Herc How-To | Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

Not keeping up with inspections and maintenance can cause equipment failure, unscheduled outages, increase business cost and most importantly, can have a major effect on your workplace safety.

In Canada, the rigging industry recognizes the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards for securing, rigging and lifting industries. Standard ASME B30.9 applies to wire rope slings, chain slings, web slings or synthetic slings and round slings.

In-between those required inspections, it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your workplace safety and perform pre-operation inspections. Below are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your required annual (or otherwise) inspections are being kept up with, and you’re equipped with the knowledge necessary to ensure they are safe in-between.

Who should inspect chain slings?

A chain sling should only be inspected by a trained and competent or designated person. Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and repair your securing, lifting and rigging equipment on-site or in one of our full service, rigging shops. Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with ASME and provincial regulations. Once inspections, repairs and testing is complete, we will supply full certification on your equipment to show that it complies with provincial and national safety regulations.

When should you inspect chain slings?

A thorough examination, including chain usage, should be carried out by a competent person at least every year or more frequently according to statutory regulations, type of use and past records. If slings are being used in extreme conditions, The Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends they be inspected every 3 months instead of the standard once per year. Inspections must be recorded.

Click to download the PDF

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your equipment inspections, try our web-based certification tracking system Hercules CertTracker ®, which helps maintain your inspection records, provide notice of inspection due dates and schedule service times to ensure your worksite equipment remains certified. Contact us to learn more!

Chain Sling Inspection Checklist

The CCOHS recommends the following steps to properly inspect a chain sling. These are steps that can be referenced when performing daily checks before putting your chain sling to use – But leave the scheduled annual (or monthly) inspections to the trained professionals!

Follow along with our checklist here, or download our printable version to have on hand at your workplace. You’ll find other engaging, practical resources on topics ranging from rigging, warehouse safety, fall protection, personal protective equipment, transportation and more by checking out our full list of toolbox topics.

  • Clean the chain sling before beginning the inspection
  • Check the identification tag to ensure it is legible.
  • Hang the chain sling up or stretch the chain out on a level floor in a well-lighted area. Remove all the twists then measure the sling length to ensure it hasn’t been stretched.
  • Perform a link-by-link inspection of the chain, master link, loads pins, and hooks observing for the following:
  • Observe overall wear, discard if this exceeds 15% of a link diameter.
  • Note any surface damage, discard of you find any cuts, nicks, cracks, gouges, burns (or evidence of heat damage), weld splatters or corrosion pits.
  • Ensure no individual links are closed up or stretched longer and that all links are able to hinge (articulate) freely.
  • Ensure hooks have not been opened more than 15% of the normal throat opening, measured at the narrowest point, or twisted more than 10° from the plane of the unbent hook.
  • Manufacturers’ reference charts show sling and hitch capacities. Record manufacturer, type, load limit, and inspection dates.

 

If you find any of the above-mentioned defaults, remove the chain sling from service immediately. If you see something presenting that’s causing doubt as to the safety of your chain sling, even if it’s not featured on this list, ask the experts! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Also note: Slings must be repaired by the sling manufacturer, or a qualified person, per ASME B30.9.

BONUS TIPS: The Dos and Don’ts of Using Chain Slings Safely

Staying on top of mandatory inspections for your chain sling is the best way to ensure it’s up to the task. However, a piece of equipment is only as good as the person using it! Using rigging equipment properly is very important, so proper training is key.

Below are some quick dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using a chain sling. But remember, this does not replace a training course!

Do

  • Always know how to properly use the equipment, slinging procedures before attempting the lift operation. Don’t have that knowledge? Train with the best at the Hercules Training Academy.
  • Inspect the slings and accessories before use for any defects.
  • Replace broken safety latches.
  • Find out the working load limit (WLL) before lifting. Do not exceed the rated load of the sling.
  • Ensure chain slings fit freely – Never force, hammer, or wedge chain slings or fitting into position.
  • Always keep your hands and fingers from between the load and chain when tensioning slings or when landings loads.
  • Ensure the load is free to be lifted.
  • Perform a trial lift and trial lower to ensure the load is balanced, stable and secure.
  • Balance the load to avoid overstress on one sling arm or the load slipping free.
  • Lower the working load limit if severe impact may occur.
  • Pad sharp corners to prevent bending links and to protect the load.
  • Position hooks of multi-leg slings facing outward from the load.
  • Reduce the load limit when using chain slings in temperatures above 425°C (800°F).
  • Store chain sling arms on racks in assigned areas and not lying on the ground. The storage area should be dry, clean and free of any contaminants which may harm the sling.

