PPE-volution – How the Golden Gate Bridge Inspired PPE

America’s Industrial Revolution and ingenuity brought about many important advances in worker safety and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).

At the start of the American Industrial Revolution, worker safety and health were nowhere near the priority they are today. As manufacturing grew, so too did worker injuries and deaths. The idea of safe work grew slowly from a small glimmer to a bright flame inside the collective consciousness of the American workforce.

Although the creation of OSHA regulations was many decades away, the evolution of PPE progressed on its own with the creation of new types of protective devices and advancements in pre-existing devices. Much of this early PPE had a major influence on worker safety’s advancement and will continue to do so.

Hard-Headed PPE Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, built in 1933, is an excellent early example of PPE’s influence on safety. Constructing a cable-suspension bridge that was 4,200 feet long was a task that had not been attempted before, one that presented many hazards. The project’s chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, was committed to making its construction as safe as possible.

The bridge’s construction played a particularly significant role in the successful development of one form PPE: It was the first major project that required all of its workers to wear hard hats. Although the hard hat was in its infancy at the time, head protection wasn’t new; gold miners had learned long before the importance of taking steps to protect against falling debris. Michael Lloyd, head protection manager at Bullard – a company in business since 1898, said many early miners wore bowler hats, which were hard felt hats with rounded crowns. Often dubbed « Iron Hats, » these were stuffed with cotton to create a cushioning barrier against blows.

Inspired by the design of his « doughboy » Army helmet, Edward Bullard returned home from World War I and began designing what was to become known as the « hard-boiled hat. » The hat was made of layered canvas that was steamed to impregnate it with resin, sewn together, and varnished into its molded shape. Bullard was awarded the patent in 1919. Later that year, the Navy approached Bullard with a request for some sort of head protection for its shipyard workers. The hat’s first internal suspension was added to increase its effectiveness, and the product’s use quickly spread to lumber workers, utility workers, and construction workers. By the time of the Hoover Dam’s construction in 1931, many workers were voluntarily wearing the headgear. Soon after, the Golden Gate Bridge construction provided a true test of the hard hat’s protective capability because falling rivets were one of the major dangers during the project.

Other innovations came in the form of different materials. In 1938, Bullard released the first aluminum hard hat. It was more durable and comfortable, but it conducted electricity and did not hold up well to the elements. In the ’40s, phenolic hats became available as a predecessor to fiberglass hats. Thermoplastics became the preferred material a decade later for many head protection products; it’s still used by many manufacturers today.
PPE-Hard-hats
From Left to right: Vintage Bullard Miners hats, Vintage Bullard Hard Boiled Hard Hat 1930’s (Used on the Golden Gate Bridge Project, Hard Boiled aluminum Safety hard hat w/Liner and a current day hard hat

In 1953, Bullard introduced the process of injection-molded hats. « Before, [thermoplastic] was kind of laid out on a mold. In the injection-mold process you actually have a closed mold that you pump into. It makes a more consistent helmet and a higher-quality product, which in the long run is also going to be the same thickness all the way through. It’s going to be a safer helmet, » Lloyd said.

Despite the hard hat’s effectiveness and relatively low cost, its use wasn’t officially required at most job sites until the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. OSHA’s head protection standard, 1910.135, obligated employees to protect workers and instructed manufacturers and employers to turn to the American National Standards Institute’s Z89.1 standard for the appropriate usage guidelines.

Many new materials have since been created, such as the use of General Electric’s high-heat-resistant polyphthalate-carbonate resin in firefighters’ helmets. New hard hats have been designed that provide side protection, which are designated type 2 hats in ANSI Z89.1. « A hard hat was originally designed to protect if something falls from that sky and hits you in the head, » Lloyd said. « But what happens if you run into something? What happens if you bend over and something hits your helmet? »

Because hard hats are a mature market, except for the development of other materials, most innovations will be comfort features and technologies enabling them to withstand different temperature extremes, Lloyd predicted. Easier-to-use designs are appearing that allow users to adjust a hard hat’s suspension with one hand. In the last couple of years, manufacturers have come up with different types of vented helmets designed to help workers keep cool. Hats are accessorized with attachable face shields, visors, and ear muffs, and some have perspiration-absorbing liners. Some come with AM/FM radios, walkie-talkies, and camcorders.

