Crosby Guest Blog: Shackle Inspection & Care

crosby shackles

CROSBY SHACKLES 

Crosby shackles are a popular option for lifting applications. Time-tested and work proven, Crosby has made their mark in rigging—they’ve produced the first wire rope clip, quench and temper fittings (this makes performance more reliable) and were the first to fatigue-rate products. Their shackles are particularly popular – read on to learn more about Crosby shackles and how to use them safely, a handy interactive inspection checklist and more tips for best use. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: 3 MAIN SHACKLE TYPES

Round pin shackles can be used for lifting applications and others like tie down, towing or suspension applications when the load’s strictly applied in-line.

Screw pin shackles are used for pick and place applications. Pick and place applications are when a load is moved to its desired location, and the screw pin is tightened before each pick.

Bolt-type shackles can be used in any applications that round pin or screw pin shackles are used. They’re also great for long-term or permanent installations where the load may slide on the pin, which causes it to rotate. The other way to secure a shackle includes using a nut and cotter, which eliminates the need for you to tighten the pin before each lift or movement. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY  

Before you put your Crosby shackle in service, make sure your shackle’s in good condition. To do so, look for these conditions:

  • The shackle’s pin works freely and fits correctly. 
  • The pins are undamaged, have no considerable wear and fit properly from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The load line and jaw opening are aligned.
  • The pin is always seated and is ‘matched’ to the body.
  • The shackle is the right material, size and type for the proposed lift.
  • Shackles are stored in a dry, cool place.

CROSBY SHACKLES: INSPECTION 

It’s important to inspect your rigging equipment frequently. Ideally, this happens before use, during (check for points of stress or tension during use) and after use. Inspection is important to prevent equipment failure, which can lead to damaging the load entirely, or worse—injure or kill workers’. 

Check your shackle before use. If any of these conditions are present, remove your shackle from service and have it inspected, repaired or replaced. 

  • The shackle’s jaws or pins are distorted.
  • The shackle isn’t stamped with is safe-working load (SWL).
  • The shackle is home-made (never use homemade shackles).
  • The shackle’s pin does not work freely, or fit correctly in the shackle’s opening. 
  • The pins’ threads are damaged, worn down or don’t easily screw in from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The unthreaded hole is enlarged – a hole too big places unnecessary strain on the loaded shackle. 
  • The shackle has wear that’s reduced its diameter by more than 8% of its original diameter. To test for cracks that may be hidden, tap them with a hammer. A shackle in good-condition should ‘ring’ clearly.
  • The shackle’s pin has been replaced, especially if it’s been replaced with anything but a pin. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY OR NOT AT ALL 

There are a few things to keep in mind when using shackles for securing and lifting applications. 

  • When you use shackles in conjunction with multi-leg slings, you must give consideration to the angle between the legs of the sling. 
  • As the angle increases, so does the load in the sling leg, and as a consequence, any shackle attached to the leg. 
  • Try to avoid erratic loading of the shackle – to do this, place a loose spacer on either end of the shackle’s pin, or use a shackle with a smaller jaw. 
  • If using a shackle to secure the top block of a rope block set, the load on the shackle is increased by the value of the hoisting effort. 
  • Take care to make sure the shackle and assembly above the hook is the right capacity. 
  • It’s important that on shackles fitted with a nut and bolt pin, the length of the bolt’s plain portion will cause the nut to jam on the inner end of the thread, and not on the shackle’s eye. This leaves the bolt free to rotate.
  • Be sure the bolt and nut are cross-drilled for the fitting of a split cotter pin. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CROSBY PRODUCTS,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

GUEST BLOG: CROSBY TALKS FORGED WIRE ROPE CLIPS VS MALLEABLE CAST IRON CLIPS

RIGGING HARDWARE WE LOVE: CROSBY® 4-50 CLIP APPLICATIONS


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Have questions about Crosby products? Hercules SLR will lift you to the answers.

Click here to learn more about Crosby at Hercules SLR. 

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events

ISO 9001: What does it mean in the Supply Chain?

supply chain and iso 9001 at hercules slr
As someone who is involved in the selection of suppliers and, possibly, responsible for making purchasing decisions, you may have seen or used products and services that are promoted using reference to ISO 9001:2015, or, more simply, “ISO 9000”.

What does this mean? How does this help you? How can you be sure that your suppliers understand what you expect from them? Are you capable of consistently providing products and services that meet your needs and expectations? This text via ISO gives some answers to these questions, and will inform you about how you can get the most out of ISO 9001 as a supply chain tool.

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: WHAT IS ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is an International Standard that gives requirements for an organization’s quality management system (QMS). It is part of a family of standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and often referred to collectively as the “ISO 9000 series” or “ISO 9000 family”. 

