PPE-volution – How the Golden Gate Bridge Inspired PPE

Brooklyn bridge workers

America’s Industrial Revolution and ingenuity brought about many important advances in worker safety and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).

At the start of the American Industrial Revolution, worker safety and health were nowhere near the priority they are today. As manufacturing grew, so too did worker injuries and deaths. The idea of safe work grew slowly from a small glimmer to a bright flame inside the collective consciousness of the American workforce.

Although the creation of OSHA regulations was many decades away, the evolution of PPE progressed on its own with the creation of new types of protective devices and advancements in pre-existing devices. Much of this early PPE had a major influence on worker safety’s advancement and will continue to do so.

Hard-Headed PPE Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, built in 1933, is an excellent early example of PPE’s influence on safety. Constructing a cable-suspension bridge that was 4,200 feet long was a task that had not been attempted before, one that presented many hazards. The project’s chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, was committed to making its construction as safe as possible.

The bridge’s construction played a particularly significant role in the successful development of one form PPE: It was the first major project that required all of its workers to wear hard hats. Although the hard hat was in its infancy at the time, head protection wasn’t new; gold miners had learned long before the importance of taking steps to protect against falling debris. Michael Lloyd, head protection manager at Bullard – a company in business since 1898, said many early miners wore bowler hats, which were hard felt hats with rounded crowns. Often dubbed “Iron Hats,” these were stuffed with cotton to create a cushioning barrier against blows.

Inspired by the design of his “doughboy” Army helmet, Edward Bullard returned home from World War I and began designing what was to become known as the “hard-boiled hat.” The hat was made of layered canvas that was steamed to impregnate it with resin, sewn together, and varnished into its molded shape. Bullard was awarded the patent in 1919. Later that year, the Navy approached Bullard with a request for some sort of head protection for its shipyard workers. The hat’s first internal suspension was added to increase its effectiveness, and the product’s use quickly spread to lumber workers, utility workers, and construction workers. By the time of the Hoover Dam’s construction in 1931, many workers were voluntarily wearing the headgear. Soon after, the Golden Gate Bridge construction provided a true test of the hard hat’s protective capability because falling rivets were one of the major dangers during the project.

Other innovations came in the form of different materials. In 1938, Bullard released the first aluminum hard hat. It was more durable and comfortable, but it conducted electricity and did not hold up well to the elements. In the ’40s, phenolic hats became available as a predecessor to fiberglass hats. Thermoplastics became the preferred material a decade later for many head protection products; it’s still used by many manufacturers today.
PPE-Hard-hats
From Left to right: Vintage Bullard Miners hats, Vintage Bullard Hard Boiled Hard Hat 1930’s (Used on the Golden Gate Bridge Project, Hard Boiled aluminum Safety hard hat w/Liner and a current day hard hat

In 1953, Bullard introduced the process of injection-molded hats. “Before, [thermoplastic] was kind of laid out on a mold. In the injection-mold process you actually have a closed mold that you pump into. It makes a more consistent helmet and a higher-quality product, which in the long run is also going to be the same thickness all the way through. It’s going to be a safer helmet,” Lloyd said.

Despite the hard hat’s effectiveness and relatively low cost, its use wasn’t officially required at most job sites until the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. OSHA’s head protection standard, 1910.135, obligated employees to protect workers and instructed manufacturers and employers to turn to the American National Standards Institute’s Z89.1 standard for the appropriate usage guidelines.

Many new materials have since been created, such as the use of General Electric’s high-heat-resistant polyphthalate-carbonate resin in firefighters’ helmets. New hard hats have been designed that provide side protection, which are designated type 2 hats in ANSI Z89.1. “A hard hat was originally designed to protect if something falls from that sky and hits you in the head,” Lloyd said. “But what happens if you run into something? What happens if you bend over and something hits your helmet?”

Because hard hats are a mature market, except for the development of other materials, most innovations will be comfort features and technologies enabling them to withstand different temperature extremes, Lloyd predicted. Easier-to-use designs are appearing that allow users to adjust a hard hat’s suspension with one hand. In the last couple of years, manufacturers have come up with different types of vented helmets designed to help workers keep cool. Hats are accessorized with attachable face shields, visors, and ear muffs, and some have perspiration-absorbing liners. Some come with AM/FM radios, walkie-talkies, and camcorders.

Netting a Safe Return
Although primitive by today’s standards, the solution for the problem of falls also was addressed during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Three years into the construction, delays had convinced Strauss to invest more than $130,000 (these were Depression-era dollars, remember) on a vast net similar to those used in a circus. Suspended under the bridge, it extended 10 feet wider and 15 feet farther than the bridge itself. This gave workers the confidence to move quickly across the slippery steel construction. There were reports of workers being threatened with immediate dismissal if found purposely diving into the net.

Strauss’ net was heralded as a huge success until the morning of Feb. 16, 1937, when the west side of a stripping platform bearing a crew of 11 men broke free from its moorings. After tilting precariously for a moment, the other side broke free and the platform collapsed into the net, which contained two other crew members who were scraping away debris. One platform worker, Tom Casey, managed to jump and grab a bridge beam before the platform fell; he hung there until rescued. The net held the platform and the others for a few seconds before it ripped and fell into the water. Two of the 12 men who fell survived.

Read the original article here.

At Hercules SLR we provide a wide range of PPE solutions, from Lanyards and harnesses, to hard hats and rescue equipment.  We also repair, service and certify PPE equipment. We stock leading industry brands and can provide you with expert advise on your PPE options depending on your project. Call us on 1-877-461-4876 for more information.

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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.

Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: Safe Rigging Practices

safe-rigging-practices-hercules-slr

Safe rigging practices are essential to get the job done and get home in one piece. Today, we spoke to our rigging experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch—some of their clients include IMAX, Siemens, GM and Bombardier. Read on to learn more about safe rigging practices to use when rigging with wire rope slings.

What is safe rigging—or even rigging in general?

Rigging, or safe rigging is simply the movement of a mass using mechanical application, like slings and/or lifting equipment. The term ‘rigging’ also includes figuring out what lifting appliances and slings should be used and fitted to control the load (never vice versa!), and where the load should be moved to.

Safe Rigging Practices: 4 steps
  1. Identify the load and find out its weight;
  2. Find best sling for the load and select lifting gear;
  3. Ensure the route your load will travel is clear and there are no hazards present;
  4. Prepare the area where you load will land, make sure there are no obstructions.

Safe Rigging Practices: lifting with wire rope slings

Okay, so you’ve decided wire rope slings are the best sling to lift your load—but wait! Before lifting with wire rope slings, determine these 3 things:

  1. Know or determine the weight of the load;
  2. Decide the sling arrangement—consider load control, type and means of attachment;
  3. Sling length—consider available headroom, leg angle.

When executing your lift with a wire rope sling, be sure to protect the load and sling from damage at sharp corners—padding the corners is recommended. Be sure to block as needed, examine your sling before each lift and use safe operating practices. This will also help prevent common wire rope sling damage.

While operating, make sure the following happens:

  • Sling is centered in bowl of hook;
  • Each leg supports part of the load so it’s under control;
  • Sling(s) are long enough that rated load angle is accurate;
  • If using multiple slings for different, specific angles, don’t load each leg with more than is permitted;
  • Stay alert for potential snags;
  • Balance basket hitches in choker hitches to prevent slip;
  • The load doesn’t exceed the rated load of sling or components and load is within rated load of sling (avoid shock-loading);
  • Stay clear of rigging equipment and especially a suspended load;
  • The load won’t collapse or change shape/form when in contact with bumps or jerk-movements;
  • After use, inspect and properly store the sling.

Multi-Leg Wire Rope Slings

If the load needs a multi-leg sling, do not exceed the SWL stamped on the ring—the SWL (safe working load) will always be slated for sling legs at 90°.

40° angle

 

wire-rope-sling-multi-leg
30° angle

 

wire-rope-multi-leg-angles
90° angle (max angle)

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Rigging Practices: slinging tubulars with wire rope slings

Tubular items include scaffold tubes, drilling tubulars, construction pipe work and other items like these. When rigging tubulars in a sling, consider the following:

  • Only tubulars  of the same diameter should be placed together;
  • The amount of tubes should be placed so middle tubes are gripped and won’t slip out of the bundle;
  • Tubulars should always be slug with two slings, each with a SWL at least equal to the gross weight of the load;
  • Slings should be placed at an equal distance apart—around 25% from the loads’ end. Place sling legs  1/4 of the tube length from the ends of tubes;
  • Use clamps or bulldog clips on the reeved wire to prevent loosening. Use a tie wrap on the sling’s reeved eye to prevent the sling from slipping over the bulldog;
  • Attach a tag line to one sling when rigging excessively long, tubular bundles.

Remember—it’s dangerous to bundle tube with steel angle, channels, etc. Small bore tube may lay loose in the gaps between differently shaped items of steel and could slide out when lifted. At height with the right amount of force, a tube can become a spear and result in fatal injuries.

Safe Rigging Practices: single-leg vertical hitch

Keep these tips in mind when using a single-leg vertical hitch:

  • The total weight of the load is supported by a single leg;
  • The SWL of the wire rope sling must exceed the load weight;
  • Don’t use your hitch to lift loose materials, long loads (unless using a spreader beam with 2 single-legs—see below) or a load that can tip;
  • Single-leg hitch won’t provide you with good control and is prone to tip.
Single-Leg Vertical Hitch: Spreader Beams

safe-rigging-practices-hercules-slr-spreader-beam-wire-rope

Hercules SLR spreader beam. Use a certified spreader beam for good control to support loads that are long and/or hard-to-handle. They reduce the tendency for the load to slip or bend, and both single legs will support the load—if the load is evenly balanced, each side will carry half the load.

 

Safe Rigging Practices: double-up

Double Basket
  • Make sure two hitches are placed carefully to ensure load is balanced;
  • Ensure legs are kept apart enough to balance the load (don’t cause slippage);
  • Never use a vertical angle bigger than 60°;
  • Double basket hitches don’t have great load control, the capacity depends on the vertical angle formed in the basket.
Double Wrap Basket

A double wrap basket is a basket hitch that’s wrapped around the load. When using this method with wire rope slings, keep in mind:

  • A single hitch doesn’t control load slippage;
  • Adjust legs as load is applied, equalize load balance;
  • Great for loose material handling and smooth loads due to it’s 360° wrap;
  • For good load control, use two hitches when at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller (depending on load weight).
Double Wrap Choker

A double wrap choker hitch is a choker hitch wrapped around the load—a single hitch won’t control load

safe-rigging-practices-wire-rope-sling
Load on offshore rig lifted by chain slings.

slippage. These are great for handling loose materials as it has a 360° wrap that can be achieved without battening down the eye—gain control by using two hitches at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller.

Safe Rigging Practices: stabilizing & landing the load

Before you begin lifting your load, you should have a plan and prepared space for the load to land. The type of load will determine how riggers prepare but typically, most loads should be lowered onto timber battens. Slings will be easy to withdraw from the load, but remember—never land a load directly on the sling.

