NEWS: planning is essential in confined spaces

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Confined spaces—we’ve discussed the dangers of working in confined spaces, confined space training and the importance of choosing the right fall protection equipment on our blog before.

On Tuesday, November 20 in Uruguay, two shoreshide dock workers died and two were hospitalized after being exposed to a fumigant. Currently, the Uruguayan Navy is unsure which chemical caused the fatalities and injuries—however, it’s believed to be caused by the treatment phosphine, a fumigation gas used to control pests in agricultural and wood product cargoes. Phosphine is denser than air and can settle into low-lying pockets, reports the Maritime Executive.

Investigators say two dock workers from an independent company entered a freighter from Panama when they lost consciousness and collapsed—a crewmember say the dock workers struggle and entered the space wearing a face mask, but removed it while trying to rescue the workers. He also collapsed and is in the hospital in an induced coma. A third member of the company is also in hospital with injuries, reports the Maritime Executive.

According to the president of the Uruguayan Transport Union, Cesar Bernal, dock workers were not aware half of the ship’s cargo was treated with a fumigant. They followed their normal procedure for entering the space in the freighter, and were affected immediately by the fumes.

The industrial trades will benefit from improved communication regarding hazardous fumes, and more effective training regarding fall arrest and confined space entry and exit training. Something like an SRL (self-retracting lifeline) may help in a situation like this, where a worker can easily lift himself from a dangerous space. The National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety reports that 60% of confined space fatalities in coastal accidents are rescuers.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) recommends that employers develop a confined space hazard assessment and control program—especially since most workers in the industrial trades will work in a confined space at least once during their career. This program should be specific to the work being done, and employers may need to implement more than one program.

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A technician working offshore.

CCOHS recommends your plan include the following:

  • Description of roles and responsibilities of each person or party (e.g., employer, supervisor, workers, attendants, and emergency response team);
  • Advice on how to identify confined spaces;
  • Identification and assessment of all potential hazards that may exist at the beginning of the work as well as those that may develop because of the work activities;
  • A plan to eliminate or control all identified hazards;
  • Written work procedures;
  • Confined Space training program for all the workers that will enter confined spaces;
  • An entry permit system for each entry into a confined space;
  • Development of an emergency plan complete with training and equipment in case an unforeseen situation occurs;
  • An emergency response system;
  • Reporting and investigating incidents related to work in confined spaces;
  • Record and documentation control;
  • Program review whenever there is a change in circumstances or at least annually, to identify program weaknesses and make any necessary changes to the program.

Confined Space Training

Unfortunately, many injuries and fatalities are easy to prevent if the proper safety measures and plans are put into place. Give you and your employees the knowledge and skills they need to be safe in confined spaces. Browse information on our Confined Space Entry & Attendant, and more safety courses here.

 

References here: 
- https://maritime-executive.com/article/two-uruguayan-dockers-dead-in-confined-space-accident
- https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/confinedspace_program.html

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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 Training Academy: Securing, Lifting & Rigging

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Hercules Training Academy: First Course Complete

The Hercules Training Academy is open for training—last week Hercules was thrilled to have eight employees hailing from across Canada participate in our first ever training program. Employees from CSR, sales and management gathered at Hercules’ new, purpose-built specialized Training Academy in Dartmouth, NS to learn the ins and outs (quite literally)—of securing, lifting and rigging in our first specialized training course.

Training Academy Facilities

What makes Hercules’ Training Academy ‘specialized’? Our equipment, for one. Our new custom crane is built into the warehouse floor and can lift up to 10 tonnes—pieces of concrete were actually torn up in order to fix the crane to the floor. This gives our employees experience working with larger, more realistic loads that one may commonly see on a job site.

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In addition to the large crane, we have two smaller, portable cranes—these can be used for activities outdoors or on the warehouse floor, and allow trainee’s to practice securing, lifting and rigging in various settings.

