Workplace Mental Health: How Hercules SLR Supports Staff

workplace mental health at hercules slr

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: A HERCULES SLR PRIORITY

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

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

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

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHY WE DO IT

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

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

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

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHAT WE DO & HOW 

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

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

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


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

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

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

Meet your Hercules SLR Inspector, Quincy Warner

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

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

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

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

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

What made you decide to go into this industry? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

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

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

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

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

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

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


WANT MORE READING? LOOK NO FURTHER

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

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

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

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

Sling Inspection Checklist: Hercules How-To

sling inspection checklist

SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

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

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

You’re welcome. 

SLING INSPECTION: ASME STANDARDS B30.9 

INITIAL INSPECTION 

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

FREQUENT INSPECTION

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

PERIODIC INSPECTION

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

ROUND SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

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

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

CHAIN SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

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

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

SYNTHETIC WEB SLINGS: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

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

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

INSPECTION FREQUENCY

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

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

NOTE ON SAFETY & REPAIRS

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

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

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


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

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

Modular Construction Trending: Innovative Workspaces

modular construction project hercules slr

WHAT’S MODULAR CONSTRUCTION? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

modular construction capabilities by hercules slr
Modular constructed apartment.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

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

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

MODULAR PROJECTS

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

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


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

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

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

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:  

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

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


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING AND CONSTRUCTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

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

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

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

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

Confined Space Rescue & Retrieval: Guest Blog from 3M

3m confined space rescue from hercules slr

Incidents that prevent workers from self-rescue can occur in confined spaces due to ill-conceived attempts to rescue and retrieve others, but planning for a rescue can help prevent tragic results.  

Proper rescue and retrieval plans aren’t often created for confined spaces – over 100 deaths occur annually inside confined spaces in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics1. In almost all of these incidents, investigations reveal no rescue plans were in place. Before entry or work begins, OSHA requires you have a defined and documented rescue and retrieval plan that’s specific to your confined space whether a tunnel, storage tank, manhole, elevator shaft, reaction vessel, ductwork or even wastewater treatment facility.

But a detailed rescue and retrieval plan is only one critical step of preparation (one of the four elements 3M talks about here). Rescue and retrieval needs to be performed by a competent person, who’s completed proper training. They must also understand how to select, wear and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other tools or equipment that will be needed.

HAVE A RESCUE PLAN IN PLACE BEFORE ANY ENTRY OCCURS

There are many aspects of a robust rescue plan, but at minimum the rescue plan should include:

  • The location of the confined space and the job being conducted inside;
  • Identify the rescuer, competent person to be on hand, emergency contact and methods to keep in contact with those in the confined space and anyone involved if a rescue becomes necessary;
  • Layout all pre-work tasks;
  • Catalog all the rescue equipment available for use and where they can be located include a checklist for thorough inspection that evaluates if it’s in good working order;
  • List all the critical rescue factors, include any hazards present;
  • Record the response procedure, include how to:
    • notify the emergency contact
    • make a medical assessment of the person stuck inside
    • if possible, how to have the trapped employee perform a self-rescue, or other crucial steps if that’s not possible.

You can model your emergency response plan after the NFPA 350 best practice guide. Determine appropriate means for rescue before the start of any confined space entry activities. The procedures set up at your work or job site for emergency rescue for each specific confined space should to be suitable and sufficient.

The detailed rescue plan should be documented, reviewed and in place before anyone attempts to enter or begins work in a confined space. The rescue plan for each confined space should be reviewed by all involved in the entry each time the space is going to be entered, just like a hazard assessment should be conducted before entry into a confined space. These plans should be practiced as part of training so everyone knows what to do if a rescue/retrieval situation does arise.

No plan in place to enter a confined space? You should speak up, and not enter the confined space without a plan in place for how to react if a rescue and retrieval becomes necessary.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE PROPERLY TRAINED TO RESCUE

Before any access is granted to a confined space, you should evaluate the needs of a rescue team and what training is required for the team (or individual) to perform a rescue operation. Tailor training to specific roles required – you should include:

  • Confined space competent person who is responsible for the evaluation of confined spaces on the job site
  • Confined space supervisor who approves the work inside that’s being done
  • Confined space attendant and entrant for those who are responsible for the work inside
  • Confined space entry rescuer who may have to enter and assist in a rescue/retrieval

All confined space rescuers, per the requirements of OSHA general industry and construction regulations are required to receive annual refresher training. This must include utilizing similar spaces and techniques anticipated at the job site.

