Safety Tips | Working on a Roof

Safety Tips | Working on a Roof

Did you know that rooftop falls are responsible for a third of fatal construction falls? Rooftop falls can be a “perfect storm” when it comes to falling hazards, because oftentimes they are from a height high enough to cause serious injury, but low enough that you have little time to react or re-position yourself.

Rooftop falls happen too often, and when they do, they are incredibly dangerous. But the good news is, rooftop falls are easily avoided with proper understanding of hazards and how to combat them.

4 Most Common Rooftop Hazards

Canada’s Occupational Health & Safety Magazine defines the following as the most common hazards you will face when working on a rooftop.

1. Unsecured Access Points

Did you know that many rooftop accidents and injuries don’t occur on the rooftop at all, but happen while accessing it? Proper training on ladder and climbing safety is an extremely important part of rooftop safety. Accidents can happen on the way up and on the way down, so always make sure you’re properly secured and taking the right steps, even when the day is over and you’re excited to get down and head home. And remember, ALWAYS ensure your equipment used to access the roof is properly stabilized and the roof itself is inspected and safe.

2. Roof Construction and Equipment

The roof itself and how it is built can also present a hazard. Things like pipes and vents installed on the roof can be tripping hazards or may stang your gear or tools. Roofs may also have variable heights, soft spots, cracks or loose material that can cause you to lose your footing. Because of this, it’s extremely important to always be aware of your surroundings when working on a roof. A helpful tip is to always make sure your footing is firm before actually shifting your weight – Take the time you need to slowly and safely travel while on a rooftop.

3. Obstructed Views and Poor Edge Awareness

When working on a rooftop, always keep the edge location in the back of your mind. Try to avoid the edge being out of your line of vision as much as possible, and when working in areas that block your view of the edge, be aware and proceed with extra caution. If you’re working in a darker environment, proper lighting must be used to provide a brightly lit workspace. Far too often workers approach the edge without realizing or assume the edge is much farther away than it actually is – Even if you think you have more then enough space, it can creep up on you faster then you think!

4. Structural failure

As we mentioned in #1, it’s important that rooftops be inspected before workers access it, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always eliminate all of the risk. Damage to a roof may not always be obvious, and sometimes you’re the guy being called in to fix the damage, so you can’t avoid it. The best way to keep yourself safe in these situations is to test the strength of the roof before you progress. All rooftop workers should receive training on what to do if they feel the roof begins to fail beneath them. If you question the strength or structural integrity of the roof at all, do not proceed.

But That’s Not All…

By keeping these hazards in mind and doing everything you can to combat them, many rooftop injuries can be avoided. But of course, preventing fall hazards is only one aspect of protecting yourself and your employees. Proper fall protection gear is the other very large aspect of rooftop safety. Fall protection is necessary because no matter how careful you are, accidents can ALWAYS happen, and when they do, your fall protection gear will reduce the amount of damage that will occur, should a fall happen.

If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety laws generally require fall protection measures to be in place. You can check with your jurisdiction as requirements do vary, but in most cases fall protection measures are required. That’s where things like roofers kits and other fall protection equipment come into play. Roofers kits are a great tool for general fall protection while working on a roof, because it provides you with everything you need to safely secure yourself. But, Hercules SLR offers a wide range of fall protection equipment and our experts would be happy to set you up with the right equipment based on your needs – All it takes is a quick phone call or email!

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

Check out this video for a quick reminder on how to secure yourself to a roof:


No amount of safety tips will ever replace proper training! The Hercules Training Academy offers a Fall Protection course that provides students with the fundamental knowledge of working at heights safely. This program meets and exceeds the local regulations, industry standards, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Get in contact now to bring your safety to the next level while working on a roof (or at any height!)

CONTENT 
  • Regulations
  • Hazard assessments
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Calculating fall distance
  • Donning a harness
  • Selecting fall protection equipment
  • Fall protection plans and procedures
  • Selecting anchor points
  • Ladders
  • Elevated Work Platforms
  • Suspension trauma
FORMAT 

The program is a combination of theory and demonstration. Students are evaluated by means of a written test. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued.

CERTIFICATION VALIDITY 

3 Years

DURATION

1 Day

LOCATION

Training is delivered at the Hercules Training Academy or can also be delivered on-site.

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

10 Tips for Time on Your Hands at Home

10 Tips for Time on Your Hands at Home

We are all spending more time at home than usual right now during the ongoing health crisis and with time on our hands, we need to think of ways to occupy ourselves. Here are 10 top tips to keep you entertained.

1. A fun, home DIY project

DIY doesn’t have to be a chore— Why not try your hand at making a rope ottoman. An old tire, some manila rope, and a few tools will have you sitting pretty all summer! Check out our blog here for a how to!

2. At-home movie nights

From Netflix to the Play Store, there are so many options to stream movies at home now! Make some popcorn and dim the lights to turn your den, living room or basement into a home movie theatre. Have fun and make each movie night a different theme like “scary movies,” “rom com’s,” “Thrillers” or “animated classics!”

3. Reading challenge

Take a break from the computer, phone or tablet and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read! Challenge yourself to read something out of your preferred genre, or maybe try to finish a book a week. This is a great way to de-stress and escape from the current, stressful climate.

4. Exercise

Keep your body and immune system strong by doing some home exercise. Your gym may be closed right now, but that doesn’t mean you should slack on your fitness routine! There are thousands of fitness tutorials online ranging from yoga to weight training, that you can follow along with from the comfort of your home.

5. Catch up with loved ones

Physical distancing doesn’t mean we have to stop communicating. Whether it’s through social media, an email or phone call, reach out to friends and family to ask them how they’re doing, have a laugh, or simply catch up.

6. The Friday Food Crawl

With delivery apps a plenty, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite restaurants! Most eateries are offering delivery options now. Look up local restaurants in your neighborhood and make an order! Make it a fun Friday night event with different themes like “Pasta” or “Fish & Chips”

7. Spring cleaning

You know it has to be done, so why not start now? Use this time to clear out your closet, give your kitchen a long-needed deep clean and any other tidying up you’ve been putting off over the last few months. You’ll have a great sense of satisfaction once it’s done and out of the way!

8. Game on!

It’s always a good idea to take a break from the technology once in a while. Board games, card games and puzzles are a great way to have some tech-free fun and bond with family. There are so many different board games on the market and the good thing is, you can order them online.

9. Learn something

Take some time to learn something new while you’re at home! Dust off that camera sitting in your garage, hone your cooking skills, or even take an online class in a subject you’re interested in. Sites like Skillshare, Coursera and even YouTube offer thousands of virtual tutorials and classes to help you learn something new.

10. Pamper yourself—Ladies and Gents

Turn your home into a personal spa paradise! Kick back and do a face mask, manicure, soak your feet, or even get your partner to give you a romantic back massage. Just because your favorite salon or spa is closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some relaxing self-care.

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

We are Open | Hercules Training Academy

Hercules Training Academy remains open during these unprecedented times.

