5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely

5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely

One of the most popular methods for securing cargo, especially when it comes to shipping, is using ratchet straps – also known as lasing straps or tie-downs. Ratchet straps are the hammer of the transporters toolbox – with applications ranging wide from professional use to everyday common use. You may not realize it, but these simple straps are a large and important component in material handling.

As with any material handling equipment, it is important that you use it correctly, and take proper care of it. Your equipment is what keeps your load, yourself and your employees safe – so it’s your job to make sure it is set up for success! In this blog, we’re going to be sharing our 5 top safety tips to ensure your ratchet straps are being used to their full, and proper, compacity!

1. Using them Properly

When not used properly, ratchet straps can become damaged very quickly, and potentially cause road hazards. The proper way to use a ratchet strap is:

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

  • Step 1: Insert loose end of strap into mandrel of the ratchet
  • Step 2: Pull strap through slot in mandrel
  • Step 3: Pull slack out of strap to make strap tight
  • step 4: Crank the ratchet to desired tightening
  • Step 5: Make sure strap stays in line with other to avoid tangling/locking
  • Step 6: Lock handle down after tightening

How to Release a Ratchet Strap

  • Step 1: Pull trigger toward back handle
  • Step 2: Open ratchet all the way
  • Step 3: Webbing should release
  • Step 4: Pull webbing out of mandrel
  • Step 5: Pull trigger to unlock
  • Step 6: Close ratchet back down

2. Storage Methods

The working life of your equipment is affected by more than just how you use it – storing it incorrectly is one of the leading causes of damage. There are three main things you want to avoid when storing ratchet straps:

  1. Moisture – Storing ratchet straps is a place where they are exposed to moisture can cause it to mold and mildew. Mold can extremely weaken the strength of the webbing and the polyester can actually be destroyed, even in heavy-duty straps. This is a problem many people run into when choosing to store their ratchet straps in the back of their truck. This is also something to be aware of when using the straps in the rain – always ensure they are able to dry before putting them away.
  2. Direct Sunlight – Ratchet straps should always be stored in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight. When exposed to harmful UV rays, they can get sun damaged – you’ll notice this by seeing the color of the strap fade.
  3. Friction & Heat – Exposer to heat, such as the sun, fire, or other heat sources can cause weakening issues. This can also occur if the straps rub against a sharp edge or other objects while in use. If you notice any burn marks in your straps, they must immediately be placed out of service.

3. Choosing the Right Ratchet Strap

You’ll need to consider the following when choosing tie-down straps:

  • Weight capacity (WLL – working load limit)
  • Length of straps
  • Type of hook: S-hooks, double J-hooks, flat hooks, and E-track systems
  • Whether you need extra security offered by tie-down straps that latch or lock
  • Whether you want extra protection for your cargo, vehicle, and straps

Weight Capacity of Ratchet Straps

One of the most important things to consider when choosing ratchet straps is their weight capacity. To get the right ratchet straps, you need to know the weight of your cargo and the total number of straps you will use to tie it down.

The weight capacity of a ratchet strap is designated by its safe working load limit (WLL), which is a measure of the maximum weight the strap can safely handle. To safely secure a load, the combined WLL of the ratchet straps used must be greater than the weight of the secured cargo. For example, if your cargo weighs 1,000 lbs and you are using 2 ratchet straps to tie it down, each strap must have a WLL of 500 lbs or greater. It is recommended that you always use ratchet straps in pairs.

Ratchet straps are also rated by their maximum load (or break strength), which is the amount of weight that will cause the ratchet strap to fail. The break strength is usually 3 times the WLL. You should always use the WLL to determine what ratchet straps are best for your application.

Length of Ratchet Strap

Ratchet straps need to be long enough to reach from tie-down point to tie-down point or from your cargo to a tie-down point on your trailer or truck. If the ratchet straps are too short, they won’t work at all. If they are a lot longer than you need, you will have long, loose ends that could get in your way. Even if you are using ratchet straps of the ideal length, there will still be a portion of the strap that must be secured so that it doesn’t flap in the wind. And because the same ratchet straps are often used for multiple applications, it’s almost impossible not to have long ends of the strap to deal with at some time.