You’ll find, rescue training covers a wide range of information related to hazardous conditions and all types of rescue equipment. Rescuers will also require training to prepare for tasks involved with accessing confined spaces, such as descent control, secondary systems, patient packaging methods, dismantling techniques, proper storage of equipment, selection, and use of suitable anchors, as well as the common hazards that pertain to the system and components.

For rescues requiring entry:

  • All members of the team must be specially trained in confined space rescue work
  • The team must have at least one member certified in CPR and first aid
  • All members of the team must be trained in the techniques and equipment for specific confined spaces
  • The members who are going to assist with the rescue should be well-versed in the rescue plan for that confined space and review both the risk and hazard assessments that have been conducted for that specific space

According to current U.S. regulations and industry standards, an identified rescuer, whether in-house or an outside rescue service is used, must have the ability to respond to a permit space rescue request in a timely manner, considering the hazards identified.

confined space rescue by 3m
3M’s Protecta Confined Space System

TYPES OF RETRIEVAL AND RESCUE

There are different types of rescue/retrievals that can be conducted, depending on the situation you and your team are facing.

SELF-RESCUE

Self-rescue is exactly what it sounds like. This is when you can rescue yourself with your own means and you can use equipment that is suited for self-rescue that will allow you to climb out of the space safely. Self-rescue requires the entrant to stop what they are doing and safely exit the space as quickly as possible.

Self-rescue should be implemented whenever an entrant or attendant determines there is a problem within the space. This may include a potentially hazardous change in atmospheric conditions within the space or when signs or symptoms of an exposure are noted. Self-rescue may also occur if the entrant realizes that PPE is faulty, communication with the attendant is severed, or some other hazard presents itself that may put the entrant in danger.

NON-ENTRY RESCUE

If self-rescue is not an option, the next consideration should be if a non-entry rescue can be carried out. Non-entry rescue occurs when a worker outside the space does not have to enter to help a worker exit a confined space safely. This type of rescue often requires an attendant or non-entry rescue team. A non-entry retrieval option is required at all times unless the retrieval equipment would increase the risk to the worker or not contribute to the rescue.

The person or people helping the worker out of the confined space will often require the use of a retrieval system comprised of the following components:

  1. Anchor systems such as a davit, pole hoist or tripod
  2. Body harness, worn by the entrant
  3. Connection devices such as a winch or retrieval SRL

This type of rescue is only effective in simple vertical or horizontal spaces. The opening must be able to accommodate the anchor system, and the surface around the opening must support the weight of it in addition to the attached entrant. If the entrant is injured or cannot perform a self-rescue, the attendant can remove the entrant using the retrieval system. This is where a retrieval system with a mechanical advantage becomes very helpful.

If neither self-rescue or non-entry rescue is possible, an entry rescue will be required. If you have a properly trained rescue and retrieval team, they will need to be called upon to help perform getting the entrants out.

ENTRY RESCUE

An entry rescue is required when someone cannot get out on their own and requires not just a team on the outside to assist, but someone who will enter the space to assist any entrants who cannot exit the space on their own. These teams can be comprised of company personnel, including externally hired services or a local emergency response team. Because there needs to be a prompt response in these situations, OSHA specifically addresses the requirements of the entrant’s employer to fully evaluate the capabilities of these rescue teams.

POST-RESCUE REVIEW

Once a rescue is complete, it is important to review how the rescue went and what can be learned from the experience. Do changes need to be made to the rescue plan if the confined space is going to be accessed in the future? Does your PPE need to be checked and should any of it be decommissioned and different or should new PPE ordered?

PPE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

As part of a rescue plan and the hazard assessment conducted for each confined space entry, make sure you have identified what PPE and other equipment, such as air monitoring/gas detection instruments, are needed. Also, be sure everything is available in stock on the premises, the location is known, the equipment is clean and is in good working order before commencing any access work.

When it comes to considering the equipment for a rescue start with understanding the ABC’s of confined space:

  • Anchorage systems such as davits, pole hoists, tripods

  • Body support, which means full body harnesses, and in some cases, boatswain (bosun) chairs

  • Connecting devices such as self-retracting lifelines and retrievals

  • Detection for air monitoring of gases, vapors, particulates, fumes and other hazardous substances

  • Education courses that help teach proper techniques

  • Full body coverage for employees who should be protected from head to toe based on hazards identified in the risk assessment, including hard hats, safety glasses, hearing protection, advanced communication devices, respiratory protection, clothing that protects the body against chemicals, fires and other hazards such as coveralls, as well as gloves and safety shoes that protect the hands and feet

ARE YOU READY IF A RESCUE OR RETRIEVAL BECOMES NECESSARY?