Netting a Safe Return
Although primitive by today’s standards, the solution for the problem of falls also was addressed during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Three years into the construction, delays had convinced Strauss to invest more than $130,000 (these were Depression-era dollars, remember) on a vast net similar to those used in a circus. Suspended under the bridge, it extended 10 feet wider and 15 feet farther than the bridge itself. This gave workers the confidence to move quickly across the slippery steel construction. There were reports of workers being threatened with immediate dismissal if found purposely diving into the net.

Strauss’ net was heralded as a huge success until the morning of Feb. 16, 1937, when the west side of a stripping platform bearing a crew of 11 men broke free from its moorings. After tilting precariously for a moment, the other side broke free and the platform collapsed into the net, which contained two other crew members who were scraping away debris. One platform worker, Tom Casey, managed to jump and grab a bridge beam before the platform fell; he hung there until rescued. The net held the platform and the others for a few seconds before it ripped and fell into the water. Two of the 12 men who fell survived.

Read the original article here.

At Hercules SLR we provide a wide range of PPE solutions, from Lanyards and harnesses, to hard hats and rescue equipment.  We also repair, service and certify PPE equipment. We stock leading industry brands and can provide you with expert advise on your PPE options depending on your project. Call us on 1-877-461-4876 for more information.

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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.

Get To Know Your Trainer – Lou Gould, CHSC

Lou-Header

Lou Gould, CHSC is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background?

Lou: I have established great relationships with the leading manufacturers in safety personal protective equipment. This has allowed me to be involved in
Lou Gould 2many product development discussions providing industry feedback and application recommendations. I have had the opportunity to visit and view their manufacturing processes and facilities enabling me to understand their operations, business model and product offerings. I have participated in numerous hours of product training enabling me to consult and educate to my clients with knowledge, experience and the confidence to recommend the appropriate product for the task.

I am a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and have achieved the Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) designation. I currently sit as the Vice Chair on the executive committee for the NS Chapter of the CSSE.

I have achieved the Certificate in Health, Safety and Environmental Processes (CHSEP) from the University of Fredericton.

Certified trainer in Fall Protection, High Angle Rescue, Forklift, Aerial Platform, Telehandler and Respiratory Fit Test Administrator. I have completed courses in Adult Education and instructional design.

What made you decide to enter into this industry?

Lou: Very early in my career I realized that most of the personal protective equipment purchases were made with little or no thought to the hazard, task and application. Customers were purchasing products and training as an afterthought or a directive with little or no explanation. To be blunt: “to get this off their plate” or because someone “told me to”. I found myself researching the task, hazards and applications for the clients and recommending the appropriate products to mitigate their risk while educating them. This became my doorway to evolve from product sales to Health and Safety consulting and training. I have a passion to help and educate. Every day I feel great knowing I am helping someone work safe and go home to their family.

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

Lou: I have been in the industry since 1994 and have held various roles from Inside Sales, Purchasing, Account Manager, Management and currently Consultant and Trainer. This has allowed me to understand the basis of all business aspects and how health and safety is an integral part to ensure the health of the business and the personnel. I have always been a builder of things and enjoy seeing plans and people grow and prosper.

I have created safety divisions within companies. I have constructed training facilities complete with classrooms and practical exercise areas as well as designing and delivering training courses. As I worked to increase service offerings I have created rental and inspection programs. All these roles have given me the tools to be an effective health and safety consultant and trainer.

What made you want to transition into training?

Lou: I am naturally a storyteller and enjoy being in front of people sharing stories and getting to know each other. I pride myself on providing a positive, nurturing and comfortable environment in which the students can become engaged and educated.  It is very important to me to provide superior knowledge transfer to my students and give them another tool in their toolbox to complete their task safely and efficiently.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Lou: Hercules SLR has a great reputation and is respected in the industry. They have a great company focus and allow the employees growth personally and professionally. It is very important to me to work for a company that provides for all aspects including  design, supply, install, inspection, certification, consulting and for course TRAINING! Hercules SLR does it all.