4. Using the Right Amount

As we mentioned above, the industry standard is to use ratchet straps in pairs. Depending on the type of cargo you are transporting, there may be specific regulations as to how many ratchet straps need to be used. For example, if you’re transporting goods in pallets, boxes or stillages, you will need at least one strap per row. Or, if you’re transporting logs in a truck fitted with a headboard, you need to use at least one strap per bay for logs up to a maximum length of 3.3 meters with the bark still present. It’s important you look into regulations specifically for your region, industry, and type of cargo!

5. Daily Inspections Checking for Damage

Ratchet straps must be regularly inspected to ensure they are not damaged. Even “minor” damage can drastically reduce the strap’s capacity and increase the chance of failure during use.

The entire ratchet strap assembly must be inspected before each use and removed from service if any of the following are detected:

  • If the identification tag is missing or illegible
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags or embedded materials
  • Broken or worn stitches in the load-bearing splices
  • Knots in any part of the webbing
  • Acid or alkali burns
  • Melting, charring or weld splatters on any part of the webbing
  • Excessive abrasive wear or crushed webbing
  • Signs of ultraviolet (UV) light degradation
  • Distortion, excessive pitting, corrosion or other damage to buckles or end fittings
  • Any conditions which cause doubt as to the strength of the ratchet strap

Hercules SLR can design and manufacture heavy or light duty ratchet assemblies that are weather and wear-resistant and will secure your load properly and safely.

All our tie-down straps and ratchet assemblies are manufactured from the highest quality proof tested webbing hardware. They can be supplied with any one of several standard or custom made end fittings to ensure that your load is adequately and safely secured. Larger ratchet assemblies are available in standard or long-handled versions.

Hercules SLR is here for you and all your transportation requirements! Load Binders, ratchet straps, tie downs, tarps, chains, ropes, slings, hardware and more. We remain open, while respecting the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advice.

We have set up specific drop-off and pick-up points in-store and you can call us ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before your arrival. Your safety is our priority and when you need us, we are here for you. Call us: 1 800 461-4876 or visit us online here to find the nearest branch: https://buff.ly/2FFkXMu

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

Product Spotlight | What are Lifting Clamps?

Product Spotlight: What are Lifting Clamps?

What do you do when you need to lift a beam, pipe or piece of sheet metal with no lifting point? AND you’re told you’re not able to cause any surface damage to the material? Easy—You grab a lifting clamp!

Lifting clamps are used to latch onto plates, sheets, grinders, pipes and other materials for positioning, hoisting and transferring. This eliminates the need for creating a hitch or drilling into the material. When in use, lifting clamps use powerful springs that allow the clamp to essentially become one with the material being lifted (yes, it holds on THAT tight). Most often, lifting clamps are used on sheet, plates or fabrications— Because of this, many people know lifting clamps as ‘plate clamps’ or ‘sheet clamps’.

What are Lifting Clamps? | Types of Lifting Clamps

There are many different types of lifting clamps, but the majority of them fit within two categories—Vertical lifting clamps and horizontal lifting clamps. The following are some examples of lifting clamps sold by Crosby!

Hercules SLR sells Crosby lifting clamps with a variety of working load capacities and jaw opening sizes. Crosby lifting clamps are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques and are able to withstand abusive field conditions. Each plate clamp, beam lifting clamp, and drum clamp features a welded alloy steel body that is designed to have high-strength while still being lightweight and compact. Crosby lifting clamps are individually proof tested to two times the working load limit and you’ll always find the Crosby logo, working load limit (WLL), jaw opening, unique serial number, and proof load test date permanently stamped on the clamp bodies.

Vertical Lifting Clamps

Vertical lifting clamps are used for lifting, turning, moving or vertical transfer of sheet plates, or fabrications from horizontal to vertical and down to horizontal (180 degrees) as need.

