Tool Fall Protection: more important than you think

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Tool Fall Protection: confidence at heights

During Summer 2018, in Providence, Rhode Island ironworkers strapped on their fall protection—tool fall protection included, to start work on a major project.

« That guy’s nuts! » exclaims Steven Strychasz, a nearby civilian watching ironworkers work on the steel skeleton new Residence Inn Providence Hotel.

The guys who’s ‘nuts’? That’s Kyle Coulombe, 31 an ironworker who climbing 50-feet, with an 800-pound beam suspended over his head while working on the hotel.

Fall Protection: essential for working at height

Crane operator Steve Berube inches his hoist so Coulumbe can align a bolt hole at the end of a coloumn so the two will connect. Then, he walks along the beam to connect the other coloumn while the crane holds steady. Coulumbe attaches his safety line to the top flange of the beam. He now hangs from the crane hook by a cable. He resets his cable line, and continues working.

This amazes the crowd—his ability to seamlessly navigate and climb around the huge iron columns and beams.

What allows Coulumbe to do this with ease? His skills, his nerves, but mainly—the fall protection attached to his safety harness. His fall protection system not only keeps his body safe, but his tools too. Coulumbe carries approximately 60 pounds of tools in his harness daily, including nuts, bolts and a 9-pound sledge hammer.

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A secured worker at height.

Fall Protection: it’s for your tools, too

Tool fall protection is also essential when working at heights. Many people don’t consider the damage or pain from, for example—a nine-pound sledge hammer falling on their head. However, according to Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) in 2013 there were nearly 9000 injuries caused by falling tools. 23 of these injuries were fatal.

Tool Fall Protection: do the math

To put this in perspective, COS suggests calculating with physics—they use a common, eight-pound wrench as example. If this wrench was dropped from 200-feet above, it would hit with 2,833 pounds per square inch of force—the equivalent of a Clydesdale horse hitting a one-square inch area. This is why tool fall protection is just as important as securing your body.

According to COS, the shape of a tool or equipment can have an equally disastrous effect. For example, a two-pound hammer could drop from a three-metre height onto a hard hat, and the impact would be minimal—but a two-pound sleever bar dropped from this height would go directly through the hard hat, and will puncture the skull.

Accidents don’t just happen from tools falling. Often, a worker attempts to catch his tool and can lose his balance, or drops the tool which then becomes a tripping hazard for unsuspecting workers below.

Next time you work at height, protect yourself, others and your tools with the right fall protection.

Read our blog on the importance of choosing a comfortable safety harness to ensure your fall protection fits properly.

References here: https://www.wireropenews.com/news-201808-When-Lives-are-on-the-Line.html
http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180721/iron-men-love-their-jobs-bolting-together-future-in-providence
https://www.cos-mag.com/personal-process-safety/31597-objects-falling-from-heights-on-construction-sites-lead-to-injuries/

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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.

Available at Hercules: DBI-SALA® ExoFit STRATA™ Body Harness

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Body Harness: Why are they so Uncomfortable?

Comfort is one of the main reasons workers don’t wear proper fall-protection equipment, or a body harness. Yet falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and compliance with safety standards is a major issue, according to OSHA.

DBI-SALA® ExoFit STRATA™ Body Harness: Comfortable, Cool & Light to Wear 

3M Personal Safety Division and Capital Safety, two world industry leaders in personal protective equipment and fall protection products have designed a solution for the discomfort—the DBI-Sala ExoFit Strata body harness.

“The safest harness is the one workers actually wear. Since launching the harness in the fall of 2015, hundreds of workers have made the switch to ExoFit STRATA,” says Tim Thompson, soft goods manager at Capital Safety. “Workers and managers alike have caught on to the overall benefit of utilizing equipment that compliments workers while on the job, and leaves them feeling comfortable even after they end a shift.”