For this reason, you may sometimes hear suppliers refer to being “ISO 9000 certified”, or having an “ ISO 9000-compliant QMS ”. This will normally mean that they are claiming to have a QMS that meets the requirements of ISO 9001, the only standard in the ISO 9000 family that can be used for the purpose of conformity assessment. It is important to understand, however, that ISO is the body that develops and publishes the standard – ISO does not “ certify ” organizations, as will be explained later in this text. The objective of ISO 9001 is to provide a set of requirements that, if effectively implemented, will give you confidence that your supplier can consistently provide products and services that:

  • Meet your needs and expectations 
  • Comply with applicable regulations 

ISO 9001 adopts a risk-based (“preventive”) approach to quality that covers a wide range of topics, including your supplier’s top management commitment to quality, its customer focus, the adequacy of its resources, employee competence, process management (for production, service delivery and relevant administrative and support processes), quality planning, design of the products and services it provides, review of incoming orders, purchasing, the appropriate monitoring and measurement of its processes, products and services needed to ensure conformity, its processes to resolve customer complaints, corrective actions, and a requirement to drive improvement.

Last but not least, there is a requirement for your supplier to monitor your perceptions about the quality of the products and services it provides to you. ISO 9001 does not define specific requirements for the products or services you purchase. It’s up to you to make your own needs and expectations clear to your supplier. You might, for example, refer to product or service specifications, drawings, national or international standards, supplier’s catalogues, or other documents as appropriate.

supply chain and iso at hercuels slrISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: WHAT DOES “CONFORMITY TO ISO 9001” MEAN? 

This means that your supplier has established a systematic approach to quality management and is managing its business to ensure that your needs are clearly understood, agreed and fulfilled. A statement of conformity to ISO 9001 should not, however, be considered a substitute for a declaration or statement of product or service conformity.

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: HOW DOES ISO 9001 HELP YOU SELECT A SUPPLIER?

ISO 9001 provides some requirements for the purchasing process that include you as the customer. These requirements address the following topics: 

  • Requirements for purchasing information that you should provide so suppliers’ clearly understand your needs. 
  • Any specific approvals that might be needed to confirm that the supplied products and services meet your requirements, and any monitoring or inspections that you might require at your supplier’s premises.

You have an important role to play to communicate to your supplier specifically what you actually want. You may need to consult with your own internal technical staff (the actual users) in this process. If you don’t do this, you might find that you receive a product or a service that meets all your stated requirements and the applicable regulatory requirements, but which is absolutely wrong for your intended application. So, first of all, you should concentrate on specifying your needs related to the intended use of the product or service.

To do this, consider: 

  • What is the specific product or service you are buying?
  • What impact does this have on your own business?
  • What are the risks to your business if you experience problems with this product or service?
  • How can you be sure that the product or service you receive will actually meet your requirements?
    • What do you know about the reputation and historical performance of your supplier?
    • What level of confidence do you need in your supplier’s ability to provide you with conforming products and services on a consistent basis?
    • If you decide that conformity to ISO 9001 is important (based on your assessment of the risks associated with the products and services you are buying), how can you be sure that your supplier does have a QMS that meets ISO 9001 requirements?
    • Are the products and services you require covered by your supplier’s QMS? (You may need to ask for a copy of your supplier’s actual certificate or declaration of conformity to find this out!)

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: HOW CAN YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE YOUR SUPPLIER MEETS ISO 9001?

There are many ways that your supplier can claim it meets QMS ISO 9001 requirements. These include:

  • “Supplier’s declaration of conformity”: A declaration by your supplier itself affirming that its QMS meets ISO 9001 requirements, usually supported by legally binding signatures. This declaration can be based on your supplier’s internal audit system, or on second-party or third-party audits.
  • Second-party assessment: Your supplier has been assessed directly by its customer (for example by you, or by another customer whose reputation you respect) to check if its QMS meets ISO 9001 requirements and your own requirements – sometimes used in contractual “business-to-business ” transactions.
  • Third-party assessment (often known as certification or registration): Your supplier hires an impartial third party (a certification body or “registrar”) to conduct an assessment to verify conformity to ISO 9001 requirements. This third party will issue a certificate to your supplier that describes the scope of its QMS, and confirming that it conforms to ISO 9001.
  •  Additional confidence may come from the fact that some certification bodies (registrars) are accredited by nationally or internationally recognized accreditation bodies. These verify the certification body’s independence and competence to carry out the certification process. Many accreditation bodies have multilateral arrangements under the umbrella of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to promote worldwide mutual recognition in support of World Trade Organization (WTO) free trade principles. Figure 1 explains this in simpler terms.
iso supply chain certifications
Figure 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: CAN SUPPLIERS CLAIM THAT THEIR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES MEET ISO 9001?