  1. The IPU10 has a hinged hoisting eye which allows for the clamp to place and lift the load from any direction, or with a multiple leg sling without side-loading the clamp. The IPU10S is for use with stainless steel and the IPU10H is for use with materials with a surface hardness up to 47Rc (450 HB)
    • Available in capacities of 0.5 through 30 metric tons (higher WLL are available upon request).
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 6.1″.
  2. The IPNM10N will not mark or scratch the material surface, making it suitable for materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, painted materials, aircraft skins, composite material, glass, and plastic.  The IPNM10P does this while also providing a protective cover that will reduce the risk of damage to surrounding plates.
    • Available in capacities of 0.5, 1 and 2 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.57″.
  3. The IPU10A automatically clicks on to the material as soon as the clamp is placed on the plate. The safety lock will remain in position as the clamp closes precluding hazardous situations. This also allows the clamp to be easily fastened to difficult to reach areas.
    • Available in capacities of 1 and 2 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.97″.

Horizontal Lifting Clamps

Horizontal lifting clamps have a pretension feature that allows users to attach the clamps to the material for horizontal lifting and transfer of non-sagging material. These clamps must be used in pairs or more.

  1. The IPHNM10 may only be used on material surfaces that have no damage and the IPH10 and IPH10E have spring-loaded tension.
    • IPHNM10 and IPH10 are available in capacities of 0.5 through 12 metric tons and IPH10E are 2.0 through 25 metric tons.
    • Jaw openings available from 0″ to 4.75″ (IPH10E only goes to 4.72″)
  2. The IPHOZ is used on thin sheets and other materials that will sag or bend when lifted.
    • Available in capacities of 0.75 through 15 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 2.36″.
  3. The IPBC has clamps with a pretension feature that allows the user to attach the clamps to sagging and non-sagging materials. These clamps may also be used to handle material that will be used in shears, bending and rolling machines or other fabrication equipment. This clamp may also be used for turning beams from the “H” into the “I” position. IPHGZ and IPHGUZ have these capabilities and may also be used to move and life structural shapes such as I-Beams, H-Beams, etc.
    • Available in capacities of 1 through 4.5 metric tons.
    • Jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.57″.
  4. The IPPE10B(E) is suitable for use on bundles or unbendable sheets of metal. The jaw opening can be easily adjusted for the height of the bundle or the plate. It also has magnets in the footplate, allowing one person to operate multiple clamps at the same time when lifting loads. IPPE10BNM may be used for virtually all applications, where the objects that are being lifted or transported require optimal protection against surface damage.
    • Available in capacities of 3 and 12 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 7.09″.

Specialized Clamps

Crosby also makes lifting clamps for further specialized uses such as beam lifting clamps, shipbuilding clamps, positioning screw clamps, pipe grabs, beam clamps, concrete road barrier grabs, granite curb grabs, and pipe hooks. If you’re interested in learning more in-depth information about these specialized clamps, email us or call us at 1-877-461-4876.

What are Lifting Clamps? Their Uses

  • The Mining/Quarrying Industry – Many extracting and maneuvering operations use lifting clamps capable of meeting the needs of extreme conditions found in everyday operations within the mining/quarrying industry.
  • Transportation/Towing Industry – Lifting clamps are used in the transportation & towing industry to load vehicles onto trailers, load finished products into containers, and transfer bulky items used in production and construction.
  • Construction Industry – Lifting clamps are on many materials within the construction industry such as fabricated building materials like iron sheets, heavy doors, windows, metals pipes, timber, floors or walls.
  • Steel Industry – You’ll likely find lifting clamps in most foundries and metalworking facilities as lifting clamps are used so much in this industry – The hardware is often known as a ‘plate clamp’ or ‘sheet clamp’ (as we’ve mentioned above), because of its use moving plates of steel.

Lifting Clamp Dos and Don’ts

Based on safety guidelines recommended by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), here are some easy dos and don’t to keep you and your load safe when using a lifting clamp.

DO

  • Select the correct clamp for the job – ensure you’re using the correct clamp for directional lifting (vertical, horizontal or universal) and that the clamp is rated for the thickness and weight of the materials being lifted.
  • Refer to the manufacturers’ operating instructions.
  • Inspect clamps visually before each use.
  • Lift one piece of material at a time unless using clamps and methods approved for otherwise.
  • Use two or more clamps to balance a long or flexible load (always use two or more if manufacture guidelines suggest).
  • Install the clamp(s) over the center of gravity of the load.
  • When using vertical lifting clamps, consider using a locking device to prevent accidental loosening.
  • Always use clamps within their rated capacity and flange width.
  • Ensure clamps are locked in place before lifting a load.
  • Use slings between the clamp and cranes or hoist hooks.
  • Use non-marring (rubber pad) clamps in pairs when lifting finished and polished plates
  • Lift smoothly and avoid jolts.
  • If the use of a tag line is necessary, attach it to the clamp before lifting the plate.