Don’t

  • Avoid impact loading: do not jerk the load when lifting or lowering the sling. This motion increases the actual stress on the sling.
  • Do not allow access to the lifting area to unnecessary personal.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.
  • Do not drag chains over floors or attempt to drag a trapped sling from under a load. Do not use a sling to drag a load.
  • Do not use worn-out or damaged slings.
  • Do not lift on the point of the hook.
  • Do not overload or shock load a sling.
  • Do not trap slings when landing the load.
  • Do not splice a chain by inserting a bolt between two links.
  • Do not shorten a chain with knots or by twisting other than by means of an integral chain clutch.
  • Do not force or hammer hooks into place.
  • Do not use homemade connections. Use only attachments designed for the chain.
  • Do not heat treat or weld chain links: the lifting capacity will be reduced drastically.
  • Do not expose chain links to chemicals without the manufacturer’s approval.
  • Do not stand in line with or next to the leg(s) of the sling that is under tension.
  • Do not stand or pass under a suspended load.
  • Do not ride on sling.

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. Hercules SLR offers LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

We inspect, repair, and certify:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoist & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

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

Friday the 13th | 13 Ways to work SAFER

Friday the 13th | 13 Ways to work SAFER

Don’t give Friday the 13th any ammunition, kick up your workplace safety this Friday the 13th!

Read on for 13 quick tips to enhance your workplace safety in (un)celebration of Friday the 13th. Don’t leave your workplace safety to luck, put safety tips like these to work so you can rest assured you’ll return home safe each and every day…Even on the unlucky days!

1. Place Importance In Your Workplace Safety

When it comes to workplace safety, the #1 most important thing is that YOU place value in working safe. All the training, preparation and safety measures in the world cannot combat a lack of interest – You must be in charge and value your own safety. It can be easy to sink into a routine at work, but sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and evaluating. Are you taking the time to put on all your required PPE? Are you following safety procedures? Are you rushing through work that should be done with more care? Don’t let yourself look back and say, “I wish I would have been more careful!”

2. Report Unsafe Conditions

The 2nd most important aspect of workplace safety is reporting unsafe conditions or safety hazards. Employee observations can be extremely important in preventing accidents. Even the best of employers with safety front of mind can miss safety hazards if they are not reported. Especially within large organizations, leaders may not see all aspects of every department, and you can’t fix something you don’t know is broken! For this reason, it is extremely important to report ANYTHING you think maybe a safety hazard. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

3. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

All too often when workplace safety incidents happen, you hear the employee say they just didn’t see it coming. Injuries that take place because workers are not aware of the machinery or objects around them are 100% preventable. Being aware of your surroundings is an easy first step in taking ownership of your safety at work. Not sure where to start? Start with surveying your work area before performing any tasks including:

  • Ensure that you have enough space to do your work
  • Identify energy sources that require lockout/tagout procedures
  • Look for hazards in your work area such as: low-hanging overhead objects, sharp edges or surfaces, standing water, exposed wiring, unguarded equipment, general work environment conditions
  • Make sure that all safety devices on your equipment are in good working order before use
  • Discuss work status and potential hazards with coworkers in your area and/or the person you are replacing at shift change prior to starting any work
  • Always finish off by asking yourself: Is there anything in my work area that poses a threat to my safety, and if so, to what extent? Is the threat great enough that I should stop working immediately? Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk exposure so that I can continue to work safely?

4. Keep Emergency Exits Clear

It’s really easy for emergency exits to blend into the background and go unnoticed as often times they are not used on a daily basis as they are connected to a system that triggers an alarm when they are opened. Because of this, it’s not rare to see boxes, work stations, garbage containers, and other items getting pushed into their path little by little as they blend into the normal workplace background. The importance of a clear pathway to emergency exits can get overlooked until there’s an emergency, and exits are inaccessible. Furthermore, these things could potentially cause a greater hazard should anyone trip or fall over them and get injured while trying to exit in an emergency. Because of this, always take care in where emergency exits are and ensure that they are clear at all times.

