What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

crosby rigging equipment

What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

Have you ever considered where your Crosby rigging and lifting equipment and hardware comes from?

The hooks, shackles, chain, and other rigging accessories you use on the job, and trust to keep you and your load safe, began as simple, raw materials. These raw materials were then forged, assembled and finished into the final product that you buy from rigging shops like Hercules SLR.

Curious about your rigging equipment’s journey from manufacturing to your hands? With Crosby’s Vertically Integrated Supply Chain, you know exactly where the raw materials used to create your rigging hardware originate and where the product is manufactured.

WHAT MAKES CROSBY’S SUPPLY CHAIN SO SPECIAL?

Check out the video below and learn what sets Crosby’s vertically-integrated supply chain apart.

Crosby Rigging Equipment: Key Attributes

Why choose Crosby rigging equipment? Here are some of the characteristics you’re guaranteed to get when you buy Crosby rigging and lifting equipment.

Drop forge Manufacturing: Crosby operates on an over 100 year proven process of forming heated steel bars into fished shapes through compression forces. This provides desirable material properties and efficient shapes for superior product performance.

Job-ready Markings: All Crosby materials feature raised lettering showing the brand, working load limit (WLL), and angle indicators to ensure you are able to choose the proper product is easily identified prior to every lift. This will help costumers avoid incorrect product selection or determination of load angles, which can lead to overloading, and serious safety hazards.

Full-cycle Quench and Temper Heat Treatment: In order to properly transform the micro-structure of drop forgings (fancy right?!) products are re-heated after forging, then quenched and tempered* using tightly controlled processes and equipment. This heat treatment provides consistent temperature control and results in superior material properties.

*But what in the world is quenching and tempering? The process of quenching or “quench hardening” involves heating the material and then rapidly cooling it to set the components into place as quickly as possible. Tempering is achieved by heating the quenched material to below the critical point for a set period of time, then allowing it to cool in still air.

Material Performance: Strength, ductility, fatigue, resistance, and toughness are four highly important material characteristics that are necessary for safe lifting. Each of these things are verified through rigorous testing to reflect how the product will perform in the field. All Crosby drop-forged hardware exceeds these necessary requirements which means they:

  • will always meet load rating,
  • deform when overloaded for visual indication,
  • are suitable for continuous use,
  • have improved resistance to fracturing.

Crosby qualified distributor network: Hercules SLR is proud to be a Crosby qualified distributor. All distributors are selected through a rigorous verification process and only distributors with deep knowledge and capability in lifting and rigging are chosen. Hercules SLR will make sure you get the right equipment at the right time with unparalleled support prior, during, and after your lift.

So, What is a Vertically Integrated Supply Chain?

When someone says “vertically integrated supply chain” they essentially mean that the supply chain is owned by the brand that produces the product. This means that the product you purchase was manufactured by the brand itself, by their employees and in warehouses they own—Rather than outsourcing that labor to a manufacturer.

While it’s not necessarily unusual or poor practice to outsource labor to manufacturers, it does require companies to be a bit more diligent to ensure the product they receive has been manufactured to the quality they expect and need—Vertically integrated supply chains cut out that extra step. It allows for full control of the process from raw materials to finished goods, ensuring a high level of quality and consistency due to multiple inspections.

Some key benefits that come with vertically integrated supply chains are:

  • Control over the supply chain and the quality of raw materials.
  • Control over the production scheduling and the manufacturing process.
  • Internal responsibility for the quality and safety of products.
  • No reliance on suppliers – Allows brands to avoid supply disruption.
  • More cost control.

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.

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.

Rigging Throughout History | How the Hoover Dam was Built

Rigging Throughout History: The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam (originally known as the Boulder Dam) is one of American’s most famous landmarks—An engineering marvel of it’s time, that still remains one of the largest and most impressive dams to ever be created.

When the construction of the Hoover Dam was complete in March of 1936, it was the heaviest and tallest dam to exist, surpassing the next in line, The Arrowrock Dam, by double the height and triple the width.

This is impressive in any decade, right? Absolutely! But before we had the technology we have today that makes huge construction projects like these much easier, and more importantly, much safer, this feat was even more notable.

Read on to find out how, and why!

The Hoover Dam: It Begins

hoover dam inspection party 1931
An inspection party near the proposed site of the dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River.

The Hoover Dam was created to solve two different problems. If you’re not familiar, the Hoover Dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. Prior to construction in 1931, the Colorado River would flood every spring, and often destroyed villages and crops along its path. This was one reason to create the dam, because water would be more controlled and displaced in calculated locations. Then, of course, the second reason is why most things get created—Income generation.

How does the Hoover Dam work? As water flows through large pipes inside the dam, turbines rotate, which then spins a series of magnets, past copper coils and a generator to produce electricity. This electricity helps support Nevada, California, and Arizona still, to this day!

As we mentioned before, this was not (and still isn’t) a simple task. Even today this wouldn’t be a construction project to scoff at, so you can imagine how difficult it was in 1931.

The Hoover Dam is 726.4 feet tall from the foundation of rock at the bottom to the roadway that runs along the top, and is constructed from 3.4 Million cubic meters of concrete. And if that’s not daunting enough, it was constructed in the middle of the desert, which at the time had no local workforce, no infrastructure, or transportation. The closest access to civilization was 30 miles away in Las Vegas, which had a railroad. This railroad became their one and only access point to bring in workers, materials, and supplies.

The construction of the Hoover Dam happened in the middle of the great depression, so despite it being in the middle of nowhere, it didn’t take long to get the workforce they needed. Within 3 weeks of the project being announced, the closest employment office in Las Vegas had received 12,000 applications for work. This wasn’t going to be easy work, but it was a stable income—Something many people at the time didn’t have.

black and white frank crowe hoover dam engineer
Frank Crowe.

Unfortunately, this made exploiting workers easy—If a worker wasn’t able or comfortable doing a task, they would simply be sent away and replaced with one of thousands of other men who’d happily step into the job.

An engineer named Frank Crowe was in the charge of the project, and had 7 years to complete it. If the project wasn’t complete within this timeline, there would be an approximate $3,000 a day financial penalty. Crowe was prepared to complete the project by any means necessary, and even earned the nickname ‘Hurry-Up Crowe’ for his constant efforts to ensure the project was unfolding on-time and on-budget.

A rushed project focused on speed above all else, is often not a safe project—And the Hoover Dam is a perfect example of this.