Features

In July 2015, Capital Safety parented with ergonomics specialists from the Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics at Northwestern Health Sciences University to look at the need for new innovation from harness development. Their research looked at the most common complaints from workers—the load on the back and shoulders, limited range of motion and body temperature. The ExoFit STRATA™ Body Harness was created  in response to these complaints. exofit-strata-body-harness

The ExoFit STRATA features solution-based elements, including a first-of-its-kind LIFTech™ Load Distribution System. LIFTech takes the weight off a worker’s shoulders and redistributes it down to the hips, which reduces force on the shoulders up to 85%. PolarMesh™ padding keeps users’ backs cooler with greater air flow. A Revolver™ Vertical Torso Adjuster and Tri-Lock Revolver™ Connectors, which offer added security around the legs, allow wearers to adjust their harness to the perfect fit. An EZ-Link™ Quick SRL Adapter helps workers efficiently attach their personal SRL, which reduces the time it takes to connect and disconnect by up to 80 percent. Tech-Lite™ Aluminum D-Rings allow for optimal reliability without adding significant weight to the harness.

Original article: http://www.capitalsafety.com/caadmin/Pages/DBI-SALA-ExoFit-STRATA-Harness-Helps-Workers-Lighten-Up.aspx

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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.

Confined Spaces: Choose the Best Fall Protection Equipment

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Proper Fall Protection Equipment: stay safe in confined spaces

We’ve given you tips for remaining safe in confined spaces and preventing injury—but how do you choose the best fall protection equipment to keep yourself and others safe? Read on and discover Hercules SLR’s tips for choosing the safest fall protection equipment for work in confined spaces.

Three Essential Components to Confined Space Fall Protection Equipment

When choosing the best fall protection equipment, you typically need an anchorage, body support and a connector. If entering a confined space vertically without a fixed ladder, you must have an anchor point that supports the required forces.

If entering horizontally, but with a vertical position, or you must retrieve someone or something (for example, on the side of a tank) you must have a side-entry system. This attaches to the access point with a bolt or clamp, and provides anchorage and a base for your winching mechanism.

When undertaking task-specific work, like entering a manhole, for example, tripods are the best option. They are easy to transport between locations, however, tripods only accommodate specific sized openings. If tripods aren’t enough, or more versatility is needed a davit arm, or post is another option to consider.

Davits are great for use at various types of worksites. Davits are a versatile choice as they can be fixed or portable. Some feature adjustable bases capable of hoisting workers over large openings, while others have fixed a « v » shaped adjacent to the opening.

confined space training

Support Yourself

Supporting body weight is an essential function of fall protection equipment—it’s important to consider comfort and durability when choosing appropriate fall protection equipment.

Have an employee working in a confined space for an extended period of time, or in various spots throuconfined-space-fall-protection-equipment-safety-harnessghout the day? Consider investing in a high-quality body harness with built-in shoulder, back and leg padding with soft edging for maximum comfort.

Need durability above all? Consider a harness with a protective coating specifically designed to be easily cleaned and repel dirt, grease and grime.

Need to access a confined space infrequently? Consider a basic harness, an economical option for work in confined spaces during a short period of time.

Easy Retrieval is Key

As we mentioned in our previous article, easy retrieval from confined spaces is key. For work in confined spaces (particularly for an extended period of time) consider a specialty harness with D-rings on each shoulder strap. A Y-Lanyard connects the two D-rings to a winch line, which allows workers to be raised and lowered vertically.

Your winch, or winching mechanism will include a steel or synthetic line and will be your connector. Your line will have a crank, and will connect to a tripod or davit system in order to lower and raise the employee. Security is a major benefit of this fall protection equipment—it includes a braking system, so if the winch operator release the winch, the worker being raised and/or lowered won’t fall.

For ease of use and frequent raising and lowering, a power drive is an optional feature to consider in your winch—it still has manual capabilities, and can be used automatically as well.

Find information and the best fall protection equipment at Hercules SLR.

Source here: https://bit.ly/2Jv4HOB

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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.

Hercules’ Tips: Is your Safety Harness Comfortable?

comfortable-safety-harness

A safety harness is a necessary evil for many workers, working across many different industrial trades. We understand—nobody likes to be uncomfortable during their work day.

However, proper equipment, like safety harnesses are key to getting the job one, reducing costs, injuries, and most importantly—getting home safely. Although necessary, heavy equipment can leave you sore, tired and less productive by the day’s end.

Lighter harnesses have been produced to reduce discomfort and give more mobility, however this hasn’t solved issues like injuries from fatigue, strain or repetitious movement. Workers must still carry heavy equipment, typically for 10+ hours a day—issues improper safety harnesses can exacerbate.

Check out this infographic to find out the real cost of injuries, wearing improper equipment (or wearing it improperly) and some of the biggest complaints surrounding safety harnesses. It also includes how to choose a safety harness that provides support and comfort, so you can remain productive and safe during your work day.