A good rigger will always asses unusual loads and try to estimate their centre of gravity in order to stabilize it. It’s important to attach slings so the centre of gravity is below or within the lift points. If you doubt the load’s stability at all, lift it very slowly. If it tilts, lower it (slowly) and re-sling the load so it’s stable. 

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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.

Hercules SLR Certifications: ISO 9001—Debunking the Myths

iso9001

Hercules SLR is proud to have the ISO 9001:2015 certification—this means our quality management system is held to their international standards and helps us consistently provide products and services that meet our customers needs.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system. It helps businesses and organizations be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction.

Is it very complicated?iso-9001-certification-hercules-slr

No. ISO 9001 can seem difficult at first but the concepts behind the standard are simple. The seven quality management principles are a good place to start, and will be of great help when it comes to defining your quality management system. In addition, supporting information is available from your ISO member, the group of experts responsible for the standard and the ISO Website (www.iso.org).

Isn’t it an old document designed for the way businesses worked in the 1990s?

First published in 1987, ISO 9001 has been around for many years, but it is regularly updated to ensure that it remains relevant to today’s business environment. In its latest version, ISO 9001:2015 incorporates elements such as a stronger focus on stakeholders and the wider context of an organization to fit the evolving needs of modern business. The standard is designed to be flexible enough for use by different types of organizations. For this reason, it does not specify what the objectives relating to “ quality ” or “ meeting customer needs ” should be. Instead, it requires organizations to define these objectives themselves and continually improve their processes in order to reach them.

Isn’t it used only by big business?

No. The standard can be used by any organization, regardless of size or type. While small companies may not have staff dedicated to quality, they can still enjoy the benefits of implementing the standard. Tips for small businesses can be found in the publication ISO 9001 for small businesses. What to do, available from your ISO member or through the ISO Store.

Is it very expensive?

The standard itself is reasonably priced and can be purchased from the ISO member in your country or through the ISO Store.

Getting certified to the standard – which is not compulsory – will incur extra cost that can vary according to the certification body you choose and where you are based (ISO does not perform certification). Some companies may also decide to use an external consultant. This is not strictly necessary. but helpful advice can be found in supporting publications available from ISO and its members.

Isn’t it just for manufacturers?

No, the standard can be used by any organization, including service providers such as hospitals, banks or universities. In fact, the most recent version of the standard was specifically designed to be more accessible to organizations outside the manufacturing sector.

Will it help me increase my profits?

ISO 9001 can help bring financial benefits in a number of ways:

  • Using ISO 9001 can increase productivity and efficiency, thus lowering the costs of an organization.
  • Using ISO 9001 can improve customer experience, resulting in repeat business, increased sales and additional income for your business.
  • Getting certified to ISO 9001 can enhance your reputation, attracting new customers to your organization.

Does it mean lots of extra paperwork?

Not necessarily! The standard requires you to document a number of things but, actually, these are relatively limited. Its flexibility means that you’ll find a way to use it that fits your organization—without requiring unnecessary paperwork.

What benefits will it bring to my business or organization?

Implementing a quality management system will help you:

  • Assess the overall context of your organization to define who is affected by your work and what they expect from you. This will enable you to clearly state your objectives and identify new business opportunities.
  • Put your customers first, making sure you consistently meet their needs and enhance their satisfaction. This can lead to more repeat custom, new clients and increased business for your organization.
  • Work in a more efficient way as all your processes will be aligned and understood by everyone in the business or organization. This increases productivity and efficiency, bringing internal costs down.
  • Meet the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Expand into new markets, as some sectors and clients require ISO 9001 before doing business.
  • Identify and address the risks associated with your organization.

Information via International Organization for Standardization (ISO)—find the original article here or download the brochure here: iso_9001_debunking_the_myths

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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.

Get To Know Your Trainer – Lou Gould, CHSC

Lou Gould

Lou Gould, CHSC is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background?

Lou: I have established great relationships with the leading manufacturers in safety personal protective equipment. This has allowed me to be involved in
Lou Gould 2many product development discussions providing industry feedback and application recommendations. I have had the opportunity to visit and view their manufacturing processes and facilities enabling me to understand their operations, business model and product offerings. I have participated in numerous hours of product training enabling me to consult and educate to my clients with knowledge, experience and the confidence to recommend the appropriate product for the task.

I am a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and have achieved the Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) designation. I currently sit as the Vice Chair on the executive committee for the NS Chapter of the CSSE.

I have achieved the Certificate in Health, Safety and Environmental Processes (CHSEP) from the University of Fredericton.

Certified trainer in Fall Protection, High Angle Rescue, Forklift, Aerial Platform, Telehandler and Respiratory Fit Test Administrator. I have completed courses in Adult Education and instructional design.

What made you decide to enter into this industry?

Lou: Very early in my career I realized that most of the personal protective equipment purchases were made with little or no thought to the hazard, task and application. Customers were purchasing products and training as an afterthought or a directive with little or no explanation. To be blunt: “to get this off their plate” or because someone “told me to”. I found myself researching the task, hazards and applications for the clients and recommending the appropriate products to mitigate their risk while educating them. This became my doorway to evolve from product sales to Health and Safety consulting and training. I have a passion to help and educate. Every day I feel great knowing I am helping someone work safe and go home to their family.

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

Lou: I have been in the industry since 1994 and have held various roles from Inside Sales, Purchasing, Account Manager, Management and currently Consultant and Trainer. This has allowed me to understand the basis of all business aspects and how health and safety is an integral part to ensure the health of the business and the personnel. I have always been a builder of things and enjoy seeing plans and people grow and prosper.

I have created safety divisions within companies. I have constructed training facilities complete with classrooms and practical exercise areas as well as designing and delivering training courses. As I worked to increase service offerings I have created rental and inspection programs. All these roles have given me the tools to be an effective health and safety consultant and trainer.