No. ISO 9001 references indicates that the supplier has a quality management system that meets the requirements of ISO 9001. As mentioned earlier, this should provide you with confidence in your supplier’s ability to provide consistent, conforming products or services. ISO 9001 requires your supplier to monitor the levels of satisfaction of its customers (this includes you!), and to feed back this information in order to improve the effectiveness of its QMS.

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: WHAT DO I DO IF THINGS GO WRONG?

In the event that you are not happy with specific products or services you receive, first, you should bring this to your supplier’s attention. You will typically do this via the normal technical and/or commercial communication channels that have been established. Your supplier is obliged to investigate your complaint and should take appropriate actions to avoid or reduce the chances of it happening again. If, however, you are dissatisfied with the overall performance of your supplier (if for example they continue to provide non-conforming products and services, do not address your complaints, or are not taking appropriate corrective action), then this is an indication of problems in their quality management system.

Depending on the responses you receive, you should be aware that you can escalate your complaint about the supply chain via the steps described below.

  1. If your supplier has a QMS that meets ISO 9001 requirements, they are required to have established communication channels for monitoring customer satisfaction, obtaining customer feedback and dealing with complaints. You should make a formal complaint using these channels.
  2. If you are still not satisfied with the response from your supplier, and if they are certified by an independent (third-party) certification body (registrar), you should bring the matter to the certification body’s attention. You can find the certification body’s name by looking at your supplier’s certificate. The certification body will investigate the problems during their surveillance audits of your supplier’s QMS, or, in critical cases, may decide to carry out an additional specific investigation.
  3. If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the certification body, and if it is accredited (see Figure 2), you should complain to the relevant accreditation body. Details of any such accreditation will appear on your supplier’s ISO 9001 certificate. 
  4. If you feel that you have not received a satisfactory response from the accreditation body about the supply chain, and if it’s a member of the International Accreditation Forum (see Figure 1), you can complain to the IAF (www.iaf.nu).

Remember that none of the above will affect your statutory rights as a purchaser and it may be appropriate to take legal action against your supplier instead of, or in parallel with, the above channels. The way in which you do this may vary from one country to another.

ISO AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: SUMMARY

ISO 9001 is a useful basis for organizations to be able to demonstrate that they are managing their business to achieve consistent (good!) quality products and services. There are several ways in which your suppliers can claim conformity to ISO 9001, and you need to ensure that the method chosen by your supplier provides you with the necessary degree of confidence. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your supplier, you must provide them with the appropriate feedback. Learning from complaints helps organizations to improve their future performance – that is what ISO 9001 is about. Find more information on the ISO 9000 family on the ISO website. Various Canadian standards’ bodies are further sources of assistance. 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ISO AND QUALITY AT HERCULES SLR,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

HERCULES SLR CERTIFICATIONS: ISO 9001—DEBUNKING THE MYTHS

MEET QUALITY ASSURANCE & SAFETY SPECIALIST, JAMES GOLEMIC

ARE THE TECHNICIANS INSPECTING YOUR GEAR QUALIFIED?


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What does ISO certification mean for Hercules SLR? Let us lift you there.

Click here to learn more about Hercules SLR’s certifications, and their importance.

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 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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Fall Arrest System: Don’t Fool with your Tools

fall arrest system for tools at hercules slr

You likely know about a Fall Arrest System for your body–but what about your tools? Fall protection for tools is the ‘F’ of the ABCDE’s of Fall Protection. A fall arrest system for tools to prevent drops is essential for a safe worksite. Tools dropped from heights are the third cause on injury on work sites. Preventing tools from slips leads to safer, quicker more productive work. 

FALL ARREST SYSTEM: HAVE A PREVENTION PLAN IN PLACE

When a tool falls, gravity takes over. This is why it’s essential to have a plan in place to address issues that lead to injuries at heights and prevent the fall in the first place. Workers’ need to be protected when at heights 6ft or higher, which really, isn’t all that high. Many different industries perform work at this height, and many perform work much higher. 

There are three good reasons to have a fall prevention plan to reduce (and hopefully, eliminate) tools dropped on a worksite.

SAFETY 

Dropping tools leads to injuries, fatalities and can increase hazardous risks around the worksite. Tools that fall from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites. 

PRODUCTIVITY

When tools are dropped on a worksite, injuries often happen. This means that work must stop temporarily – and sometimes, indefinitely. When a tool is dropped or broken and especially if it injures someone, a investigation must take place to determine the exact circumstances that caused the injury.  

OPERATIONS  

Dropping tools can effect the operations of the day, and often the company at large. When a tool drops, work needs to be stopped so they can investigate the incident. Usually, this means workers’ are paid even though work has stopped while the situation is dealt with. Depending on the damage, this usually means that equipment needs repairs too, which results in maintenance costs and time that the machinery or gear will be out of use. 