Proactively identifying a proper rescue plan, seeking out appropriate training and identifying the right equipment long before any rescue is ever attempted is crucial. You must be prepared so if you’re faced with saving someone who’s stuck, has collapsed, or has ceased to respond from inside a confined space, you are ready for the situation.

3M knows there’s a lot to consider when it comes to planning for, working in and rescuing someone from inside a confined space. Explore resources available at 3m.com/confinedspace. 


ORIGINAL ARTICLE REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION VIA 3Mconfined space rescue 3m from hercules slr

To browse Hercules SLR’s selection of 3M Fall Protection for confined spaces and more, click here

 


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

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

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


  1. https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0015.pdf

Star Struck in Hamilton: Kevin Richardson from Heavy Rescue 401

heavy rescue 401 visits hercules

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

HERCULES SLR MEETS HEAVY RESCUE 401

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

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

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

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

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

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

HERCULES SLR HELPS HEAVY RESCUE 401’S KEVIN RICHARDSON

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

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

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

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

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

LEADING WITH SERVICE: HOW HERCULES SLR GOES ABOVE & BEYOND

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

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

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

SERVICES AT HERCULES SLR


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

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

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

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

webbing sling from hercules slr

WEBBING SLING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

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

Webbing slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex webbing sling is made with two synthetic fabric layers stitched together for extra reinforcement. A simplex webbing sling is made with only one synthetic fabric layer.

“Just one layer? That won’t do anything,” you might be thinking—but how wrong you’d be! Even though a webbing sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a webbing sling is surprisingly strong. 

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

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

Q: What are they usually made from? 

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

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

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

webbing sling at hercules slr

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

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

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

Polyamide (PA)—Green label

Polypropylene (PP)—Brown label

Q: What chemicals will affect webbing slings?

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

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

Answer: Look for the safe-working load (SWL), identification number and the label’s colour code.

 Q: How do I store my webbing sling?

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

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

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

Q: Okay, so what’s a critical lift?!

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

Other factors that can make a lift critical are: 

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

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

Answer: Never! Don’t knot, tie or twist a webbing sling. Don’t manipulate the sling’s angle, either—use the sling however the angle forms naturally.  

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

Q: When should I not use a webbing sling? 

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

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

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

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

DOWNLOAD OUR SYNTHETIC SLING INSPECTION GUIDE

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

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

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

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

Stop the Snap: Prevent Rope Snapback

rope snapback, rigging service, hercules slr

Dwayne Fader’s been with Hercules SLR for over 30 years and recently, he decided to ditch the dark Canadian Winter for summery, sunny Florida—before he flies away, we sit down with Dwayne to ask him a few questions about rope snapback. 

Rope snapback never fails to shock workers – it’s fast, forceful and damaging, yet preventable. Read on to learn more about the dangers of rope snapback, and discover our tips to prevent it. 

WHY DOES ROPE SNAPBACK?

When rope has too much tension applied to it and it breaks, it will snapback toward the direction of the pull because of kinetic energy—both wire and synthetic rope does this. Rope will always snapback, but you can’t always determine how fast it will snapback. It will always snapback to its pulling point, which is visible before or when you lift. This can cause terrible injuries, or even be fatal. 

The biggest thing you can do to prevent rope snapback is to inspect your rope before, during and after use. 

If you notice that there’s a lot of tension applied to the rope, you should re-rig the operation.  

rope snapback, rope, hercules slr, rigging ropeHOW-TO PREVENT ROPE SNAPBACK

How does one prevent rope snapback? Unfortunately, once the rope has broke there is nearly nothing you can do – except try to get out of its way.

Prevention is the main way to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by rope snap back. No matter the strength of a rope, it undergoes wear and tear like exposure to chemicals, harsh environments, friction and bends – this causes rope fibres to degrade over time. 

The best way to do this is with education and training for all workers—not just those who operate the rope. To keep rope in good working order, educate workers on:

  1. How to select the correct type of rope to use for the application/job; 
  2. Proper methods to handle the rope for application and beyond;
  3. When to remove the rope from service. 

To know when to remove your rope from service, you must conduct a rope inspection. To do this, inspect ropes before, during and after use. Training should also include inspection criteria for the ropes being used on the job, which can vary depending on the type of rope. This will help workers know what to look for, so they can tell if a rope should be taken out of service, or not. 

It should also cover the reality of what happens when a rope snaps back, areas where it’s most likely to snapback in a dangerous way (for example, sailboats typically have marked off “snapback zones” that indicate dangerous zones to stay away from) and an emergency plan of what to do when snapback occurs. 