What made you want to transition into training?

Lou: I am naturally a storyteller and enjoy being in front of people sharing stories and getting to know each other. I pride myself on providing a positive, nurturing and comfortable environment in which the students can become engaged and educated.  It is very important to me to provide superior knowledge transfer to my students and give them another tool in their toolbox to complete their task safely and efficiently.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Lou: Hercules SLR has a great reputation and is respected in the industry. They have a great company focus and allow the employees growth personally and professionally. It is very important to me to work for a company that provides for all aspects including  design, supply, install, inspection, certification, consulting and for course TRAINING! Hercules SLR does it all.

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Lou: I support all our branches across Canada and we can offer training for all regions. Most of my time is spent in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Lou: Houston, Texas USA was fantastic! Great weather, great food and a good bunch of guys on the course. Also, Long Harbour NL is beautiful place with great people.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

Lou: Vancouver would be great in mid-winter! Anywhere in the US would be exciting.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Lou: I am committed to continue to invest in myself while increasing my accreditation as part of my personal success plan. Displaying leadership, integrity and character will allow me to remain at the top of the safety industry and retain respect from my peers, colleagues and competitors.

 

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.

 

PPE Fall Protection in North America

Abseiling

PPE Fall Protection: the early lanyard

PPE Fall Protection devices were used in the early 20th Century by many professionals, although they used rope lanyards made of natural fibers, such as manila hemp, and simple body belts with no shock-absorbing properties. Clarence W. Rose–who early in his career was a window washer–became a pioneer in fall protection when he started the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1934 and began producing safety belts and lanyards for window washers. On Nov. 24, 1959, Rose was awarded a patent for an easy-to-use cable connector for safety belts that also had some shock-absorbing properties (U.S. Patent 2,914,139). Listed in the patent was a statement that the connector could, among other things, “be adapted to slip somewhat responsive to a sudden jerk as when the safety rope checks the fall of a wearer and thereby eases the shock to the wearer incurred by checking the fall.”

PPE Fall Protection
Madison Avenue Window Cleaner

PPE Fall Protection: shock-absorption major leap forward

Joseph Feldstein, manager of Technical Services at MSA, which purchased the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1996, said the idea of a shock absorber was a major step forward in protecting against the large braking forces generated in arresting falls, especially during Rose’s time.

“If you can imagine, workers with a simple belt and lanyard arrangement that was common up until that point would be exposed to a fall that could not only damage them internally because of the forces exerted to the soft tissues of the abdomen around the belt, but also you could generate such forces that you could separate the lanyard,” he said.

Rose continued to develop his shock-absorbing concept and was awarded several patents for newer and better shock absorbers. Ultimately, his designs influenced the creation of the modern-day shock absorber. Rose also received many other patents related in some way to preventing or protecting workers from falls. An example is the patent for an early “Ladder Climber” harness system (U.S. Patent 2,886,227) that contains two hook lanyards that are both attached to a harness. While ascending or descending, a worker grasps one hook in each hand and secures them over alternating ladder rungs.

Decades later, the industry would see the emergence of locking snap hook connectors and full-body harnesses, both gaining much more acceptance in the 1980s. In 1990, OSHA enacted regulation 1910.66. Craig Firl, product marketing manager in Hardgoods for Capital Safety-USA, said appendix C in this regulation was the key to getting several areas of fall protection technology up to date.

“Even though that particular standard at that time allowed for non-locking-type hooks to be used in a fall protection-type system, they recommended the locking type to be used because they were safer hooks and more compatible,” Firl said.

PPE Fall Protection: more hardware than ever

Feldstein agreed, adding that the acceptance of the locking snap hook led to the creation of a whole new series of connecting anchorage systems: straps, D-rings, and more. “And that’s continued to evolve to its current state, where we now have personalized anchorage connectors for almost every application, whether it’s building construction or general industry,” he said. Even though body belts were still allowed, Feldstein said appendix C acknowledged that OSHA recognized full-body harnesses as a major innovation in fall arrest. “Belts are still permissible in positioning, but in a fall, you definitely want to be protected by a full-body harness. It distributes the load across your chest and the bony mass of your hip, where your body is most capable of absorbing a blow, and it protects the soft tissue of the abdomen,” Feldstein said.

Two years after 1910.66 arrived, the ANSI committee released standard Z359.1, the key fall protection standard in use today. Most notably, it required the use of full-body harnesses and self-locking snap hooks. Firl said this voluntary compliance standard put pressure on OSHA to recognize that its existing standard needed updating and encouraged the completion of another fall protection standard for the construction industry, Subpart M, in 1995. According to this standard, as of Jan. 1, 1998, the use of body belts and non-locking snap hooks was prohibited.

During the ’80s, Self-Retracting Lanyards (SRLs) gained in development and use. They had been developed in the 1950s for offshore oil production in the North Sea but quickly became a common component in fall protection systems worldwide. Feldstein said SRLs became so valuable because they allowed workers to be protected along a much greater length of travel, increasing productivity without sacrificing safety. He described a scenario for rail car workers:

“Workers could be protected from the ground level and all the way up to the top of the rail car while they were working along the train’s length because the SRL could be mounted mobilely overhead. So that afforded a new type of protection for all types of workers in transportation, everything from rail cars, truck load-outs, and air craft maintenance.”