Find all your safety harness needs at Hercules SLR—including custom-fitted harnesses, fall protection training and more.

Are you Wearing a Comfortable Safety Harness?

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Original article here: http://www.capitalsafety.com/caadmin/Pages/Rethinking-Productivity-and-Safety.aspx

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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 Spaces: Hercules’ Safety Tips

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What is a Confined Space?

Confined spaces are present in nearly every industrial trade, and most workers will encounter at least one confined space during their career.

The OSHA states that nearly 90 deaths occur per year, across a range of industries involving confined spaces. Almost 2/3 of these fatalities are caused during an attempt to rescue someone in a confined space—having an efficient, established retrieval plan in place is essential to preventing death and injury.

A confined space is defined as a entirely or considerably enclosed space, where dangerous conditions are present due to lack of oxygen or hazardous substances.

What else constitutes a confined space? A space which is large enough for a person to enter or exit, has limited or restricted exits and isn’t designed for extended human occupancy. A confined space may have more than one opening, however—if a worker must climb through various obstacles to access the opening, this may be considered a confined space as well.

Confined spaces also may temporarily appear on a work site through construction, fabrication or modification. Tunnels, manholes and silos are all examples of confined spaces.

What is a Permit-Required Confined Space?

Not only are permit-required confined spaces difficult to enter, they present serious hazards like inadequate ventilation or noxious air. These include:

  • Hazardous atmosphere or potential for one;
  • Material, like grain that could engulf an individual;
  • Walls converging inwards, or floors sloping downward and tapering into a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an individual;
  • Any other recognized hazards, like unguarded machinery, heat stress, or a fall hazard.

These confined spaces present a great threat as they’re more likely to cause fatalities—a quick and simple exit, or rescue must be possible for workers in confined spaces. The safest rescue strategies involve no additional employees entering the space—retrieval equipment should be used unless unsafe to do so.

Confined Space Training

 

What Makes Confined Spaces Dangerous, Anyway?

Not only are confined spaces difficult to enter, exit and navigate, they present a series of other dangerous threats many workers may overlook. Dangers commonly present themselves when welding, painting, flame cutting or using chemicals in a confined space. Other risks include:

  • Lack of oxygen;
  • Poisonous gas, fume or vapour;
  • Liquids and solids suddenly filling the confined space, gas releasing in the space when disturbed;
  • Fire and explosions;
  • Residues left behind that give off gas, fume or vapour;
  • Hot working conditions;
  • Falling objects;
  • Moving parts of equipment or machinery;
  • Electrical shock resulting from defective extension cords, welding cables, etc.;
  • Poor visibility;
  • Materials travelling through piping like gases, hot substances or water.

Fall-Prevention Training is Essential for Safety in Confined Spaces confined-spaces-fall-prevention

As previously mentioned, having an established and efficient rescue plan for workers’ in confined spaces is essential. Fall protection, or prevention training is another not only important, but essential step to ensure safety.

There are five main steps to consider when safeguarding a confined space:

  1. Guard the entrance: A guardrail, barrier or another temporary cover must be in place to prevent entry (i.e. an accidental fall) into the space.
  2. Wear fall-protection gear: All workers, even those not working in the space should have proper fall-protection gear. Dangerous factors may affect nearby workers, like fumes. Equipment like Restraint Lanyards that stop an appropriate distance from the confined space should be used by other workers.
  3. Make sure vertical access is safe: Typically, a ladder or a davit arm with a winching mechanism is used to safely access the confined space.
  4. Use fall-arrest equipment: The main components of fall protection for a confined space are an anchorage, body support and a connector. Workers should have a backup for their primary entry and exit source. If using a ladder for example, the worker should also have a retractable lifeline and a winching mechanism, or may have a safety harness with a retractable winching mechanism to lower, and raise workers into the confined space. Equipment will depend on a vertical or horizontal entry.
  5. Training: If a workers is unfamiliar with fall-protection equipment, the term itself or has no recorded instances of fall-protection or prevention training, the employee must be trained to inspect and use fall-protection equipment and know general information regarding fall-protection.

Find fall-arrest equipment, and more safety solutions for working in confined spaces at Hercules SLR. Click here to read more on how to select the best fall-protection equipment for confined spaces.