5. Keep up With Maintenance and Inspections

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. Hercules SLR offers LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs, and certifies:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoist & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

6. Lockout / Tagout

As much as we’d like to wish it didn’t, equipment breaks—When it does, it’s important to know what to do, especially if that piece of equipment conducts hazardous energy. That’s where the lockout/tagout system comes into play!

What are the Basic Steps of the Lockout/Tagout system?

This is a process that involves more than simply putting a lock and tag on a switch. Communication, coordination and proper training are key in successfully following the step-by-step process. You should always consult your organization’s lockout program document and follow the detailed instructions provided.
An abbreviated overview of the steps of a lockout/tagout program include:

  1. Prepare for shutdown – The authorized person will identify any sources of energy connected to the equipment, and choose the proper method of control.
  2. Notify all affected employees – The authorized person will notify all affected personnel of what is going to be lock/tagged out, why it will be locked/tagged out, how long they should expect the equipment to be unavailable, who is responsible for the lockout/tagout and who to contact for more information.
  3. Equipment Shutdown – Following the manufacturer’s instructions or in-house work instructions the equipment is shut down ensuring all controls are in the off position and all moving parts have come to a complete stop.
  4. Isolation of System from Hazardous Energy – In most cases, there will be exact written instructions guiding you as so how to cut off different forms of energy found within your workplace. General CCOHS procedures can be found here.
  5. Removal of residual or stored energy – Following manufacturer instructions ensure any stored energy within the system has dissipated.
  6. Lockout/Tagout – Once you’re sure all energy sources are blocked, the system is locked and tagged to ensure it stays in an off and safe position. Each lock should only have one key, and each person working on the system should have their OWN lock.
  7. Verify Isolation – Verify that the system is properly locked out before any work is completed.
  8. Perform Maintenance or Service Activity – Complete the job required while the system is locked and off.
  9. Remove Lockout/Tagout Devices – Inspect the work area to ensure all tools have been removed, confirm that all employees are safely away from the area, verify that controls are in a neutral position, remove devices, re-energize the machine and notify affected employees that servicing is completed.

Following the correct steps in locking and tagging out equipment is the best way to ensure that nobody is harmed while performing maintenance as well as no piece of equipment is used while broken-down.

7. Keep Correct Posture

We all know the age-old saying, “lift with your legs, not your back!” but keeping correct posture in mind is important for all employees, not just those doing the heavy lifting. Even if you work at a desk, proper posture can help you avoid back injuries, neck pain, and even carpal tunnel. And of course, you only have one back, so if you are heavy lifting, do keep proper posture and technique in mind and don’t be afraid to call on the help of a partner if you think it’s too heavy to take on alone – Plus, things like forklifts and dollies exist for a reason, get trained and put them to use!

8. Take Your Breaks

Regulated and scheduled breaks are put in place for a reason, take them! Tired workers are the most prone to accidents and incidents. You can’t expect yourself to be on your toes and aware of your surroundings if you’re worn out and tired. Take time on your breaks to rest and recharge so you can return to work refreshed – You’ll get more done in a more timely manner anyways! Another tip to help out with tiredness at work is to schedule as many of your difficult tasks at the beginning of your shift, when you have the most energy, and easier tasks for the end of the day when you’re tank of energy is running low.

9. Proper PPE

Personal protective equipment is the last line of defense for workers against hazards. The PPE you use will depend on your work environment, work conditions and the job being performed. It’s important to remember that there are many different variations of PPE and some may be made of materials suitable for one purpose, but not another.

Personal protective equipment does not guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer, and should be used coupled with other measures to reduce hazards in the workplace. As well, simply having access to some general PPE isn’t enough—to ensure your PPE is providing you with the highest level of protection you must:

  • Carefully select the correct type of PPE based on the type of hazard and degree of protection required
  • Train users to ensure the proper use and fit of the PPE
  • Store and maintain the PPE correctly according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Maintain high-quality PPE by performing regular inspections and discarding/replacing any defective pieces.

10. No Procedure Shortcuts

Workplace procedures exist for a reason – To keep employees safe! Especially if those procedures have to do with heavy machinery, it’s important to know you’re using every tool and machine according to instruction and procedure. Shortcuts may seem enticing, but are never worth the small amount of time they may save you, especially if it results in injury. If you’re not sure of proper procedure, always reach out to your employer for clarity – Proper training is step one!