ROPE MAINTENANCE TO PREVENT SNAPBACK 

SPLICING

Rope splicing is a method use to add a termination or join two ropes together without tying a knot.

Don’t tie a knot in rope, as knots reduce their safe-working load – splice rope instead to add terminations to a rope’s end. This also (typically) retains all of the rope’s strength or WLL. 

END-FOR-ENDING

End-for-ended rope is rope that’s rotated – the frequency depends on the rope and the application its used for. End-for-ending rope adds variety to the points of the rope where stress is regularly applied, which allows you to get more life from your rope. 

STORAGE

It may sound like common sense, but it’s important to store your rope properly. Improper storage could make your rope deteriorate and fail faster. 

ROPE SNAPBACK TRAINING

An effective method to make people aware of how wrong snapback can go is to educate them in the areas and methods discussed above – and to show how scary the reality is. 

Watch the video ‘Aircraft Carrier Cable Snap’ below for a frightening example of rope snapback. Note the crew near the back who are knocked to the ground by its force, also see the person who jumps it – TWICE: 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember – to prevent rope snapback, ensure you’re using the right kind of rope for the move or lift you’re planning. Be sure to train workers on proper use of rope, like rope splicing, end-for-ending and safety issues. 

 

References: Miles, A., & Prentice, G. (1986). Synthetic Line Snapback (pp. 1-9, Rep.). Naval Sea Systems Command., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuIbvX_B7sY, https://www.samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care, http://www.workingwaterfrontarchives.org/2015/01/29/rope-snap-back-and-parting-among-marine-safety-hazards/, https://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge-publications/article/best-practice-mooring-snap-back-zones-135637/, https://samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care 

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

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

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

Quality Assurance & Safety Specialist – James Golemiec

quality-assurance

Get to know your Quality Assurance & Safety Specialist – James Golemiec

James Golemiec CRSP is our Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Assurance Specialist. We asked him some questions about himself and how he decided to choose this career path.

Tell us about your educational background?

James: I have a B.Sc. in biology and two separate, two-year university diplomas: one in Engineering and one in Education. I also recently completed a Diploma in OHS (3-years studying at nights and on weekends) and I passed the exam for Canadian Registered Safety Representative (CRSP).

What made you decide to go into this industry?

James:  I have a background in the wire rope business as a sales development rep. for a competing firm. I knew nothing about wire rope when I made the decision to join the industry, but I had experience in steel making and several years’ experience selling to industry, so I took a chance.

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

James: I was a science/ industrial arts teacher before going into engineering sales. Later I spent years selling high technology products for companies based in Toronto and in Chicago.

What made you want to transition into Quality Assurance and Safety?

Quality-Assurance

James: Working for Maritime companies involves wearing various ‘hats’. When I started in engineering sales, one of my ‘additionally assigned tasks’ was to manage my company’s quality system, when one of our engineers quit. I dealt aerospace and electronics clients for injection molded plastics parts that we manufactured for them. I am detail-oriented, and a problem-solver, so managing a quality system came easily to me. My occupational health and safety role started 7 years ago, when I was hired by Hercules.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

James: I already had the background in quality assurance and in the wire rope industry. At Hercules I have ‘internal customers’ and I still occasionally get to use my teaching skills.

Where have you traveled during your time as a Quality and Safety specialist for Hercules SLR?

James: In my first two years at Hercules, one of my tasks was to install and inspect life lines. This work sent me to natural gas plants in Alberta, where I climbed 60- foot external ladders. I also traveled to power generating stations in New Brunswick, to install life lines in hot, dust-filled coal storage silos. These are jobs that our inspectors do; it is varied work and a lot of the time… it’s just plain fun!

Now, I occasionally travel across Canada to conduct the annual internal quality audits and to accompany our external auditor during the annual ISO9001 surveillance audits.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for your job at Hercules?

James: We have branches in small towns in northern New Brunswick and large cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. I enjoy travelling in all provinces to perform audits at our branches. Every region is unique and our staff at each branch are always friendly and accommodating to me.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?
James: I haven’t been to some of the outlying branches in Ontario and it’s been a
James-Gwhile since I’ve been in New Brunswick and PEI.  I would enjoy going to those areas.

Is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

James: As companies like Hercules grow, their quality assurance and safety staff are generally expanded, to create improvements in product and service delivery and to improve their safety cultures.

The next step for someone in my position is to guide those improvements.

I also see Hercules performing external safety consulting for other companies, which is another profitable and growing area.  I look forward to being in that more senior role, in the next few years.

 

Lastly, is there anything about you that most people would not know?

