Get to Know your Training Specialist – Jamie England

Jamie-Trainer

Jamie England 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.Jamie England

Tell us about your educational background?

Jamie: I graduated from Acadia University in 1996 with a degree in Education. Over the years I have added to my educational training by completing Adult Education Programs from Dalhousie University and Henson College. I have also collected specific accreditations for industry work such as Enform’s H2S Alive Instructor program, the “Train the Trainer” program from the Advanced Rescue Techniques School of Canada., and recently the LEEA Foundation Course (North American Version).

What made you decide to into this industry?

Jamie:  The rigging field is similar to some of my experiences conducting Technical Rope Rescue seminars across Canada, as well as work I have conducted at height across the Atlantic and Western provinces. It deals with inspections of gear, load calculations, proper rigging techniques and the lifting and lowering of equipment and personnel. It seemed like a logical progression from previous fields of experience while at the same time providing new challenges.

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

Jamie: Once I completed my University Degree I joined a local Nova Scotia company called Survival Systems Training Ltd. It was here that I spent a number of years conducting training in such varied fields as sea survival, Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET), industrial firefighting, confined space entry and rescue, fall protection, and technical rope rescue. I was fortunate to be able to conduct these courses in Alaska, Scotland, Cuba, Egypt across Canada and the USA.

From SSTL I moved onto another local company, Frontline Safety Ltd where I began a career working offshore off the coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Brazil as a H2S Safety Supervisor. During this time, I also spent 11 months as the permit coordinator for the construction and commissioning phase of the Erik Raude Drilling Vessel, as well being the Safety Health and Environment coordinator for the Sable Tier II commissioning program.

Eirik Raude Drilling Vessel
Eirik Raude Drilling Vessel

On top of this, it is safe to say I have spent considerable time managing safety related jobs in every pulp mill and refinery in Atlantic Canada and beyond allowing myself to build up a wealth of experience of the many different facets of work in heavy industry in this country.

What made you want to transition into training?

Jamie: training was always something I had a particular skill for. I studied at a university level and gained a degree in education. I spent a total of 8 years training at Survival Systems and another 8 at Frontline in which conducting adult education was a requirement of the job. It is something I enjoy and something I am particularly good at, so it was never really a transition, instead it was an evolution. Now I am happy to bring these skills and experiences to another local Nova Scotian company, HerculesSLR.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Jamie: Hercules SLR has always had a strong reputation in industry, and after having worked for companies run out of Alberta or America I am appreciative of the fact this is a local Nova Scotian company with Nova Scotian sensibilities…something that cannot be undervalued, in my opinion. It was also exciting knowing I was walking into a situation where Hercules was looking to expand their training footprint and was willing to commit the finances to do so properly. It’s exciting times with our new training school nearing completion. I am glad to be a part of it.

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

Jamie:  A great deal of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces, but we can deliver training anywhere in Canada. The majority of the training I’ve delivered is mainly in Nova Scotia, but I’ve also delivered training in Newfoundland, PEI and New Brunswick as well.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Jamie: in my career I still have great fondness for Brazil, Alaska and Scotland. Three very unique parts of the world with beautiful landscapes, interesting customs and vibrant people.

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

Jamie: I have pretty much seen all of Canada and most of the US during my work-related travels. I am always happy to travel to Europe, South America, Africa…so if there is any training to be done in any of these locals….I’m your man!

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

Jamie: I am hoping to get more LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) courses under my belt. I would like to become an expert in the field, and then to

LEEA Logo

provide that expertise all over the world. This will require a lot of work on my end, but this is, I believe, where my future lies.

 

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.

Warehouse Wow: How our Distribution Centre Leads the Industry

hercules distribution centre warehouse

WAREHOUSE WORSHIP: HOW OUR CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IS LEADING THE INDUSTRY

HERCULES CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE: WHAT WE DO

You’re probably reading this on a computer or mobile phone that at one point, was probably sitting somewhere in a warehouse. In 2019, warehouses are a huge part of nearly every industry but we often don’t consider where our things live before they get to us, or exactly what goes into running a smooth, successful warehouse operation. We’re here to help. 

Hercules’ Central Distribution Centre (DC) in Long-Sault, Ontario has the largest inventory of securing, lifting and rigging equipment under one roof in Canada. We’re also the only Central Distribution Centre (DC) warehouse in the securing, lifting and rigging industry that supplies products on a national-scale to our 20+ branches and ship directly to customers. The Hercules DC is in Cornwall on the 401 highway, sandwiched right between Montreal and Toronto and close to a border-crossing into the United States, as well. 