11. Practice Ladder Safety

Before using a ladder you should always take a moment to inspect both the ladder and the area in which you are using it. Before each use, make sure your ladder is in good working condition and doesn’t need any repairs. Good things to look out for are:

  • Missing, loose or damaged steps or rungs (you should not be able to move or shift these by hand)
  • Loose nails, screw, bolts or nuts
  • Rot, decay or warped rails in wooden ladders
  • Cracks and exposed material in fiberglass ladders
  • Rough or splintered surfaces
  • Corrosion, rust, oxidization or excessive wear
  • Twisted or distorted rails
  • Loose or bent hinges or pail shelf
  • Wobble of any kind

If any of these things are present in your ladder, it should not be used and should only be repaired by a trained professional—Don’t try to make temporary makeshift repairs or attempt to straighten bent or bowed ladders on your own.

12. Fall Protection

The most recent report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), showed that 251,508 Canadian’s accepted claims for lost time due to work-related injury or disease in just one year. Did you know that approximately 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone? You can prevent falls and incidents like these by wearing proper fall protection equipment, and wearing it right.

If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety laws generally require fall protection measures to be in place. You can check with your jurisdiction as requirements do vary, but in most cases fall protection measures such as fixed barriers, surface opening protections, control zones, fall or travel restraint systems, fall containment systems or fall arrest systems are required. You can learn more about some of these systems by reading our fall protection glossary.

13. Workplace Housekeeping

Workplace housekeeping isn’t just about dusting some selves, it’s an important part of your health and safety measures! Poor housekeeping can be the cause of workplace incidents such as:

  • Trips and slips because of loose objects or wet spots on floors, stairs, and platforms
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Hitting against projecting, poorly stacked items
  • Cutting or puncturing of the skin on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

Effective housekeeping programs require ongoing management and attention. It focuses on more than just keeping the workplace neat and tidy, but also deals with the layout of the workplace, aisle marking, storage facilities, and maintenance. A big part of proper workplace housekeeping is ensuring that everything that comes into the workplace has a plan as to where it will be, how it will be handled, and how it will leave the space – including disposal procedures. Often times, injuries result from materials being stored improperly, but that can easily be avoided by having a storage plan and procedure in place.


You may have noticed a core theme in many of our 13 tips, and that’s being in the know! The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, and that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through 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.

LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

Our Testing’s in the (Water) Bag | #TrainingTuesday

water bag testing with crane

WATER BAG TESTING AT HERCULES SLR

We’ve covered the importance of pre-use checks & inspections on the Hercules SLR blog before, like visual inspections, proof-testing and non-destructive testing – One thing we haven’t covered, however, is what water bag proof load testing is and why we do it here at Hercules SLR. 

So, to start—What’s a water bag, anyway?

Well, it’s a little less exciting than a water-ballon (only a little bit, promise) and is a method used to proof load test cranes that uses water instead of traditional, solid weights.  

There are quite a few benefits when you load test with a water bag versus traditional, solid weights. But what are they? In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What water bags are used to test for
  • The benefits of using water bags
  • Useful hardware for securing & rigging a water bag 
  • Safety tips 

WATER BAG TESTING | BENEFITS 

Water bags testing is for:

  • Cranes
  • Lifeboats
  • Elevators & conveyors 
  • Load-bearing structures & lifting equipment
  • Counterweights 
  • Bridges 

WATER BAG TESTING | BENEFITS 

What are the benefits of using water bags to test crane strength? Well, there is: 

  • If you’re close to a water supply. water bags: 
    • significantly reduce transportation costs, storage and handling issues 
    • rigging time
    • overall expense 
    • test load applied gradually and precisely 
    • problems identified and dealt with long before max. load is reached, and allows for safe controlled environment during testing conditions. 

Water bags are best used with spreader beams for offshore application. If you’re operating a crane or any piece of hoisting or lifting equipment, you must test it before using it for anything

A proof test is a test used to check the condition of any load-bearing structure. Often, during a proof test weight is applied beyond the working load limit to test how much strength a structure, like a crane, can truly take—This is important in case the crane is someday loaded beyond capacity. 