WHY IS A FALL ARREST SYSTEM FOR TOOLS SO IMPORTANT? THE NUMBERS

As mentioned, tools dropped from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites. In Canada alone, 27,000 people every year are hit by tools on a work site—this means 80 people a day are hit and likely injured by dropped tools. 30 of these each year are fatal.

Fall from heights are the fourth cause of workplace injury. Over 14,000 injuries are caused by falls each year, and of these 14,000, 40 are fatal.    

TOOL FALL ARREST SYSTEM: THE PRICE OF DROPPED EQUIPMENT

Human life can’t be replaced. We know not using tool fall protection at heights leads to injury, but beyond being dangerous, there’s considerable financial impact, too. 

There’s other costs associated with dropped tools that go far beyond just replacing broken equipment. Consider administration time and fees to file paperwork, equipment replacement, inspection or repair, legal fees and consequences, time spent to find more employees or production-loss when there are fewer workers’ at the same job, training for new employees and insurance fees. It’s worth your time and money to invest in fall protection and arrest systems for tools. 

FALL FROM ROOFS: $119,000
FALLS FROM HEIGHTS: $66,000
FALLS FROM LADDERS: $82,000
FALLS DOWN STEPS: $48,000
 
 

WHY DO PEOPLE DROP THEIR TOOLS? 10 REASONS

  1. Inadequate risk assessment
  2. Human Error: Although normal, natural human errors have severe consequences at heights. These include operator error, poor behaviour, complacency or neglect. 
  3. Tools or equipment stored inadequately: Includes tool lanyards or tethers not being used or not containing loose items. 
  4. Inadequate risk assessment or procedures: This could be from poor planning, not managing changing hazards on various worksites. 
  5. Failed fixtures or fittings: Includes corrosion, poor design, vibration and selection or installation.
  6. Poor Housekeeping: This could be pre-existing hazards from previous work, or other debris. 
  7. Collisions and snagging: Happens often when lifting, with travelling equipment and on taglines and service loops. 
  8. Inadequate Inspection, repair and maintenance: Ignoring unsafe conditions
  9. Redundant, neglected and homemade tools and equipment (these should be eliminated)
  10. Environmental Factors: Includes wind, rain, harsh winter and heat. 

WHAT TOOLS DO PEOPLE DROP? 3 MOST COMMON TOOLS

The three most commonly-dropped things on a construction may or may not surprise you. They are:

  1. Tape Measure
  2. Hard hat
  3. Cellphone/Radio 

WHERE DO FALLEN TOOLS GO? THE ANSWER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU 

Dropped tools don’t fall straight down—this is called falling object deflection (see figure 1). When you drop a tool, it can deflect in any direction. As we mentioned, workers’ need tool fall protection when they’re working up to 6-feet high, since a tool dropped from this height can deflect up to 20-metres away. This means that an innocent person, minding their own business that not on the site could very likely be struck by a dropped object. For workers’ that are even higher (which is more common than you think), say 200-feet high, a tool can deflect up to 128-metres away.

Even small objects pick up enormous force when dropped (see figure 2). This force means that something as non-threatening as a tape measure can be deadly if dropped. 

tool fall protection deflection
Figure 1—Chart via 3M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tool fall arret and impact forces via 3m
Figure 2—Impact Forces Chart via 3M

INDUSTRIES 

As we mentioned, any industry that does work 6-feet or higher will benefit from a tool fall arrest system. Are you a telecom specialist, tradesperson or part of a theatre rigging crew? You should probably have a tool fall prevention plan (this include the right equipment) ready. 

In particular, the following industries benefit from a fall arrest system for tools: 

  • Construction
  • Utilities 
  • General Manufacturing 

The number of injuries from dropped tools on Canadian worksites continues to grow – this is why it’s important for workplaces to have a tool-drop prevention plan in place. This helps your construction crew manage productivity, safety concerns, asset management and the high costs associated with accidents.  


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TOOL PROTECTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

TOOL FALL PROTECTION: MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK 

FALL PROTECTION FOR TOOLS: STOP THE DROP

FALL PROTECTION TRAINING: DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND 


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Need to stay protected at heights? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about fall arrest systems at Hercules SLR. 

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

What is a Rigger in Construction?

what is a rigger in construction, hercules slr

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?

What is a rigger? A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist or move in general. They’re responsible in making sure the right equipment and hardware is used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional. 

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, a construction site are: 

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site. 
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads. 
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? HERCULES SLR EXPLAINS

As we mentioned, lots of rigging happens on a construction site daily. But a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied. 

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THE HERCULES SLR EXAMPLE

Here’s an example.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks.

Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator. 

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment  yikes. 