Regarding fall protection’s future, Firl and Feldstein said they believe comfort will continue to advance. Firl also foresees advances into niche markets with specialized materials and components, similar to the vacuum anchors’ progression into the airline industry for maintenance work on aircraft, whose surfaces can’t be penetrated with traditional-type anchors.
“In the past, a harness was a harness. It didn’t really matter if it was for construction, or utility work, or warehousing, it was a harness,” he said. “Now, you’re starting to see more specialized gear. . .  As an example, in the utility segment, you would see extensively the use of flame-resistant materials . . . because they’re concerned about heat resistance; they’re concerned about being able to resist arc flash and so forth.”

At Hercules SLR we stock MSA, 3M and Honeywell Miller PPE and fall protection products, to provide you with an extensive, high quality range of PPE Fall Protection products. Our in-house experts will advise you on what equipment best suits your project. When it comes time for your yearly inspections and service, our technicians can inspect, repair and certify your gear. For more information on our Fall Protection products and Services, please call: 1-877-461-4876.

References
https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2007/01/01/PPEvolution.aspx?Page=4

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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.

Get to know your Langley NDE Inspector, Chris Davies

nde-inspector-magnetic-particle-test

Chris Davies is one of our talented Inspection Technicians in Langley, British Colombia who conducts non-destructive examinations (NDE). He has a wide-array of industry experience in both aviation and the oil and gas industries. We sat down with Chris to discuss his career path to Inspector and the field of NDE.

NDE is also commonly known as NDT, which stands for non-destructive testing. This method is used to test for defects in materials without compromising their integrity. This means they can be used in the future, or repaired. This is an economical option and is often used in inspections, manufacturing and fabrication industries.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I started in the Aviation field back in 1989 at the age of 19 as a surface processor for Okanagan Helicopters owned by Canadian Helicopters, working in the Engineering Support Division in (Richmond BC). From 1999 to 2001 I worked for Helipro Component Services here in Langley, BC as the NDE and Surface-Processing Supervisor.

Since then, I’ve worked with a few very large Aviation Companies until 2013. In early 2013 I started working for Acuren at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands Project in Northern Alberta for Exxon Mobile (Imperial Oil Canada).

This plant is next-generation style, and uses a Froth process to extract heavy crude from the sand. At their Main Plant, I was an Owner/Operator for Exxon Mobile—my main duties included monitoring steam lines, and I also conducted corrosion and wear surveys.

Along with all of that, I was also the sole inspector who was qualified and trained on lifting gear. Annually, I inspected all rigging on site. I left Kearl lake in early 2017, since being away from home over half the year took a bit of a toll on my personal life.

What made you decide to go into this industry?

I started a job search for something that wouldn’t take me far from home so often, and noticed a local company looking for Inspectors. Particularly, they were looking for technicians with visual and non-destructive examination and lifting equipment experience—it just seemed like a perfect fit for me.

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

I worked mainly in the Aerospace and Oil and Gas Industry. In these industries I did Visual Examinations on Caterpillar D9’s , D10’s, 740 EJ’s, 797F, 797C and 700 Ton Heavy Mining Shovels (CAT 7495’s). These are both Diesel and Electric. And, as I mentioned earlier, I also inspected all the lifting gear at the Imperial Oil Kearl lake worksite.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

During an introduction interview with Deanna MacDonald, our branch manager here in Langley, BC we discussed the challenges she faced since taking over the facility. Deanna made a compelling case that hiring a few more employees with the right skills and training could make Hercules SLR a strong name in the Inspection Industry. This was exciting to me, and I wanted to become a key player in this goal.

Langley, BC NDE Inspector, Chris Davies with his wife

Where have you traveled during your time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR?

During my time as an Inspector at Hercules SLR, I have travelled to Brampton, Ontario for a rigging course. I’ve also travelled to various locations in Vancouver.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

In the future at Hercules SLR I’d like to travel offshore, or possibly to remote locations to conduct examinations, or to get more training.

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

I’m most proud to have set up the NDE Inspections department here in Langley. There’s a whole routine to inspections. We deal with the customer and explain the whole process, and we always meet (but usually exceed!) the timeline our client expects. We’re also able to offer a lower cost than our competitors typically—the NDE department is truly my baby, and I’m very proud of it and what we’ve been able to do so far.


Interested in reading more about non-destructive testing at Hercules SLR? Check out our blog on non-destructive testing at our facility in Langley, BC, or our blog on magnetic-particle testing done at the Hercules Training Academy in Dartmouth, NS.

Did you know? Our Langley service department also has two inside test beds for high-quality, fast turnaround for inspections and repairs. We also have an inspection management system, CertTracker® that lets you track your equipment and annual inspections, maintenance and certifications.


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.

Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified?

LEEA Header

LEEA – Lifting Standards Worldwide™

Hercules Inspectors are LEEA trained nationally. LEEA, the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association is the respected and authoritative representative body for those who work in every aspect of the industry, from design, manufacture, refurbishment and repair, through to the hire, maintenance and use of lifting equipment.

The next time your equipment is due for inspection, make sure Hercules SLR is your first choice for expert advice and service.

Credentials

Established across the globe LEEA has over 1170 member companies based in 69 countries. Hercules SLR is proud to be one of them.

LEEA has played a key role in this specialized field for over seventy years, from training and standards setting through to health and safety, the provision of technical and legal advice, and the development of examination and licensing systems.

LEEA represents all its members at the highest levels across a range of both public and private bodies, including various government departments, as well as nationally and internationally recognized professional and technical institutions.

LEEA are ISO 9001:2015 registered and an Associate Member of DROPS (Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme).

LEEA is actively involved in all aspects of the industry, promoting the highest technical and safety standards and offering a wide range of services and support to their Members worldwide.