WATER BAG TESTING | HARDWARE 

So, what kind of equipment should you use with a water bag? Here’s some rigging equipment that might help you to secure the load: 

  • MasterLink  
  • Round Sling(s)
  • Shackles (Various or specific types of shackles may be required to secure the water bag—Check with manufacturing/provincial regulations to make sure your rigging complies). 
  • Lifting straps 

WATER BAG TESTING | SAFETY TIPS

  • Don’t load bags beyond the working load limit (WLL)
  • Use a calibrated monitoring device to measure the load of the water bag 
  • Remember, the water bag is considered the load, not lifting equipment & the lifting set for the water bag is separate—Keep this in mind when using water bags to test load-bearing structures. 
  • Optimal water bag design has a load carried by the web lifting set, not through the bag’s material. 
  • Be sure to perform a risk assessment before you test a crane or other load-bearing structure with water bags—There are instances that a water bag will fail, and riggers and nearby personnel must have a plan in place if failure occurs. 
  • Inspect water bags before each use 
  • Do not hang more than three water bags from a single attachment point 

FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE SERVICE: LIFTING YOU IN SUDBURY, ONTARIO

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEM—THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CRANE EQUIPMENT: CRANES, CHAINS & AUTOMOBILES


HERCULES SLR PROVIDES REPAIRS, INSPECTIONS & MAINTENANCE FOR RIGGING EQUIPMENT—WE ALSO PROVIDE WATER BAG TESTING & EQUIPMENT RENTALS FOR YOUR LOAD-BEARING STRUCTURES. 

NEED A LIFT? GIVE US A CALL, OR DROP US A LINE.

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876

 


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, 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 hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps for In-Depth Inspection from CM

chain by columbus mckinnon

In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps

How should you conduct an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection? Columbus McKinnon is here on the Hercules SLR blog to share what a professional rigger needs to know when they perform an alloy chain sling inspection. 

This blog will cover: 

  • Twists and bends in your chain sling,
  • Nick, cuts & gouges in the chain links 
  • Wear and corrosion 
  • Chain stretch and elongation
  • OSHA guidelines for chain sling inspection 

Read on to become a chain sling inspection pro. 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 1: TWISTING & BENDING

Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly.

Rigging chain around edges or corners alters the normal loading pattern significantly. A lack of proper padding or consideration of the D/d ratio (see above) for chain can result in twisted and bent links. Once a chain is twisted or bent it will alter inner link stresses which can result in failure. For this reason, all chain containing twisted or bent links must be removed from service immediately.

Since 1933, the National Association of Chain Manufacturers represents domestic manufacturers of welded and weldless chain and have conducted D/d testing on alloy chain. 

As a result of this testing, the NACM came out with the chart below which shows reductions in working load limits based on D/d ratio of alloy chain rigged around an edge or a corner. Consult the manufacturer for any D/d below 2.  ASME B30.9 2014 has adopted this chart into the new standard.

columbus mckinnon chain sling rated capacities

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 2: NICKS & GOUGESchain sling link tensile and compression stress pattern

When chain is used to lift, pull or secure materials, the outside surface of the links can come in contact with foreign objects that can cause damage. Nicks and gouges frequently occur on the sides of a chain link, which are under compressive stress, reducing their potentially harmful effects.

The unique geometry of a chain link tends to protect tensile stress areas against damage from external causes. Figure 1 shows that these tensile stress areas are on the outside of the link body at the link ends where they are shielded against most damage by the presence of interconnected links.

Tensile stress areas are also located on the insides of the straight barrels, but these surfaces are similarly sheltered by their location. However, gouges can cause localized increases in the link stress and can be harmful if they are located in areas of tensile stress, especially if they are perpendicular to the direction of stress. Refer to Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows nicks of varying degrees of severity. Reading clockwise, at three o’clock there is a longitudinal mark in a compressive stress area. Since it is longitudinal and located in a compressive stress area, its effect is mitigated, but good workmanship calls for it to be filed out by hand.

At about five o’clock there is a deep transverse nick in an area of high-stress. A similar nick is located at six o’clock in the zone of maximum tensile stress. Both of these nicks can create a potentially dangerous escalation of the local stress and must be filed out with careful attention to not damage other parts of the chain link or chain. A nick that was located at eight o’clock has been filed out properly.

Although the final cross section is smaller, the link is stronger because the stress riser effect of the notch has been removed. The remaining cross section can now be evaluated for acceptability by measuring it and applying the criterion for worn chain. See the “Wear Allowances Table” below. 

chain sling wear allowances table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 3: WEAR & CORROSION

When used in rigorous material handling applications, chain becomes worn or corroded easily. It is important to inspect chain for defects on a regular basis to avoid an unsafe lifting condition or even operator injury. When corrosion and wear occur, it results in a reduction of link cross-section which can lead to decreased strength of the chain.