As always, your safety is our priority.

We are adhering to the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advisories to keep you safe in class as well as on the job— through our wide array of safety training programs.

We are committed to serving our communities in this time by providing training that allows essential workers to stay safe and certified on the job. We are also excited to give people the opportunity to seek training that may help them secure employment now and in the future, and support employers and employees that want to use this time to bring their safety and training to the next level.

The Precautions We Are Taking 

  • Classes are limited to 4 students per class (to stay under provincial guidelines of 5, including the instructor)
  • A medical questionnaire must be completed before attending
  • Spacious classrooms ensure that no student is within 6 ft of one another
  • All touchpoints are sanitized multiple times a day including before students arrive, at lunch, and at the end of the day.
  • Dedicated washroom facilities for attendees that are sanitized and not used by staff
  • Providing gloves and (upon request) sanitized PPE for practical course segments
  • Very limited staff on-site that remain in their own offices

Instructor-Led Online and Blended Learning 

We are excited to be offering remote online learning courses via Zoom (a free video-conferencing application). Our talented Instructors will lead these courses and will be able to be seen and spoken to throughout the course.

We will be offering the following courses completely online:

Blended Learning

A small segment of our course offerings require both theory and practical portions to meet certification requirements. For these courses, we will teach the theory portion online via zoom, and the practical portion using our equipment on-site at the Training Academy, by appointment. These will be completed with a maximum of 2 students per group to allow for physical distancing and all equipment used will be cleaned between sessions.

We will be offering the following courses through blended learning:

The Ready to Work Bundle – Starting May 4th

We are also offering a new bundle package called the “Ready to Work Bundle” that has every course you need to beef up your resume. When you sign up for the full bundle you will receive a 20% discount on the total cost of the individual courses.  Looking to jump-start your career once we’re on the other side of these crazy times? This is the opportunity for you! 

The Ready to Work Bundle will take place over the course of a week covering the following. These courses will also be offered individually if you are interested in a select few, but the discount will only apply when signing up for the full bundle. 

Total bundle cost: $744 (20% discount applied for $186 in savings)
All prices listed below are for the individual courses.
  • Day 1: WHMIS with GHS and Lock-out tag-out ($40 and $150)
  • Day 2: Fundamentals of rigging ($215)
  • Day 3: Theory portion Forklift safety and Elevated work platform ($175 each)
  • Day 4: Fall Protection ($175)
  • Day 5: Practical sessions for forklift and EWP

NEW Advanced Rigger Technician 4-Day Program *CONTEST* 

The Hercules Training Academy is launching a NEW Advanced Rigger Technician Program and is celebrating by offering FREE registration to 4 lucky winners – an $1800 value. Head on over to our Facebook page to check out the contest and get your chance to win!

The program will run on the week of May 11th and is scheduled for 4 days.

This program will cover more information and material than any of our other programs. This will be a very interactive course that provides hands-on practical experience. Students will learn to asses loads, how to chose the appropriate rigging equipment & techniques for the job, and then put that knowledge to use by actually moving loads with the use of a crane. This will allow for a much deeper understanding of load centers and how to calculate the centers of a load with a complex shape. Learn more about the course by clicking here!

*Note all participants must have successfully completed a minimum of a 1-day rigging program within the past 24 months


Keep an eye on our social media channels for more exciting news coming soon!

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To learn more about our courses please visit us online here

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

Hercules DIY | Manila Rope Ottomans

Hercules DIY | Manila Rope Ottomans

As we welcome in Spring during these very strange times, thoughts turn to sprucing up the back yard and looking forward to warm summer evenings on the deck with friends (hopefully).

Manila Rope adds some inspiring and affordable touches to your home or cottage landscape. AND…if you purchase Manila Rope between now and the end of May at Hercules SLR, Dartmouth, you’ll get double the AIR MILES Reward Miles. **Terms and conditions apply.

Hercules SLR is proud to support essential services during this difficult time.

We remain open, while adhering to the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advisories. We have established specific drop off and pick up points in-store and you can call ahead to ensure we have everything ready for you before your arrival.

Your safety is our priority and our experts are here for you.

How to: DIY Manila Rope Ottomans

DIY doesn’t have to be a chore— Why not try your hand at making a rope ottoman. An old tire, some manila rope, and a few tools will have you sitting pretty all summer!

Materials

  • An old tire
  • Manila rope (about 150′ of 3/8″ thick rope, or 100′ of 1″ thick rope)
  • 50′ of 3/8″ nylon rope
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Sealer & paintbrush (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wrap the nylon rope around the tire, criss crossing in every direction to form a taut cover over the tire openings.
  2. Beginning at the edge of one side of the tire, wrap the manila rope around the tire and hot glue to the nylon rope as you go. Keep wrapping until the entire sides of the tire are covered.
  3. Continue wrapping when you reach the top of the tire, forming concentric circles across the nylon rope base. You’ll need to glue the manila rope to itself as well as to the nylon rope as you go.
  4. When you reach the center of the top of the tire, trim the excess rope and glue the end in place.
  5. Paint with sealer if you’re using the ottoman outside.

Now how easy was that!

Idea Source: housebeautiful.com

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

April Fools Day | Health & Safety Fails

April Fools Day | Health & Safety Fails

For this April fools day, let’s take a look at 10 health and safety fails that we WISH were a joke. Today we’ll give you a pass to have a quick laugh, but remember, health and safety is no joke! Many of these fails could have lead to serious injury or worse.

If any of these fails seem just a little bit too familiar, now’s the time to change! No shortcut is EVER worth the risk. Reach out to the Hercules Training Academy, and we can make sure you know how to do things efficiently AND safely.

1. Someone Needs A Roofers Kit…

While we can appreciate the efficiency of the human assembly line, these people NEED some fall protection. If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety laws generally require fall protection measures to be in place. For these situations, grab a roofers kit at Hercules SLR complete with an all-purpose fall protection system in one handy container.


2. There’s Got to be A Better Way…

It looks like these guys are in DESPERATE need of some forklift safety training! The Hercules Training Academy has you covered on that one, covering content such as: hazard assessments, regulations, pre-use inspections, equipment stability, operating principles, refueling, and battery care. Contact us to take the course now, before you find yourself in a situation like this!


3. Table + Saw = TableSaw?

Creative but…not safe! Powertools are nothing to mess around with, they must be used properly and for their intended use. Our sister company, Stellar Industrial, can get you set up with the right materials for this type of job! AND from now until April 30th, 2020, when you buy a new SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw, you’ll receive your choice of a FREE upgrade (PCS Integrated Mobile base OR Overarm Dust Collection assembly).


4. Going down…

Any claustrophobes in the crowd? Rest assured, this is NOT what proper confined space entry looks like! The Hercules Training Academy can teach you the correct and safe way to enter a confined space. Our Confined Space Entry & Attendant course includes: regulations, written procedures, hazard assessments, physical hazards and control measures, atmospheric hazards and control measures, confined space permit system, atmospheric gas detection principles, duties and responsibilities of supervisors, entrants and attendants and confined space emergency/rescue plans.