DON’T

  • Do not lift over workers and do not stand near a load – Position yourself away from a fully clear of the load. Remember to also consider how the load might fall when it lands.
  • No not overload or underload a clamp.
  • Do not lift from the side with a vertical-only clamp.
  • Do not attempt to lift materials from the bottom of a stack.
  • Do not drag the load using the lifting clamp.
  • Do not use a clamp having a minimum jaw opening larger than the thickness of the load.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.

Lifting Clamp Inspections

Before using ANY rigging hardware, you should always perform visual inspections to ensure you aren’t using hardware that’s damaged or weakened, making it unsafe to use.

But, keep in mind these quick visual inspections should not and DO NOT replace any required annual inspections. Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on safety, unscheduled outages and your business costs. 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. Staying on top of your required annual inspections has never been easier with the Hercules SLR team.

How to visually inspect the exterior of a lifting clamp

  • Always follow the hardware’s manufacturer maintenance recommendations.
  • Inspect internal and external surfaces for forging or weld fractures, wear or distortion.
  • Check all pin holes for wear.
  • Inspect the throat (clamp opening) width – At zero grip, the clamp should be in full contact with the pad.
  • Measure the width of the throat – If the measurement at the base (where the pad is located) is greater than at the top, the body has been overloaded and the clamp and tag need to be replaced.

Crosby is one of the most recognizable names in the rigging industry, and has been for over 100 years. Crosby makes over 2,000 rigging and lifting products to meet all your hoisting needs, and Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center.

See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


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

Columbus McKinnon Guest Blog: CM Experts Talk Load Securement

Columbus McKinnon (CM) creates popular, durable hoisting equipment for rigging like the Bandit, and Loadstar—Today, we have a two part piece by two rigging experts from CM on the Hercules SLR talking load securement, and the benefit of ratchet binders versus lever binders.

Read on and learn load securement tips from Henry Brozyna, Corporate Trainer for CM to tie-down loads safely and securely.

In many cases, the importance of tying down a load on or in a truck is underestimated. It’s interesting to talk to trucking people and find out that they are very in tune with what is expected of them with regards to the vehicle they drive and the maintenance of that vehicle. But when it comes to tie downs and load securement, they usually fall short.

Securing loads in and on trucks is very important – not just to the driver, but to their customer and most importantly the general public.

LOAD SECURMENT | Good tie downs go a long way to ensure cargo being hauled on a truck stays on the truck.

A pre-use inspection of the tie downs must be done to ensure the working load limit (WLL) of that tie down is intact. All tie downs have markings to indicate what grade they are or they will be marked with a working load limit. The higher the grade, the stronger the product – as you typically see with chain. Grade 30 is the lowest grade and is not as strong as say, grade 70 or grade 80.

During a roadside inspection by law enforcement, they will look for these markings. If they cannot find any, they will automatically rate the tie down as grade 30, the lowest option. This de-rating may cause him/her to take you and your vehicle out of service due to lack of adequate tie downs. Therefore, it may be helpful to conduct a pre-use inspection, per the manufacturer’s specifications, to ensure the proper type and number of chain tie downs is used.

LOAD SECURMENT | Straps need attention too.

The condition of synthetic straps is one of the most overlooked load securement items. When straps are purchased, the manufacturer assigns a working load limit. That WLL is for straps that are intact and undamaged. This is where a pre-use inspection is needed. Straps that have damage in excess of the manufacturer’s specifications must be removed from service.

LOAD SECURMENT | Take time to check your load securement equipment.

All too often we are in a hurry to get from one place to another. This is usually when we take chances and cut corners. This is also the time that an accident is most likely to happen. It is important to take extra time to make sure the equipment you want to use is in good condition and meets the requirements for use as a load securement device.

Read on for part two from Columbus McKinnon expert Troy Raines, Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager and learn more about using ratchet binders and lever binders for securing loads, and the benefits of each.