Corrosion can occur anywhere chain comes in contact with harsh chemicals, water or when it is used in tough environments.

Wear can occur in any portion of a link that is subject to contact with another surface.

The natural shape of chain confines wear, for the most part, to only two areas. These are, in order of importance, (a) at the bearing points of interlink contact, and (b) on the outsides of the straight side barrels that may be scraped from dragging chains along hard surfaces or out from under loads.

collapsed chain link example
Figure 2: Inspection for interlink wear can easily be detected be collapsing the chain.

Figure 2 illustrates the condition of interlink wear and shows how to inspect for it. Notice how easily such  wear can be detected by collapsing the chain to separate each link from its neighbors. An operator or inspector can also check for corrosion using the same method.

When chain wear or corrosion is observed, the next step is to determine how severe the damage is and if the chain can still be safely used.

General surface corrosion can be removed by cleaning and oiling the chain. If pitting is observed after cleaning and oiling, remove from service. Next, the operator should take a caliper measurement across the worn section of chain and compare it to the minimum allowable dimension for that chain.

See the Wear Allowances chart above for minimum section dimensions or chain wear allowances for Grade 80 and 100 Chain. If the chain does not meet these minimum dimensions, it should be removed from service and replaced.

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 4: STRETCH & CHAIN ELONGATION

A visual link-by-link inspection is the best way to detect dangerously stretched alloy chain links.

Reach should be measured from the upper bearing point on the master link to the bearing point on the lower hook. The smallest sign of binding or loss of clearance at the juncture points of a link indicates a collapse in the links’ sides due to stretch. Any amount of stretch indicates overloading, and the chain should be removed from service.

Note: A significant degree of stretch in a few individual links may be hidden by the apparent acceptable length gauge of the overall chain. This highlights the importance of link-by-link inspection.

Alloy steel sling chain typically exhibits well over 20% elongation before rupture. The combination of elongation and high strength provides energy absorption capacity.

However, high elongation or stretch, by itself, is not an adequate indicator of shock resistance or general chain quality and should not be relied upon by riggers to provide advance warning of serious overloading and impending failure.

Prevent overloading the chain sling by selecting the right type and size of sling. Again, any amount of stretch means the sling’s been overloaded and it should be removed from service.

There is no short-cut method that will disclose all types of chain damage. Safety can only be achieved through proper inspection procedures. There is no adequate substitute for careful link-by-link scrutiny.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 5: OSHA CHAIN SLING INSPECTION

OSHA Chain Sling Inspection standards have gone through minimal changes since they were published on July 27, 1975. These regulations serve as a guide for rigger’s and other competent personnel that will inspect chain slings. 

Applicable sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1910.184) include:

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(d) Inspections

Each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments shall be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Additional inspections shall be performed during sling use, where service conditions warrant. Damaged or defective slings shall be immediately removed from service.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(e) Alloy Chain Slings

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(1) Sling Identification

Alloy steel chain slings shall have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity and reach.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(2) Attachments

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(I)

Hooks, rings, oblong links, pear shaped links, welded or mechanical coupling links or other attachments shall have a rated capacity at least equal to that of the alloy steel chain with which they are used or the sling shall not be used in excess of the rated capacity of the weakest component.

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(ii)

Makeshift links or fasteners formed from bolts or rods, or other such attachments, shall not be used.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(3) Inspections

  • 1910.184(3)(I)

In addition to the inspection required by paragraph (d) of this section, a thorough periodic inspection of alloy steel chain slings in use shall be made on a regular basis, to be determined on the basis of (A) frequency of sling use; (B) severity of service conditions; (C) nature of lifts being made; and (D) experience gained on the service life of slings used in similar circumstances. Such inspections shall in no event be at intervals greater than once every 12 months.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The employer shall make and maintain a record of the most recent month in which each alloy steel chain sling was thoroughly inspected, and shall make such record available for examination.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The thorough inspection of alloy steel chain slings shall be performed by a competent person designated by the employer, and shall include a thorough inspection for wear, defective welds, deformation and increase in length. Where such defects or deterioration are present, the sling shall be immediately removed from service.

