The Lions Library | Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

The Lions Library | Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

For this month’s Lions Library, let’s talk about workplace health and safety protocols in Ontario! The goal of Lions Library is to provide you with short-form, easy to understand, explanations of workplace health and safety topics as well as act as a database for where to learn more. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing information on Ontario’s provincial workplace health and safety programs and where to find the best information to keep yourself and your employees safe working within the province of Ontario.

We will be posting a new Lions Library each month this year focusing on all of the Canadian provinces! Tune in to our blog, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linkedin) so you’ll be sure to catch when we publish your province’s! 

What are workplace health and safety guidelines?

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) states, “A health and safety program is a definite plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases.”

In most Canadian jurisdictions, some sort of a health and safety program is required under the occupational health and safety legislation. Because every organization is different, a specific health and safety program must be developed for each organization and cannot necessarily be expected to meet the needs of another.

Workplace Health and Safety in Ontario 

Ontario workplace health and safety is regulated by The Occupational Health & Safety Act which sets out the rights and duties of everyone in the workplace, as well as the procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and for enforcement.

Other contributing legislation includes the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA), Part II of which deals with the prevention of occupational injury and disease and the Human Rights Code, which often has to be considered in dealing with OHS issues. Both OHSA and WSIA are available along with all of Ontario’s other Acts and regulations at the e-Laws website.

The Occupational Health & Safety Act came into force first in 1979 and with changes that were made in 1990 and subsequent years it has evolved into what it is today. These changes strengthened the requirements for occupational health and safety in Ontario workplaces and reinforced the internal responsibility system (IRS), in particular, the joint health and safety committees.

It’s important for employers to note that The Occupational Health & Safety Act makes it clear that employers have the greatest responsibilities. However, everyone has a role to play to ensure that health and safety requirements are met in the workplace. The respective roles and responsibilities for all workplace parties are detailed in The Occupational Health & Safety Act.

For Employees

As a worker in Ontario, you have three basic rights related to health and safety.

  • The right to know and to be trained in safe work practices in all aspects of your job.
  • The right to participate in health and safety matters either directly or through a worksite health and safety committee or representative.
  • The right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that the work process, equipment or environment poses an undue risk of injury to you or another person

If you’re a supervisor you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide a safe workplace and assign safe work taking all reasonable precautions to protect your coworkers from illness and/or injury
  • Inform your coworkers about job hazards and training them to do their jobs safely
  • Provide supervision to ensure that coworkers work safely and use equipment and protective devices properly where required

Supervisors who fail to comply with these and other Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act regulations can result in individual fines up to $25,000.

Here are some resources that will help you educate yourself around Ontario OH&S:

For Employers 

Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act gives employers responsibility to:

  • Keep a safe and well-maintained workplace, taking all reasonable precautions to protect workers from illness and/or injury
  • Provide information about the hazards in the workplace including proper safety equipment, training, and competent supervision
  • Post the WSIB’s “In Case of Injury at Work” poster and follow proper procedures in case of injury
  • Post the Occupational Health & Safety Act in your workplace
  • Have worker representation for health and safety. If you workplace has 20 or more employees or you deal with a designated substance you must have a joint health and safety committee (JHSC). Construction projects that last more than 3 months with 20 or more workers must also have a JHSC. Workplaces with more than 5 employees, but less than 20 employees are required to have a health and safety representative

Failure to comply with these and other Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act regulations can result in individual fines up to $25,000 and/or up to a year in prison. Corporations who fail to comply with these regulations can be fined up to $500,000. Employers are also subject to penalties for failing to report to the WSIB-within 3 days of learning of a workplace injury or illness.

Occupational health and safety compliance By Sector


The Construction Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the construction sector. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, “construction” includes, erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earthmoving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting or concreting, the installation of any machinery or plant & any work or undertaking in connection with a project, excluding any work or undertaking underground in a mine.

Health care

The Health Care Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the health care sector. This includes long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, nursing services, supported group living residences, treatment clinics and specialized services, professional offices and agencies, including medical laboratories. Most of these workplaces are also governed by Ontario Regulation 67/93 – Health Care and Residential Facilities.