So, what exactly does it take to operate our DC? Luckily, we know just the guy. Terry Bartlett, Hercules’ Central Distribution Manager shares what he’s learned over his career, and what how he and his team run our DC like a well-oiled machine.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staffHERCULES’ WAREHOUSE: TEAM PLAYERS 

Terry Bartlett has been in distribution and material handling industries for over 20 years. Terry started as a Rig Technician at Hercules SLR in Montreal, quickly moving into a leading roles first as a Production Supervisor, then to Floor Manager. When Hercules decided to open a distribution center 3 years ago, Terry practically leaped at the opportunity to help the team establish operations. Over the past 6 years, Terry’s used his knowledge of Hercules and his distribution experience to set-up, recruit and make operations ultra efficient as our Central Distribution Manager. 

Terry can’t do it all alone—A hard-working team is essential to a well-run DC. Tim Bingley, Nick O’Brien and Jamie Plumadore have been part of the DC warehouse team for two years. They help Terry with basically all aspects of running the DC warehouse, including creating and setting policies & procedures and creating a culture that can continuously improve, keep up and grow with industry trends. 

As our business grows, so does the DC team. The DC Warehouse has doubled their team in the past year. Phillipe Gatien, Adam Bartlett, Eric Nadeau and Eric Vanderwal have joined our team to help operations.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staff

HERCULES WAREHOUSE: 5 SAFETY TIPS FROM TERRY

1. KNOW THE RISKS

Be aware of hazardous risks associated with warehouse work. These include slips and fall (which are some of the most common injuries on any jobsite, even offices) but warehouses present even more issues. Racking accidents, musculoskeletal injuries from improper lifting methods and temperature fluctuations are all risk factors for hazards.

You can’t prevent accidents or expect warehouse personnel to avoid hazards if they aren’t aware of them. 

2. PREVENT FALLS, MAKE HOUSEKEEPING A PRIORITY

Like we mention above, slips and falls are some of the most common warehouse injuries, and can be particularly dangerous when lifting equipment is being used. In Ontario, nearly 20% of lost-time injury claims were due to falls. To prevent falls and trips, be sure to have guards installed in areas where there are large spaces between floors that personnel could fall through. Mop and clean up spills, slippery materials like sawdust, and be sure to store boxes properly – not on the warehouse floor where someone may trip over them.

Train and make personnel aware of any abnormalities that might cause them to trip, like cracks in the floor, uneven stairs or plugged-in cords; and also human error that easily contributes to falls, like tools or equipment placed on the floor for just a moment.   

3. KEEPING TRAINING CURRENT

Yes, maybe employees who have been hired years ago have been trained, but as new standards come out, personnel should be familiar with them. Be sure to give thorough training on any new technologies you bring in, like connective radios or tracking systems, hand signals & important communicative phrases, and make sure safety and equipment training is up-to-date – to do this, give personnel ‘refresher’ courses regularly and hold safety meetings with warehouse personnel. 

4. USE EQUIPMENT PROPERLY

Again, « Isn’t this common-sense? » you probably think. However, one of the top citations OSHA gives out each year are for equipment violations. Ever see this scene from ‘The Office’? Some people shouldn’t use the forklift.

Make sure personnel has the proper training and licenses to operate machinery like forklifts, aerial lift trucks and even fall protection. Safety harnesses can be used improperly, which can lead to accidents. For example, a Hercules SLR inspector was once called into a warehouse operation whose safety equipment was often breaking. When he entered the warehouse, he saw a worker swinging from side-to-side on various platforms with a safety harness and lanyard which were only supposed to be used vertically. This was improper use, which explained why their safety equipment was failing so frequently.

In 2018, three of OSHA’s most frequent citations in warehouses were for Fall Protection training & general requirements and industrial truck violations – invest in training for warehouse personnel, especially when fall protection is being used.

5. HAZARD COMMUNICATION 

Another citation OSHA often gives out is for hazard communication. Hazardous chemicals can cause corrosion, respiratory issues or become flammable, and should be labelled. Hazard communication includes proper labelling, education for employees about the risks involved and plans to control spills and proper disposal. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WAREHOUSE WORK,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: 8 STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A RACKING ACCIDENT

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: MEET KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: IS YOUR FORKLIFT HOLIDAY SEASON READY?


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Have questions about our Central Distribution Centre? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

E-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to learn more about Hercules SLR’s rigging equipment.

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.

CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 

FACTORS

It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 

 

cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.

SOLUTIONS 

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


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Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment 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.  

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.

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.