Please note that while the requirements under (d) for daily inspections are not explicit as to scope or maintenance of records, it is possible that individual OSHA inspectors may have different views on conformity—The minimum 12-month interval inspections required under (e) call for thorough inspection and written records.

To ensure you remain compliant with chain sling inspection in your area, be sure to check both manufacturer and provincial standards. 


FIND MORE CHAIN SLING INSPECTION READING ON OUR BLOG:

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NEED A LIFT? HERCULES SLR PROVIDES CHAIN SLING INSPECTION, REPAIRS & MORE

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876


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Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, 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 hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

Safety Inspection: make your harness a habit

safety-inspection-safety-equipment

Safety Inspection: don’t fear the inspector

We get it—no one likes a safety inspection. However, having fall arrest and other PPE inspected is a reality everyone in the industrial trades must face. Part of this fear comes from the thought they’ll find things wrong, but have you ever considered…inspectors aren’t trying to make your work more difficult? 

Though it seems that way at times, Inspectors see accidents on worksites that are very avoidable and often happen during routine parts of the work day. Simply put, they want to help you, help yourself.

Safety inspection ensures you maintain productivity, keep costs low and have everyone home safely at the end of the day.

Read on for essential tips from one of our Hercules SLR Inspector’s to make sure you’re always inspection-ready.

Training is Key

Our Inspectors have seen the benefit of hands-on training directly at the Hercules Training Academy.

“The rigging fundamentals course at the Training Academy was amazing—everyone loved it. The experience was vital, and gave me so much more insight into how the rigging hardware I inspect works on the job,” says Quincy Warner, an Inspector from Hamilton, Ontario.

“Safety training can be, for lack of a better word, boring—especially when it only focuses on bookwork. Training for fall protection and safety should take a hands-on approach. For example, strapping someone into a safety harness and letting them fall from a crane to demonstrate the benefits of fall protection tends to stick with them better than reading from a manual. Experience is a great teacher.”

Safety training and physically showing workers the importance of safety harnesses and fall protection like self-retracting lifelines (SRL’s) makes all the difference between them wearing it or not.

Video via 3M showing hands-on safety training 

Inspect the Worksite

Something our Inspectors can’t stress enough is surveying the land you’ll be working on. Assess the area, the job and the safety equipment you’ll need to complete it. What are your fall protection needs—a lanyard, SRL or rescue line? What are the provincial PPE and safety requirements in your region?

Scouting the ground is an important part of assessing. Is the ground wet, are there high winds, is the site elevated—how is weather going to impact the work you’re doing? For example, ironworkers or roofers with jobs in light rain can make the site slippery, which increases the risk for injury.

Our Inspectors recommend a tripod, 3-way winch and/or an SRL for workers in sewers or the gas industry (anyone in confined spaces and/or working with hazardous materials) so you can be lifted and get out as soon as possible. A great option for lifting are a SRL and winch meant specifically to lift—these can be purchased at a lower cost as a packaged deal, and when used properly won’t need repairs. 

Assessing the land of your worksite and wearing the recommended PPE for the job type makes all the difference during safety inspection.

Fall Protection: not a fashion accessory

Many workers don’t realize that just simply wearing your safety harness or SRL isn’t enough, and unfortunately, many managers don’t either.

“A common issue I had while inspecting SRL’s and fall protection were workers only putting their PPE on when I’d show up—which defeats the purpose. How do I know that their harness fits them properly, that the worker has been trained on its proper usage if wearing PPE only happens when the Inspector’s around?” explains Warner. He stresses the importance of knowing the function of each piece of equipment to ensure it’s used properly.

Continues Warner, “Once, I repaired an SRL for a customer. who then fell using it. When I opened the SRL up and examined how it was used on the site, I realized they weren’t using it properly and it wasn’t even hooked up properly. Simply training workers on proper equipment usage can save a lot of money in repairs, extensive paperwork, productivity and most importantly, can save lives.”

Workers should be familiar with the proper fall protection equipment to be lifted, lowered or to move horizontally.

safety-inspection-safety-harness-ppe
Worker at height with safety harness and lanyard. 

Safety Inspection Reduces Costs

No matter what the outside looks like, the inside of a SRL always tells a story. Our inspectors often find issues when they cut open a SRL. The inside can show whether it was used in a fall, or used improperly. This often results in large bills, which are preventable with the right training.