Industrial sector

The Industrial Health and Safety Program enforces health and safety laws in industrial workplaces. This program is a large and diverse program that enforces Ontario’s workplace health and safety laws in 29 different sectors with includes the most provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario including education, government services and retail.

Mining sector

The Mining Health and Safety Program enforces Ontario’s workplace safety laws in the mining sector. Ontario’s mining sector can vary based on location, setting or activity including large and small firms, unionized and non-unionized workplaces, underground and surface operations, processing plants, including mills, smelters and refineries, sand and gravel operations, mineral exploration sites and oil and gas extraction facilities.

Specialized Professional Services and Radiation Protection Services

The Specialized Professional Services Unit provides technical support and expertise to ministry staff in ergonomics, occupational hygiene, engineering and emergency management. This unit also continues in the development of standards and legislation of health and safety guidelines.

Radiation Protection Services staff administer and enforce workplace radiation health and safety laws.

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.


Safety Tips | The Importance of Forklift Training

Safety Tips | The Importance of Forklift Training

The Forklift is an incredibly useful piece of equipment, used throughout many industries to enhance productivity, speed up processes and protect the health and safety of employees. But they can also be extremely dangerous, with thousands of forklift accidents every year resulting in sometimes serious injuries, and usually caused by improper and unsafe operation or lack of training for the operatives.

Forklift driving takes a lot more than just lifting and moving materials – Forklift operators should have an understanding of safety & proper use, to keep materials, themselves, and others safe.

The most common causes of fatal forklift accidents include:

  • The forklift tipping over and crushing the operator: 42%
  • Crush injury between the forklift and a surface besides the ground: 25%
  • Crush injury between 2 forklifts: 11%
  • Being struck or run over by a forklift: 10%
  • Struck by falling material being carried by a forklift: 8%
  • Falling from a forklift platform: 4%

Industry statistics in the United States cite a 90% probability of a forklift being involved in a serious injury or fatality accident over its useful lifetime. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that forklifts account for 61,800 minor injuries, 34,900 serious injuries, and 85 forklift-related deaths every year. While these are United States statistics, industries here in Canada use forklifts in comparable numbers to the USA, so we can assume it’s just as much of a risk factor here.

What factors of your work environment contribute to forklift incidents?

The CCOHS sites the following 6 factors as the largest causes for forklift incidents within the workplace.

  • Production factors such as speed or stress.
  • Lack of proper tools, attachments and accessories.
  • Improper assignment of forklifts and operators.
  • Poor maintenance of forklifts.
  • Age of forklifts.
  • Lack of training or improper training of workers who have to operate forklift trucks. 

Training Requirements

Before any employee takes control of a forklift, ensure they’re trained in accordance with CCOHS requirements. If you are an employer or manager with employees who operate material handling equipment, you must under the law provide adequate training and a safe environment for your forklift drivers. 

  • Employers must have a training program that incorporates general principles of safe operation, the types of vehicle(s) used, any hazards created by using forklifts and powered industrial trucks, and CCOHS general safety requirements.
  • Trained forklift operators must know how to do the job safely, as demonstrated in a workplace evaluation.
  • Employers must provide formal and practical training. This may include using some combination of lecture, video, software training, written material, demonstrations, and practical exercise.
  • Employers must certify that operators have received all necessary training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years.
  • Employers must evaluate the operator’s performance and deem the employee competent to operate a powered industrial truck prior to operating the truck.

If your employees are in need of forklift training, the Hercules Training Academy has you covered! You come to us, we come to you, or we can connect online.

Hercules Training Academy: Forklift Safety (Narrow or Counterbalance)

Our forklift training course provides students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of operating lift trucks (narrow aisle or counterbalance). Our training experts will meet and exceed your local regulations and industry standards.

The program is a 1-day course that uses a combination of theory and practical training. Students are evaluated by means of a written test and a practical evaluation on the equipment. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued.

Content Covered
  • Hazard assessments
  • Regulations
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Equipment stability
  • Operating principles
  • Refueling
  • Battery care

Forklift Driving | Safety Tips

Meet Professor Leo, he is Hercules SLR’s very own ‘top tips’ guy. Today Leo has 8 tips to make sure you stay safe when operating a forklift! Once you have a proper training course under your belt to act as your foundation, these are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’re staying safe – Feel free to download and share!