In addition to the rigging equipment available at the Training Academy, there are two new classroom spaces. Trainees spend a time in the classroom learning various details, features and differences between equipment like hoists, buckles and slings. Then, they take their knowledge to a practical setting.

This combination of practical and classroom experience is invaluable for our clients and customers.

« I’ve learned so much on the course that will help my understand my customers’ needs much better. I know what’s a workable solution, and how to interpret the needs of the clients’ project, » says Keyne, a CSR from Hamilton, Ontario.

One activity included Hercules’ employees hoisting and lifting objects up and through holes outdoors, which mimicked the challenges of rigging objects into the top of a larger structure, like a boat. Another required employees to secure, lift and rig irregular shaped objects into a shipping container. This showed our employees some of the challenges workers face onsite—things like balancing a large objects’ centre of gravity, evenly distributing a heavy load and properly securing misshapen objects.

Dwayne Fader, Business Development Manager (and former rigging technician!) at Hercules explained some of the common misconceptions and complications workers face with rigging a heavy load. « There is so much more math involved than you think—I’ve never used it more than when I worked in rigging. You have to make sure things are even, balanced and fit correctly—all more challenging than it seems. »

Commitment to Learning

Hercules truly believes that experience is the best teacher, which is why we developed the Training Academy. When we teach our employees how to work with the products we sell, and get a ‘taste’ of what the job is actually like, they gain a whole new insight towards issues our customers and clients face daily—and are able to offer practical solutions and advice. Simply put—our employees don’t just ‘talk the talk’, but can ‘walk the walk’, too.

TJ, a Sales Manager from  Langley, BC says « The Training Academy session was fantastic. I’ve learned more useful skills than I expected, and it’s been fun! The hands-on activities really helped me understand what I was learning. It made me realize what’s great in theory, and then what you actually need to do to make that theory workable. »

Hercules’ employees gained a lot from their time at the Training Academy, and many are excited to do again.

« If there’s a Rigging 2—I want to be on it! I learned stuff I never knew I needed to know, and it’s been FUN. »  says Quincy, an Inspector from Hamilton, Ontario. « Who ever thought I’d use ‘work’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence? But I have—and it was! »

Hercules offers practical, hands-on learning programs designed to exceed minimum safety requirements. These courses can be customized to fit the specific needs of your workplace, and can be provide training on-site or at a Hercules facility.

We’ve always been committed to providing specialized training—see the table below to discover our available training courses.

Current Courses Offered:
Power Operated Work PlatformsChain Saw Safety

Confined Space Entrant & Attendant (CSEA)

Fall Protection

Fundamentals of Rigging with Practical

Forklift Safety (Narrow Aisle or Counterbalance)

Lock Out Tag Out

Red Cross Emergency First AidRed Cross Standard First Aid

Fall Rescue Systems

WHMIS 2015 with GHS

Fundamentals of Overhead Cranes

Fundamentals of Rigging

Offshore Rigger Banksman

Overhead Crane Operator

There really is no substitute for experience. All in all, Hercules’ employees had a similar takeaway. Marc, a Manager from Quebec, explains « This week has been amazing. I learned so much about the industry, and now I can understand the jobs as our clients do. I’ve actually already taken some material home for Rigging 2, and I’ve completed the math exercise! It’s great. »

More questions about training at Hercules? E-mail us at training@herculesslr.com.

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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 Training Academy: Employees Learn the Industry

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Hercules Training Academy was thrilled to host our employees from across Canada at the new Hercules’ Training Academy at Wire Rope Industries (Atlantic) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to participate in the first specialized training course for securing, lifting and rigging.

Eight employees from the Hercules’ company ranging from our customer service team, to our sales team to branch managers strapped on their steel-toe boots and safety glasses for one week, to gain securing, lifting and rigging experience. This aims to provide the students with a better understanding of the complications involving securing, lifting and rigging and first-hand experience with the products we sell, talk and write about everyday.