The Hoover Dam: Phase One

Allow me to set the scene for you—Thousands of untrained workers, in the middle of the desert, during one of the hottest summers on record (temperatures peaking at 49°C), faced with the monumental task of diverting one of America’s most powerful, dominating and unpredictable rivers—Sounds like a perfect storm…right?

In order to create a construction site in the riverbed, four diversion tunnels were driven through the canyon walls, two on the Nevada side and two on the Arizona side. These tunnels were 56 ft (17 m) in diameter and had a combined length of nearly 16,000 ft, or more than 3 miles (5 km). They also had to be sturdy enough to handle the powerful Colorado river, which meant about 850-cubic metrics of water a second.

The process of creating these tunnels involved  drilling holes into the rock, then packing the holes with dynamite. In 1931, this work was traditionally very slow and tedious, with each hole being drilled out individually with a simple drill or jackhammer. But, with a tight deadline in mind, Frank Crowe came up with a faster solution. Specialized 10-ton trucks were brought in that would each have 50 men on board, running 24-30 drills at one time. These trucks would be backed up along the walls of the tunnel, and half of the wall would be able to be drilled at a time. With 8 of these trucks and 500 drills, they were able to create the tunnels in record time. and 10 months ahead of schedule.

But, this did not come without consequence. Temperatures within the tunnels could reach upwards of 60°C, and the only solution presented for this was a team of people they called the “ice brigades” who would go into the tunnels to bring out exhausted workers to plunge them into ice water. Fourteen men died of heat exhaustion alone during the construction of the tunnels.

And the hazards don’t stop there – Many other workers were hospitalized or killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning because the tunnels didn’t have the proper ventilation to support the steady stream of trucks going in and out. Many of these deaths were reported as a pneumonia outbreak, according to doctors at the time, but it’s widely believed that it was misrepresented by the construction company to avoid paying death compensation.

The Hoover Dam: Phase 2

hoover dam high scaler 1931
One of the Hoover Dam “High Scalers”.

After the tunnels were complete, cofferdams (small enclosures so the water can drain) made from materials extracted from the tunnels were put in place, and water was drained from the construction site. In order for the dam to rest on solid rock, accumulated erosion soils and other loose materials in the riverbed had to be removed. Since the dam is an arch-gravity type, the side-walls of the canyon bear weight from the dam as well, so the side-walls also had to be excavated.

The team that performed these side-wall excavations was called “high scalers” and they would work suspended from the top of the canyon with ropes (NOT proper fall protection equipment) and would climb down the canyon walls removing any loose rock with jackhammers and dynamite. Falling objects were the number one cause of death on the dam site, with high scalers often being the victims of this hazard.

To protect themselves against falling objects, some high scalers took cloth hats and dipped them in tar, allowing them to harden. When workers wearing such headgear were struck hard enough to inflict broken jaws, they sustained no skull damage.

These hats went on to be called “hard boiled hats” and companies began ordering the hats and encouraging their use—One of the first versions of the modern hard hat (but not NEARLY as safe, so don’t get any ideas about dipping old hats in tar…please, buy a certified hard hat!)

The Hoover Dam: Phase 3

Once excavations were complete, the concrete staring pouring in, 6,600,000 tons of it to be exact. You may notice a squared pattern along the side of the Hoover Dam, and that’s because it’s made of a series of blocks of concrete—Not a large pour. This is because if they attempted to pour out the Hoover Dam in one continuous piece, it would still be drying today!

LEFT, A bucket holding 18 tons of concrete is maneuvered into positions. RIGHT, Concrete lowered into place.

When the ingredients of concrete are combined (cement, aggregate & water), they trigger a chemical reaction. This reaction generates internal heat, and slows down the curing process—The larger the pour, the longer it takes to harden. A series of interlocking blocks allows the concrete to harden in a more reasonable time-frame.

But there was also the opposite problem—Liquid concrete could harden too fast when attempting to transport it to the top of the dam, where the blocks were being formed, because of the intense desert heat.

To solve this problem, Frank Crowe designed an elaborate network of overhead cables and pullies that would move across the construction site carrying buckets of concrete. This was one of the largest rigging systems to ever be used on a construction site at the time! But I think it’s safe to say it probably wouldn’t pass a modern inspection (definitely not from our LEEA certified technicians)—So don’t start taking any notes!

The Hoover Dam: Lessons Learned

The Hoover Dam project was complete in 1936, 2 years quicker then the original timeline suggests. During construction, 112 people died.

Back in 1931, it wasn’t that uncommon to have a high fatality rate on construction sites. Some of that was because they didn’t have access to the technology we have today (or at least not as good quality), like fall protection equipment or modern hard hats, and other personal protective equipment (PPU). Some of it was also due to the fact that employers were not held accountable to ensure they weren’t putting their workers into unsafe working conditions – Like using the proper equipment and ensuring it’s been inspected and in full working order.

Construction is a dangerous industry, even today, but that doesn’t mean we should ever accept fatalities or even injuries. It’s not 1931 anymore—Employers and construction workers have the responsibility and the right to be able to perform their jobs safely. Now we DO have access to the proper means necessary to create a safe work environment, so there’s no excuse not to be using them.


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

Product Spotlight | What is Aircraft Cable?

aircraft cable blog header

Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

Obviously cables are used in an aircraft, right? Easy—Done!

Well, yes, that’s technically correct…But wait, there’s more!

You would assume aircraft cable is a type of wire rope used throughout an aircraft, for everything from adjustable seat back controls to controlling the movement of the wing flaps and landing gear on planes with analog flight systems. These cables are essentially specialized high strength wire rope, made to withstand the special environmental circumstances found on an aircraft such as harsh temperatures and moisture. Aircraft cable is also known as galvanized wire rope, and is often made from carbon steel and is drawn galvanized. Galvanizing protects the cable from corrosion for a period of time, but will discolor to a white or dull appearance—Prolonged exposure to the elements will eventually cause corrosion, which is why it’s always important to keep your aircraft cable up to date with inspections.

So, what is wire rope?

A piece of wire rope has three main components. Individual wires that make up each strand, the strand itself and finally, the core it’s built around. The core is typically composed of fibre core (FC) or steel wire core, called independent wire rope core (IWRC). The steel core increases strength by 7% and the weight by 10%, which provides more support to the outer strands than fibre cores. Steel cores resist crushing and are more resistant to heat.