This is a common example of a rigger being called in to rig something for a construction project. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? SKILLS TO HAVE

Rigging involves the use of equipment like cranes, forklifts and large spreader-beams – this work often requires workers’ to be at heights. Working at heights is something a rigger should be comfortable with. 

Many rigger positions or construction positions with rigging as their primary role will offer some on-on-the-job and outside training, but that’s not say there aren’t useful skills to have. 

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are: 

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill. 
  • Operating Machinery: If you’ve skipped over the first part of this article, or it just didn’t sink in yet – operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, construction rigging could be a great path for you. 
  • Adaptability: Typically, a rigger in construction will have to travel to different sites for work. Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated. 
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk. 

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THEIR (MANY) JOB TITLES

As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either  someone who rigs might also have these job titles: 

Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger

Crane Erector

Crane Operator

Crane Rigger

Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger

Gear Repairer

Gripper/Stage Grip

Hook Tender

Labourer

Loft Rigger

Machinery Mover

Material Handler

Offshore Inspection Technician

Offshore Rigger

Parachute Rigger

Rigging Foreman

Rig Worker

Scaffolder

Slinger/Ring

Warehouse Associate 

 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? CONCLUSION

A lot’s been covered in this blog post – and we’ve only scratched the surface of some the roles a rigger plays in construction. Riggers’ in construction are often found working as crane operators, inspectors, transport truckers or millwrights.

For more information on what a rigger in construction is, check out our blogs below or e-mail info@herculesslr.com to learn how Hercules SLR’s services can assist your construction crew.


FOR RELATED READING ON ‘WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?’, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WELCOME TO ONTARIO: BRAMPTON RIGGERS TALK CHAIN HOIST SAFETY 

RISK MANAGEMENT: SAFETY IS EVERY RIGGERS’ BUSINESS

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP


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Is a career in rigging right for you? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about career opportunities across Canada with Hercules SLR. 

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.

Workplace Mental Health: How Hercules SLR Supports Staff

workplace mental health at hercules slr

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: A HERCULES SLR PRIORITY

Mental health is like a sling. Load a sling beyond capacity, and it breaks. A sling must be maintained to work properly, and mental health in the workplace is similar. 

Mental health in the workplace is just as important as physical health in the workplace. Each day, Canadian workers’ pull on coveralls, get in vehicles and drive to their jobs, even though they’re sick, suffer or struggle with mental illness. Often, a sick day isn’t enough to recover, so it’s important to Hercules SLR to provide employee support.

Mental illness affects approximately 20% of the population – that’s 7.5million Canadians. One of the biggest risk factors related to mental illness in the workplace is psychological support. At Hercules SLR, we take measures to reduce risk factors and support our team so both physical & mental wellness is encouraged. 

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHY WE DO IT

Why support mental health in the workplace? If those numbers aren’t enough, people with mental illness are less likely to be employed, and each week nearly 175,000 full-time workers miss work because of mental illness. Says Hercules’ HR Generalist, “Hercules SLR understands the importance of mental health in the workplace and strives to promote a supportive environment for employee’s well-being.”

Mental illness is also more likely to surface in times of stress or uncertainty, which is a common part of many jobs. The cost of physical illness versus mental health is significant, too  financially, it costs almost twice as much to take leave for mental illness over physical illness. Not only does it make financial sense, it’s one of our core values. 

“Hercules SLR understands the importance of mental health in the workplace and strives to promote a supportive environment for employee’s well-being.”

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHAT WE DO & HOW 

A well-rounded, healthy life for employees leads to people who can reach their full potential, and workplace support is a crucial part of this. So, we have a Employee and Family Assistance program (EFAP), that’s free and private for employees to access. It’s not always easy to disclose to an employer that you’re struggling – this allows employees to call anytime and receive guidance, tools and advice for a number of issues that relate to mental health. They offer advice and support for legal issues, nutrition, addiction, workplace conflict, financial issues, relationships, depression, anxiety, anger and life transitions. 

Physical wellness is linked to mental wellness. Poor mental health can make physical conditions worse, and those with poor physical health are at a bigger risk to develop mental health issues. Hercules’ understands this, so we offer an annual financial incentive for employees to purchase something that supports their health, whether it’s a fitness class, gym membership or even a pair of running shoes that encourages you to get outside. 

By giving our employees tools to be more resilient in the face of mental health issues, we improve our overall company culture and give our people an environment where they can thrive. We value mental health, because we value our employees. 


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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Meet your Hercules SLR Inspector, Quincy Warner

inspector from hercules slr
Quincy Warner is a qualified inspector at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario. Read on to learn more about his career path in safety and inspections and Hercules SLR. 

We sit down with Quincy to talk about his duties as Inspector at Hercules SLR, including his professional safety experience, fall arrest, equipment inspections and his travels with Hercules SLR—Read on to learn more. 