How did they practice securing, lifting and rigging in a smaller space? The Hercules Training Academy has two new classroom spaces, outdoor space and a warehouse complete with two cranes—one smaller crane, and a larger custom crane built into the floor, capable of lifting nearly 10-tonnes. This combination of classroom and practical experience gives Hercules’ employees a thorough awareness of the realities of securing, lifting and rigging.

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Hercules Employees secure an object to load.

Practical training included an outdoor setup which mimicked the challenges of lifting and securing on top of a larger structure—like a boat, for example. The metal frame held large tarps with various shaped cut-outs, where the trainees were tasked with fitting objects up and through the openings. This helps the trainees understand the difficulties workers’ faces when trying to lift and hoist objects through tight or irregular-shaped openings.

Indoors at Hercules’ Training Academy, practical training included a securing and lifting activity which required Hercules’ employees to secure, lift and hoist irregular-shaped objects into a mock shipping container. This shows employees the complexities of arranging these large and heavy objects, the issues workers face on job sites and how the products and services Hercules’ SLR provides contribute to the entire securing, lifting and rigging process.

Want to participate in the Hercules Training Academy’s Securing, Lifting and Rigging course? The training course will be available for further departments at Hercules SLR, our customers, clients and more in the future.

Interested in training from Hercules? Head to our Safety and Training page to discover our offerings.

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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 Training Specialist – Kevin Giles CRSP

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Kevin Giles, CRSP is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists and Safety Consultants. 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?

Kevin: I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, so I started my education at the Nova Scotia Community College in the Forestry Program. I went on to further my education at the Maritime Forest Ranger School in Fredericton NB and graduated in in 1997.

During the next 11 years I worked in many different aspects of forestry from privet woodlot management, and saw milling to large scale harvesting operations. In every job I did I always played a strong role in health and safety of the workplace, it became clear to me that this was the area I wanted to concentrate on, and I never turned back.

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I completed the Health and Safety Professional (HSP) designation and was one of the first people to achieve the designation from the Canadian Association Of Provincial Safety Councils. In 2011 a major highlight of my career was achieving the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation with the Canadian Board of Registered Safety Professionals.

During my 11 years with Hercules I have furthered my education in many areas including; train the trainer programs, Master Rigger, non-destructive testing, and completing 4 diploma programs with the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA). As you can tell I love to grow my knowledge and am highly committed to continuous education, my next goal is to complete the Diploma program in Occupational Health and Safety with the University of New Brunswick, only 3 more courses to go!

What made you decide to go into this industry?

Kevin: As I mentioned the safety industry sort of came to me rather than me seeking it out. With every job I ever had since I was 16 years old I played some kind of role in safety, from being a first aid provider on the ski hills with the Canadian Ski Patrol, to being part of various safety committees, and developing policies and procedures with large industrial forestry operations and sawmills. The rigging industry has given me the opportunity to explore so many aspects of safety I find It amazing to think of.

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

Kevin: Upon graduation from the Maritime Forest Ranger School I worked with the SNB Wood Co-op and the Hants County Woodlot Owners Association helping private woodlot owners manage their woodlots for a verity of forest productivity, environmental, and wildlife goals. This was a very rewarding time and experience in my forestry career.

After 4 years in the privet woodlot industry I moved into several new roles in a more industrial forestry operation with JD Irving ltd., working as harvesting supervisor, planer mill supervisor, and chip plant supervisor. This industrial atmosphere gave me to opportunity to work with contractors, unionized workers, students and many more. Working in these environments which already had a very strong safety culture helped me to build confidence and a broad knowledge base of various safety program elements.

What made you want to transition into training?

Kevin: I’ve always enjoyed helping people and sharing my knowledge whenever I could. I started formally instructing with the Canadian Red Cross first aid programs and have taught for the Canadian Ski Patrol, Saint John Ambulance, Safety Services Nova Scotia, and various employers along the way. I enjoy when I can help a student or coworker have that “lightbulb moment” when everything seems to come together and they get a clear understanding of the topic.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Kevin: When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in safety the opportunity to Join the Hercules team came available. The timing was right and it was the perfect fit. Having a fulltime safety professional was new for the company and it was new for me. I am very happy to say the company and myself have grown together over the last 11 years to build a strong safety culture.