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Lou: I support all our branches across Canada and we can offer training for all regions. Most of my time is spent in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Lou: Houston, Texas USA was fantastic! Great weather, great food and a good bunch of guys on the course. Also, Long Harbour NL is beautiful place with great people.

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

Lou: Vancouver would be great in mid-winter! Anywhere in the US would be exciting.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Lou: I am committed to continue to invest in myself while increasing my accreditation as part of my personal success plan. Displaying leadership, integrity and character will allow me to remain at the top of the safety industry and retain respect from my peers, colleagues and competitors.

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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 Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

 

PPE Fall Protection in North America

Hercules SLR

PPE Fall Protection: the early lanyard

PPE Fall Protection devices were used in the early 20th Century by many professionals, although they used rope lanyards made of natural fibers, such as manila hemp, and simple body belts with no shock-absorbing properties. Clarence W. Rose–who early in his career was a window washer–became a pioneer in fall protection when he started the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1934 and began producing safety belts and lanyards for window washers. On Nov. 24, 1959, Rose was awarded a patent for an easy-to-use cable connector for safety belts that also had some shock-absorbing properties (U.S. Patent 2,914,139). Listed in the patent was a statement that the connector could, among other things, « be adapted to slip somewhat responsive to a sudden jerk as when the safety rope checks the fall of a wearer and thereby eases the shock to the wearer incurred by checking the fall. »

PPE Fall Protection
Madison Avenue Window Cleaner

PPE Fall Protection: shock-absorption major leap forward

Joseph Feldstein, manager of Technical Services at MSA, which purchased the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1996, said the idea of a shock absorber was a major step forward in protecting against the large braking forces generated in arresting falls, especially during Rose’s time.

« If you can imagine, workers with a simple belt and lanyard arrangement that was common up until that point would be exposed to a fall that could not only damage them internally because of the forces exerted to the soft tissues of the abdomen around the belt, but also you could generate such forces that you could separate the lanyard, » he said.

Rose continued to develop his shock-absorbing concept and was awarded several patents for newer and better shock absorbers. Ultimately, his designs influenced the creation of the modern-day shock absorber. Rose also received many other patents related in some way to preventing or protecting workers from falls. An example is the patent for an early « Ladder Climber » harness system (U.S. Patent 2,886,227) that contains two hook lanyards that are both attached to a harness. While ascending or descending, a worker grasps one hook in each hand and secures them over alternating ladder rungs.

Decades later, the industry would see the emergence of locking snap hook connectors and full-body harnesses, both gaining much more acceptance in the 1980s. In 1990, OSHA enacted regulation 1910.66. Craig Firl, product marketing manager in Hardgoods for Capital Safety-USA, said appendix C in this regulation was the key to getting several areas of fall protection technology up to date.

« Even though that particular standard at that time allowed for non-locking-type hooks to be used in a fall protection-type system, they recommended the locking type to be used because they were safer hooks and more compatible, » Firl said.

PPE Fall Protection: more hardware than ever

Feldstein agreed, adding that the acceptance of the locking snap hook led to the creation of a whole new series of connecting anchorage systems: straps, D-rings, and more. « And that’s continued to evolve to its current state, where we now have personalized anchorage connectors for almost every application, whether it’s building construction or general industry, » he said. Even though body belts were still allowed, Feldstein said appendix C acknowledged that OSHA recognized full-body harnesses as a major innovation in fall arrest. « Belts are still permissible in positioning, but in a fall, you definitely want to be protected by a full-body harness. It distributes the load across your chest and the bony mass of your hip, where your body is most capable of absorbing a blow, and it protects the soft tissue of the abdomen, » Feldstein said.

Two years after 1910.66 arrived, the ANSI committee released standard Z359.1, the key fall protection standard in use today. Most notably, it required the use of full-body harnesses and self-locking snap hooks. Firl said this voluntary compliance standard put pressure on OSHA to recognize that its existing standard needed updating and encouraged the completion of another fall protection standard for the construction industry, Subpart M, in 1995. According to this standard, as of Jan. 1, 1998, the use of body belts and non-locking snap hooks was prohibited.