Forklift Training in Ontario 20% OFF FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 

Hey Ontario, are you in need of Forklift Training? The Hercules Training Academy experts are here for you! Give us a call at 905-460-6809 or email and we can schedule training based on your availability. We are also happy to travel to you and train on-site while taking measures to stay safe and follow COVID-19 guidelines.


Employee Spotlight | Lee-ah Durance, Customer Service Representative

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

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

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

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

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

An interesting fact about you is…

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

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

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

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

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

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

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

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

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

Why do you work safe?

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


5 Workplace Safety Hazards to Avoid

5 Workplace Safety Hazards to Avoid

Every worker has the right to return home safe each and every day. 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. Following simple health and safety precautions could have eliminated many of these injuries.

The following are 5 health and safety violations that topped the reported violation list in Ontario last year—Read on to ensure you don’t become part of a statistic.

1. Lack of Proper Fall Protection

According to the CCOHS, over 42,000 workers a year are injured due to fall incidents. This represents approximately 18% of the time-loss injuries accepted by the Workers Compensation Board across Canada.

So how do these falls happen? The majority (around 67%) are the result of slips and trips while the remaining are falls from a height.

Preventing Falls due to Slips and Trips

The most basic way to prevent slips and trips is to maintain proper housekeeping measures, such as:

  •  Cleaning spills immediately if possible, and marking them as ‘wet areas’ if not
  •  Ensuring debris is mopped or swept from floors
  •  Removing obstacles from walkways
  •  Securing mats, rugs or carpets to the floor to ensure they lay flat
  •  Covering and securing cables that cross walkways
  •  Replacing used light bulbs and faulty switches to ensure all work areas are well lit

While following these suggestions will reduce your risk for slips and trips, it’s impossible to completely eliminate all risk. As an employee, it is important that you recognize the risk and prepare yourself as much as possible. There are lots of easy ways to reduce your chance of falling, which include:

  • Wearing the proper footwear—Consider slip-resistant shoes with flat heels, especially when working in an oily or wet environment
  • Keep your hands to your sides, not in your pockets, for balance
  • Walk slowly on slippery surfaces—Slide your feet to avoid sharp turns
  • Always focus on where you are going, what you are doing, and what lies ahead
  • Don’t carry loads you can’t see over
  • Watch out for floors that are uneven, have holes, etc.

Preventing Falls from a Height

Just because falls from a height happen less often doesn’t mean you should be discounting them as a serious risk. These falls are the incidents that commonly lead to grave injuries or even death.

The best way to prevent falls from a height is having a fall protection plan. Fall protection plans outline policies and procedures involved in assembling, maintaining, inspecting, using and dismantling any equipment you may be using to work at a height. Fall protection plans need to be customized for each work-site, as requirements and equipment will vary based on many different factors.

A site-specific fall protection plan will incorporate many things, including:

  • Site location – address, description, work areas, tasks, etc.
  • Site-specific fall hazards (e.g. maximum working heights or proximity to power lines)
  • Type of fall protection to be used, including all anchor points and clearance requirements
  • Equipment inspections
  • Any other work requirements (e.g. presence of first aid or rescue personnel, barricades, etc.)
  • Rescue procedures
  • Worker sign off

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.

2. Improper Personal Protective Equipment (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.

Industrial or Construction Workplaces 

Most industrial or construction workplaces require eye protection, head protection and specialized footwear as a minimum protection. The most commonly used PPE in these workplaces are:

  • Hard hats for protection against falling objects
  • Safety glasses for protection against intense light, UV rays, infra-red rays, and flying objects
  • Earplugs or earmuffs for noise protection
  • Safety shoes (often steel-toed) to protect from crushing toes
  • Safety Gloves for protection against contact with toxic chemical or electrical wires
  • Fall protection equipment for protection from falls from a height