The design factor of wire rope tells you the ratio between minimum breaking load of the rope and the working load limit (WLL).

Manufactures, like Hercules SLR, stock aircraft cable to commercial and military specifications in stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel, and a variety of other alloys. If you’re curious, the most common aircraft cable diameters are 1/16 through 5/32 with 7×7 or 7×19 construction. Normal breaking strength varies—Here at Hercules SLR we carry aircraft cable from a normal breaking strength of 480lbs to 14,400lbs.

 

However, aircraft cable isn’t just used on airplanes! It’s typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsh temperatures and corrosion, but can serve effective in a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes.

Some examples of uses for aircraft cable NOT found within an aircraft, are:

  • Securing Cargo: Aircraft cable can be used to tie down heavy cargo on ships. Aircraft cable can be particularly useful because as mentioned above, it is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Boats and Docking: Aircraft cable is used for several applications in boats and docking like securing boats, hoisting them out of the water, sailboat rigging and on fishing boats.
  • Pulleys and Winches: The strength of aircraft cable makes it the perfect choice for lifting and hoisting.
  • Stage Rigging: Once again because of it’s strength and durability it is often the cable of choice for the rigging that opens, closes, and lifts heavy curtains, moves backdrops, raises and lowers lighting and so on.
  • Zip Lines: Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for zip lines, depending on the weather conditions in the location of the zip line.
  • Garage Doors: Aircraft cable can be found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms.
  • Exercise Equipment: Aircraft cable is often used in a variety of exercise equipment, most commonly in weight machines.

Inspecting Aircraft Cable

Aircraft cables, both on and off airplanes, often live in fairly harsh environments—It’s often the wire rope of choice in those circumstances. As well, on some aircraft’s, the cable remains in one static position around pulley bends for extended periods of time. You should always ensure ALL of your rigging gear is inspected on it’s recommended timeline—But it’s especially important when you know the equipment is being exposed to harsh environments.

At every inspection, all control cables must be inspected for broken wires strands—This includes sections of the cable that may be hidden behind or within part of the aircraft structure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire, checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.

You’ll also want to look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.

It is recommended to remove the cable from critical areas and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. This is definitely recommended if you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections. There is a chance that the cable could look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you remove it from the position it has remained in for so long, it will completely fail.


Need aircraft cable? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With a full service, one-stop-shop for rigging companies with all the service, inspections and repairs that any company would need, we can top the rest! Our goal is to make it look like you don’t need us! From advice, help with design, problem solutions, through to seamless procurement and excellent customer service, we are here to support your business and move it forward—Whatever it is, we can help.


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

Industry Highlight | A Look into the Quarry Industry

a look into the quarry industry

Industry Highlight: A Look into the Quarry Industry

What is Quarrying?

Quarrying is an industry that’s been around for centuries on earth—Essentially since the very beginning. During the Stone Age, one of man’s very first innovations was learning to chip away limestone for making tools like hammers, hand axes, and cutting instruments. Quarrying is essentially the process of extracting natural resources from the earth—Which in modern-day, are used often in the construction industry.

So, what’s a quarry? A quarry, sometimes known as a surface mine, open pit or opencast mine, is the section of earth that the minerals are being extracted from. Quarries produce a range of useful materials like limestone, dimension stone, rock, sand or gravel. These raw materials are used in the foundations of our homes, schools, hospitals, roads and so much more! Nearly two-thirds of all the stone produced in Canadian quarries is crushed and used for concrete and asphalt aggregates.

The image below, created by The Institute of Quarrying, illustrates what a typical quarrying process may look like:

quarrying process

As you can see, quarrying involves many different steps, each involving a different team of professionals and different tools/ machinery. And, of course, this process will look different depending on the material being produced. However, putting the most common practice simply – They begin by digging a pit to access the deposit, and create a vertical face of exposed rock. Then, large chunks are dislodged from the walls, usually through controlled blasting using explosives. This rock is then crushed, impurities are removed and the resulting materials are graded by size before being stockpiled. The materials are then transported by road, rail or sea for use!

What do Quarries Produce?

Like we mentioned, quarries produce a wide variety of natural materials that make up a lot of the build-up world around us. The principal types of stone quarried in Canada are limestone, granite, sandstone, and marble. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia limestone accounts for 79% of the total material quarried in Canada, the largest single material export by far.

Quarries are also known to produce:

  • Gypsum
  • Salt
  • Potash
  • Coal
  • Chemical Grade Limestone
  • Common Clay’s
  • China Clay or Kaolin
  • Ball Cays
  • Silica Sand

These materials then feed into many other industries like ready-mixed-concrete plants, coating plants to produce asphalt and bituminous road-making materials, cement and lime burning kilns, concrete block and pipe works, brick works, pottery works, and plaster/plasterboard factories. Quarrying for many industries is the unspoken first step in their processes, providing them with many vital materials.

Quarrying Safely

Significant safety hazards are present in quarries, as you would imagine when working with heavy pieces of rock, explosives, large machinery and the number of moving parts many quarrying cites have (as you can see in the quarrying process photo above). The Mine Safety and Health Administration reports that incidents involving the handling of materials is the highest cause for injuries in quarries/mines.

When it comes to handling heavy materials, it’s important you’re using equipment you can trust to lift the load safely and effectively—That’s where we come in. Hercules SLR is your one-stop-shop for all things securing, yoke hardware hooks eye bolts and shackles lifting and rigging. Our focus is to provide securing, lifting and rigging solutions that allow our customers to get the job done safely and efficiently.

For example, Hercules SLR is a Master Distributor of YOKE rigging hardware—A perfect choice for handling materials in quarrying. Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. YOKE is an ISO 9001 certified company with Type-Approval by major international authorities like SABS, ZU, ABS, API, and DNV. YOKE has achieved various certifications that ensure their unsurpassed product engineering.

If you’re looking to bring your material handling safety to the next level, consider taking one of our many Hercules Training Academy courses like the fundamentals of rigging.


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

Safety Gloves | An Important Part of Your PPE

safety-gloves-blog-header

Safety Gloves: An Important Part of Your PPE

What comes to mind when you think of the number one tool you use at work? For many people, the correct answer to this question is right in front of you—Your hands.

You may not consider it, but your hands do a lot throughout the day, and I bet your job would get a whole lot harder without them. But yet, when it comes to assembling your personal protective equipment (PPE), sometimes proper safety gloves don’t make the list. You, like many others, may not understand why protecting your hands is so important, or what type of glove is the right choice for you—Because it’s not just about wearing safety gloves, it’s about wearing the right safety gloves.