5. Not the Top Rung!!

What SHOULD you do When Climbing Up or Down a Ladder?

Before using a ladder you should always ensure that it is secured correctly—A second person should hold the bottom of long ladders to keep them steady. And don’t forget about your footwear! Make sure your footwear is in good condition and is cleared of mud, water, snow, ice or grease. Footwear with a heel is recommended, as it can help stop the foot from slipping forward on the rugs.

Other things to remember are:

  • Face the stepladder
  • Keep your body centered between side rails
  • Maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on a ladder always
  • Keep a firm grip
  • Place feet firmly on each rung
  • Rise or lower tools and materials using a hoist, hand-line, bucket or other device.
  • If using an extension ladder, be careful when stepping or gripping near the locks as the locks could obscure part of the rung
  • Use the appropriate safety devices when needed (e.g., safety belt, fall restraint, etc.).
  • Check with your jurisdiction for requirements when working at heights near or above 3 metres (10 feet).
  • Only allow one person on a ladder at a time (except when using a specially engineered two-person ladder).

What SHOULDN’T you do When Climbing Up or Down a Ladder?

  • Hurry when moving up or down the ladder
  • Slide down the ladder
  • Jump from a ladder
  • Carry tools or materials in your hand while climbing the ladder
  • Use an aluminum ladder when working near electricity
  • Reach from the centre of a ladder (always climb down and move the ladder if you cannot reach)
  • “Shift” or “walk” a stepladder when standing on it
  • Use tools that require a lot of leverage (e.g. pry bars) as this motion could knock you off balance
  • Stand, climb, or sit on the ladder or pail shelf
  • Allow another person to work below your ladder
  • Stand on or above the top two rungs or steps of a ladder

6. A Tidy Workplace is a…

Workplace housekeeping isn’t just about dusting some selves, it’s an important part of your health and safety measures! Poor housekeeping can be the cause of workplace incidents such as:

  • Trips and slips because of loose objects or wet spots on floors, stairs, and platforms
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Hitting against projecting, poorly stacked items
  • Cutting or puncturing of the skin on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

Plus, depending on the height of that structure…we might be seeing another case of “in serious need of a roofers kit”!


7. The Emergency Exit Blocked by way too Many Layers

It’s really easy for emergency exits to blend into the background and go unnoticed as often times they are not used on a daily basis. Because of this, it’s not rare to see boxes, work stations, garbage containers, and other items getting pushed into their path little by little as they blend into the normal workplace background. The importance of a clear pathway to emergency exits can get overlooked until there’s an emergency, and exits are inaccessible!

8. Shackled in!

This is just…wow. All we have to say about this one is if you’re worksite has things like this going on, PLEASE get in contact. Our rigging experts will set you up with the right materials for the job.


9. Two Feet Firmly on the…

Who held their breath for the first few seconds of this one? We sure did! I don’t think anyone needs to be walked through exactly what’s gone wrong here…we can all feel it in our stomachs. Let’s just say this guy sure could use a Chain Saw Safety course – Another one of the many offerings from the Hercules Training Academy covering, regulations, personal protective equipment, hazard assessment, bucking, notching, limbing and maintenance.

10. Caution: Two Person Lift

For the record, this is NOT a correct two-person lift.

For a safe, correct, two-person lift:

  • Work with a person about your height.
  • Decide in advance which person will direct the move.
  • Keeping knees bent and back straight, lift and raise the load together.
  • Move smoothly together as you carry, keeping the load at the same level.
  • Unload at the same time, keeping knees bent.
  • If moving something up or downstairs, the taller person should be at the lower level.

We hope this list of 10 Health & Safety Fails gave you a little chuckle, but also made you re-think the way you work.

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

The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, and that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.

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

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

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

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

Safety Tips | Working on Scaffolds

Safety Tips | Working on Scaffolds

The most recent report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), showed that 251,508 Canadian’s accepted claims for lost time due to work-related injury or disease in just one year. 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone!

According to Canada’s Occupational Health & Safety magazine, the majority of fall incidents are caused by:

  • Working in areas with poor lighting, slippery walking surfaces, and messy housekeeping practices
  • Missing guardians
  • Missing or misusing fall-protection equipment
  • Failing to understand job procedures
  • Neglecting worker training
  • Taking shortcuts while workers rush to meet deadlines
  • Using equipment like a ladder or scaffold that is in poor condition

In today’s blog, we’re going to be focusing on part of that last bullet, narrowing in on what practices you can take to ensure you’re safe while working on scaffolds. While it is only one piece of the complex puzzle that is fall protection & safety, when you’re dealing with the leading cause of workplace injury – It’s worth breaking down each element!

The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) looked into the issue of scaffold safety and found 9 main problem areas which include:

  1. Erecting and dismantling
  2. Improper loading or overloading
  3. platforms not fully planked or “decked”
  4. Platforms without guardrails
  5. Failure to install all required components such as base plats, connections, and braces
  6. Climbing up and down
  7. Moving rolling scaffolds in the vicinity of overhead wires
  8. Planks sliding off or breaking
  9. Moving rolling scaffolds with workers on the platform

Now that we know where the issues lie, let’s take a closer look…

Erecting and Dismantling

This is a big one because the key element to scaffold safety boils down to, (surprise, surprise) the scaffold – and whether it’s been constructed properly. The IHSA found that 15% – 20% of scaffold-related injuries involve erecting and dismantling. This can be avoided by having the proper training! Scaffolds should always be built by a competent person who has undergone training by a certified professional. Erecting scaffolding isn’t as simple as it may look, but you can learn how to do it the right way by taking a simple Scaffolding Training Course.

The IHSA found that injuries to workers erecting scaffolds are most often caused by two elements:

  1. Failure to provide an adequate working platform for a worker to use when installing the next lift of scaffold. Working instead from one or two planks is not recommended.
  2. Failure to use components such as tie-ins, which should be installed as the assembly progresses. If you don’t do this, it makes the scaffold less stable and even though it may not cause it to completely fall over, it can cause it to sway or move enough to knock someone off the platform.

These are things that would be included in training programs and need to be kept in mind by workers who build scaffolds.

Following the scaffolding being build by a trained professional, it should ALWAYS be inspected thoroughly before allowing any workers to get on the structure. The CCOHS recommends looking for the following elements when inspecting a scaffolding.

  • The base is sound, level and adjusted
  • Legs are plumb and all braces are in place
  • Locking devices and ties are secured
  • Cross members are level
  • Planks are the proper grade of lumber and have no weak areas, deterioration or cracks
  • Planks, decks, and guardrails are installed and secure
  • I have logged any inspections or repairs

Improper Loading or Overloading

Riggers know the importance of never exceeding the Working Load Limit (WLL) and scaffolds are no different! Overloading can cause excessive deflection in planks and can lead to deterioration and breaking. Keeping track of the weight of materials being brought up the scaffold is key to ensure you do not overload. Also, note that if materials are left overhanging the edges of the scaffold platform it can cause the scaffold to become imbalanced leading to overturning.