Working with Chemicals 

When working with chemicals PPE is necessary to reduce or eliminate exposure. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will list the correct PPE to wear based on the chemicals being used. It is extremely important to refer to the MSDS when choosing the type of PPE used, as not all types will protect you against certain chemicals. PPE commonly used when working with chemicals include:

  • Safety glasses to protect against chemical liquid splashes, dust, etc.
  • Gloves to protect hands from corrosive or toxic materials
  • Respirators to protect lungs from toxic gas, vapours, fumes and dust
  • Specialized clothing to protect the skin from toxic or corrosive materials
  • Safety footwear to protect the feet from corrosive or toxic materials

Personal protective equipment varies greatly between workplaces and jobs performed, so always survey your work situation to determine if further PPE is necessary. Job-specific PPE may be needed for jobs in which you work with kilns, molten metals or sharp tools.

3. Not Using a Lockout/Tagout System

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 is Lockout/Tagout?

Lockout in technical terms it is defined in the Canadian standard CSA Z460-13 as “Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout and Other Methods” as the “placement of a lockout device on an energy-isolating device in accordance with an established procedure.” In basic terms, it’s a system that allows you to fully shut down a piece of equipment that needs repair, to ensure no energy is going through the equipment. It also ensures that nobody will be able to use the damaged piece of equipment, or turn it back on prematurely. In most cases, these devices will have loops or tabs that can be locked onto an object keeping it in an “off” or safe position.

Tagout comes in as the labeling process that is always used when lockout is required. These are usually standardized labels that include:

  • Why the lockout/tagout is required (repair, maintenance, etc.)
  • Time of application of the lock/tag
  • The name of the authorized person who attached the tag and lock to the system –
    ONLY the authorized person who placed the lock and tag is permitted to remove them. This helps ensure that the system cannot be started up without the authorized person’s knowledge.

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.

4. Poor Housekeeping

When you think of housekeeping the first thing to pop to mind may be the ever-growing list of chores you struggle through when you’d rather be watching TV. However, in the 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

How do I Plan a Good Housekeeping Program?

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 also want to make sure you are keeping the space clean. Each work environment will require different services, but it all boils down to having a plan and staying on top of it. Making sure you have a plan for dirt and dust removal, washroom facilities, surfaces (floors and walls), light fixtures, aisles and stairways, spill control and waste disposal—These are all good jumping-off points, but you should stay aware of any reoccurring problem areas in your work-space and be on-top of addressing them in a timely manner.

What are the Benefits of Good Housekeeping Practices?

It’s important to remember that many other health and safety measures can be made useless without proper housekeeping. For example, offering a forklift operations safety course to your workers won’t result in less forklift accidents if your work areas aren’t cleared enough to navigate without hitting obstacles.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to take the time to maintain your work-space—It can also result in:

  • Reduced handling  of materials
  • Fewer tripping and slipping incidents
  • Decreased fire hazards
  • Lower exposure to hazardous products
  • Better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
  • More efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance
  • Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
  • More effective use of space
  • Improved morale and productivity

5. Incorrect use of Ladders

Ladders are a tool very commonly used both in out of the workplace, that can easily be used incorrectly. That being said, with the correct knowledge, it’s also very easy to use them correctly!

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.

What SHOULD you do When Climbing Up or Down a Ladder?

Before using a ladder you should always ensure that it is secured correctly—A second person should hold the bottom of long ladders to keep them steady. And don’t forget about your footwear! Make sure your footwear is in good condition and is cleared of mud, water, snow, ice or grease. Footwear with a heel is recommended, as it can help stop the foot from slipping forward on the rugs.

Other things to remember are:

  • Face the stepladder
  • Keep your body centered between side rails
  • Maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on a ladder always
  • Keep a firm grip
  • Place feet firmly on each rung
  • Rise or lower tools and materials using a hoist, hand-line, bucket or other device.
  • If using an extension ladder, be careful when stepping or gripping near the locks as the locks could obscure part of the rung
  • Use the appropriate safety devices when needed (e.g., safety belt, fall restraint, etc.).
  • Check with your jurisdiction for requirements when working at heights near or above 3 metres (10 feet).
  • Only allow one person on a ladder at a time (except when using a specially engineered two-person ladder).