Protect your #1 tool, and read on to learn a bit more about why safety gloves are so important, and how to choose the right ones for your work conditions.

The Importance of Wearing Safety Gloves

Not only are your hands one of your most important tools, they are very complex tools that aren’t always easy to fix (as you can imagine, spare parts are hard to track down). If a severe hand injury accrues, you may have to deal with effects like loss of motion, dexterity, and grip for the rest of your life.

But the good news is – Many of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the right safety gloves. Safety glove technology has progressed to include features like being cut-resistant, heat-resistant, anti-impact, anti-vibration, and so much more! You shouldn’t have an issue tracking down a glove that will protect you from any hazards present in your workplace.

What Hazards do Safety Gloves Protect Against?

Chemical and Biohazards – When handling chemicals or biohazards, it can only take one touch to cause a chemical burn or infection. Because of this, you need a glove that forms a complete barrier around your hands. Typical glove materials for chemical protection are latex, nitrile, neoprene, polyvinylchloride, or other polymers – Like the Chemstop™ – Premium Quality PVC Coated Gloves. For chemical mixtures or jobs where multiple hazards are present, it may be necessary to wear gloves that have the highest chemical resistance or in some cases wearing a combination of different types of gloves. Employers should always refer to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for selecting the correct glove materials. Need to brush up on your WHMIS knowledge? Check out our WHMIS 2015 with GHS course!

Cuts, Punctures and Abrasion Hazards – It’s fairly common for these types of hazards to be present in the workplace. For these hazards, gloves need to be able to protect your hands from things like abrasive surfaces, wood and metal splinters and injuries associated with cut or scrapes while still providing high levels of dexterity and tactile sensitivity. Typical materials for cut and puncture protection are leather, canvas, cotton, cotton blends or other synthetic materials. Often times additional protection is added by applying various coatings to sections of the glove or by lining the gloves with impact or vibration-dampening gels or pads.

Impact Injuries – If you’re performing tasks like swinging a hammer or lifting heavy objects then you need gloves that protect you from impact injuries. Any job where your hands might be crushed or hit by tools, equipment, or supplies requires reliable, impact-resistant work gloves. Impact-resistant gloves feature a padded outer shell strategically placed to the areas on your hands where impacts are most likely to occur. Gloves like Oilbloc™ Goatskin Kevlar “SUP”® Lined Anti-Impact Driver Gloves allow some of the force of the impact to be absorbed and spread out over a larger surface.

Heat and Arc hazards – These hazards are present in many fields such as welding, glass manufacturing, petrochemical plants, oil fields, and the natural gas industries. Safety gloves that are specifically made to protect your hands against these hazards create a barrier that blocks the heat from reaching your skin. Depending on the temperature, type of heat (e.g. dry, moist, thermal, ambient), and other work factors, a variety of materials are used such as terry cloth or neoprene.

Severe Weather and Extreme Temperatures – If you’re working in a cold outdoor environment or even a cold-storage facility, you need a thermal barrier on your hands to protect them from damage and to maintain your body heat. Don’t be fooled, protecting yourself from extreme cold is just as important as protecting yourself from extreme heat. Cold temperatures can cause temporary or permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue – The colder it is, the more protection you need. Gloves made to protect your hands from cold temperatures are often made from materials like PVC, nitrile, animal hide, or Thinsulate™ – as used in the North of 49° gloves.

Persistent Vibrations – Persistent vibration can irritate nerves and nerve endings, damage blood vessels, cause long-term joint and muscle pain, and, in extreme cases, even lead to permanent nerve damage such as neuropathy. You may think you only need gloves that help absorb vibrations when using tools that create a dramatic vibrations such as chainsaws or jackhammers, but in reality, even lower level of vibrations found in tools like sanders or grinders should be protected against because you’re more likely to use these tools for an extended period of time, not noticing the damage being done.

How to Choose the Right Type of Safety Glove

As we mentioned before, keeping your hands safe isn’t just about throwing on any glove you can find – It’s important you’re using the right ones. No single type of glove will provide protection against all safety hazards. You should always check with your jurisdiction to see if there are any regulations around hand protection, but in general, employers are tasked with performing a hazard assessment in order to choose the correct gloves to provide to their employees. But remember, your workplace safety should always be something you take into your own hands. If you feel you haven’t been provided with the correct gloves for your job – speak up!

Based on tips from The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), these steps can help you perform your own hazard assessment and consider whether you’re using the correct gloves for your job.

  1. Take time to think through your work tasks and environments so you have an accurate description in your mind (or on paper if that helps you!) of your day to day work.
  2. Identify all hazards that you come in contact with that may require hand protection. This should include any chemicals you come in contact with as well as physical hazards such as abrasions, tearing, puncturing, fire, temperature, and/or biological hazards.
  3. Determine the amount of flexibility and touch sensitivity you need to safely and effectively complete your tasks. This will affect your choice in thickness of glove material as well as if you may need a textured glove made to aid in grip.
  4. Take into considerating the type of contact you’re making with the hazards you’ve identified (e.g. occasional contact, splashing, or continuous immersion). This will affect your choice in an appropriate length of the glove, as well as the type and thickness of glove material, and whether you need lined or unlined gloves.
  5. Take into account any hazards that may be caused by the gloves themselves keeping in mind your other PPE. For example, heat stress, reduced dexterity, rip or tactile functions, poor comfort or contributing to skin conditions. It’s just as important to have a well-fitted, comfortable, and easy to wear pair of gloves. Gloves won’t protect anything if you’re never wearing them because they hurt your hands or make your job harder. 
  6. Consider any decontamination procedures that need to be followed. Will the gloves need to be disposed of or cleaned after use? If they need to be cleaned, consider the cleaning method, how often they can be cleaned, and any special procedures required for disposing of the “decontamination wash waste”.
  7. Ensure you’ve been given the necessary education and training required which includes: what are the hazards of skin contact with the chemical/materials being used, what are the limitations of the gloves, what could happen and what to do if the gloves fail and when to dispose of or to decontaminate gloves.

Working through this list should give you an idea of what you’re looking for in a glove – working from there you can connect with manufacturers to ensure you’re purchasing a glove that fits your perfect criteria. And remember, it’s not just about the safety features – make sure you’re choosing a glove that’s comfortable, so you’re never drawn to leave them on the table – Even once.