James: I’m a licensed pilot; I’ve owned many motorcycles over the years and I enjoy oil painting (My life goal is to be ‘passable’ at portraits).

 

Hercules SLR offers a wide array of safety training courses. Alongside our standard courses we can tailor make courses to suit your specific requirements, at our facility or yours. To find out more about our course and how we can help you raise the bar in safety training email us at: training@herculesslr.com

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

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

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

 

Become a Rigger: Your Career Map

"become a rigger"-become-a-rigger-hercules-slr-rigging-careers

BECOME A RIGGER.

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP

                                    

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING & EDUCATION                                                                               

 

 

So you want to become a rigger?

A rigger’s main responsibility is to lift, lower, hoist and pull objects using machinery and lifting equipment like synthetic, chain and wire rope slings, hoists and cranes.

They are responsible to make and determine the best configurations and equipment to lift a load, be knowledgeable about safety & operating procedures and know how to fabricate, repair, inspect, install and service rigging and lifting equipment – lifting equipment can range from synthetic slings, wire rope, lifting magnets or cranes and aerial lifting trucks. 

Certain industries, or niche industries (particularly those that require you to use and operate heavy machinery and equipment like cranes and lifting trucks) will require a specific certification to operate them. 

A rigger can provide these services: 

  •  Inspections, on-site or in-shop
  •  Load tests 
  •  Crane repair, sales, inspection and installation
  •  Training
  • Sales and services 

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS                                                                

 

 

Many industries that use riggers or rig technician’s don’t require formal training, but do require and/or provide on-the-job learning, training courses and certifications.

However, it may be beneficial to complete a college or technical diploma, which can improve your chances of getting a job or apprenticeship.  

At Hercules SLR, our riggers have a combination of LEEA certifications and on-the-job training from our certified trainers and inspectors.  

Some of these include:

  • Lifting Certifications from LEEA
  • Training Courses 
  • College Diploma 

You also have the option to become a rig technician, which is a Red Seal Trade in Canada. According to the NSAA, a rig technician: 

  • Operates drawworks, rotary equipment and pumps 
  • Inspects rigs 
  • Maintains records of drilling operations
  • Oversees rig mobilization and demobilization 

You don’t need formal education to become a red seal technician, but must complete 9,000 apprentice hours to qualify to complete the rig technician red seal exam. A rig technician is responsible for the above duties, but also operating tools, wearing and ensuring the proper PPE is used and must operate lifting and hoisting equipment. 

become a rigger, "become a rigger"
Cranes, chains & cargo – a glimpse at common items and equipment found in rigging industry 

BECOME A RIGGER: ESSENTIAL SKILLS                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                 You might wonder—”This sounds nice, but what should I be good at to be a rigger?” A career as a rigger may be right for you if you’re:  

  • Mechanically inclined;
  • Comfortable with math and physics; 
  • Interested in a balance of both physical and administrative work, comfortable using technology;
  • A strong, effective communicator;  
  • An eye for detail and quick decision-making; 
  • Comfortable in harsh climate conditions, rigging often involves working in the extreme heat or       cold.  

BECOME A RIGGER: INDUSTRIES YOU COULD WORK IN                                                           

 

 

  • Entertainment (set and stunt rigging) & Theatre (stage rigging) 
  • Maritime, marine & fishing – sailboat rigging included 
  • Airline 
  • Construction  
  • Offshore Drilling/Oil and Gas 
  • Mining 
  • Manufacturing
  • Forestry
  • Transportation
  • Utilities 
  • Shipping/Receiving and Material Handling 

BECOME A RIGGER: LIKE THE SOUND OF THESE JOB TITLES?                                                   

 

 

If you become a rigger, you could have one of these job titles: 

  • Slinger
  • Parachute Rigger
  • Sailboat/Ship Rigger
  • Gantry Rigger
  • Machinery Mover
  • Hook Tender
  • Wire Rigger
  • Yacht Rigger
  • Grip
  • Crane Rigger
  • Acrobatic Rigger
  • Theatrical Rigger

BLOGS                                                                                                                                                             

 
 
 
 
Interested to learn more about rigging, becoming a rig technician and rigging and lifting equipment? Check out our blogs below:
 

HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY

TRAINING COURSES

References: https://www.nscc.ca/Learning_Programs/Programs/PlanDescr.aspx?prg=MIRG&pln=MARINDRIG, https://nsapprenticeship.ca/trades#accordion58, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html, http://www.red-seal.ca/trades/rigtech/2012n.4.1_.4v.2rv.3.2w-eng.htmlhttps://www.jobhero.com/how-to-become-rigger/, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html
 

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

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

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