What SHOULDN’T you do When Climbing Up or Down a Ladder?

  • Hurry when moving up or down the ladder
  • Slide down the ladder
  • Jump from a ladder
  • Carry tools or materials in your hand while climbing the ladder
  • Use an aluminum ladder when working near electricity
  • Reach from the centre of a ladder (always climb down and move the ladder if you cannot reach)
  • “Shift” or “walk” a stepladder when standing on it
  • Use tools that require a lot of leverage (e.g. pry bars) as this motion could knock you off balance
  • Stand, climb, or sit on the ladder or pail shelf
  • Stand on or above the top two rungs or steps of a ladder
  • Allow another person to work below your ladder


Get to Know your Regional Sales Manager, Steve Hanes

rigger next to giant wire rope spool

Get to Know your Regional Sales Manager, Steve Hanes

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I worked my way through school and was learning to become a computer technician and programmer. With some help from the economy and getting married, my path has taken me to sales.

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

For over 19 years, I worked in the automotive industry—I started in the wash bay at a car dealership, worked my way up to Service Advisor, then Assistant Service Manager. I spent eight years as a Service Manager for Honda, Toyota and Saturn dealerships. After this, I spent three years as General Manager in aftermarket sales for import cars.

This was the stepping stone to learn outside sales, and how to operate in more than location. In 2006 I was hired by Unalloy IWRC and became a Technical Sales Representative, and this was when I finally became part of this great, ever-changing industry! 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR? 

Hercules SLR presented me with an opportunity to move from Sales Manager at another branch to become Branch Manager at the newly-opened Hamilton, Ontario branch.

With responsibilities in both Operations and Sales, this was an excellent opportunity to grow in the rigging & lifting industry. 

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where did you enjoy traveling to most?

With Hercules SLR, I’ve had various roles in our Ontario locations—Brampton, Hamilton, Sarnia and Sudbury, and several times to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for meetings & training, which was the first time I’ve been to the East Coast.    

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

I hope to eventually visit all the branches and cities Hercules SLR has coast-to-coast! 

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

Hercules SLR has helped me grow my career in operations, sales and travel. 

Did I mention when I was hired over 12 years ago as a Technical Sales Advisor, and had no technical experience in this industry? I had the drive to learn, train and ask for help, and now I’m confident in my title. 

Hercules SLR has also let me coach and lead other staff, which is so personally rewarding. I’m still learning to be the person I want to be at work, and most importantly, at home. 

What do you enjoy most about the securing, lifting and rigging industry?

I’ve been asked this several times and since I moved industries, what I’ve learned is it’s not about selling from a catalog or taking orders, it’s about making orders.

We have a sign that says ‘Value Added Service’ and it’s not just a poster on the wall. I’ve worked in the steel mill, marine, towers, quarries, forestry, windmills, assembly plants, mobile/tower cranes, construction sites, and they all need to move something, whether it’s building materials, furniture or parts.    

One thing I’ve enjoyed over the years is the customers and relationships I’ve built—They’re some of the most solid I can imagine. I’ve even kept in contact with some after they’ve retired! #notjustasalesguy. 

Give us some advice for people who work, or want to work in an industrial environment:

This industry has something for everyone, at every level, from work in the shop to manufacturing slings that move & lift the world, to inside sales, outside sales, rigger, inspector, trainer and operations. I could go on, but if someone wants to be a part of a team to help and partner with every other industry. 

Don’t miss out on rigging expertise at Hercules SLR—Join our Fundamentals of Rigging Course in Hamilton, Ontario and learn how to rig it right with Steve Hache and gain practical, hands-on experience. Learn more here, or e-mail or call (905) 790-3112






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

Learn to Rig it Right in Hamilton, ON: Meet Trainer Steve Hache

hercuels slr rigging trainer steve hache

Meet your Hercules SLR Trainer, Steve Hache CD

Get ready for our first-ever two-day training course, ‘Fundamentals of Rigging’ at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario.