Hercules SLR carries a wide variety of protective gloves and equipment to keep your hands safe no matter the task. Choose from a wide selection of gloves along with rubber gloves, hand guards, finger guards, and more. You will even find glove dispensers to keep items organized. Whatever work you do, Hercules SLR has the hand protection products your job requires.


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.

Product Spotlight | Swivel Hoist Ring

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

What is a Swivel Hoist Ring?

A swivel hoist ring is a type of heavy-duty lifting ring that is used with a hoist to lift or lower a load. It is often the hardware of choice when the object being lifted has no clear attachment points, as the hoist ring is able to be screwed directly into the surface of the load. Once the swivel hoist ring is successfully installed, it essentially creates an attachment point for your hoist chain to attach to.

Swivel hoist rings are of a similar design and intended use to the eye bolt, a piece of hardware that has been around for a very long time in the rigging world. While standard eye bolts are effective when used properly for a suitable job, they often fail when put at any amount of angle. If the load shifts causing the direction of the load to be as much as 10 degrees off the line of force, you could have a bent eye bolt. This can result in a failed lift, causing damage to your load, property damage, and injury to workers.

Swivel hoist rings are designed to lift at any angle because they can swivel 360 degrees and pivot 180 degrees. A swivel hoist ring can rotate with the direction of force without loosing rated capacity, which gives increased safety and peace of mind. When a load is lifted or lowered, wind gusts may cause it to turn—This can result in the chain or rope getting twisted together with static hardware. Swivel hoist rings solve this problem by allowing the load to rotate back and forth as it needs without twisting the chain or rope.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Installing and Using Swivel Hoist Rings

DO:

  • Always read the safety precaution page prior to use or installation.
  • Inspect the hoist ring before each use – see below for what you should look out for when doing this! 
  • Choose a hoist ring with the proper load rating.
  • Only use hoist rings in materials that have a tensile strength of at least 80,000 psi.
  • Make sure the thread engagement is at least 1.5 times the diameter of the
    hoist ring screw.
  • When installing a hoist ring in a through­-hole with a nut and washer, make sure to use a Grade 8 nut that has full thread engagement.
  • Consider periodic load­-testing as an extra precaution.

DON’T:

  • Never exceed the rated load limit or apply shock load.
  • Never use a hoist ring that you believe may be damaged – it’s not worth the risk!
  • Never use a hoist ring that is not tightened to the recommended torque.
  • Never replace the components of the hoist ring.
  • Never use a hook larger than the diameter of the hoist ring opening.
  • Never shim or use washers between the hoist ring and surface of the object being
    lifted.

Swivel Hoist Ring Inspection and Maintenance

Always inspect the hoist ring before each use, make sure that:

  • The screw is tightened to the recommended torque using a torque wrench – If it’s not, the threads may be stripped on a vertical lift.
  • The bushing of the hoist ring is sitting flush against the object being lifted – This ensures that the hoist ring is able to reach its full 5:1 safety factor.
  • The hoist ring is free to swivel and pivot in every direction – If the hoist ring binds up in any direction, it should not be used.
  • There are no signs of corrosion – This can result in the hoist ring cracking or binding up.
  • There are no signs of wear or damage, especially on the screw, shoulder pins, and bail – Damage may be an indicator that the hoist ring is coming into contact with something during use. This should be avoided as such contact can cause binding and shock loads, which exceed the rating of the hoist ring.
  • The shoulder pins are secure and do not rotate or come loose – This can be checked by using pliers to try to rotate the shoulder pins by hand. If it does rotate, it should not be used as this could cause the hoist ring to come loose or break during use.

In need of an affordable and reliable swivel hoist ring? 

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE swivel hoist rings at your local Hercules SLR. A YOKE Swivel hoist ring is innovative and meets all requirements of occupational health and safety. Due to its ball-bearing construction, YOKE hoist ring rotates freely 360 degrees – This free movement means it turns automatically in the direction of the load.

Main Features

  • Easy to install – needs only one tap hole.
  • Comes with both the bushing type and ball bearing inside.
  • Rotates 360º and pivots 180º.
  • Designed to a safety factor of 5:1.
  • 100% rated at 90º angle.
  • 100% magnaflux crack detection.
  • Proof load tested to 2.5 times W.L.L. and certified.
  • 20,000 cycle fatigue rated to 1.5 times W.L.L.
  • Each product has a batch code for material traceability and links to test certificate.
  • Drop forged Suspension Ring.
  • The bolt has a result of Charpy-V-test according to EN 10045, part 1 of at least 27 Joules at -20º C.
  • The bolt is UNC grade 8 per ASTM A 574 and Metric Grade 12.9 per DIN EN ISO 4762.
  • Multi-directional loading.
  • Self aligns in direction of load.
  • Avoids torsion forces to the suspension ring – Which means it’s safer!
  • No friction transferred to the bolt as it turns – Which means it will last longer!
  • The bolt is galvanized with an alternative phosphate treatment for increased corrosion protection.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


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

Product Spotlight | Hammerlock Coupling Links

Product Spotlight: Hammerlock Coupling Links

What is a Hammerlock Coupling Link?

Hammerlock coupling links are used for attaching chain to master links, eye type hooks, installing a new branch to a sling or just connecting components during chain sling fabrication.

Hammerlock coupling links should NEVER be used to repair hoist chain—No coupling hardware should ever be used to repair a damaged link of chain. This can present a number of safety hazards to the operator and possibly the overall hoist. In the case of hoist chain damage or ware, the chain needs to be replaced as one piece.

Hammerlocks are also not appropriate for lengthening chain. Once again, if you desire a longer chain, you need to seek out a chain that is fabricated to the correct length, using the correct links.

Assembly and Disassembly of Hammerlock Coupling Links

Hammerlock coupling links are a favorite of riggers because they can so easily be assembled and disassembles in the field using only a hammer and punch.

How to assemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Bring the two halves of the body together so the center connectors are aligned
  2. Position the bushing in the center of the hammerlock, aligned with the connectors
  3. Insert the load pin through the hammerlock as far as you can by hand
  4. Hammer the load pin the rest of the way in, until all material is flush on both ends

 

Did you know the bushing in the center is one of the most important parts of a hammer coupling link? Without the bushing, the load pin on its own will not hold the hammerlock coupling together at all – It actually moves quite freely within the body on its own. The load pin is tapered on the ends which allows the bushing to sit in place and hold the hardware securely together. The bushing contains a spring-like system that allows the pin to push through when hammered, but returns to an un-movable state once in place – Unless directly hammered again using a punch!