Original Article: http://www.capitalsafety.com/en-us/Documents/New-OSHA-Rescue-Requirements-for-Confined-Space-Retrieval-Firl-Argudin-OHS-November-2015.pdf

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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.

Quality Alert: Seat Sling for 3M Exofit ™ Harnesses

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The following affects select ExoFit ™ harnesses manufactured from June 2017 to the end of May 2018. 

3M Fall Protection has received reports that the aluminum reinforcement plate used in the seat sling on certain DBI-SALA ExoFit ™, ExoFit XP™ (inc. Arc Flash), and ExoFit NEX™ (inc. Arc Flash) harnesses can become dislodged from the webbing.

In a few instances, the aluminum seat plate has separated from the harness and fallen to the ground, creating a potential dropped object hazard. There have been no reports of injuries or accidents associated with this condition. The performance of the harnesses is unaffected by this issue—they will perform properly in all respects, including as body support for a personal fall arrest system in the event of a fall, even without the added comfort offered by the seat sling.

3M is offering a free warranty replacement of the seat sling for all DBI-SALA ExoFit™, ExoFit XP™ (inc. ArcFlash), and ExoFit NEX™ (inc. ArcFlash) harnesses with a seat sling, with a manufacture date of 17/06 (2017, June) through the end of 18/05 (2018, May) regardless of model number.

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What to look for on your 3m ExoFit harness.

End-Users: Please inspect your harness, if you find a harness within the affected range with a seat sling, contact 3M Customer Service at 1-800-387-7484 (ext. 5908) or email us for your free replacement seat sling at 3MCAFPServiceAction@mmm.com. Please provide us with the model number and manufacture date when contacting us. After you receive your replacement seat sling, please remove your original sling from service and dispose of it.

Distributors: Upon receipt of this notice, please contact our Customer Service department at 800-3877484 (ext. 5908) or email at 3MCAFPServiceAction@mmm.com to obtain a listing of harnesses with seat slings that were sold to you with the affected lot numbers. If you have any of the affected parts in stock, you should return them to 3M Fall Protection for replacements. Please forward this Alert to any of your customers who have purchased affected products from you and provide any assistance requested by your customers to complete the process.

3M remains committed to providing quality products and services to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience that this situation may cause you. We appreciate your continued support of 3M Fall Protection products and service.

Original News Release hereSeat Sling Service Action Notice_EN

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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.

MSA Safety – New V-Series Energy-Absorbing Lanyards

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Effective immediately, (Aug 16, 2018) new MSA CSA Z259.11-17 V-Series Energy-Absorbing Lanyards are replacing the Workman® and Sure-Stop® Energy-Absorbing Lanyards.

The V-Series Lanyard is the latest addition to the MSA V-Series family of Fall Protection products.  With its new look, smaller energy absorber, and improved label protection, the transition from older styles of lanyards will be an easy choice.

Due to the release of the new CSA Z259.11-17 standard and the availability of the new V-Series lanyard family, MSA is officially discontinuing the CSA Workman and Sure-Stop Energy-Absorbing Lanyards effective immediately.  While a limited amount of inventory remains available, we ask that you quickly embrace the new and improved V-Series offering for a seamless transition.

Please note that the energy absorbing lanyards manufactured to the current CSA standard may still be used until their useful life expires which is at the discretion of a competent person inspection.  At the time of replacement, energy-absorbing lanyards labeled to the new CSA Z259.11-17 standard should be implemented.

It is important to note that the new CSA standard revision removed the E4 and E6 energy absorber classifications.  For reference, new MSA lanyards will be grouped into the following classifications:

  • LW CSA for users 50 kg – 105 kg (110 lbs – 230 lbs)
  • CSA for users 68 kg – 140 kg (150 lbs – 310 lbs); and
  • HW CSA for users 140 kg – 175 kg (310 lbs – 386 lbs)

While most users will fit within the « CSA » category of 68 – 140 kg (150 lbs – 310 lbs), please note this change when selecting the most appropriate lanyard for users.

For reference, please review the user capacity chart shown on the attached V-Series Energy-Absorbing Lanyards Conversion Guide.

For all your Fall Protection requirements, call our experts at Hercules SLR! 1-877-461-4876

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 SLR, Hercules Machining & Millwright Services, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar 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.