A Brief History of Elevator Wire Ropes

The humble hoisting rope occupies a unique place in the history of vertical transportation. A simple hemp rope lies at the center of one of the best-known elevator stories — Elisha Graves Otis’ demonstration of his Improved Safety Device at the 1854 Crystal Palace in New York City.

Currently, a sophisticated carbon nanotube “rope” is the primary innovation driving the conceptual (and possibly literal) development of the proposed « space elevator ». However, the wire rope retains pride-of-place in elevator history as the longest-serving suspension means. It is the subject of numerous 19th-century articles that questioned its safety, and has been featured in countless contemporary books, movies and TV programs that predicate disaster on its failure. Today, we look at the introduction of wire elevator ropes in the 19th century and its development into the 20th century.

The invention of wire rope more-or-less paralleled the invention of the passenger elevator, and, by the 1870s, wire rope had become the rope of choice for elevator use. Since they were new, both the elevator and wire rope faced similar challenges regarding safety concerns. The older hemp hoisting rope had a long history of use, and its strengths and weaknesses were well known. However, a rope made of wire was an entirely different matter. This difference was effectively summarized in the June 22, 1878, issue of American Architect and Building News, which included a brief article on elevator ropes. The article expressed the primary concern in its opening sentence:

“The sudden introduction in our large cities of elevators, most of which are hung by wire ropes, has led people to wonder what will happen when they have had a year’s wear, and why there should not, after a while, be a breaking of ropes, and consequent accidents all over the country.”

The key concern centered on the endurance of wire rope and its reaction to constant and repeated bending as it passed around winding drums and over sheaves. One of the aforementioned article’s key assumptions was that “everybody knows, at least, that reiterated bending weakens wire, whether it be by granulation or by the constant extension of its fibers.” The challenge was, in spite of “knowing” that this action occurred, there was no easy way to judge when a rope was no longer safe for use.

The ICS author also addressed rope replacement, noting that “particular attention must be given to the fastenings.” The chief recommendation was to “carefully reproduce the joint as it was originally made” by the elevator manufacturer. A typical shackle used by Otis Elevator is described below in figure 1.

Figure 1: “Otis Elevator Co. Shackle,” ICS Reference Library (1902).

It consists of a split rod, the two legs A, A of which are bulged out and provided with noses at the ends. A collar B straddles the legs and eventually abuts against the noses. The rope is brought through the collar, bent over a thimble C, and passed back again through the collar, after which the free end is fastened by wrapping with wire. The wrapped end of the sections that address elevator ropes serves as a reminder that different elevator systems required different types of rope:

Chapter 1: Standard Methods and Facilities for Testing Wire Ropes
Chapter 2: Materials Composing Wire Rope and Their Properties
Chapter 3: Standard Types of Wire Rope Construction
Chapter 4: Variety of Uses of Wire Rope
Chapter 5: Mechanical Theory of Wire Rope
Chapter 6: Practical Hints and Suggestions
Chapter 7: Instructions on Ordering Wire Rope
Chapter 8: Typical Applications of Wire Rope in Practice

“When ordering rope for elevators, state whether hoisting, counterweight, or hand or valve or safety rope is wanted, also whether right or left lay is desired. The ropes used for these purposes are different and are not interchangeable.”

The diversity of elevator ropes was reflected in the design of American Steel & Wire’s standard hoisting rope, which was produced in six grades or strengths: Iron, Mild Steel, Crucible Cast Steel, Extra Strong Crucible Cast Steel, Plow Steel and Monitor Plow Steel. The company’s standard iron rope was primarily designed for use on drum machines and was “used for elevator hoisting where the strength is sufficient” (Figure 2). It was also described as “almost universally employed for counterweight ropes, except on traction elevators.” Their Mild Steel Elevator Hoisting Rope was designed “especially for traction elevators in tall buildings where, on account of [the] usual quick starting and stopping, a stronger and lighter rope is required.” Shipper or control ropes (also called tiller or hand ropes) differed from standard ropes in that they were composed of six strands of 42 wires each, which were wrapped around seven hemp cores (Figure 3).

wire rope figure 3 and 4

Figure 5: “Side Plunger Hydraulic Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

wire rope fig 5
Figure 5

In addition to providing detailed information on a wide variety of wire ropes, the catalog included schematic drawings that illustrated their proper application. These included 17 elevator-related drawings that depicted direct-, side- and horizontal-plunger hydraulic elevators; geared and traction electric elevators; and electric and belt-driven worm-geared elevators. The drawings’ emphasis on the application of wire ropes makes them a unique resource. Two versions of direct-plunger elevators were depicted — one with a shipper rope and one with an in-car controller — and the presence of two elevation drawings for each system permits a thorough understanding of these elevators (Figure 4). The same level of detail was provided for side-plunger hydraulic elevators (manufactured by Otis) and horizontal-plunger hydraulic systems (Figures 5 and 6).

