to the buckle. Pull about five to fifteen inches of the strap through (depending on the length of the ratchet strap) and simply roll the strap tightly. Most ratchet strap users will use rubber bands or large socks to keep ratchet straps separated – find what works for you!

It’s as easy as that! If this technique of rolling your ratchet trap doesn’t work for you or the type of straps you use, feel free to change it up! Your ratchet strap roll doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to serve the purpose of keeping your straps contained, untangled, and stop them from rubbing up against themselves or each other and causing friction damage.

Want to learn how to choose the correct ratchet strap and use them properly? Click here to check out our blog, 5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely.


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.

Ask the Experts | Everything Synthetic Web Slings

Ask the Experts | Everything Synthetic Web Slings

If you’re a rigger or work in material handling, you likely encounter synthetic web slings (or webbing slings) often in your work. A synthetic web sling is fantastic to lift delicate or soft materials, since their soft surface offers more protection than abrasive materials, like wire rope.

Synthetic web slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex web sling is made with two synthetic fabric layers stitched together for extra reinforcement. A simplex webbing sling is made with only one synthetic fabric layer. “Just one layer? That won’t do anything,” you might be thinking—but how wrong you’d be! Even though a web sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a web sling is surprisingly strong!

Web Slings in Action – Types of Web Sling Assemblies

  1. Single leg Web Sling – A single web sling has a master link, one webbing leg with a hook for lifting.
  2. Two leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, two webbing legs, each with a hook on.
  3. Three leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, three webbing legs, each with a hook on.
  4. Four leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, four webbing legs, each with a hook on.

Extreme caution should be exercised in processes where lifts and slings are employed to move materials from one place to another. Operator training is essential and regular sling inspection should be conducted in order to avert accidents. Legislation has specific standards for lifting slings and prescribes various inspection criteria depending on the material used and the type of sling. Find out what is current in your area, be familiar with them and use them at all times.

Web Sling Certification to ASME B30.9-5

Generally speaking, any form of damage to a sling means that it should no longer be used. Regulations require that all slings should be permanently marked with their load capacity and employees may not exceed the load capacity of a sling. Lifting slings must be inspected before use on a daily basis.

Inspection Standards
  • Government Appointed
  • Standard ASME B30.9-5
  • 9-5.9.4 Periodic Inspections
  • Performed by Hercules Qualified Inspector. Certificate issued upon passed Inspection, may include Proof Testing. Periodic Inspection shall not exceed 1 year.
  • 9-5.9.3 Frequent Inspection
  • Performed by Employee each shift, before the sling is used
What kind of damage makes a synthetic web-sling unusable?
  • Increased stiffness of sling material.
  • Acid or caustic burns.
  • Melted, burned or weld spatter damage.
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags.
  • Broken or worn stitching.
  • Excessive abrasive wear.
  • Knots in any part of the sling.
  • Crushed webbing or embedded particles.
  • Bleached sling color.
  • Defective fittings (twisted, corroded, cracked, etc.)
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures (lower than -40°C or higher than 90°C)

Hercules SLR offers inspections for securing, rigging, and lifting equipment. We inspect both large and small industrial rigging, lifting, material handling, and fall protection equipment—Our experts can provide service on-site, or at one of our 30 facilities found across Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions – Answered by our Experts

Q: What are web slings usually made from?

Answer: A flat webbing sling is usually made from woven polyester, nylon (otherwise known as polyamide) and polypropylene.

Q: Do flat web slings come in just one width?

Answer Flat webbing slings come in different widths – but their ultimate flexibility and strength is noted by the number of webbing layers stitched together.

webbing sling at hercules slr

Q: Should I use paint or dye to color code web slings? This should help me identify them quickly and easily, right?

AnswerNO! Don’t use paint to color code webbing slings—the solvents in the paint could corrode the synthetic material. A torn or broken sling is unsafe, and will drastically reduce its SWL. To identify a synthetic sling’s material, look for the label color:

Polyester (PES)—Blue Label, or blue with a green line down the center of the webbing.

Polyamide (PA)—Green label

Polypropylene (PP)—Brown label

Q: What chemicals will affect webbing slings?

Answer: Polyester isn’t affected much by acid, but alkali’s will damage a polyester webbing sling. An alkali or alkaline is basically a substance with a pH level higher than 7. Examples of alkali substances are seawater, baking soda, bleaches, lye, and even blood. Polyamides are basically immune to alkali damage but are damaged by even moderately-strength acids. They can also lose up to 15% of their SWL when wet. Polypropylene is resistant to acids and alkali’s, which makes them a good choice when you have to lift something which needs protection from chemicals. Be sure the polypropylene is stabilized to protect from ultraviolet degrading.

Q: What markings should I look for on a webbing sling?

AnswerLook for the safe working load (SWL), identification number, and the label’s color code.

 Q: How do I store my webbing sling?

AnswerIt definitely matters! Be sure to store your slings in a dry, cool place. Keep them out of sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation, and don’t store them in damp conditions.

Q: So, they’re really strong – does that mean I can use them to lift anything?

AnswerDon’t use a webbing sling for a critical lift! Make sure you use extra caution and have a detailed lifting plan for using a webbing sling with delicate or fragile lifting operations.

Q: Okay, so what’s a critical lift?!

Answer: A critical lift is defined by WorkSafe BC as a lift with high-risk factors that could cause the crane or hoist to fail, or poses significant potential harm to human life. A critical lift is also one that needs a detailed rigging plan before the operation.

Other factors that can make a lift critical are:

  • When a piece of powered lifting equipment exceeds it’s rated capacity by 75%;
  • A mobile crane or boom truck goes over rated capacity by 90% lifting a load over 50% of its maximum permitted load radius;
  • Tandem lifts— which is when more than one piece of powered lifting equipment is used or is used to lift another piece of lifting equipment);
  • A person is being lifted;
  • The load is under-water or submerged.

Q: Can I tie a knot in a webbing sling to make it shorter?

AnswerNever! Don’t knot, tie, or twist a webbing sling. Don’t manipulate the sling’s angle, either—use the sling however the angle forms naturally.

hercules slr webbing sling formation types
Figure 1—Webbing Sling Types

Q: When should I not use a webbing sling?

Answer: Don’t use a webbing sling if you don’t know the SWL. Don’t use if the eyes or other part of the webbing sling is damaged, if the sling’s eye opens more than 20°. There are 5 different types of possible webbing sling eye formations—see figure 1. If using a Type 1 webbing sling (called a choker sling), be sure to protect the eye before use.

Q: What should I keep in mind when using a webbing sling?

Answer: There are a few things to consider to use a webbing sling safely—you should always:

  • Avoid shock-loading;
  • Protect the sling with sleeves when sharp edges could tear its fabric—friction can cause heat damage, which is the most common form of ‘heat’ damage to webbing slings. To prevent, don’t let the sling run along the load’s surface and that it’s not pulled on any sharp corners. This is also known as ‘point loading’, when the load is pulled on a sharp corner, creating heat which results in heat fusion in the sling material.
  • Never pull a sling from underneath a load.

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