 

LOAD SECUREMENT | People frequently ask, “What type of chain binder should I use?” 

Being an engineer gives my outlook on life an odd slant. I frequently think of things in terms of simple machines and how they can make my life better. Where am I going with this and how do simple machines relate to chain binder selection? Let me explain.

LOAD SECURMENT | What is a chain binder?

Also known as a load binder, chain binders are tools used to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two basic styles of chain binders – lever binders and ratchet binders. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.

Lever Binders

load securement lever binder, columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Lever Binder

A lever binder is made up of a simple machine, a lever, with a tension hook on each end. The lever is used to increase the force applied to a tie down. The lever is hinged and takes up the slack by pulling on one end of the tension hook and will lock itself after a 180-degree rotation of the lever around the hinge. Some of the advantages of choosing a lever-type binder include:

  • Easy installation
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Quick means to secure and release

Ratchet Binders

load securement, ratchet binder by columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Ratchet Binder

A ratchet binder uses two types of simple machines and has two tension hooks on each end and handle. The handle again serves as a lever plus there is the screw thread. Having both simple machines can multiply the force manually applied to the tie down assembly.

When using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw work together and increase the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly. The result is that it takes much less pulling force on the handle to apply tension than you would need with a lever binder.

Ratchets also allow for slower, steadier loading and unloading of forces. This reduces any undue stress or strain on your body. Since ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl and end fittings, they will not store up as much energy in the handle as a lever binder will.

Another advantage of ratchet binders is that take-up is safer. The take-up distance of a ratchet binder is typically eight to ten inches – twice that of a lever binder. While take up with a ratchet binder may take a few extra minutes, it is more controlled and ultimately a safer process.

LOAD SECURMENT | In Conclusion

Both lever binders and ratchet binders work in a similar fashion and should be chosen based on the preference of the operator. As with any type of load securement gear, safe practices need to be followed, including:

  • Always wear gloves to maintain a good grip on the binder handle.
  • Never use cheater bars on the handle in an attempt to increase the tie down tension. Cheater bars can put excessive force on the tie down. This force can be enough to damage or even break the tie down. This energy may be further increased by shifting loads. The stored energy resulting from this force could injure you or someone nearby.
  • Ensure that the lever binder is fully locked and make sure the load doesn’t shift after it is applied.
  • When releasing lever binders, stay clear of the handle to avoid any potential kickback.
  • Specifically on ratchet binders, don’t rush the ratcheting process. Slow and steady is the best way to tension.

ARTICLE REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION VIA COLUMBUS MCKINNON—FIND HERE & HERE


NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SECURING YOUR LOAD?
CONTACT US, OUR EXPERTS ARE HERE TO HELP!

 

What is a Rigger in Construction?

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?

What is a rigger? A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist or move in general. They’re responsible in making sure the right equipment and hardware is 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, a construction site 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 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.

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? HERCULES SLR EXPLAINS

As we mentioned, lots of rigging happens on a construction site 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.

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. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THE HERCULES SLR EXAMPLE

Here’s an example.

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.

This is a common example of a rigger being called in to rig something for a construction project.

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? SKILLS TO HAVE

Rigging involves the use of equipment like cranes, forklifts and large spreader-beams – this work often requires workers’ to be at heights. Working at heights is something a rigger should be comfortable with.

Many rigger positions or construction positions with rigging as their primary role will offer some on-on-the-job and outside training, but that’s not say there aren’t useful skills to have.

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: If you’ve skipped over the first part of this article, or it just didn’t sink in yet – 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, construction rigging could be a great path for you.
  • Adaptability: Typically, a rigger in construction will have to travel to different sites for work. 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

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THEIR (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


WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? CONCLUSION

A lot’s been covered in this blog post – and we’ve only scratched the surface of some the roles a rigger plays in construction. Riggers’ in construction are often found working as crane operators, inspectors, transport truckers or millwrights.

For more information on what a rigger in construction is, check out our blogs below or e-mail info@herculesslr.com to learn how Hercules SLR’s services can assist your construction crew.