History of the Association

The origins of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) can be traced back to wartime Britain in 1943; a small group of competing companies came together to address what they perceived as a serious threat to their livelihoods. On 3rd June, nine people representing eight chain testing houses met at the Great Eastern Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, and the idea to form an association to take on the might of government was conceived. Several weeks later, a draft set of rules and regulations was drawn up. During that process, a decision was made that, regardless of size, all members should be considered equal, both in terms of influence and financial contribution and the annual subscription was set at £4 and 4 shillings (£4.20).
The London Chain Testers Association was the name chosen by the founding members and was a clear reflection of the nature and location of the businesses involved. However, evidence shows that as this small group quickly made headway in negotiations with the government, attention turned to other areas where it was felt that co-operative action could be of mutual benefit. These included exploring the potential for pricing agreements, block insurance, the use of collective purchasing to secure more favourable deals from manufacturers, and adherence to British Standards to improve quality and consistency within the industry.By 1946, the association’s geographical boundaries expanded. Members were now actively sought from across the country, a move highlighted by a change of name to The Chain Testers Association of Great Britain.With the immediate concerns of a wartime economy behind them, the following decades of the 20th century can be seen as a series of landmarks that would ultimately establish the association as an authority on safe lifting and the industry’s foremost provider of training and qualifications for the test, examination and maintenance of overhead lifting equipment. Milestones in this period included:

  • The publication of the Chain Testers’ Handbook in 1953. Predominantly the work of Mr. C H A McCaully of W&E Moore, this brought together for the first time all the essential information required by the ‘man at the bench’ – the chain tester.
  • In 1959 it was followed by the examination scheme for lifting equipment engineers. In 1981, the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE) was launched.
  • In 1983, training courses were introduced to prepare students for exams that are now sat by several hundred candidates around the world every year.

Towards the end of the 20th century, important developments took place within the association’s infrastructure, and the nature of member companies changed to include a far wider range of activities. Notable events include the set-up of the organisation’s first independent office in 1977, and a third name change—to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association in 1988.

With the introduction of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) in 1998, LEEA’s training, qualifications and publications had to be fundamentally reworked to reflect this new legislation, and the association’s support and guidance became even more important to members obliged to comply with the requirements of the new legislation.

This legislative upheaval combined with the all-pervasive impact of globalisation, and an absence of sector-specific health and safety legislation—so, many companies who operated in these parts of the world began to adopt LOLER as best practice, which further enhanced the appeal of LEEA membership.

Since the turn of the century, LEEA’s development has reflected these trends and milestones have included:

Iran-Liftex-Exhibition-2018-Elevators-Industrial-Tehran-Iran

  • In 2006, The launch of the LiftEx trade show;
  • In 2007, the move to new headquarters and a purpose-built training centre, an ever increasing portfolio of practical courses to complement online distance learning provision;
  • In 2009, the introduction of the TEAM card registration and identity scheme for qualified engineers and technicians.

Perhaps the most striking is LEEA’s transformation into a truly international body. Regardless of where they are based, there is now no distinction between members – all are subject to the same technical audits prior to being granted full membership, with regular follow-up visits as long as they wish to remain part of the association. Dedicated local groups are now operating in the Middle East and Australia, and LEEA staff have become globetrotters, regularly meeting existing and potential members, as well as a host of other stakeholders, right across the world.

Learn more about LEEA on their website here.

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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.

A Brief History of Elevator Wire Ropes

Elevator rope

The humble hoisting rope occupies a unique place in the history of vertical transportation. A simple hemp rope lies at the center of one of the best-known elevator stories — Elisha Graves Otis’ demonstration of his Improved Safety Device at the 1854 Crystal Palace in New York City.

Currently, a sophisticated carbon nanotube “rope” is the primary innovation driving the conceptual (and possibly literal) development of the proposed “space elevator”. However, the wire rope retains pride-of-place in elevator history as the longest-serving suspension means. It is the subject of numerous 19th-century articles that questioned its safety, and has been featured in countless contemporary books, movies and TV programs that predicate disaster on its failure. Today, we look at the introduction of wire elevator ropes in the 19th century and its development into the 20th century.

The invention of wire rope more-or-less paralleled the invention of the passenger elevator, and, by the 1870s, wire rope had become the rope of choice for elevator use. Since they were new, both the elevator and wire rope faced similar challenges regarding safety concerns. The older hemp hoisting rope had a long history of use, and its strengths and weaknesses were well known. However, a rope made of wire was an entirely different matter. This difference was effectively summarized in the June 22, 1878, issue of American Architect and Building News, which included a brief article on elevator ropes. The article expressed the primary concern in its opening sentence:

“The sudden introduction in our large cities of elevators, most of which are hung by wire ropes, has led people to wonder what will happen when they have had a year’s wear, and why there should not, after a while, be a breaking of ropes, and consequent accidents all over the country.”

The key concern centered on the endurance of wire rope and its reaction to constant and repeated bending as it passed around winding drums and over sheaves. One of the aforementioned article’s key assumptions was that “everybody knows, at least, that reiterated bending weakens wire, whether it be by granulation or by the constant extension of its fibers.” The challenge was, in spite of “knowing” that this action occurred, there was no easy way to judge when a rope was no longer safe for use.

The ICS author also addressed rope replacement, noting that “particular attention must be given to the fastenings.” The chief recommendation was to “carefully reproduce the joint as it was originally made” by the elevator manufacturer. A typical shackle used by Otis Elevator is described below in figure 1.

Figure 1: “Otis Elevator Co. Shackle,” ICS Reference Library (1902).