Platforms not Fully Planked or “Decked”

Platforms that are not fully planked or decked can cause injury during both erections/dismantling and general use. You can avoid these safety hazards by following the following tips, as suggested by the CCOHS.

  • Use wooden and metal decks according to job requirements, standards, occupational health and safety regulations, and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Only secure planks at the ends to prevent lengthwise movement. Wiring down planks can also prevent movement, provided wire does not create a tripping hazard. Where planks overlap, rest the cleated end on the support. Do not secure elsewhere on the plank to prevent splitting.
  • Make sure that adjoining planks are of uniform thickness for an even platform.
  • Lay planks side by side across the full width of the scaffold.
  • Check hooks and hardware of prefabricated platform units regularly for looseness, distortion, and cracks. Damage can occur if the platforms are dropped or thrown.
  • Do not jump on the planks to test their strength. Jumping can cause undetectable damage.

Platforms Without Guardrails

Over one-third of the falls from scaffolds are from platforms less than 3 meters (10 feet) in height. Health in Safety laws generally do not require fall protection to be in place until the height exceeds this height (but it’s never a bad idea to use fall protection anyways!), so it’s important that guardrails are a measure in place for not only high platforms but lower ones as well. Falls from even just 10 feet can still cause injury, and I think everyone can agree they’d like to avoid them. Typically, guardrails are recommended during normal use for all
scaffold platforms over 1.5 meters (5 feet) high.

Guardrails for all working platforms should consist of a top rail, a midrail, and a toeboard!

Failure to Instal All Required Components

Have you ever completed an Ikea project just to realize there’s a bolt or screw still sitting in the bag and decided it’s probably fine without it? While you can probably get away with this when we’re talking about a cheap bookshelf, you cannot get away with this on a scaffold. This is a typical hazard seen when workers cut corners, especially on scaffolds that are only a few frames in height. But no matter the height, failing to install components like base plates, braces, adequate tie-ins or proper securing devices can lead to a serious safety hazard. You’ll regret being in a rush when the project has to go on hold as workers spend time off due to injury, or worse – Use the knowledge you take in during training and ensure you’re performing all the proper steps.

Climbing Up and Down

This is another big one, with 15% of scaffold-related injuries occurring when workers are climbing up and down the scaffold. Climbing up and down scaffold frames is, unfortunately, a common practice, but is not an acceptable practice. Ladders should always be used to climb up and down scaffolds unless the structure has been specially designed to be climbed. A staircase should be built if the scaffold is going to be used for an extended period of time.

Bonus Tip: Ensure you’re using proper climbing techniques when using the ladder to climb up and down the scaffold, including the three-point contact rule.

Electrical Contact with Overhead Wires

While it is not common for scaffolds to come in contact with electrical wires, when it does happen, it unfortunately, has been linked to fatality. Often times these hazards occur when moving scaffolds, so when moving them in outdoor open areas, ensure that no overhead wires are in the immediate vicinity. If there are overhead wires that may come in contact with the scaffold while moving it, it should be partially dismantled to ensure it has a safe clearance.

The required minimum safe distance from overhead wires as determined by the ISHA are the following, but may differ in your jurisdiction:

  • 750 to 150,000 volts = 3 metres (10 feet)
  • 150,001 to 250,000 volts = 4.5 metres (15 feet)
  • over 250,000 volts = 6 metres (20 feet)

Planks Sliding Off or Breaking

Many scaffold injuries involved problems with the planks – usually caused by the planks being uncleated or unsecured any sliding around or completely off. Scaffold planks are also known to break if they are in poor condition or overloaded, which can also present a serious safety hazard. Therefore, it is very important that you use the proper grade of lumber. The excessive overhang can also cause a plank to tip up if a worker were to stand on the overhanging portion.

It’s also important that planks are regularly inspected for large knots, wormholes, steeply sloping grain at the edges, spike knots, and splits. Splits wider than 10 mm (3/8 in), lengthwise closer than 75 mm (3 in.) to the edge of the plank, or lengthwise longer than ½ the length of the plank is not acceptable. Discard immediately any planks showing these or other defects. Also ensure ice, snow, oil, and grease are cleaned off planks – Platform decks should be slip-resistant and should not accumulate water.

Moving Rolling Scaffolds with Workers on the Platform

Moving a rolling scaffold with workers on the platform can be very dangerous. If it is impractical for workers to climb down before moving a scaffold, and it’s taller then 3 meters (10 feet), all workers must be tied off with a full-body harness and lanyard with lifelines attached to a suitable anchor point other then the scaffold. However, in some jurisdictions moving a scaffold with workers on the platform at all is prohibited if the platform exceeds a certain height, so ensure to check for these and other related regulations.


Click on the image above to view the full course details.

As mentioned above, all of these tips are meant to be things to keep in mind for workers who have already completed a scaffold safety course. If you’re still in need of proper scaffolding safety training, reach out to The Hercules Training Academy!

The Hercules SLR Scaffolding Safety Course is designed to assist the participant in reaching the objective of obtaining a thorough knowledge of the hazards associated with the erection and dismantling of scaffolds. The program is a combination of theory and practical training. Students are evaluated by means of a written and
practical evaluation. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued which is valid for 3 years as per Provincial Legislation Requirments.

Content includes:

  • Regulations and Standards specific to System Scaffolding
  • Components of System Scaffolding
  • Parts Inspection
  • Erection/Dismantling Planning
  • Guys, Ties, and Braces
  • Fall Protection
  • General Scaffold Safety
  • Access and Platforms
  • Erection and Dismantling procedures

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

 

Herc How-To | Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

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

In Canada, the rigging industry recognizes the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards for securing, rigging and lifting industries. Standard ASME B30.9 applies to wire rope slings, chain slings, web slings or synthetic slings and round slings.

In-between those required inspections, it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your workplace safety and perform pre-operation inspections. Below are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your required annual (or otherwise) inspections are being kept up with, and you’re equipped with the knowledge necessary to ensure they are safe in-between.

Who should inspect chain slings?

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

When should you inspect chain slings?

A thorough examination, including chain usage, should be carried out by a competent person at least every year or more frequently according to statutory regulations, type of use and past records. If slings are being used in extreme conditions, The Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends they be inspected every 3 months instead of the standard once per year. Inspections must be recorded.

Click to download the PDF

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

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

The CCOHS recommends the following steps to properly inspect a chain sling. These are steps that can be referenced when performing daily checks before putting your chain sling to use – But leave the scheduled annual (or monthly) inspections to the trained professionals!

Follow along with our checklist here, or download our printable version to have on hand at your workplace. You’ll find other engaging, practical resources on topics ranging from rigging, warehouse safety, fall protection, personal protective equipment, transportation and more by checking out our full list of toolbox topics.