FOR RELATED READING ON ‘WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?’, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WELCOME TO ONTARIO: BRAMPTON RIGGERS TALK CHAIN HOIST SAFETY 

RISK MANAGEMENT: SAFETY IS EVERY RIGGERS’ BUSINESS

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP


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Is a career in rigging right for you? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about career opportunities across Canada with Hercules SLR. 

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

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

Modular Construction Trending: Innovative Workspaces

WHAT’S MODULAR CONSTRUCTION? 

Modular construction allows significant portions of work to be completed, off-site and usually inside in a modular workspace. It doesn’t describe the building itself, but the way it’s built.

Many think of a mobile home or re-locatable building when they think of prefabricated buildings, but modular construction has become more modern and sophisticated in recent years, which has led to more modular working spaces. Modular construction can be used to build either residential or commercial buildings, although commercial is the most common.

A modular working approach to construction tends to focus on manufacturing—Read on for an example.

EXAMPLE: A construction crew builds an office building. Instead of assembling the entire project on-site, individual parts are manufactured indoors. The crew would assemble individual wall panels indoors, and these will later be put up on-site.

Other parts of the project could be assembled here, too—think washrooms, pre-built wall panels, ped-ways, stairs, and even the roof.

These parts are assembled in the modular workspace, transported and put together on-site as the construction project progresses—these prefabricated parts are put together with lifting equipment like cranes or aerial lift trucks.

modular construction capabilities by hercules slr
Modular constructed apartment.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Since modular workplaces are a bit different than traditional construction sites, they can also reduce some of the risk or hazards found on typical construction sites. Safety can be enhanced by modular construction:

  • Less work at height—for example, on many modular projects a roof is lifted to the top with a crane.
  • Reduce garbage and waste—working off-site can limit the amount of extra material thrown away, and can be recycled for future use.
  • Community disruption—modular construction and workspaces bring work off-site, making the area more quiet! For example, let’s say you’re building an office on a University campus. Modular construction frees the campus from common construction disruptions (loud machinery, dust, barricades, etc.).
  • Time—they say time is money, and modular construction can save time compared to working on-site. Prefabrication often takes about half the time and many pieces can be made at once, which lets contractors take on multiple projects, schedules can be planned more ‘tightly’ and projects are finished quickly.
  • Remote Locations—Modular construction allows work to be taken off-site, which can be a great benefit for more isolated locations. Think—a house in Northern Alberta is mainly assembled indoors, so workers can do less work in frigid, outdoor temperatures.

MODULAR PROJECTS

One notable modular construction project is the 57-storey skyscraper built in China by entrepreneur Zhang Yue, in just 19 days—yes, you read that right, a whole skyscraper assembled in 19 days altogether. Specifically, the first 20 storeys were assembled in seven days, but various regulations held the project up for a year before the last 37-storeys were built in 12 working days. The final skyscraper has offices that fit 4,000 people, 800 apartments and 19 atriums.

Zhang has built a number of other buildings using the same method. A skyscraper built using traditional, on-site construction takes about 2-3 years compared to the days Zhang’s projects take to complete.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, modular construction reduces uncomfortable environmental conditions for workers and clients, increases productivity and can reduce harm and injuries.

Traditional construction sites will always have a place in the industry, but it’s an exciting innovation that’s sure to shake things up.


NEED EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENCE? CALL HERCULES SLR.

Equipment needs regular maintenance like relevant inspections, repairs and proper employee training to operate properly, prevent damage or injuries and work efficiently—consider Hercules SLR your one-stop-shop. We’ll inspect, test & repair your equipment, and fully certify it to comply with national and provincial safety regulations.

We’ll keep your modular workplace running smoothly and efficiently, so you can complete projects and keep your customers and employees happy.

Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:

  • Lifting Magnets
  • Hoists & Cranes
  • Lifting & Rigging Equipment & Hardware (EX. shackles, slings, beam clamps, pallet lifters, etc.)
  • Fall Protection

Workplace safety is important in any construction setting—We offer training for:


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING AND CONSTRUCTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TIPS: SECURE YOUR WORKSITE
10 CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRENDS 2018/19
7 MAJOR TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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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.