How to disassemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Place the hammerlock link on a raised surface, creating room for the load pin to exit the bottom
  2. Align a punch with the center-top of the load pin
  3. Hammer the punch forcing the load pin out from the center of the hammerlock
  4. Pull now loosened parts apart by hand – It’s that easy!

In need of an affordable and reliable hammerlock coupling link?

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE Hammerlock Connecting Links for Grade-100 Chain at your local Hercules SLR. YOKE Hammerlock connecting links are made of alloy steel and are quenched and tempered for maximum strength, reliability, and durability with a working load limit of 8800 pounds.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


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

A Look at the Towing Industry | Different Categories of Tow Trucks

A Look into the Towing Industry: Different Categories of Tow Trucks

Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like having your car break down as you’re trying to make your way through your day. When that does happen, you depend on towing companies to get your vehicle somewhere where it can be repaired safely. This is likely the extent of many people’s knowledge when it comes to tow trucks. They’re an industry that the everyday person wouldn’t think much of, until they are forced to Google the phone number of the nearest one, to save them from their rotten day.

Did you know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all tow truck? Towing companies often have a variety of vehicles on hand, each made for a different type of job. Tow jobs aren’t just limited to picking up small broken down cars on the side of the road, they also have to serve larger vehicles like RVs, box trucks and even the heaviest 18 wheelers. Even beyond the load size, tow companies have to be prepared to get vehicles out of hard-to-maneuver situations in the unfortunate case of an accident.

Tow trucks can be sorted into three basic types, light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty.

Light-Duty Tow Trucks

Light-duty tow trucks are used for the majority of incidents and are sent out to tow cars, motorcycles and smaller trucks. They are capable of performing a variety of tasks such as removing abandoned vehicles, private property towing and accident recovery. They have the ability to maneuver through small lots or parking garages, but usually stick to jobs that are located on paved and flat terrain.

   

Light-duty tow trucks are Class A vehicles that are often either conventional or rollback wreckers. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 11,000 pounds and often rely on winch & cable systems and wheel lifts to do their work.

Medium-Duty Tow Trucks

Medium-duty tow trucks are used for heavier duty jobs involving vehicles like box trucks, RV’s and farm equipment. They are also the choice for certain recovery operations for smaller vehicles because they have a larger range of configurations such as: lowering platforms or landolls, automatic trailers, low-profile trailers, and boom lifts. However, since they are a bigger vehicle, they are not ideal for tighter environments like parking lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medium-duty tow trucks are Class B vehicles that often feature some varying styles of flatbed. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 17,000 pounds and feature at least a 12-ton capacity boom lift, 5-ton winch, and 5-ton wheel lift.

Heavy-Duty Tow Trucks

Heavy-duty tow trucks are the big guys. They are used for vehicles like garbage trucks, dump trucks and semi-trailers. These tow trucks handle the biggest loads and the most complicated recoveries. These are the tow trucks that vehicles like 18 wheelers depend on because not only are they capable of getting large vehicles themselves out of sticky situations, but also whatever that vehicle was hauling. They are also the tow truck used for vehicles that have gone off the road or down an embankment.

These are Class A vehicles that are required to feature at least a 25-ton boom lift, 25-ton winch and 6-ton wheel lift. They are capable of towing any load greater than 17,000 pounds!


The jobs that these tow trucks perform rely on more than just the truck itself. As we’ve mentioned above, each truck uses a different type of lifting and towing equipment. Especially when dealing with heavy-duty tow jobs, it’s extremely important that the tow truck is outfitted with high-quality lifting gear that won’t break under the pressure.

That’s where YOKE comes in! Since 1985, YOKE has been manufacturing durable, reliable & high-quality hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. No need to choose between quality and affordability, YOKE provides top safety certified lifting equipment without the big price tag. Products like the Grade 100 Clevis Grab Hook, when used attached to wire rope or welded chain, is sturdy enough for the toughest tow jobs. When purchasing your towing gear, don’t sacrifice quality for price – Choose YOKE instead. Learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR by clicking here.


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

Fall for Safety | Tips for Autumn Yard Maintenance

Fall for Safety: Tips for Autumn Yard Maintenance

Who doesn’t love to watch the leaves on trees slowly turn from green to gold, orange, and red – It’s so beautiful! However, if you’re a home or business owner, your thoughts may have turned to cleaning up those very leaves once they fall—And all the other essential outdoor cleanup tasks that need to get done before the weather gets too cold and the snow begins.

You may not realize it, but many typical fall cleanup tasks can lead to injury if not done with the correct safety measures in place. We want to challenge everyone to fall for safety this year and keep safety in mind when performing their autumn yard maintenance.

Leaf Removal

Removing debris like fallen leaves is a task many people expect to be on their list once fall comes around. Raking leaves, in particular, is a task many of us probably perform without giving a second thought, or worrying about safety. But, if you come in from raking with a sore and achy body—Give these tips a try before simply chalking it up to the aging process.

Safety Tips for Raking

  • Avoid twisting your body while raking—Turn with your feet and above motions like throwing over your shoulder. These movements can overly strain your back muscles.
  • Use your knees when lifting and take a break if you start feeling any back pain. Never push your limits!
  • Try to vary movements as much as possible to avoid overuse of one muscle group
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your hands from blisters and skin from thorns or other debris.
  • Wear shoes with strong traction—Wet leaves can be slippery!
  • Stay hydrated and don’t overdo it—Whether you realize it or not, raking leaves is a workout. You may need to take breaks or slow your pace depending on your personal health and fitness—And that’s okay!

Leaf Blowing Safety

Remember, leaf blowers blow far more than just leaves. If you’ve used a leaf blower before, you’ve probably noticed how much dirt and debris gets kicked up along with the leaves you’re actually trying to move. If that dirt finds it’s way into your eyes, it’s going to be uncomfortable at best—But cause an eye injury at worst. Because of this, safety glasses or goggles should be worn at all times when operating a leaf blower.