“Hercules SLR will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I’ve had so much training in the 3 months that I’ve been here. It’s been great see they really show their employees they care.”
– Quincy Warner

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I have worked in health and safety for over 15 years, and the last 5 have been in fall arrest. I also did training for fall arrest/protection, and how to inspect soft goods like self-retracting lifelines (SRL’s) and safety harnesses. 

What made you decide to go into this industry? 

I was looking for a change from what I was doing the last year or so, which was working on SRL’s. I was doing recertification of equipment, and teaching customers how to use the different types of SRL’s. Hercules has more to offer me with me being an inspector I can do a little more then just the SRL’S and fall arrest.

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

I worked for a safety company in their tech services department. There, I helped work on SRL’S and did on-site soft good inspections for customers, and also trained them on different health and safety issues seen in the workplace. 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?   inspector, hercules inspection, chain repair

My biggest reason for joining the SLR team is you can move around in this company. By that, I mean you can ask to do or be placed in another job and they will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I had so much training in the last 3 months that I have been here and it has been great they really show the employee that they care and want you to progress with in the company.

“I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers.” – Quincy Warner, Inspector

 

 

 

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

So far, Hercules SLR has sent me to a lot of places but the best was going out to head office in Halifax. I really learned a lot while I was out there and had fun meeting all the different people. We trained at the Hercules Training Academy for a week, and that was amazing to have offered to me and complete. 

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

I would like to go out to the different branches and shadow the different tech guys and girls. I find every branch has similar jobs, but the industry can be different. I’d like to see some new things out in the field that you might not find back at your branch. 

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

I started with Hercules SLR recently, and I’m most proud to have completed most of my training. I’m also proud to have learned a lot about this industry, and learned the things I have in just last three months.

I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers. 


WANT MORE READING? LOOK NO FURTHER

  •  Synthetic Round Sling – Free Inspection Download Guide
  •  Get to Know your Langley, BC Inspector, Chris Davies
  •  Safety Inspection: Make your Harness a Habit
  •  Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: Safe Rigging Practices 
  •  Fall Protection Training: Don’t Get Left Behind
  •  Hercules Training Academy – Securing, Lifting and Rigging 
  •  Tool Fall Protection: More Important than you Think
  •  Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified? 
  •  Women in Industry: Inspection Technician Heather Young 

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Sling Inspection Checklist: Hercules How-To

sling inspection checklist

SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

Sling inspection is an important part of a rigger’s daily routine – here’s a sling inspection checklist to make life easier.

Check out our sling inspection checklist that includes removal criteria to know when your sling should be removed from service, and help keep your lifting equipment in good, working order. 

You’re welcome. 

SLING INSPECTION: ASME STANDARDS B30.9 

INITIAL INSPECTION 

  • Before use, all new, altered, modified or repaired slings shall be inspected by a designated person. 

FREQUENT INSPECTION

  • A visual inspection for damage shall be performed by the user or other designated person each day or shift the sling is used.

PERIODIC INSPECTION

  • A complete inspection for damage of the sling shall be periodically performed by a designated person.

ROUND SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

Remove your synthetic round sling for service if these conditions are present: 

  • Missing or illegible sling identification.
  • Acid/caustic burns.
  • Evidence of heat damage.
  • Holes, tears, cuts, abrasive wear or snags that expose the core yarns.
  • Broken or damaged core yarns.
  • Weld splatter that exposes core yarns.
  • Knots in the round sling,  except for core yarns inside the cover.
  • Fittings that are pitted, corroded, cracked, bent twisted, gouged, or broken.
  • For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  • For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  • Other conditions, including visible damage, that cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling.

CHAIN SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

Remove your alloy chain sling from service if these conditions are present: 

  • Missing or illegible sling identification (see Section 9-1.7).
  • Cracks or breaks.
  • Excessive wear, nicks, or gouges. Minimum thickness on chain links must not be below the values listed in Table 1.
  • Stretched chain links or components.
  • Evidence of heat damage.
  • Excessive pitting or corrosion.
  • Lack of ability of chain or components to hinge (articulate) freely.
  • Weld splatter.
  • For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  • For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  • Other conditions, including visible damage, that cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling.

SYNTHETIC WEB SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

Remove your synthetic web sling from service if the following conditions are present: 

  • Missing or illegible sling identification (see ASME Section 9-5.7).
  • Acid or caustic burns.
  • Melting or charring of any part of the sling.
  • Holes, tears, cuts or snags.
  • Broken or worn stitching in load bearing splices.
  • Excessive abrasive wear.
  • Knots in any part of the sling. Discoloration and brittle or stiff areas on any part of the sling, which may mean chemical or ultraviolet/sunlight damage.
  • Fittings that are pitted, corroded, cracked, bent, twisted, gouged, or broken.
  • For hooks, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.10.
  • For rigging hardware, removal criteria as stated in ASME B30.26.
  • Other conditions, including visible damage, that cause doubt as to the continued use of the sling.