Warehouse Safety: 8 steps to take after a racking accident

racking-accident-hercules-slr

As we mentioned in our previous blog on warehouse and forklift safety, the winter months are a busy time for warehouse personnel. There’s retail, inventory, and in these modern times, the hustle and bustle doesn’t stop on December 25 – there’s boxing day sales, new years events and more to keep your warehouse busy. During these busy times, a racking accident is more likely to occur.

Many warehouses use a racking system – a material handling storage system meant to store materials on pallets, which are commonly known as ‘skids’. Racking accidents look disastrous and can cause injury – they also take time, money and resources to repair (and this is before the cost of replacing the damaged materials).

Racking accidents tend to occur more than once, generally when proper incident investigation and reporting does not take place – these accidents will continue to happen. Managing a racking accident effectively will ultimately improve your companies whole risk management plan.

To prevent further accidents from taking place, proper incident reporting is absolutely necessary. Norm Kramer, a consultant from Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Prevention Services says incidents often remain unreported, for two reasons:

  1. An ineffective reporting system: It may be common-place to say a racking accident or damage is no big deal in the workplace, and/or the reporting process is too complicated and “not worth dealing with”.
  2. Employees fear consequences: workers may fear discipline or termination after reporting an accident or near-accident.

Here are 8 steps to take after a racking accident in your warehouse:

racking-accident-warehouse-safety-hercules-slr
Accidents happen!
Racking Accident: Be Proactive

Have an investigation team already in place. This team should include people who are aware of accident investigation and causation techniques, and are also familiar with roles and routines of the specific workplace. Examples of these team members could be immediate supervisors, outside-contracted employees, union representatives (if necessary), safety committee members or employees familiar with the role.

Create a basic response plan to follow after an accident/emergency, and post in a common area where all employees can see it.

1. Racking Accident: Consult Workers—And Equipment

Examine the injury/incident that has taken place and take not of the situation at hand. Remember to include the basics – who, what, when, where and how. If needed, don’t forget to acquire medical attention. Inspect the rack and determine the type and amount of damage.

2. Racking Accident: Control the Area

Protect worker safety and secure the area if needed. You may need to contain the damage, or unload the racking structure if safe to do so.

3. Racking Accident: Communicate Hazards

Inform workers of hazards on the warehouse floor, and any other obstacles workers should be aware of.

4. Racking Accident: Find the Source

Identify the cause of the accident/hazard. The cause could be incompatible forks and pallets, poor visibility in the warehouse, or not enough space between racking and the forklift to turn properly.

5. Racking Accident: Put Controls in Place

Place controls on the root source of the accident/incident to remedy it. Controls may range from more training, a different warehouse layout or inspections/repairs to equipment.

6. Racking Accident: Keep Communication Open

Keep communication open with management, human resources and any other management or employees relevant to the accident. Be sure to share relevant forms, documents and other required materials with them.

7. Racking Accident: Repair and Inspect

Be sure to have your racking equipment inspected and/or repaired by a qualified professional. Depending on which province you’re in, these regulations may differ. Factors to consider include: building regulations, fire codes and employer responsibilities regarding safety.

Check with your provincial labour ministry for rules and regulations related to storage and material handling, warehouses and other engineered equipment. The Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety recommends following the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) for Steel Storage and Steel Racking units, A344.1 and A344.2.

Forklift Safety at Hercules SLRracking-accident-warehouse-safety-forklift

At Hercules SLR, we provide hands-on training with a focus on safety—we provide lasting knowledge you and your employees can practically apply. Find more information on our Forklift (Narrow Aisle or Counterbalance) Safety Training course here.

Find more information on Hercules SLR inspection services here, so your forklifts remain in top condition. Learn more about the benefits of our asset management tool CertTracker® for your forklifts and other heavy machinery and equipment.


References:

  • http://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Articles/9-steps-to-take-after-a-racking-incident.aspx
  • https://www.safeopedia.com/2/1210/prevention-and-control-of-hazards/injury-prevention/10-critical-steps-you-must-take-when-investigating-and-reporting-accidents
  • https://www.hni.com/blog/bid/92062/workplace-incident-report-7-immediate-steps-to-take-after-an-injury
  • http://www.iamaw.ca/new-csa-standard-for-steel-storage-rack-safety/

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.