  • Clean the chain sling before beginning the inspection
  • Check the identification tag to ensure it is legible.
  • Hang the chain sling up or stretch the chain out on a level floor in a well-lighted area. Remove all the twists then measure the sling length to ensure it hasn’t been stretched.
  • Perform a link-by-link inspection of the chain, master link, loads pins, and hooks observing for the following:
  • Observe overall wear, discard if this exceeds 15% of a link diameter.
  • Note any surface damage, discard of you find any cuts, nicks, cracks, gouges, burns (or evidence of heat damage), weld splatters or corrosion pits.
  • Ensure no individual links are closed up or stretched longer and that all links are able to hinge (articulate) freely.
  • Ensure hooks have not been opened more than 15% of the normal throat opening, measured at the narrowest point, or twisted more than 10° from the plane of the unbent hook.
  • Manufacturers’ reference charts show sling and hitch capacities. Record manufacturer, type, load limit, and inspection dates.

 

If you find any of the above-mentioned defaults, remove the chain sling from service immediately. If you see something presenting that’s causing doubt as to the safety of your chain sling, even if it’s not featured on this list, ask the experts! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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

BONUS TIPS: The Dos and Don’ts of Using Chain Slings Safely

Staying on top of mandatory inspections for your chain sling is the best way to ensure it’s up to the task. However, a piece of equipment is only as good as the person using it! Using rigging equipment properly is very important, so proper training is key.

Below are some quick dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using a chain sling. But remember, this does not replace a training course!

Do

  • Always know how to properly use the equipment, slinging procedures before attempting the lift operation. Don’t have that knowledge? Train with the best at the Hercules Training Academy.
  • Inspect the slings and accessories before use for any defects.
  • Replace broken safety latches.
  • Find out the working load limit (WLL) before lifting. Do not exceed the rated load of the sling.
  • Ensure chain slings fit freely – Never force, hammer, or wedge chain slings or fitting into position.
  • Always keep your hands and fingers from between the load and chain when tensioning slings or when landings loads.
  • Ensure the load is free to be lifted.
  • Perform a trial lift and trial lower to ensure the load is balanced, stable and secure.
  • Balance the load to avoid overstress on one sling arm or the load slipping free.
  • Lower the working load limit if severe impact may occur.
  • Pad sharp corners to prevent bending links and to protect the load.
  • Position hooks of multi-leg slings facing outward from the load.
  • Reduce the load limit when using chain slings in temperatures above 425°C (800°F).
  • Store chain sling arms on racks in assigned areas and not lying on the ground. The storage area should be dry, clean and free of any contaminants which may harm the sling.

Don’t

  • Avoid impact loading: do not jerk the load when lifting or lowering the sling. This motion increases the actual stress on the sling.
  • Do not allow access to the lifting area to unnecessary personal.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.
  • Do not drag chains over floors or attempt to drag a trapped sling from under a load. Do not use a sling to drag a load.
  • Do not use worn-out or damaged slings.
  • Do not lift on the point of the hook.
  • Do not overload or shock load a sling.
  • Do not trap slings when landing the load.
  • Do not splice a chain by inserting a bolt between two links.
  • Do not shorten a chain with knots or by twisting other than by means of an integral chain clutch.
  • Do not force or hammer hooks into place.
  • Do not use homemade connections. Use only attachments designed for the chain.
  • Do not heat treat or weld chain links: the lifting capacity will be reduced drastically.
  • Do not expose chain links to chemicals without the manufacturer’s approval.
  • Do not stand in line with or next to the leg(s) of the sling that is under tension.
  • Do not stand or pass under a suspended load.
  • Do not ride on sling.

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

We inspect, repair, and certify:

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

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

Friday the 13th | 13 Ways to work SAFER

Friday the 13th | 13 Ways to work SAFER

Don’t give Friday the 13th any ammunition, kick up your workplace safety this Friday the 13th!

Read on for 13 quick tips to enhance your workplace safety in (un)celebration of Friday the 13th. Don’t leave your workplace safety to luck, put safety tips like these to work so you can rest assured you’ll return home safe each and every day…Even on the unlucky days!

1. Place Importance In Your Workplace Safety

When it comes to workplace safety, the #1 most important thing is that YOU place value in working safe. All the training, preparation and safety measures in the world cannot combat a lack of interest – You must be in charge and value your own safety. It can be easy to sink into a routine at work, but sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and evaluating. Are you taking the time to put on all your required PPE? Are you following safety procedures? Are you rushing through work that should be done with more care? Don’t let yourself look back and say, “I wish I would have been more careful!”

2. Report Unsafe Conditions

The 2nd most important aspect of workplace safety is reporting unsafe conditions or safety hazards. Employee observations can be extremely important in preventing accidents. Even the best of employers with safety front of mind can miss safety hazards if they are not reported. Especially within large organizations, leaders may not see all aspects of every department, and you can’t fix something you don’t know is broken! For this reason, it is extremely important to report ANYTHING you think maybe a safety hazard. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

3. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

All too often when workplace safety incidents happen, you hear the employee say they just didn’t see it coming. Injuries that take place because workers are not aware of the machinery or objects around them are 100% preventable. Being aware of your surroundings is an easy first step in taking ownership of your safety at work. Not sure where to start? Start with surveying your work area before performing any tasks including:

  • Ensure that you have enough space to do your work
  • Identify energy sources that require lockout/tagout procedures
  • Look for hazards in your work area such as: low-hanging overhead objects, sharp edges or surfaces, standing water, exposed wiring, unguarded equipment, general work environment conditions
  • Make sure that all safety devices on your equipment are in good working order before use
  • Discuss work status and potential hazards with coworkers in your area and/or the person you are replacing at shift change prior to starting any work
  • Always finish off by asking yourself: Is there anything in my work area that poses a threat to my safety, and if so, to what extent? Is the threat great enough that I should stop working immediately? Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk exposure so that I can continue to work safely?

4. Keep Emergency Exits Clear

It’s really easy for emergency exits to blend into the background and go unnoticed as often times they are not used on a daily basis as they are connected to a system that triggers an alarm when they are opened. Because of this, it’s not rare to see boxes, work stations, garbage containers, and other items getting pushed into their path little by little as they blend into the normal workplace background. The importance of a clear pathway to emergency exits can get overlooked until there’s an emergency, and exits are inaccessible. Furthermore, these things could potentially cause a greater hazard should anyone trip or fall over them and get injured while trying to exit in an emergency. Because of this, always take care in where emergency exits are and ensure that they are clear at all times.

5. Keep up With Maintenance and Inspections

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

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs, and certifies:

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

6. Lockout / Tagout

As much as we’d like to wish it didn’t, equipment breaks—When it does, it’s important to know what to do, especially if that piece of equipment conducts hazardous energy. That’s where the lockout/tagout system comes into play!

What are the Basic Steps of the Lockout/Tagout system?

