Stuck in a Tight Spot? What to know in a confined space

confined space, hercules slr, how to work in confined spaces

Most workers will have to work in a confined space at some point in their career – although common, many workers and employers don’t plan or account for common hazards found in them. 

Read on to discover commonly-found dangers in confined spaces and how to prepare for them. 

WHAT’S A CONFINED SPACE? 

A confined space is an area that:

  • Is large enough to enter and do work in;
  • Has limited entries and exits;
  • Isn’t meant for long-term human occupancy.
  • Examples: Silos’, tunnels, sewers, wells, underground utility vaults, an empty tanker trailer

WHAT’S A PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE (PRCS)?

Yes, it’s a confined space that you need a permit to enter – but a permit-required confined space also:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain serious safety or health hazards like:
    • Engulfment
    • Toxic Atmosphere
    • Puzzling Configuration
    • Heat or Cold Stress
    • Slipping Hazards
    • Flammable Atmosphere
    • Oxygen Deficiency

CONFINED SPACE HAZARD: 2 FACTORS THAT CREATE HAZARDS

  1.  Failure to see and control hazards associated with the confined space
    • Atmospheric hazards
    • Physical hazards
  2. Poor Emergency response time or plan
    • Many injuries or fatalities in confined spaces occur when other workers attempt to save coworkers injured in a confined space
    • Nearly 60% of worker fatalities occur when trying to save someone else from a confined space hazard 

Nearly 60% of deaths in confined spaces happen to the would-be rescuer

CONFINED SPACE: KNOW THE HAZARDS

Hazard #1: Oxygen Deficiency

Normal air has an oxygen content of 20.8-.9% – when there’s less than 19.5% available, you’re in a oxygen-deficient space. When this level decreases, even by 1-2% the effects are felt immediately. When working in a space with this level, remember to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). 

What leads to oxygen deficiency? Inadequate ventilation, poor air quality, oxygen consumed from welding, decomposition, rust are some of the factors that cause oxygen levels to drop.

Oxygen Deficiency Levels

  • Minimum for safe entry: 19.5%
  • Impaired judgement and breathing, accelerated heartbeat: 16%
  • Faulty judgement and rapid fatigue: 14%
  • Nausea, vomiting, inability to perform simple tasks, unconsciousness: 6-10%
  • Rapid loss of consciousness, death in minutes: Less than 6%
Hazard #2: Oxygen Displacement

Oxygen displacement occurs when there’s an inert gas (it’s worth noting inert gas is different than a noble gas – an inert gas doesn’t chemically react, and a noble gas does chemically react under certain conditions. All noble gases are inert, but not all inert gases are noble).

When enough of a inert gas is in a confined space, it displaces the oxygen which makes it difficult – well, impossible to breathe. For example, nitrogen is non-toxic, colourless and odourless – but will displace the oxygen in a room.

Hazard #3: Fire & Flammable Atmosphere

Flammable atmospheres are caused by flammable liquids, gases and combustible dusts which if lit, can cause an explosion or fire. The ignition doesn’t have to be a flame – it can be something as simple as static electricity or a small spark.

Hazard #4: Physical

You can become engulfed after being trapped or enveloped by material. Electrocution can happen when electrical equipment is activated, and mechanical energy can activate and cause physical injury. 

Other physical safety hazards, although small that can still cause injury are inadequate lighting, noise, vibration and radiation. Nearby traffic, vehicles and other heavy machinery could also be a hazard. Objects and slippery areas pose falling hazards, and hot or cold temperature extremes also pose a threat. Extremely high temperatures can cause your body to undergo heat stress. 

Heat Stress Symptoms

In a confined space (and other areas) your body might not be able to cool down which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke to occur.

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin

When these symptoms occur, you should move to a cool area, raise your legs, take off any heavy clothing, drink water and apply a wet cloth to your skin. 