Figure 6: “Horizontal Hydraulic Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913)

Figure 5
Figure 6

The electric elevator drawings are of particular interest, because, in 1913, they represented the newest systems on the market. The electric drum machine featured an interesting array of sheaves for the car and counterweight ropes, while the worm-gear machine employed a winding drum located near the midpoint of the shaft (Figures 7 and 8). The traction elevator drawing effectively illustrated its inherent simplicity and the potential of this new design (Figure 9).

The variety of elevator types illustrated in American Steel & Wire’s catalog represented the diversity of elevator systems prevalent in the early 20th century, as well as the importance of wire rope to their operation. Part Two of this article will follow this story through the 1930s, which encompasses the continued development of the traction elevator and the writing of the first elevator safety codes.

Figure 7: “Electric Drum Machine,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

Figure 7

Figure 8: “Worm Gear Electric Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

figure 8

Figure 9: “Traction Elevator,” American Wire Rope: Catalog & Handbook, American Steel & Wire (1913).

Figure 9

Original article can be found here at Elevator World Inc. 

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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.

 

 

Stopping the Drop – Pioneer, Elisha Graves Otis

Elisha-OTIS-1854-Platform

Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.

Otis

Early years

Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont, to Stephen Otis and Phoebe Glynn. He moved away from home at the age of 19, eventually settling in Troy, New York, where he lived for five years employed as a wagon driver. In 1834, he married and went on to have two children, Charles and Norton. Later that year, Otis suffered a terrible case of pneumonia which nearly killed him, but he earned enough money to move his wife and three-year-old son to the Vermont Hills on the Green River.

He designed and built his own grist mill, but did not earn enough money from it, so he converted it into a saw mill, hoping for better results, but sadly it still didn’t attract customers. Now having a second son and needing to support his family, he started building wagons and carriages. His wife later died, leaving Otis with two sons, one at that time being age 8 and the other still in diapers.

Success and setback

At 34 years old and hoping for a fresh start, he re-married and moved to Albany, New York. He worked as a doll maker for Otis Tingely. Skilled as a craftsman and tired of working all day to make only twelve toys, he invented and patented a robot turner. It could produce bedsteads four times as fast as could be done manually (about fifty a day). His boss gave him a $500 bonus. Otis then moved into his own business. At his leased building, he started designing a safety brake that could stop trains instantly as well as an automatic bread baking oven.

He was put out of business when the stream he was using for a power supply was diverted by the city of Albany to be used for its fresh water supply. In 1851, having no more use for Albany, he first moved to Bergen City, New Jersey (now part of Jersey City) to work as a mechanic, then to Yonkers, New York, as a manager of an abandoned saw mill which he was supposed to convert into a bedstead factory.

Lasting success

At the age of 40, while he was cleaning up the factory, he wondered how he could get all the old debris up to the upper levels of the factory. He had heard of hoisting platforms, but these often broke, and he was unwilling to take the risks. He and his sons, who were also tinkerers, designed their own « safety elevator » and tested it successfully. He initially thought so little of it he neither patented it nor requested a bonus from his superiors for it, nor did he try to sell it. After having made several sales, and after the bedstead factory declined, Otis took the opportunity to make an elevator company out of it, initially called Union Elevator Works and later Otis Brothers & Co.

No orders came to him over the next several months, but soon after, the 1853 New York World’s Fair offered a great chance at publicity. At the New York Crystal Palace,

Otis amazed a crowd when he ordered the only rope holding the platform on which he was standing cut.

Elisha_OTIS_1854
Otis free-fall safety demonstration in 1854

The rope was severed by an axeman, and the platform fell only a few inches before coming to a halt. The safety locking mechanism had worked, and people gained greater willingness to ride in traction elevators; these elevators quickly became the type in most common usage and helped make present day skyscrapers possible.

Otis Elevator Shackle
“Otis Elevator Co. Shackle,” ICS Reference Library (1902).

After the World’s Fair, Otis received continuous orders, doubling each year. He developed different types of engines, like a three-way steam valve engine, which could transition the elevator between up to down and stop it rapidly.

Last years and death

In his spare time, he designed and experimented with his old designs of bread-baking ovens and train brakes, and patented a steam plow in 1857, a rotary oven in 1858, and, with Charles, the oscillating steam engine in 1860. Otis contracted diphtheria and died on April 8, 1861 at age 49.

Ref: Wikipedia

 

 

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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.

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.