This is a process that involves more than simply putting a lock and tag on a switch. Communication, coordination and proper training are key in successfully following the step-by-step process. You should always consult your organization’s lockout program document and follow the detailed instructions provided.
An abbreviated overview of the steps of a lockout/tagout program include:

  1. Prepare for shutdown – The authorized person will identify any sources of energy connected to the equipment, and choose the proper method of control.
  2. Notify all affected employees – The authorized person will notify all affected personnel of what is going to be lock/tagged out, why it will be locked/tagged out, how long they should expect the equipment to be unavailable, who is responsible for the lockout/tagout and who to contact for more information.
  3. Equipment Shutdown – Following the manufacturer’s instructions or in-house work instructions the equipment is shut down ensuring all controls are in the off position and all moving parts have come to a complete stop.
  4. Isolation of System from Hazardous Energy – In most cases, there will be exact written instructions guiding you as so how to cut off different forms of energy found within your workplace. General CCOHS procedures can be found here.
  5. Removal of residual or stored energy – Following manufacturer instructions ensure any stored energy within the system has dissipated.
  6. Lockout/Tagout – Once you’re sure all energy sources are blocked, the system is locked and tagged to ensure it stays in an off and safe position. Each lock should only have one key, and each person working on the system should have their OWN lock.
  7. Verify Isolation – Verify that the system is properly locked out before any work is completed.
  8. Perform Maintenance or Service Activity – Complete the job required while the system is locked and off.
  9. Remove Lockout/Tagout Devices – Inspect the work area to ensure all tools have been removed, confirm that all employees are safely away from the area, verify that controls are in a neutral position, remove devices, re-energize the machine and notify affected employees that servicing is completed.

Following the correct steps in locking and tagging out equipment is the best way to ensure that nobody is harmed while performing maintenance as well as no piece of equipment is used while broken-down.

7. Keep Correct Posture

We all know the age-old saying, “lift with your legs, not your back!” but keeping correct posture in mind is important for all employees, not just those doing the heavy lifting. Even if you work at a desk, proper posture can help you avoid back injuries, neck pain, and even carpal tunnel. And of course, you only have one back, so if you are heavy lifting, do keep proper posture and technique in mind and don’t be afraid to call on the help of a partner if you think it’s too heavy to take on alone – Plus, things like forklifts and dollies exist for a reason, get trained and put them to use!

8. Take Your Breaks

Regulated and scheduled breaks are put in place for a reason, take them! Tired workers are the most prone to accidents and incidents. You can’t expect yourself to be on your toes and aware of your surroundings if you’re worn out and tired. Take time on your breaks to rest and recharge so you can return to work refreshed – You’ll get more done in a more timely manner anyways! Another tip to help out with tiredness at work is to schedule as many of your difficult tasks at the beginning of your shift, when you have the most energy, and easier tasks for the end of the day when you’re tank of energy is running low.

9. Proper PPE

Personal protective equipment is the last line of defense for workers against hazards. The PPE you use will depend on your work environment, work conditions and the job being performed. It’s important to remember that there are many different variations of PPE and some may be made of materials suitable for one purpose, but not another.

Personal protective equipment does not guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer, and should be used coupled with other measures to reduce hazards in the workplace. As well, simply having access to some general PPE isn’t enough—to ensure your PPE is providing you with the highest level of protection you must:

  • Carefully select the correct type of PPE based on the type of hazard and degree of protection required
  • Train users to ensure the proper use and fit of the PPE
  • Store and maintain the PPE correctly according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Maintain high-quality PPE by performing regular inspections and discarding/replacing any defective pieces.

10. No Procedure Shortcuts

Workplace procedures exist for a reason – To keep employees safe! Especially if those procedures have to do with heavy machinery, it’s important to know you’re using every tool and machine according to instruction and procedure. Shortcuts may seem enticing, but are never worth the small amount of time they may save you, especially if it results in injury. If you’re not sure of proper procedure, always reach out to your employer for clarity – Proper training is step one!

11. Practice Ladder Safety

Before using a ladder you should always take a moment to inspect both the ladder and the area in which you are using it. Before each use, make sure your ladder is in good working condition and doesn’t need any repairs. Good things to look out for are:

  • Missing, loose or damaged steps or rungs (you should not be able to move or shift these by hand)
  • Loose nails, screw, bolts or nuts
  • Rot, decay or warped rails in wooden ladders
  • Cracks and exposed material in fiberglass ladders
  • Rough or splintered surfaces
  • Corrosion, rust, oxidization or excessive wear
  • Twisted or distorted rails
  • Loose or bent hinges or pail shelf
  • Wobble of any kind

If any of these things are present in your ladder, it should not be used and should only be repaired by a trained professional—Don’t try to make temporary makeshift repairs or attempt to straighten bent or bowed ladders on your own.

12. Fall Protection

The most recent report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), showed that 251,508 Canadian’s accepted claims for lost time due to work-related injury or disease in just one year. Did you know that approximately 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone? You can prevent falls and incidents like these by wearing proper fall protection equipment, and wearing it right.

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

13. Workplace Housekeeping

Workplace housekeeping isn’t just about dusting some selves, it’s an important part of your health and safety measures! Poor housekeeping can be the cause of workplace incidents such as:

  • Trips and slips because of loose objects or wet spots on floors, stairs, and platforms
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Hitting against projecting, poorly stacked items
  • Cutting or puncturing of the skin on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

Effective housekeeping programs require ongoing management and attention. It focuses on more than just keeping the workplace neat and tidy, but also deals with the layout of the workplace, aisle marking, storage facilities, and maintenance. A big part of proper workplace housekeeping is ensuring that everything that comes into the workplace has a plan as to where it will be, how it will be handled, and how it will leave the space – including disposal procedures. Often times, injuries result from materials being stored improperly, but that can easily be avoided by having a storage plan and procedure in place.


You may have noticed a core theme in many of our 13 tips, and that’s being in the know! The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, and that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.

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

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

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

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

International Women’s Day | Innovative Industry Inventions

International Women’s Day |Innovative Industry Inventions

Tomorrow (March 8th) is international women’s day! In celebration, we here at Hercules SLR would like to take this week’s blog to talk about some of the amazing women who have made contributions to the industries we serve.

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

1. Windshield Wipers – Invented by Mary Anderson

What do you do to pass the time when stuck in traffic? Listen to music? Maybe put on your favorite podcast? Well, when female inventor Mary Anderson got stuck in New York City traffic due to drivers needing to repeatedly get out of their cars to clear snow off their windshield, she thought of an invention that would forever change the way we safely operate motor vehicles. She thought, what if there were a sort of blade that could wipe off the windshield without the need to exit the car? When Mary Anderson returned home to Birmingham she made a sketch of her device, wrote a description, and applied for a patent.