It consists of a split rod, the two legs A, A of which are bulged out and provided with noses at the ends. A collar B straddles the legs and eventually abuts against the noses. The rope is brought through the collar, bent over a thimble C, and passed back again through the collar, after which the free end is fastened by wrapping with wire. The wrapped end of the sections that address elevator ropes serves as a reminder that different elevator systems required different types of rope:

Chapter 1: Standard Methods and Facilities for Testing Wire Ropes
Chapter 2: Materials Composing Wire Rope and Their Properties
Chapter 3: Standard Types of Wire Rope Construction
Chapter 4: Variety of Uses of Wire Rope
Chapter 5: Mechanical Theory of Wire Rope
Chapter 6: Practical Hints and Suggestions
Chapter 7: Instructions on Ordering Wire Rope
Chapter 8: Typical Applications of Wire Rope in Practice

“When ordering rope for elevators, state whether hoisting, counterweight, or hand or valve or safety rope is wanted, also whether right or left lay is desired. The ropes used for these purposes are different and are not interchangeable.”

The diversity of elevator ropes was reflected in the design of American Steel & Wire’s standard hoisting rope, which was produced in six grades or strengths: Iron, Mild Steel, Crucible Cast Steel, Extra Strong Crucible Cast Steel, Plow Steel and Monitor Plow Steel. The company’s standard iron rope was primarily designed for use on drum machines and was “used for elevator hoisting where the strength is sufficient” (Figure 2). It was also described as “almost universally employed for counterweight ropes, except on traction elevators.” Their Mild Steel Elevator Hoisting Rope was designed “especially for traction elevators in tall buildings where, on account of [the] usual quick starting and stopping, a stronger and lighter rope is required.” Shipper or control ropes (also called tiller or hand ropes) differed from standard ropes in that they were composed of six strands of 42 wires each, which were wrapped around seven hemp cores (Figure 3).

wire rope figure 3 and 4

Figure 5: “Side Plunger Hydraulic Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

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Figure 5

In addition to providing detailed information on a wide variety of wire ropes, the catalog included schematic drawings that illustrated their proper application. These included 17 elevator-related drawings that depicted direct-, side- and horizontal-plunger hydraulic elevators; geared and traction electric elevators; and electric and belt-driven worm-geared elevators. The drawings’ emphasis on the application of wire ropes makes them a unique resource. Two versions of direct-plunger elevators were depicted — one with a shipper rope and one with an in-car controller — and the presence of two elevation drawings for each system permits a thorough understanding of these elevators (Figure 4). The same level of detail was provided for side-plunger hydraulic elevators (manufactured by Otis) and horizontal-plunger hydraulic systems (Figures 5 and 6).

Figure 6: “Horizontal Hydraulic Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913)

Figure 5
Figure 6

The electric elevator drawings are of particular interest, because, in 1913, they represented the newest systems on the market. The electric drum machine featured an interesting array of sheaves for the car and counterweight ropes, while the worm-gear machine employed a winding drum located near the midpoint of the shaft (Figures 7 and 8). The traction elevator drawing effectively illustrated its inherent simplicity and the potential of this new design (Figure 9).

The variety of elevator types illustrated in American Steel & Wire’s catalog represented the diversity of elevator systems prevalent in the early 20th century, as well as the importance of wire rope to their operation. Part Two of this article will follow this story through the 1930s, which encompasses the continued development of the traction elevator and the writing of the first elevator safety codes.

Figure 7: “Electric Drum Machine,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

Figure 7

Figure 8: “Worm Gear Electric Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

figure 8

Figure 9: “Traction Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

Figure 9

Original article can be found here at Elevator World Inc. 

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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.

 

 

Safety Inspection: make your harness a habit

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Safety Inspection: don’t fear the inspector

We get it—no one likes a safety inspection. However, having fall arrest and other PPE inspected is a reality everyone in the industrial trades must face. Part of this fear comes from the thought they’ll find things wrong, but have you ever considered…inspectors aren’t trying to make your work more difficult? 

Though it seems that way at times, Inspectors see accidents on worksites that are very avoidable and often happen during routine parts of the work day. Simply put, they want to help you, help yourself.

Safety inspection ensures you maintain productivity, keep costs low and have everyone home safely at the end of the day.

Read on for essential tips from one of our Hercules SLR Inspector’s to make sure you’re always inspection-ready.

Training is Key

Our Inspectors have seen the benefit of hands-on training directly at the Hercules Training Academy.

“The rigging fundamentals course at the Training Academy was amazing—everyone loved it. The experience was vital, and gave me so much more insight into how the rigging hardware I inspect works on the job,” says Quincy Warner, an Inspector from Hamilton, Ontario.

“Safety training can be, for lack of a better word, boring—especially when it only focuses on bookwork. Training for fall protection and safety should take a hands-on approach. For example, strapping someone into a safety harness and letting them fall from a crane to demonstrate the benefits of fall protection tends to stick with them better than reading from a manual. Experience is a great teacher.”

Safety training and physically showing workers the importance of safety harnesses and fall protection like self-retracting lifelines (SRL’s) makes all the difference between them wearing it or not.

Video via 3M showing hands-on safety training 

Inspect the Worksite

Something our Inspectors can’t stress enough is surveying the land you’ll be working on. Assess the area, the job and the safety equipment you’ll need to complete it. What are your fall protection needs—a lanyard, SRL or rescue line? What are the provincial PPE and safety requirements in your region?

Scouting the ground is an important part of assessing. Is the ground wet, are there high winds, is the site elevated—how is weather going to impact the work you’re doing? For example, ironworkers or roofers with jobs in light rain can make the site slippery, which increases the risk for injury.

Our Inspectors recommend a tripod, 3-way winch and/or an SRL for workers in sewers or the gas industry (anyone in confined spaces and/or working with hazardous materials) so you can be lifted and get out as soon as possible. A great option for lifting are a SRL and winch meant specifically to lift—these can be purchased at a lower cost as a packaged deal, and when used properly won’t need repairs. 