Some other things to keep in mind when you operate a leaf blower are:

  • Inspect the blower before use to make sure controls, parts and safety devices are not damaged and are working properly.
  • Don’t point an operating blower in the direction of people or pets.
  • Make sure bystanders, including other operators, are at a safe distance. Turn the leaf blower off if you’re approached.
  • Do not use a leaf blower indoors (yep, we couldn’t believe it either!) it happens or in a poorly ventilated area.
  • Never modify a leaf blower in any way not authorized by the manufacturer.

Gutter Cleaning

Clearing your gutters is one of those “I gotta do it” tasks, especially since leaves have a tendency to clog it up. So, since it’s time to clean out the gutters—Let’s make sure you do it safely!

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands—Gutters can be full of dirty, rotting leaf debris that often contain bird or squirrel droppings that are ridden with bacteria. They can also prevent painful cuts from sharp debris in the gutter or an old metal gutter that my have developed sharp edges.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing safety glasses or goggles—You never quite know what may fly out of a gutter.
  • If you have to get on the roof to access part of the gutter wear non-slip shoes and ensure the roof is completely dry. Fall protection equipment should be used if your building’s roof is near or above 10ft off the ground—Check with your jurisdiction for requirements when working at heights.
  • Be mindful of power lines around you, especially if electrical wires connect to your building near your gutters.
  • Practice ladder & fall protection safety!

Ladder Safety Quick Tips

Check out this article for more in-depth safety tips.

  • Try to have someone with you while using a ladder—If this isn’t possible, always at least let someone know you will be working on a ladder and have them expect to hear from you once you’ve safely completed your task.
  • Take a moment to inspect both the ladder and the area where you’re using it—Make sure your ladder is in good working condition and doesn’t need any repairs.
  • Use a safe and sturdy ladder—We recommend one with a small shelf strong enough to hold a five-gallon bucket to collect gutter debris. If you do use a bucket, ensure it’s secured with a lanyard.
  • Maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one-foot, or two-feet and one hand on a ladder always.
ladder touch points how to climb a ladder
3-Point contact on a ladder.
  • Use the appropriate safety devices when needed (e.g., safety belt, fall restraint, etc.)
  • Do not “shift” or “walk” a stepladder when standing on it
  • Do not reach from the centre of a ladder (always climb down and move the ladder if you cannot reach).

Trimming Branches

As leaves fall from the trees, branches that may need trimming present themselves from hiding. Taking advantage of this time can be the best way to keep up with tree pruning along your property. If you’re looking for an easy how-to for pruning trees, check out this video!

Small, cracked or dying branches may be able to be removed by simply breaking them away, but larger branches will require tools like chainsaws for removal. NEVER operate a chainsaw without the proper training—Check out some more in-depth chainsaw safety tips here.

It’s always smart to use fall protection equipment when working at heights, so check in your jurisdiction for requirements in your area—However, it’s often required when working at heights 10-ft or higher.

Set-up

  • Make sure you are properly trained on how to use any equipment being used. Some jurisdictions may have regulations about the type of training required for tree cutting and trimming—It’s always a good idea to get trained whether it’s necessary or not. (Training rarely hurts, but injuries do).
  • Before trimming a tree, inspect the area to identify possible hazards (e.g. power lines, broken or cracked limbs). Don’t use conductive tools near power-lines (e.g. certain ladders, pole trimmers).
  • Mark off your work area and prevent bystander access.
  • Inspect your fall protection equipment, lines and ladder before each use.
  • If climbing the tree, inspect the tree and its limbs for cracks and weakness before the climb.

Operation

  • Wear the right PPE for the job, like:
    • Leather gloves to protect your hands.
    • Hard hat to protect your head from any branches that may fall above you.
    • Safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from dust.
    • Ear protection to muffle loud noises coming from equipment.
    • Non-slip shoes
    • Pants or chaps with sewn-in ballistic nylon pads, preferably ones that extend to the beltline rather than ones that stop at the upper thigh as they provide extra protection.
    • Fall Protection – If working at a height (necessary if above 10ft), fall protection equipment like body belts, harnesses and lanyards should be used. Need fall protective equipment? We’ve got you covered!
  • Break small dead branches off by hand as you climb – Remove larger branches with the proper tools.
  • Be sure that you can see the cut you’re making, so you d not cut hand lines, safety ropes, etc. unintentionally.
  • Work with a partner – It’s always a good idea to work with another person who stays on the ground while you’re climbing. In the event of an emergency, both you and your partner should have training in CPR and first aid.

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.

Fire Prevention Week | How to Prevent Fires in the Workplace

Fire Prevention Week: How to Prevent Fires in the Workplace

If a fire broke out where you work would you know what to do? Are you aware of your workplace evacuation plan? Are you equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to prevent fires during your work processes? You should know the answers to all these questions.

Preventing fires in the workplace isn’t just about safety, it’s a smart business move. It’s costly enough to run a business in today’s world, and nobody wants to see their profits go up in flames. Every year, workplace fires cause injury and property loss, both of which you can avoid by having the right fire prevention protocols in place.

In recognition of fire prevention week (Sunday, October 6-Saturday, October 12), we’re going to go over some of the most important aspects of workplace fire prevention. Interested in learning more? Read on!

Fire Safety Plans

The best way to be prepared for anything, especially emergency situations, is to have an established plan. Once an emergency hits, like a fire breaking out in your workplace, it’s extremely hard to think clearly. Having a clear plan already laid out makes it so you don’t have to do any rash thinking – You just have to follow the steps laid out for you.

Approved fire safety plans are often required per your local fire code – depending on the building, occupancy rate or industry. If you’re not aware if a fire safety plan is necessary for your organization you can check with your jurisdiction, municipality, or local fire department for more information. However, fire safety plans are a tool you should consider implementing, even if it’s not enforced.

Fire safety plans should be very detailed and outline an evacuation plan, maintenance, housekeeping requirements, and fire control methods. Different jurisdictions may require certain things, and some may provide a standard template or request a certain format – But, in general, a fire safety plan should include:

  • How to sound the alarm
  • How and when to notify the fire department and designated senior staff (all telephones on-site should have the emergency phone numbers listed, as well as the address of the work-site should be posted close by)
  • An evacuation plan
  • How to confine, control and extinguish the fire (if possible)
  • Fire drill procedures as well as how often they will be performed
  • Specialized information for any designated staff given fire safety duties and responsibilities
  • Any staff education and training necessary
  • Detailed maintenance procedures for any fire suppression equipment
  • Operation instructions including the type and location of all fire or emergency systems
  • Alternative (back-up) fire safety measures
  • How to properly allow the fire department access to the building

View Halifax, Nova Scotia’s, fire safety plan template by clicking here if you’d like to see an example. (You may be able to find one for your specific city by doing a quick Google search!)