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

Kevin: The majority of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces, but we are able to deliver training anywhere in Canada.  I’ve delivered training from the coast of NL to the coast of BC and many stops in between, including Ontario, Quebec, PEI, NB and Alberta.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

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Kevin: Traveling to different parts of NL over the past few years has been interesting. The people are great, and it has been very interesting to see the change in safety culture since the oil industry has grown so much there. Some of the most memorable places to provide training has been in a federal prison, on various ships, sawmills, and airplane hangars. Sometimes you just don’t know what you are getting into and that is always exciting.

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

Kevin: I would really like to travel to the northern parts of Canada maybe up to Yellowknife or somewhere in the North West Territories.

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

Kevin: I hope to be able to make a great success of our Hercules Training Academy and some day expand the course offerings to include some more of the academic safety programs to help companies build a strong safety culture.

 

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.

 

Aerial Work Platform an Overview of Safety Practices

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Aerial Work Platforms (AWP’s) are generally used for temporary, flexible access purposes such as maintenance and construction work or by firefighters for emergency access, which distinguishes them from permanent access equipment such as elevators. They are designed to lift limited weights — usually less than a ton, although some have a higher safe working load (SWL)) – distinguishing them from most types of cranes. They are usually capable of being set up and operated by a single person.

Aerial devices were once exclusively operated by hydraulic pistons, powered by diesel or gasoline motors on the base unit. Lightweight electrically powered units are gaining popularity for window-cleaning or other maintenance operations, especially indoors and in isolated courtyards, where heavier hydraulic equipment cannot be used. Aerial devices are the closest in appearance to a crane- consisting of a number of jointed sections, which can be controlled to extend the lift in a number of different directions, which can often include « up and over » applications.800px-Hebebuehne_Scissorlift

The majority of manufacturers and operators have strict safety criteria for the operation of Aerial Work Platforms. In some countries, a licence and/or insurance is required to operate some types of Aerial Work Platforms. Most protocols advocate training every operator, whether mandated or not. Most operators also prescribe a range of pre-usage checks of the unit, and manufacturers recommend regular maintenance schedules.

Work platforms are fitted with safety or guard rails around the platform itself to contain operators and passengers. This is supplemented in most models by a restraining point, designed to secure a harness or fall arrester. Some work platforms also have a lip around the floor of the platform itself to avoid tools or supplies being accidentally kicked off the platform. Some protocols require all equipment to be attached to the structure by individual lanyards.

Extreme caution must be taken when using AWPs in the vicinity of overhead power lines, as electrocution may result if the lift comes in contact with energized wiring. Non-conductive materials, such as fiberglass, may be used to reduce this hazard.

AWPs often come equipped with a variety of tilt sensors. The most commonly activated sensor (especially with two people on a lift), will cause the machine to refuse to raise the platform beyond a certain height. Sensors within the machine detect that weight on the platform is off balance to such a point as to risk a possible tip-over if the platform is raised further. Another sensor will refuse to extend the platform if the machine is on a significant incline. Some models of Aerial Work Platforms additionally feature counterweights, which extend in order to offset the danger of tipping the machine inherent in extending items like booms or bridges. Some lifts are also fitted with sensors which will prevent operation if the weight on the platform exceeds the safe working load.

As with most dangerous mechanical devices, all AWPs are fitted with an emergency stop button or buttons for use in the event of a malfunction or danger. Best practice dictates fitting of emergency stop buttons on the platform and at the base as a minimum. Other safety features include automatic self-checking of the AWP’s working parts, including a voltmeter that detects if the lift has insufficient power to complete its tasks and preventing operation if supply voltage is insufficient. Some AWPs provide manual lowering levers at the base of the machine, allowing operators to lower the platform to the ground in the event of a power or control failure or deliberate use of the machine, e.g., by unauthorized persons.

Read more about Aerial Work Platforms here

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.