Assessing the land of your worksite and wearing the recommended PPE for the job type makes all the difference during safety inspection.

Fall Protection: not a fashion accessory

Many workers don’t realize that just simply wearing your safety harness or SRL isn’t enough, and unfortunately, many managers don’t either.

“A common issue I had while inspecting SRL’s and fall protection were workers only putting their PPE on when I’d show up—which defeats the purpose. How do I know that their harness fits them properly, that the worker has been trained on its proper usage if wearing PPE only happens when the Inspector’s around?” explains Warner. He stresses the importance of knowing the function of each piece of equipment to ensure it’s used properly.

Continues Warner, “Once, I repaired an SRL for a customer. who then fell using it. When I opened the SRL up and examined how it was used on the site, I realized they weren’t using it properly and it wasn’t even hooked up properly. Simply training workers on proper equipment usage can save a lot of money in repairs, extensive paperwork, productivity and most importantly, can save lives.”

Workers should be familiar with the proper fall protection equipment to be lifted, lowered or to move horizontally.

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Worker at height with safety harness and lanyard. 

Safety Inspection Reduces Costs

No matter what the outside looks like, the inside of a SRL always tells a story. Our inspectors often find issues when they cut open a SRL. The inside can show whether it was used in a fall, or used improperly. This often results in large bills, which are preventable with the right training.

For example, a large company may have around 20 fall protection units. On average, the bill to repair a SRL and tripod is about $1200. A stretched-out wire rope could cost nearly $800 to repair, and bent tripod legs are on average about $200 to repair. These repairs are often the result of using equipment improperly or for the wrong job.

For employers and project managers, safety can be a large financial cost that’s easy to reduce when you invest in the right training and equipment. 

Be your Own Inspector

Always have your PPE on you and make it a habit. Our Inspectors recommend always keeping your PPE in your work truck, like you would with any other tool. Treat your PPE like a car—to drive it safely, you must care and maintain for it.

To inspect your SRL:

  1. Check impact indicator to ensure the SRL has not suffered any falls.
  2. Check hardware to ensure it is not heavily corroded.
  3. Check conduit and webbing to make sure there are no cuts to the webbing. If the SRL has a cable, ensure there are no kinks or strands in the cable.
  4. Ensure the SRL activates and retracts properly.

See your PPE as something essential, not optional and you’ll always be prepared for safety inspection.

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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.

Stopping the Drop – Pioneer, Elisha Graves Otis

Elisha-OTIS-1854-Platform

Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.

Otis

Early years

Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont, to Stephen Otis and Phoebe Glynn. He moved away from home at the age of 19, eventually settling in Troy, New York, where he lived for five years employed as a wagon driver. In 1834, he married and went on to have two children, Charles and Norton. Later that year, Otis suffered a terrible case of pneumonia which nearly killed him, but he earned enough money to move his wife and three-year-old son to the Vermont Hills on the Green River.

He designed and built his own grist mill, but did not earn enough money from it, so he converted it into a saw mill, hoping for better results, but sadly it still didn’t attract customers. Now having a second son and needing to support his family, he started building wagons and carriages. His wife later died, leaving Otis with two sons, one at that time being age 8 and the other still in diapers.

Success and setback

At 34 years old and hoping for a fresh start, he re-married and moved to Albany, New York. He worked as a doll maker for Otis Tingely. Skilled as a craftsman and tired of working all day to make only twelve toys, he invented and patented a robot turner. It could produce bedsteads four times as fast as could be done manually (about fifty a day). His boss gave him a $500 bonus. Otis then moved into his own business. At his leased building, he started designing a safety brake that could stop trains instantly as well as an automatic bread baking oven.

He was put out of business when the stream he was using for a power supply was diverted by the city of Albany to be used for its fresh water supply. In 1851, having no more use for Albany, he first moved to Bergen City, New Jersey (now part of Jersey City) to work as a mechanic, then to Yonkers, New York, as a manager of an abandoned saw mill which he was supposed to convert into a bedstead factory.

Lasting success

At the age of 40, while he was cleaning up the factory, he wondered how he could get all the old debris up to the upper levels of the factory. He had heard of hoisting platforms, but these often broke, and he was unwilling to take the risks. He and his sons, who were also tinkerers, designed their own “safety elevator” and tested it successfully. He initially thought so little of it he neither patented it nor requested a bonus from his superiors for it, nor did he try to sell it. After having made several sales, and after the bedstead factory declined, Otis took the opportunity to make an elevator company out of it, initially called Union Elevator Works and later Otis Brothers & Co.

No orders came to him over the next several months, but soon after, the 1853 New York World’s Fair offered a great chance at publicity. At the New York Crystal Palace,

Otis amazed a crowd when he ordered the only rope holding the platform on which he was standing cut.

Elisha_OTIS_1854
Otis free-fall safety demonstration in 1854

The rope was severed by an axeman, and the platform fell only a few inches before coming to a halt. The safety locking mechanism had worked, and people gained greater willingness to ride in traction elevators; these elevators quickly became the type in most common usage and helped make present day skyscrapers possible.

Otis Elevator Shackle
“Otis Elevator Co. Shackle,” ICS Reference Library (1902).

After the World’s Fair, Otis received continuous orders, doubling each year. He developed different types of engines, like a three-way steam valve engine, which could transition the elevator between up to down and stop it rapidly.

Last years and death

In his spare time, he designed and experimented with his old designs of bread-baking ovens and train brakes, and patented a steam plow in 1857, a rotary oven in 1858, and, with Charles, the oscillating steam engine in 1860. Otis contracted diphtheria and died on April 8, 1861 at age 49.

Ref: Wikipedia

 

 

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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.