The patent stated that the wiper would be used by a handle inside the car, that’s easily removable, “thus leaving nothing to mar the usual appearance of the car during fair weather,” as stated on the official patent. This patent was filed in June of 1903 and rewarded in November of the same year, referred to at the time as a “Window Cleaning Device”. However, when trying to garner interest from manufacturing firms to have her device be put into production, she was always turned down. Many believe this was the case because she was a very independent woman acting with no relationship to a father, husband or son. Though she didn’t end up making any money off her invention, she is now recognized for her contribution to the modern-day windshield wiper!

2. Geobond Invented by Patricia Billings

Who says you can’t be a scientist and an artist? Patricia Billings, sculptor by trade, became frustrated at her creations taking months to create just to be ruined by accidentally being bumped into and shattering. After eight years of experimenting in her basement, in 1997, she eventually came to her solution which was the creation of Geobond.  Although it started as a crack and shatter-resistant sculptor material she eventually discovered the material was heat resistant, with the ability to withstand temperatures over 6,500 degrees! An incredible leap forward in fire protection and prevention.

After patenting her creation, she began immediately selling the Geobond plaster as an alternative to the material asbestos. Asbestos, used in construction for its heat resistant, strong and insulating characteristics, has also been shown to cause cancer, while Geobond is fire-resistant, virtually indestructible AND non-toxic. Today, Geobond is still the main building plaster available in the United States and Patricia has remained at the top of her company into her 80s – What a rockstar!

3. Kevlar- Stephanie Kwolek 

Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, branded Kevlar, was invented by female Polish-American chemist Stephaine Kwolek while working for DuPont in anticipation of a gasoline shortage. In 1964 she and her group was tasked with searching for a new lightweight strong fiber to use to create a light, but strong, tires. When she first successfully worked with the polymers that lead to Kevlar, the technician saw no potential in her findings and was going to throw them away, but Stephanie Kwolek persuaded him to test her solution and he has amazed to find the fiber did not break.

By 1971, modern Kevlar was introduced off the back of Stephanie Kwolek’s discovery, however, she was not very involved in developing the applications of Kevlar – but that’s to be expected as her expertise was in the science!

Fun fact: Kevlar’s first commercial used was as a replacement for steel in racing tires!

4. Long Cycle-Life Nickel-Hydrogen Battery Invented by OlgaGonzalez-Sanabria

in 1979 Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria, chemical engineer, joined NASA, where she worked for almost 30 years. Olga is best known for her role in developing long-life nickel hydrogen batteries that help power the International Space Station’s (ISS) power systems. The ISS rotates the earth every 90 minutes and for a third of this time, it has no direct sunlight. These long-life, high power batteries allow the station to be powered during this time when the solar cells are not able to do so.

While many people may not be aware of Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria and her invention’s contributions, long cycle-life nickel-hydrogen batteries have enabled so many innovations to happen on the ISS including contributing to global water purification programs, improving eye surgery, pioneering new breast cancer detection technology and enabled the world to better monitor climate change!

5. Home Security System – Invented by Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown was working as a nurse, and like most nurses, did not work regular 9-5 hours. She found herself home alone at odd hours of the day and felt concerned. The crime rate in her neighborhood increase and police response time was notoriously low, so Marie wanted a way to feel less vulnerable.

Working with her husband, who was an electronics technician, the two designed a home security system. One of Marie’s main concerns what needing to answer the door alone, so they began by mounting a camera that was connected to a monitor added to her kitchen cabinet and bedroom, that could move up and down looking through four different peepholes depending on the height of the individual. If the homeowner was concerned about the person at the door, a button could be pushed that would sound an alarm notifying a security firm, neighborhood watchman or a nearby neighbor and if it was a friendly face, another button could be pushed to unlock the door. A patent for this was filed in August of 1966, and today brown’s patent is referenced by 13 subsequent inventors who trace their own security systems back to some element of her and her husband’s!

6. Fire Escape – Invented by Anna Connelly

In the 19th century, apartment buildings were beginning to add floors, multi-level factories were starting to pop up and public buildings were getting bigger. These buildings were often made of wood, so if a fire started, they burned quickly. At the time, fire department ladders could only reach 4 floors, so it was difficult if not impossible to aid people any higher then this.

In an attempt to solve this issue, Anna Connelly designed an iron-railed fire escape bridge that would be installed to connect the rooftops of neighboring buildings. This allowed for people trapped on top floors to travel up to the roof, cross over and then down using the staircase of the neighboring building. This was patented in 1887 and is thought to be the first of many fire escape systems that continued to improve into the modern versions we have today!

7. Life Raft – Invented by Maria Beasley

At age 44 Maria Beasley left her career as a dressmaker a became a “serial inventor”. Her first patent was in 1878 for a barrel-hooping machine that spead up the manufacturing of barrels, allowing for 1,500 barrels a day. She then went on to invent other things including foot warmers, cooking pans and anti-derailment devices for trains, but her most renowned was her life raft design in 1882.

Before Maria Beasley’s design, rafts were simply made out of planks of wood, but her design was fire-proof, compact, safe, easy to launch and featured protective guard railings. These rafts were the ones on board the Titanic and were responsible for saving 706 lives!

Maria Beasley’s design was one of the first innovations in offshore safety, which has come such a long way since 1878. If you’re ever in the market for some modern-day sea safety gear, check out Hercules SLR’s sister company Spartan Marine

8. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Invented by Ruth Wakefield

While this invention may not draw quite as a direct correlation to the advancement of the industrial industry…we all have to take snack breaks right? It can be argued that the invention of the chocolate chip cookie brought with it advancements in all industries, because who isn’t just a little bit happier and productive after a sweet treat?

It’s difficult to imagine a world without chocolate chip cookies, but who knew something so perfect was actually created completely by accident? In 1930 Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, ran an Inn called the Toll House Inn. Ruth was a dietician and food lecturer, so she prepared all the food for the guests at the inn. One night, she decided to make a batch of Chocolate butter Drop Do Cookies, a popular old colonial recipe, but when she started to bake she released she was out of baker’s chocolate. Ruth decided to chop up a block of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate that had been given to her (by Andrew Nestle himself!) and expected that the chocolate would melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. But, of course they didn’t and it resulted in the creation of the chocolate chip cookie!


Happy international women’s day to all the hardworking women breaking down stereotypes and achieving amazing things in the industrial sector. Thank you for making the strides you do each and every day, we at Hercules Group of Companies recognize and celebrate your accomplishments despite historical basis working against you.

We have some pretty amazing women working within the Hercules Group of Companies that we’d also like to recognize! Below we have linked a few of their profiles so you can learn more about their roles here, career advice, what they love about the rigging industry and so much more!

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

Product Spotlight | Crosby Shackles

Product Spotlight | Crosby Shackles

Crosby is one of the most recognizable names in the rigging industry, and has been for over 100 years. Crosby makes over 2,000 rigging and lifting products to meet all your hoisting needs, and Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center.