During the ’80s, Self-Retracting Lanyards (SRLs) gained in development and use. They had been developed in the 1950s for offshore oil production in the North Sea but quickly became a common component in fall protection systems worldwide. Feldstein said SRLs became so valuable because they allowed workers to be protected along a much greater length of travel, increasing productivity without sacrificing safety. He described a scenario for rail car workers:

« Workers could be protected from the ground level and all the way up to the top of the rail car while they were working along the train’s length because the SRL could be mounted mobilely overhead. So that afforded a new type of protection for all types of workers in transportation, everything from rail cars, truck load-outs, and air craft maintenance. »

Regarding fall protection’s future, Firl and Feldstein said they believe comfort will continue to advance. Firl also foresees advances into niche markets with specialized materials and components, similar to the vacuum anchors’ progression into the airline industry for maintenance work on aircraft, whose surfaces can’t be penetrated with traditional-type anchors.
« In the past, a harness was a harness. It didn’t really matter if it was for construction, or utility work, or warehousing, it was a harness, » he said. « Now, you’re starting to see more specialized gear. . .  As an example, in the utility segment, you would see extensively the use of flame-resistant materials . . . because they’re concerned about heat resistance; they’re concerned about being able to resist arc flash and so forth. »

At Hercules SLR we stock MSA, 3M and Honeywell Miller PPE and fall protection products, to provide you with an extensive, high quality range of PPE Fall Protection products. Our in-house experts will advise you on what equipment best suits your project. When it comes time for your yearly inspections and service, our technicians can inspect, repair and certify your gear. For more information on our Fall Protection products and Services, please call: 1-877-461-4876.

References
https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2007/01/01/PPEvolution.aspx?Page=4

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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.

Watch: Hang Glider Travels Without Safety Harness

In recent safety news, a tourist from the United States decided to go hang gliding for the first time during asafety-news-hang-glider vacation in Switzerland—and was in for a huge surprise.

Chris Gursky and his wife Gail take a vacation to Switzerland, and decide to soak up the beautiful scenery by hang gliding. He takes off with his instructor—who forgets to attach his safety harness to the glider. Gursky hangs on for a terrifying 2:14 before they land.

Says Gorsky, « The landing was a rough one, but I lived to tell the story. »

The video shows Gursky hanging on to the glider by one hand and attempting to grab his tandem instructor, while the instructor navigates with one hand and holds on to Gursky with the other.

Gursky had a fractured wrist following the landing, and will need surgery. However, Global News says he’ll glide again—“I will go hang gliding again as I did not get to enjoy my first flight,” notes Gursky.

Watch the terrifying video below:

Safety News: Fall Protection at Hercules SLR

At Hercules SLR, we know the importance of the right fall protection gear. We’re committed to providing hands-on & interactive training, the best safety products and inspection services so you and your employees get the most from your safety gear and harnesses.

Find more information on Hercules SLR training here—for tips on how to properly inspect and ensure you’re using your safety harness properly, read our blog « Safety Inspection: make your harness a habit« .


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.

Rope Grab: 6 fall protection tips from Hercules SLR

rope-grab-3m-fall-protection-safety

Working at height? You have different options when it comes to connectors that aid in fall arrest and fall restraint—a rope grab is a popular option.

Rope grabs are a popular option because they’re often more cost-effective than SRLs (self-retracting lifelines), they allow for mobility in restraint situations, their lifeline length is longer and they can be used beyond the length of the longest SRLs.

Rope grabs are critical to many fall protection plans—read more to find out top six tips you need to know when using a rope grab.

Rope Grabs: top 6 tips

  1. 30” connectors are integral

CSA Z259.2.5-17 is a new CSA Standard that relates to rope grabs and certification for use. Users are required to use a 30” connector which is now integral to the unit. The new Standard tests for  maximum arresting force (MAF) which is included in the scope of testing  and most units will incorporate an energy absorber into the connector to meet that need.

  1. 6’ lanyards are not safe

Convention has dictated that 6-foot lanyards be used in fall arrest systems but in reality, this is very unsafe in the event of a fall on a rope grab.

When a 6-foot lanyard is used, the potential free fall on a trailing (automatic) rope grab can be 12 feet, which is considered a factor 2 fall. Using a regular energy absorber, the falling user would fall through the energy absorber and continue their fall into the backup lanyard, in essence, creating a second free fall. In certain cases where the lifeline isn’t matched to the rope grab, the potential for  damaging the lifeline also exists. This would be considered a catastrophic failure that could lead to injury or death.

