Ask the Experts | What’s a Rigger?

Ask the Experts |What’s a Rigger?

What is a rigger? A rigger is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist, or move in general. They’re responsible for making sure the right equipment and hardware are used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional.

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, are:

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely to be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site.
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical, or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist, or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads.
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load.

Lots of rigging happens in many industries daily, but a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied.

A #HercAtWork Example

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks. Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator.

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment – yikes.

What Skills a Rigger Needs

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are:

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill.
  • Operating Machinery: Operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, rigging could be a great path for you.
  • Adaptability: Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated.
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk.

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles

A Riggers Many Job Titles

As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions, and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction, are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either – someone who rigs might also have these job titles:

  • Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger
  • Crane Erector
  • Crane Operator
  • Crane Rigger
  • Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger
  • Gear Repairer
  • Gripper/Stage Grip
  • Hook Tender
  • Labourer
  • Loft Rigger
  • Machinery Mover
  • Material Handler
  • Offshore Inspection Technician
  • Offshore Rigger
  • Parachute Rigger
  • Rigging Foreman
  • Rig Worker
  • Scaffolder
  • Slinger/Ring
  • Warehouse Associate

The Hercules Training Academy offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Employee Spotlight | Lee-ah Durance, Customer Service Representative

Get to Know your Customer Service Representative, Lee-ah Durance

Get to know the team at Hercules SLR in Sarnia, Ontario! Meet Lee-ah Durance, the Customer Service Representative extraordinaire who wears many hats at the Sarnia branch.

Read on to learn more about Lee-ah’s role at Hercules SLR and what she loves about the rigging industry!

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I come from business to business sales but in a different sector. This has helped me in my role at Hercules SLR. I have grown up with valley workers and understand the long hours and hard word that is everyday life of Chemical Valley. I am proud to now work alongside these men and women and can relate to them- which I think aids the customer relations and keeps them coming back!

An interesting fact about you is…

When training and learning about chain slings I found them easier to understand because of my jewelry making background. Chain sling components are just like jewelry components and comparing the two ensures I don’t miss pieces (like hammerlocks) in my chain slings.

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

I have been working outside the house (I say this because I grew up on a hobby farm and have always had chores) since grade 9. Most of my experience is within an office, but I’ve worked on a farm; at a gas station and restaurant mix; and waitressed- to mention a few.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

When I first saw the job description I was drawn to apply because of my previous sales experience. I researched the company and read through the website. I felt like Hercules SLR was a company that treated their employees fairly and that there was room to grow both personally and professionally. Once I met Brian Moniz I found he was the personification of everything I had already read about Hercules SLR. This made me feel comfortable and excited to work with him and the company. When I was offered the job I was overjoyed- I knew that Hercules SLR was somewhere I wanted to work and grow.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I am proud every time we get a return customer because of our service. A customer showed me a few pictures of a big lift they did with 8 black round slings. I had worked closely with him on this order and was really proud of the final product and images.

What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I enjoy talking to the customers and hearing about our products in action. I grew up with industry workers and am proud and happy to be a part of it now.

Why do you work safe?

I work safe because at the end of the day I want to get home to my partner and step-daughter. I believe in a work-life balance. Although I love my job and believe I go the extra mile for my customers- I also want to be able to go home and enjoy time with my family and friends.

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

3M Stop Use & Recall Notice – Immediate Action Required

Stop Use & Recall Notice IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

 

3M Fall Protection announces an immediate stop use and product recall of the 3M™ DBI-SALA® Nano-Lok™ edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg Self Retracting Lifelines. The twin-leg Nano-Lok edge is part of a personal fall protection system and connects two self-retracting lifelines/devices (SRL’s/SRD’s) directly under the dorsal d-ring of a worker’s harness. It is intended to be anchored at foot-level, and is designed for sharp edge applications. The twin-leg Wrap Back Nano-Lok is intended for wrapping around an anchor and incorporates a similar energy absorber. 3M has determined that in the event of a fall and under certain conditions, the energy absorber may not properly deploy which could expose the worker to serious injury or death. Although there have been no reports of accidents or injuries associated with this issue, these products must be removed from service immediately.

To address this situation in the interests of worker safety, 3M is launching a global stop use of the Nano-Lok edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg SRL units and is recalling all these units to be repaired or replaced as soon as a solution is identified, tested and certified. In the interim, and until a repair or replacement is available, end-users may elect to receive cash for their returned units as described below. This stop use and recall affects all versions of the Nano-Lok edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg SRL’s since first introduced in 2013.

Users/Owners: Immediately stop using your Nano-Lok edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg SRL and take these units out of service. Next, go to www. NanoLokEdgeRecall.com and follow the instructions on how to return your unit.

As soon as a product solution is available, 3M will either repair or replace your unit and return it to you at 3M’s expense. Alternatively, and until a product solution is available, you can elect to receive cash in the amount of $200 USD when you return your unit. As an interim solution for applications requiring 100% continuous connection in leading edge applications with sufficient fall clearance, 3M recommends the DBI-SALA® EZ-Stop Leading Edge 100% Tie-Off Cable Shock Absorbing Lanyard. You can also contact 3M Customer Service at 1-833-998-2243 or 3mcafpserviceaction@mmm.com for additional recall information.

You can also contact your local Hercules SLR should you have any additional questions or queries regarding this recall.

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

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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

Happy New Year from Hercules SLR

happy-new-year

Happy New Year from Hercules SLR!

We want to thank our hard-working team, partners, clients and customers for a wonderful 2018 – we can’t wait to move forward in 2019 with our team and exciting new projects.

We were pretty busy in 2018—we’ve done some eventful things, like:

Thank you again for helping us have a great 2018 – we wish you safe celebrations and a healthy, prosperous and happy new year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2018 and an even better 2019! 


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.

New: MSA Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus

self contained breathing apparatus by msa at hercules slr

A new, first-of-its-kind, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), named the M1 SCBA by MSA was unveiled in September of this year.

Before this, respiratory protection for firefighters was unvarying, and this was the industry norm. However, fire stations have different needs. Each has specific preferences, expectations and needs from their respiratory protection.

MSA designed and developed the M1 SCBA over three years, by listening to industry and customer concerns, and rigorous development and testing.

The M1 SCBA is fully customizable and can be arranged to meet a wide range of needs. The M1 SCBA has customizable features to improve hygiene, ergonomics, and comfort. These features include being machine washable (without having to disassemble), a water-repellent padded harness, one-handed height adjustment, the industry’s lightest-weight backplate and a hip belt which evenly distributes the weight of the breathing apparatus.

Additionally, The M1 SCBA reduces overall cost-of-ownership. How? It includes a high-pressure cylinder connection for fast cylinder exchanges, configurations with and without integrated, electronics and telemetry—it’s also compatible with MSA’s G1 face-piece. If you desire better voice enhancement, it contains a state-of-the-art communications system named the C1 headset that attaches easily to the outside of the facepiece.

Work safe and stay protected—find MSA self-contained breathing apparatus’ and other MSA brand products at Hercules SLR.

Original article here: https://bit.ly/2DegKQc

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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

training-academy-group-shot

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.

hercules-training-academy-classroom--sling-chain

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

hercules training academy outdoor rigging

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 strapped on their steel-toe boots and safety glasses for one week, to gain first-hand securing, lifting and rigging experience. This aims to provide Hercules’ employees 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.

hercules-training-academy-securing-lifting-rigging

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.

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


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.