Time to meet the teacher—Steve Hache, CD is one of our experience Training Specialists and will lead the Fundamentals of Rigging course. We sit down with Steve to talk more about his role and why he decided to enter training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background:

Steve: It was a dream of mine to pursue a career in the Canadian Armed Forces so, I joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RNC) when I was 19 years-old. I spent 21 years of dedicated service in the RCN, trained and became qualified in a number of technical aspects that range from complex seamanship evolutions, boarding operations, crane operations, forklift operation, small arms, to rigging and hoisting.

After this, I worked in the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC—One of the most recognized colleges in the East Coast) faculty and was introduced to the adult education field. I had an interest in safety, so I earned my diploma in Adult Education-Teaching, Learning and went on to complete the Construction Safety Supervisor certification through the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association.

steve hache, hercules slr trainer
Steve Hache, CD.

In my professional career, I continue to learn—Some of the most memorable experiences were training in the United Arab Emirates in course design at HBI Learning Centers in Sydney, Australia and Adult Education & Assessment at the Global Maritime & Transportation School in New York, USA.  

What made you decide to go into this industry?

I was most accustomed to the safety, rigging & hoisting industries, since there were constant opportunities to operate cranes, forklifts or perform rigging & hoisting operations in the RCN.

Nearly everyday, we removed or replaced machinery from engineering spaces, load or unload missiles, torpedoes, stores and operate cranes—Rigging and hoisting was routine.

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

Steve: When I retired from the RCN, I accepted a job at an American security company in the United Arab Emirates. There, I was exposed to a new, exciting culture and got to train their Coast Guard in seamanship, basic boat operations, tactical boat operations and maritime law enforcement.

This was an extremely challenging and rewarding experience!

After a couple of years in the UAE, I came home—This was when I joined the faculty as NSCC. I took a temporary position at NSSC as faculty of the Marine-Industrial Rigging program. There, I turned a part-time program into a full-time program. The faculty and staff of NSCC were first-rate! I learned a great deal from each person.

When the temporary position ended, I worked as a training manager and Fall Protection Trainer where I learned & honed my training skills even more. Then came Hercules SLR—The rest is history!

What made you want to transition into training?

Steve: It wasn’t difficult for me to speak to large groups of people, since I’ve been doing it since I entered the workforce—In the military, I had to brief, command on and supervise complex seaman evolutions along with rigging & boat operations.

However, teaching and training didn’t always come naturally. My first role as a trainer in the RCN where I was posted to the Bedford Rifle Range as a small arms instructor. I was nervous at first, but I grew to love it—Who knew I enjoyed speaking in front of people?!

Since, my career has always involved speaking tolarge groups of people, which is a must-have skill for a trainer.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?LEEA Header

Steve: That’s easy – I have always appreciated the staff at Hercules SLR. When I was faculty at NSCC, they consistently treated myself and any student that I sent their way with the utmost respect and care. The program work terms that the students completed were extremely beneficial to them and also ended up with employment for a number of them. We developed and maintained a positive working relationship. 

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

Steve: I hope to take more LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) courses to further my knowledge —It’s important to never stop learning. However, my main focus is to continue to contribute to today’s safety culture.




SBOHM@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (905) 538-3217

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

NEW! Train with the Best in Hamilton, Ontario

rigging course, fundamentals of rigging in hamilton ontario

NEW! Train with the Best in Hamilton, Ontario

Learn the skills to life safely, securely & efficiently at the Rigging Fundamentals course at Hercules SLR in Brampton, Ontario on July 15 and 16 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. 

Join our all-day, LEEA-accredited course with lifting & rigging expert Trainer Steve Hache and learn the fundamental skills of rigging to perform work in the marine, entertainment, construction, oil or transportation industry. 

Rigging is an excellent career or skill if you’re interested in mechanics & how things work, working in a variety of different locations on different machinery and keeping others safe & secure. 

At the Hercules SLR ‘Fundamentals of Rigging’ Training Course, you’ll learn:  

  • Regulations and standards relevant in Canada & North America 
  • Risk assessment & management 
  • How to create and execute a rigging plan 
  • How to calculate load weight 
  • What is the rigging triangle
  • How to find the centre of gravity and calculate sling angles 
  • Pre-use inspection
  • How to communicate on a rigging site (I.E. radio, hand signals, etc.) 
  • Learn about and how to use rigging equipment like slings, hitches, hardware and hooks


fundamentals of rigging in hamilton, ontario
Couse outline—Click here. 