Adequate Fire Suppression Equipment

Depending on the work environment, you’ll likely need different types of fire suppression. No matter the type(s) of fire suppression equipment used, employees should be trained on its proper use. You should only use fire suppression equipment if you have received proper training. Examples of some of the more typical types of fire suppression/control systems are:

  • Fire sprinklers – These will be activated automatically in the case of a fire
  • Fire exits – Doors with illuminated exit signs show you the best emergency exit route in case of a fire
  • Fire alarm – A device that makes a loud noise to warn people of a fire. Typically there will be devices located near emergency exits that allow you to sound these alarms, or they may automatically sound when a fire is detected.
  • Smoke detector – An alarm that will sound if smoke is detected
  • Standpipe and hose system – These are usually located in the hallway and serve as a pre-formed connection to a water supply (basically, an extension of the fire hydrant system). They are most common in buildings with large floor plans where areas of the space are a great distance from any entrances. These systems should only be used by specially trained personnel.
  • Fire extinguishers – These are usually mounted on the wall near exits or near flammable equipment. Read on to learn more about fire extinguishers! 

Fire Extinguishers

There should be at the very minimum one fire extinguisher for each level of your workspace. If your work environment/building includes a kitchen, workshop, garage or basement, each of these spaces should have its own fire extinguisher.

You should only attempt to use a fire extinguisher if the fire is contained to a single object. Make sure you and everyone else in the building are safe from both the fire and smoke, and that the fire is not blocking your only exit from the building. ALWAYS prioritize your safety and exit the building to wait for professional assistance if you feel you are unable to put the fire out on your own.

How to use a fire extinguisher

It is very important that you are using the correct type of fire extinguisher when attempting to put out a fire. There are five classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C, D and K – Each class puts out a different type of fire. Evaluate worksites for potential fire hazards and have the correct extinguisher on-hand for the types of materials used.

Fire extinguisher classes:

  • Class A – Ordinary combustibles like wood or paper
  • Class B – Flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, and oil
  • Class C – Electrically energized fires
  • Class D – Flammable metals
  • Class K – Kitchen fires, effective on cooking oils, animal fats, and vegetable oils

You can purchase multipurpose extinguishers that are suitable for more than one class (A-B, B-C or A-B-C). You’ll find a label on the side of fire extinguishers that show which classes it should be used on.

If it is safe to do so, using the correct extinguisher, follow the PASS method to use your extinguisher:

  1. P – Pull the pin, this will break the tamper seal
  2. A – Aim low, pointing the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Do not hold by the horn/nozzle because if it is a CO2 extinguisher, it will get very cold and could harm the skin.
  3. S – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
  4. S – Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire and fuel source until the fire is out

If you have an issue during any of these steps, do not continue and exit the building immediately.

Proper Handling and Storage of Flammable Materials

Flammable materials include anything that easily or rapidly ignites and burns. Flammable materials are not rare, and many workplaces use at least a few in their everyday operations! Following labels and doing research is the best way to know exactly what within your workplace is flammable, but some examples are:

  • Gases – Natural gas, propane, butane, methane, acetylene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide.
  • Liquids – Gasoline, many solvents such as acetone, alcohol, paint and paint thinner, adhesives, degreasers, certain cleaners, waxes, and polishes.
  • Solids – Some types of coal, pyrophoric metals, solid wastes soaked with flammable liquids, gunpowder, matches

Employers are responsible for developing work procedures for the use and storage of any flammable materials used within your job, and to ensure that all employees are trained on those procedures. These procedures should include:

  • Storage
  • Dispensing
  • Spill clean up
  • Incompatible materials
  • Use and maintenance of any controls used in the workplace such as ventilation
  • Required personal protective equipment (PPE) when using the materials
  • Fire protection and prevention measures
  • An outline of any special circumstances which may require additional precautions or training (e.g. confined spaces)

Storage of Flammable Materials

Flammable materials must not be stored near exits, electrical equipment or heating equipment. They should be separated by type and stored in well-ventilated storage areas, away from any potential sources of ignition.

Always ensure and flammable materials are stored in appropriate containers made for these types of materials. Refer to regulations in your area when transferring materials from the container you purchase it in, as many jurisdictions have specific standards that must be met. Some Fire Codes also include requirements for storage, handling, and maximum amounts of flammable materials permitted in a building.

Always remember to label any portable containers with the necessary information often found on the original container, such as:

  • Container contents
  • If contents are flammable
  • If the container should be kept away from ignition sources (e.g. heat, spark, and open flames)
  • The container should be kept closed when not in use
  • A reference to the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the product

Handling of Flammable Materials

There are three main ways to prevent fires with handling flammable materials:

  1. Limit the amount of flammable materials
    •  Keep only what is needed on site
    • Purchase only the amount of materials needed
    • Do not allow hazardous waste build-up by removing it on a regular basis
  2. Provide proper ventilation to ensure flammable vapors do not accumulate
    • Install proper ventilation in work and storage spaces
    • Ensure all exhausts lead outside the building and away from any air intakes
    • Maintain ventilation system following any building codes that may apply
  3. Control ignition sources
    • Ground and bond all work and ignition-proof equipment
    • Ensure that there is no smoking in work areas where flammable materials are used or stored
    • Never store flammable materials near hot equipment or open flames
    • Use safe and non-sparking tools

Safe Housekeeping Practices

As with many health and safety precautions, housekeeping can really make or break your efforts. You can have access to the best fire suppression equipment possible, but it won’t do any good if that equipment is hidden behind a stack of improperly stored boxes. As well, clutter is fuel to a fire and can inhibit your access to emergency exits.

Below is a general housekeeping checklist that can be followed to aid in fire prevention. If your workspace includes elements like a full kitchen, laundry facilities, spray finishing services, or large refrigeration units, additional elements will need to be added to your list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to download this checklist as a PDF if you’d like to print and use it for your workplace housekeeping – Or, sign-up here and find more Safety Topics & downloadable content to share at your next Toolbox Talk.

Interested in bringing your workplace safety to the next level? Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements. We have Red Cross standard first aid, Red Cross emergency first aid and WHMIS 2015 with GHS just to name a few that may come in handy with your fire prevent measures! You can check out all of our course offerings by clicking 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.