Focusing today on Crosby shackles, as Crosby says, “there is no equal”. When you buy Crosby, you’re getting some attributes that are guaranteed when you buy their rigging and lifting equipment. The attributes that make Crosby shackles stand out from the rest include:

  • Design – Crosby carbon shackles have the highest design factor (6 to 1) in the industry. Crosby purchases only special bar forging quality steel with cleanliness and guaranteed hardenability. All material chemistry is independently verified prior to manufacturing to assure that strength, ductility and fatigue properties are met.
  • Closed Forged – Each shackle is closed die forged which allows for an increased cross-section that, when coupled with quenched and tempering, enhances strength and ductility. Close tolerance holes and concentric pins with good surface finishes are provided by Crosby and are proven to provide improved fatigue life in actual use. Crosby shackles are fatigue rated as well as load rated.
  • Quenched and Tempered – All Crosby shackle bows and pins are quenched and tempered, which enhances their performance under cold temperatures and adverse field conditions. Crosby’s Quenched and Tempered shackles provide the tensile strength, ductility, impact and fatigue properties that are essential if they are to perform time after time in adverse conditions. These properties assure that the inspection criteria set forth by ANSI will effectively monitor the ability of the shackles to continue in service.
  • Identification and Application Information – Crosby forges “Crosby” or “CG”, the Working Load Limit, and the Product Identification Code (PIC) into each bow and “Crosby” or “CG”, and the Product Identification Code (PIC) into each pin of its full line of screw pin, round pin, and bolt type
    anchor and chain shackles.

Crosby creates a variety of different shackles ranging in size, type, class, capacity and more to exceed the toughest demands of any industry, including land-based and offshore energy, construction and infrastructure, cargo handling and towing, marine, mining, and transportation. Below we take a bit of a closer look into a few of the key shackles in Crosby’s extensive library – But if you aren’t seeing something you’d like to know a bit more about, reach out! Our experts are always happy to help.

Anchor Shackles

An anchor shackle can be identified by it’s larger round “O” shaped bow. They are sometimes referred to as bow shackles, however, a bow shackle typically has a larger, more defined “bow” area than an anchor shackle. This “bow” we’re referring to allows for single or multiple leg slings to be collected in the bow, and for it to be sideloaded. This is an essential process used in a variety of material handling applications, making anchor shackles one of the most widely used of the shackle family.

Wide Body Shackles

You can pick out a wide-body shackle from it’s much larger bow cross-section. This wider shape provides an array of advantages, especially in heavy lifting applications. The significant gain in the sling bearing surface eliminates the need for a thimble and makes for an easier time dealing with synthetic Nylon and Polyester slings. It also increases the useable sling strength, which can greatly improve the overall life of wire rope slings.

Chain Shackles

Chain shackles are often known as D-shackles (or dee shackles) which refers to the “D” shape. This design is narrower than a bow or anchor shackle and generally has a threaded pin or pin close. Their design enables efficient movement of materials, particularly in compact lifting environments. Don’t be fooled by the name “chain shackle”—this type of shackle is used primarily with single-legged wire rope slings and various attachment points. The smaller loop is designed to take high loads primarily in line. Side and racking loads may twist or bend a D or chain shackle.

Theatrical Shackles

Theatrical shackles are specially designed for the entertainment industry. They are designed with all the strength and dependability of a standard shackle but have a black finish that allows it to blend in with the stage surroundings. This allows theatrical riggers (also known as grips) to rig in a safe and dependable way, using industry-standard equipment without distracting from the on-stage action.

Crosby supplies one of the most-used theatrical shackles in the entertainment industry which features a flat black baked-on powder coat finish which gives it the matte black, easy to blend in look you see in the photo.

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Shackles

ROV shackles are a piece of equipment that is heavily relied on in the subsea industry. In the early days of subsea rigging, standard shackles were being used, but since work with these shackles are done completely by divers or remotely operated vehicles, standard shackle pins and nuts were far too difficult to work with. ROV shackles are specially designed with handles to allow for different robotic grips which make this far easier. They are also made with industry-standard colors to be highly visible which makes them much easier to locate under their conditions.

Shackle Variations

As you saw above, with the anchor shackles and chain shackles, we featured two different variations of that shackle – A screw pin shackle and a round pin shackle or bolt type shackle.

Screw pin shackles

Screw pin shackles feature a threaded pin that is inserted through the ears and tightened. These shackles are often the choice for applications where slings and other hardware are being changed out often, and they are not recommended for permanent or long-term use. Screw pin shackles can be used in multi-leg sling assemblies and where side-loading may occur, but the WLL must be accounted for.

Tip: Be cautious of a live line where the screw pin is being rotated, torqued, or twisted because it can cause the pin to unthread itself. This is also why it’s important to tighten the pin prior to each lift.

Round Pin shackles

Round pin shackles have a round unthreaded pin that is secured in its place by a cotter pin. This variation is the most popular in tie-down, towing, suspension or applications where the load is in a strict line. They are known for performing well under conditions in which they are subject to torque or twisting and are not recommending for overhead lifting. They are also not recommended for use in attaching multiple-leg slings or in any application where load sliding is a possibility.

Bolt Type Shackles

Bolt type shackles can look similar to a round pin shackles at first glance but are a more secure option. It features a combination of a bolt and nut along with the cotter pin. These shackles can be used in any applications appropriate for the round pin shackle or screw pin shackle – With the ability to handle rotation or torque. These are often the most popular choice for permanent or long-term installations because the nut and cotter pin combination eliminate the need to tighten the pin prior to each lift!

How to Choose a Shackle?

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s table for the safe working load limit (WLL) of the shackle. The rated capacity should always be printed on the shackle and be visible.
  • Shackles are sized according to the diameter of the bow section rather than the pin size – So never use a shackle if the distance between the eyes is greater than listed in the manufacturer’s table.
  • Always consult the manufacturer if you are using shackles in extreme conditions such as temperature higher then 204°C or lower than -40°C or exposure to corrosive fumes.

7 Quick Tips For Using Shackles

  1. Inspect shackles regularly and replace any that show any of the following:
    • Stretching and wear
    • Bending
    • Distortion, surface blemishes, wear, and fractures
  2. Never replace the shackle pin with a bolt or unidentified pin – You risk the bolt being bent by the load or possibly completely failing.
  3. Do not allow a shackle to be pulled at an angle, this will cause the legs to open. Avoid this by packing the pin with washers to center the shackle.
  4. Avoid using a screw pin shackle or fit pins in contact with moving parts if the pin can roll and unscrew. If the load shifts, the sling can unscrew the shackle pin.
  5. Do not use round pin shackles restrained by only a cotter pin for overhead lifting.
  6. Never force, hammer or wedge shackles into position.
  7. Never exceed a 120-degree lifting angle when using multiple-leg slings.

Why shop around? When you buy Crosby rigging equipment from Hercules SLR, you don’t just get a shackle or an eye bolt—You get unparalleled asset management service (did we mention it’s free?), qualified inspection technicians for service & preventive maintenance and peace-of-mind knowing your equipment is safe to lift, hoist or move.

See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.

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