INSPECTION FREQUENCY

How often should you inspect your slings? Frequency is based on these factors: 

  • Frequency of use
  • Severity of service conditions
  • Nature of lifts being made
  • Experience gained on the service life of slings used in similar circumstances. 

NOTE ON SAFETY & REPAIRS

Slings must be repaired by the sling manufacturer, or a qualified person, per ASME B30.9. 

As mentioned above, a sling must be inspected by a designated competent person before it’s used to determine that the sling meets the manufacturer’s required specifications. 

Employers must take necessary measures to protect and ensure the health, safety and physical well-being of every worker. The employer must use methods and techniques intended for the identification, control and elimination of risks to their workers. The inspection of lifting equipment is required to satisfy this obligation.


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.

Modular Construction Trending: Innovative Workspaces

modular construction project hercules slr

WHAT’S MODULAR CONSTRUCTION? 

Modular construction allows significant portions of work to be completed, off-site and usually inside in a modular workspace. It doesn’t describe the building itself, but the way it’s built. 

Many think of a mobile home or re-locatable building when they think of prefabricated buildings, but modular construction has become more modern and sophisticated in recent years, which has led to more modular working spaces. Modular construction can be used to build either residential or commercial buildings, although commercial is the most common. 

A modular working approach to construction tends to focus on manufacturing—Read on for an example.  

EXAMPLE: A construction crew builds an office building. Instead of assembling the entire project on-site, individual parts are manufactured indoors. The crew would assemble individual wall panels indoors, and these will later be put up on-site. 

Other parts of the project could be assembled here, too—think washrooms, pre-built wall panels, ped-ways, stairs, and even the roof. 

These parts are assembled in the modular workspace, transported and put together on-site as the construction project progresses—these prefabricated parts are put together with lifting equipment like cranes or aerial lift trucks.  

modular construction capabilities by hercules slr
Modular constructed apartment.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Since modular workplaces are a bit different than traditional construction sites, they can also reduce some of the risk or hazards found on typical construction sites. Safety can be enhanced by modular construction:

  • Less work at height—for example, on many modular projects a roof is lifted to the top with a crane. 
  • Reduce garbage and waste—working off-site can limit the amount of extra material thrown away, and can be recycled for future use. 
  • Community disruption—modular construction and workspaces bring work off-site, making the area more quiet! For example, let’s say you’re building an office on a University campus. Modular construction frees the campus from common construction disruptions (loud machinery, dust, barricades, etc.). 
  • Time—they say time is money, and modular construction can save time compared to working on-site. Prefabrication often takes about half the time and many pieces can be made at once, which lets contractors take on multiple projects, schedules can be planned more ‘tightly’ and projects are finished quickly.  
  • Remote Locations—Modular construction allows work to be taken off-site, which can be a great benefit for more isolated locations. Think—a house in Northern Alberta is mainly assembled indoors, so workers can do less work in frigid, outdoor temperatures. 

MODULAR PROJECTS

One notable modular construction project is the 57-storey skyscraper built in China by entrepreneur Zhang Yue, in just 19 days—yes, you read that right, a whole skyscraper assembled in 19 days altogether. Specifically, the first 20 storeys were assembled in seven days, but various regulations held the project up for a year before the last 37-storeys were built in 12 working days. The final skyscraper has offices that fit 4,000 people, 800 apartments and 19 atriums. 

Zhang has built a number of other buildings using the same method. A skyscraper built using traditional, on-site construction takes about 2-3 years compared to the days Zhang’s projects take to complete.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, modular construction reduces uncomfortable environmental conditions for workers and clients, increases productivity and can reduce harm and injuries.

Traditional construction sites will always have a place in the industry, but it’s an exciting innovation that’s sure to shake things up. 


NEED EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENCE? CALL HERCULES SLR.

Equipment needs regular maintenance like relevant inspections, repairs and proper employee training to operate properly, prevent damage or injuries and work efficiently—consider Hercules SLR your one-stop-shop. We’ll inspect, test & repair your equipment, and fully certify it to comply with national and provincial safety regulations. 

We’ll keep your modular workplace running smoothly and efficiently, so you can complete projects and keep your customers and employees happy. 

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:  

  • Lifting Magnets 
  • Hoists & Cranes 
  • Lifting & Rigging Equipment & Hardware (EX. shackles, slings, beam clamps, pallet lifters, etc.)
  • Fall Protection 

Workplace safety is important in any construction setting—We offer training for: 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING AND CONSTRUCTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TIPS: SECURE YOUR WORKSITE
10 CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRENDS 2018/19
7 MAJOR TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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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.