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Dry, pale skin – with no sweat
  • Hot, red skin that looks sunburnt
  • Unable to think straight, seizure, unconsciousness

When this occurs:

  • Call 911
  • Move victim to a cool area
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
  • Place icepacks at your armpit and groin

To protect yourself:

  • Try to work or accomplish physical parts of work during the coolest parts of the day
  • Use spot ventilation
  • Use buddy system
  • Drink cold water – try to drink around every 15 minutes and take frequent breaks
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in high temperatures, and be mindful of medication as this can increase your risk of heat  stroke.

confined space, hercules slr, srl, self-retracting lifeline, inspections, repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFINED SPACE: PROCEDURES

Before you start work in a confined space, it’s essential to follow a procedure to control and/or minimize safety hazards and remain safe on the job. Follow this procedure before working in a confined space:

  • Conduct a pre-entry evaluation (like a discussion with everyone who will be working at the site);
  • Identify and eliminate potential hazards that can enter the space, both atmospheric and physical;
  • Use forced air ventilation and use lock out/tag out if necessary;
  • Complete an entry permit – Assign an entrant, attendant and supervisor and any other relevant competent person needed on the site.

The Authorized Entrant will:

  • Know hazards that will face workers during entry;
  • Wear proper PPE;
  • Maintain communication with the attendant;
  • Know the signs of overexposure/heat stress and stroke;
  • Evacuate the confined space when ordered to or when over-exposed to hazard(s).

The Authorized Attendant will:

  • Keep their position outside the entrance at all time;
  • Know the signs and symptoms of overexposure;
  • Prevent unauthorized people from entering the space;
  • Maintain communication with entrants;
  • Begin the emergency response/rescue plan if needed;
  • Complete an evaluation of the entrance before they start work;
  • Make sure personnel know the hazards;
  • Implement any necessary control measures, for example – ventilation;
  • Complete any permits that are necessary to enter the space;
  • Complete any tests needed to enter the confined space safely.

REMEMBER TO use retrieval equipment to remove yourself or the entrant from the confined pace.

Ensuring you have the necessary PPE for emergency rescue situations is the most important step of working in a confined space.

As we mentioned, almost 60% of confined space deaths happen to someone trying to rescue a coworker – It’s natural to want to save a life, but it’s important to not take two lives in the process. This is why confined space planning is essential to completing work efficiently and safely.


Choosing and having the proper PPE for the job is essential to staying safe amidst hazards in a confined space. This may include self-retracting lifelines, anchorages or body harness’ – click the link below to find out more about Hercules SLR’s fall protection services. 

Fall Protection

Check out our blogs to learn more about fall protection and staying safe at heights: 

Sources: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health - https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/confinedspace_intro.html 

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

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

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

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.

Rope Grab: 6 fall protection tips from Hercules SLR

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

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

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

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

Rope Grabs: top 6 tips

  1. 30” connectors are integral

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

  1. 6’ lanyards are not safe

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

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

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

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

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

The testing process helps us verify a few important things:

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

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

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

  1. Safe movement from lifeline to lifeline should be anticipated

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Tool Fall Protection: more important than you think

tool-fall-protection-safety-harness

Tool Fall Protection: confidence at heights

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

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

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

Fall Protection: essential for working at height

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

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

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

tool-fall-protection-safety-harness

Fall Protection: it’s for your tools, too

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

Tool Fall Protection: do the math

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Body Harness: Why are they so Uncomfortable?

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

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

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

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

Features

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

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

Find body harnesses and more fall protection equipment at Hercules SLR.

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

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

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

Confined Spaces: Choose the Best Fall Protection Equipment

Confined-space-header-2
Proper Fall Protection Equipment: stay safe in confined spaces

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

Three Essential Components to Confined Space Fall Protection Equipment

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

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

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

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

confined space training

Support Yourself

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

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

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

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

Easy Retrieval is Key

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

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

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

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

Source here: https://bit.ly/2Jv4HOB

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

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

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

Hercules’ Tips: Is your Safety Harness Comfortable?

comfortable-safety-harness

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

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

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

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

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

Are you Wearing a Comfortable Safety Harness?

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

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

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

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

Confined Spaces: Hercules’ Safety Tips

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What is a Confined Space?

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

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

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

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

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

What is a Permit-Required Confined Space?

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

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

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

Confined Space Training

 

What Makes Confined Spaces Dangerous, Anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MSA Safety – New V-Series Energy-Absorbing Lanyards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLR, Hercules Machining & Millwright Services, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

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