This is why it’s of the utmost importance to follow manufacturer instructions for lanyards. Manufacturers will outline the proper connector length limit, which is 30” in Canada and may differ elsewhere.

  1. Rope grabs should always be matched to a lifeline – and tested!

We cannot overemphasize the importance of matching a rope grab with a proper lifeline and then testing it to ensure it will do its job in the event of a fall.

The testing process helps us verify a few important things:

  • Mobility of the rope grab on the lifeline. This ensures the mobility is not jeopardized by the type, stiffness or flexibility of the lifeline which could prevent the rope grab from snagging and being pulled along during the climb of the user, causing a longer free fall.
  • That the lifeline will survive the impact of a fall and allow the user the opportunity to be rescued. When a lifeline is broken during a fall, the odds of the user surviving the fall are low.
  • The rope grab is compatible with the lifeline. Even though a lifeline might look another manufacturer’s  lifeline, the yarn content within the rope of the lifeline may not be  the same. Therefore properties of mobility, tensile strength and wear may not be the same and the rope grab might not function properly on it.
  • That the lifeline is designed to be used as a lifeline. Polypropylene, or store bought yellow  ropes do not function well as lifelines. They are not UV protected and tend to deteriorate quickly. They also “fur” and harden at an accelerated rate when compared to approved lifelines.
rope-grab-fall-protection
3M™ Self Trailing Rope Grab
  1. The difference between using a rope grab for fall restraint and fall arrest

In general, it is better to use a manual rope grab for fall restraint. This is because manual adjustment allows a lifeline to be set at a specific length with an appropriate setback from fall hazards. Trailing rope grabs, or automatic rope grabs, can often open/unlock (even while in the park feature) and allow the user to surpass the setback zone and enter a fall hazard area. Tying a knot in a lifeline to help locate a trailing rope grab is not an option. Doing so can reduce the strength of the rope by 50% and the strength loss is permanent. Undoing the knot does not restore lifeline strength.

Using a rope grab for fall arrest can be served by a manual or automatic unit, depending on whether or not vertical mobility is required. If vertical mobility is required, a trailing, or automatic, robe grab is ideal while a manual rope grab is better suited for when horizontally-oriented mobility is required in restraint.

  1. Safe movement from lifeline to lifeline should be anticipated

In certain fall restraint applications, it’s important to understand the process of movement from one lifeline to another.  If required, consider the following:

  • Plan the work zone so that users understand where the transfer points are and the process with which to proceed with the transfer.
  • The transfer point should be well back of any fall hazard and should provide an intermediate anchorage with which to make the change. Sometimes this will require the user to carry a second rope grab as part of their toolkit to complete the transfer from one lifeline to another.
  • Other transfer options many include: tying off to an anchor with a lanyard in order to facilitate the transfer from one lifeline to another. That lanyard can then be removed and the user  can return to work.
  1. Proper maintenance and storage is crucial

Like any tool, proper storage and maintenance of a rope grab is important to ensure the efficacy of the rope grab and the lifeline.

Rope grabs should be stored in a cool, dry place out of the sun and be kept away from dirt, grime, chemical contaminants and moisture.

When a rope grab is exposed to a dirty work environment, it is important to wipe it down with soapy water and leave it to air dry. This helps ensure that contaminants do not affect the operation of the rope grab and contaminate the rope channel.

Similar to rope grabs, lifelines must be keep clean and dry and stored in a similar environment. Grime and dirt in the yarn of a lifeline can cause breakdown, weakening or hardening of fibers, elongation and loss of strength. Chemical or debris contaminant will render the lifeline unusable, and it should be removed from service and replaced as this represents a failure during the inspection process.

 

Original article: https://safetytownsquare.3mcanada.ca/articles/rope-grabs-user-tips-that-matter

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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.

Tool Fall Protection: more important than you think

tool-fall-protection-safety-harness

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.

Hercules SLR: DBI-SALA® ExoFit STRATA™ Body Harness

3m-dbi-sala-safety-harness-fall-protection-fall-arrest

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.

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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?

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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.