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Star Struck in Hamilton: Kevin Richardson from Heavy Rescue 401

heavy rescue 401 visits hercules

The Hercules SLR branch in Hamilton, Ontario had a special visitor stop by – Kevin Richardson from the hit Discovery Channel show, Heavy Rescue 401. Read on to find out what he and the Hamilton branch in Hercules SLR got up to during his visit

HERCULES SLR MEETS HEAVY RESCUE 401

heavy rescue 401 at hercules slr
Kevin Richardson of Heavy Rescue 401 and Hamilton, Hercules SLR Branch Manager Brian Moniz

Hercules SLR was excited to have Kevin Richardson at the shop – a name and face you might recognize from hauling wreckage from accidents on the 401. 

Heavy Rescue 401 is a Discover Channel show that focuses on the first responders, tow and rigging companies that clean up accidents on Ontario’s busiest highway. Kevin worked for Metro Towing on the show, and is now with Ken’s Towing. 

Being responsible to clean up accidents in a timely manner on the busiest highway requires the best lifting equipment and service – an 18-wheeler tipped over on the 401 could back up traffic for eight hours, so people like Kevin need to remove the accident, and do it quickly. There’s no one-size fits all method to remove accident wreckage, so people like Kevin need to use different methods and equipment to get the job done.

Kevin came in to pick up a purchase and learn more about how Hercules SLR can help him do his job at Ken’s Towing, safely and effectively.

Brian Moniz, Hamilton Hercules SLR Branch Manager says, “It was really exciting to have Kevin walk in our doors. I’ve actually been watching the show with my family recently, and it’s been a great chance to show them what I do for work! On Heavy Rescue 401, they’ll use wire rope assemblies to lift cars, or rope to tow a truck from the ditch, and I get to show my family the things we work on, sell and what they help people do. Personally, I’m a fan of the show and I really like that I get to see different ways rigging and lifting equipment are applied by the end-user.

HERCULES SLR HELPS HEAVY RESCUE 401’S KEVIN RICHARDSON

Kevin came to Hercules SLR after placing an order with a local competitor. He went to their shop and the order wasn’t complete, or even processed, even though he had placed the order one-month earlier and was promised a one-month turnaround.

Unhappy with the order’s outcome, Kevin stopped by the Hamilton Hercules SLR branch, to see if they could fix his issue.

Our Hamilton branch not only placed his order during the busy holiday season, but promised and delivered a two-week turnaround  compared to the one-month lead time promised to him by the competitor. 

We were especially thrilled to accomplish this during our busy holiday season – typically, turnaround times in Hamilton are actually shorter than two weeks.

heavy rescue 401, ken's towing at hercules slr
Ken’s Towing & Recovery – Kevin’s truck

LEADING WITH SERVICE: HOW HERCULES SLR GOES ABOVE & BEYOND

After waiting the two weeks promised for his order, Kevin came to the Hamilton branch to pick it up and take a short tour.

We know service means more than simply being handed the product  our Hamilton team told Kevin about Hercules SLR’s services he could use, like: 

  •  Hercules SLR custom sling-making services (specifically, we talked about a custom 30ft X 12″ web sling);
  •  Inspection services, which can be delivered on-site or in our shop;
  •  Our exclusive asset management tool CertTracker, which will allow Kevin and the Heavy Rescue 401 crew to pull certifications on the road or straight at a worksite and notify them of upcoming inspection dates. 
Kevin was impressed with the value, timely delivery and personalized service from the Hamilton branch – we hope to see Kevin on the next season of Heavy Rescue 401! 
 
For more information on services at Hercules SLR, check out our blogs: 

SERVICES AT HERCULES SLR


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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events. 

Webbing Sling Q&A: Heavy-Duty Strength for Delicate Lifts

webbing sling from hercules slr

WEBBING SLING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

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

Webbing slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex webbing 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 webbing sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a webbing sling is surprisingly strong. 

There are some misconceptions and often-asked questions about synthetic materials in the industry—so we’ve asked Hercules SLR experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch to help. 

Read on to find out the questions we hear about webbing slings, and how our experts’ answer. 

Q: What are they usually made from? 

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

Q: Do flat webbing 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 colour code webbing slings? This should help me identify them quickly and easily, right?

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

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 sea water, baking soda, bleaches, lye and even blood. Polyamide’s 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?

Answer: Look for the safe-working load (SWL), identification number and the label’s colour 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 ultra-violet 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 a 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?

Answer: Never! 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.

DOWNLOAD OUR SYNTHETIC SLING INSPECTION GUIDE

References: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/alkali, https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation/part-14-cranes-and-hoists 

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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.