For example, a large company may have around 20 fall protection units. On average, the bill to repair a SRL and tripod is about $1200. A stretched-out wire rope could cost nearly $800 to repair, and bent tripod legs are on average about $200 to repair. These repairs are often the result of using equipment improperly or for the wrong job.

For employers and project managers, safety can be a large financial cost that’s easy to reduce when you invest in the right training and equipment. 

Be your Own Inspector

Always have your PPE on you and make it a habit. Our Inspectors recommend always keeping your PPE in your work truck, like you would with any other tool. Treat your PPE like a car—to drive it safely, you must care and maintain for it.

To inspect your SRL:

  1. Check impact indicator to ensure the SRL has not suffered any falls.
  2. Check hardware to ensure it is not heavily corroded.
  3. Check conduit and webbing to make sure there are no cuts to the webbing. If the SRL has a cable, ensure there are no kinks or strands in the cable.
  4. Ensure the SRL activates and retracts properly.

See your PPE as something essential, not optional and you’ll always be prepared for safety inspection.

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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.

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.

 

Women in Industry – Inspection Technician Heather Young

Heather

Heather Young is one of our Inspection Technicians here at Hercules SLR. We asked her some questions about herself and what made her decide to choose this career path.

Heather Young 1

Tell us about your educational background?

Heather: About 3 years ago I attended CONA , College Of The North Atlantic, in Port Aux Basque NL to start my career as an NDT Technician. NDT is also knows as Non-Destructive Testing. This trade specializes in using various methods to of welding defect detection, methods such as Magnetic particles in a flux field , bright red liquid penetrants, Ultrasounds and X-rays.

My most recent  educational milestone was obtaining an engineering course; LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association)

What made you decide to go into this industry?

Heather: I have obtained knowledge over the years from previous jobs about industrial tools, welding, hydraulics and so much more. I took more of an interest in the welding side of things and decided it was time to start a career; a career that was welding related of course.

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

Heather: I worked at Princess Auto for 8 years, This is where I obtained the knowledge that over time became the reason why I was interested in becoming an inspector. I have learned a incredible amount of useful information in those 8 years from some incredible employees. Princess Auto was basically the jump start to the rest of my career.

What made you want to transition into Inspections ?

Heather: I wanted to work hands on with the products instead of just selling them . I wanted to solve problems associated with industrial applications, I wanted to learn how to use the tools, even how to fix them. I wanted to preform tests that were non-destructive and experience the fun side of destructive testing as a Heather Young 2bonus.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Heather: Hercules is a place that continuously gives opportunities to learn, I have learned beyond what I thought I could ever learn being an Inspections Technician. I wanted to be a part of Hercules as it enabled me to use the skills I learned in college and apply them to real life scenarios. Hercules also offers a wide broad range of different types of jobs which has gained me amazing experience. Everything from inspecting small shackles to working on the inside of large machinery.

Where have you traveled during your time as a Quality and Safety specialist for Hercules SLR?

Heather: I have traveled to other Hercules branches mostly to teach other inspectors the procedures and standards regarding offshore inspections. I also traveled to New Brunswick as an aid for a big job as well as for training purposes. I have been to numerous places here in Nova Scotia also, so many, that its often hard to remember all of them.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for your job at Hercules?

HeatherI enjoyed Travelling to Newfoundland the most. A few simple reasons for this, it is where I am from, I was able to see family while I was there and I also really liked the Hercules employees there, I felt welcomed instantly upon arrival.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?Heather Young 3

Heather: I would like to travel anywhere really. It is all good experience, everywhere is different and unique.

Is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Heather:  I enjoy what I do here at Hercules, so I do have set goals in mind. I would like to continue with the next levels of LEEA, gain more experience as a NDT Tech, and learn more regarding fall arrest equipment.

Lastly, is there anything about you that most people would not know?

Heather: About 6 years ago , I assisted with 2 roofing jobs on houses that needed renovating so they could be sold. It was a summer thing, both houses were located in NB. Since it was part time summer project, it didn’t last very long. I had no experience with using coil roofing nailers, (I only ever sold them) or placing shingles on a roof. It was very physically demanding and I got severely sunburned. I learned a lot from this experience though, I learned that pizza can be delivered to rooftops in NB if you ask .
I came to the conclusion that I enjoyed roofing, but carrying bundles of shingles up a ladder. wasn’t for me…No, not ever again.

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

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

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

If you are interested in working for Hercules, we are always looking for talented people. Check out our careers page here.