SBOHM@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (905) 538-3217

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

How we Make a HUGE Wire Rope Sling in Hamilton, Ontario

spools to make wire rope sling


What are we up to at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario? We’re making big things – a big wire rope sling, specifically.  

Check out these shots of Bryan Jarret, Production Supervisor and Adam making a sling for crane-use. It takes both of these guys just to hold it! 

So, how do Hercules SLR rigger’s make a sling this big? We’ll show you. 


rigging tech pressing wire rope sling






This is Bryan Jarret, our Production Supervisor at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario. Here, he’s pressing these huge lengths of wire rope to form a 6-foot eye on each end. 

This large sling will eventually be used on a crane for one of our clients’ here in Ontario. 


rigging techs hold wire rope sling










A sling this size takes about 1-hour to splice. Each foot weighs about 15-20 pounds on its own. One technician holds the sling, while the other technician splices the opposite end. 


wire rope sling socket swaging










A wire rope this size has a WLL of 76,000lbs. If these two rigging technicians were standing on top of one another, the sling would still be taller than both of them! 


rigging techs swage and splice steel cable sling









Here, they complete the pressing/swaging process on the other side. As the wire rope strands become tighter, the technicians must manually bend through the eye, which takes a lot of arm-strength!  

There you have it, folks—Here’s how our riggers make a sling that lifts BIG things. 



INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (905) 790-3112








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

Crane Service: Lifting you in Sudbury, Ontario

What makes our crane service so special in Sudbury, Ontario? We do it all.

Our team of crane technicians in Sudbury, Ontario grew from two to five within months, and business is boomin’—They’re a small team, with big goals.

Cranes are simple-enough machines, yet require specific, detailed and reliable service. There are approximately seven different kinds of cranes commonly-found on worksites—These include tower cranes, overhead cranes, boom cranes, rough-terrain cranes and telescopic cranes.

At Hercules SLR in Sudbury, Ontario we service and provide equipment and service for all these, and more. Read on to learn details about our crane service in Sudbury, Ontario.


In Sudbury, Ontario, crane services include:

  • Inspections
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance, including preventative maintenance for cranes and their equipment
  • With any of the above services, have access to our asset management service, CertTracker.

CertTracker lets you:

  • Easily store and track upcoming inspections and important maintenance dates
  • Store your equipment documentation in one, easy spot (which makes inspection a breeze)
  • View assets, documents and their status quickly and easily
  • Quickly & easily mark gear as failed and order new equipment


Learn more about our current picks for durable, long-lasting and reliable crane equipment from some of our favourite bands.

Need crane service, and something to sweeten the deal? You’ll receive 1 extra Air Miles® Bonus Miles for every $10.00 spent on the following crane equipment:


Columbus McKinnon’s Hurricane 360° Chain Hoist is unlike any other chain hoist on the market. It features a one-of-a-kind hand chain cover, and is flexible and versatile enough to use for tough, awkward applications.

What else do we love about CM’s Hurricane 360° Chain Hoist? 

  • Hook-mounted hand chain hoist has Weston-style braking system that provides positive load control and reliable performance
  • Hook-mounted hand chain hoist has standard load-limiter provides simple, automatic overload protection that helps prevent injuries
  • Available as army-type, integrated trolley hoist with standard lifts up to 30′
  • Allows you to position and lift from nearly any angle

Receive bonus Air Miles® Rewards Miles when you purchase any of these CM chain hoists from our Sudbury, Ontario branch: crane service in sudbury ontario from hercules slr

  • 1/2 ton capacity, 10′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 12′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 15′ lift
  • 1/2 ton capacity, 20′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 10′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 12′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 15′ lift
  • 1 ton capacity, 20′ lift
  • 2 ton capacity, 20′ lift

Air Miles® Bonus Miles are also available with any purchase of the following LoadLoc chain lifts:


  • 1/2 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift with load limiter
  • 1/2 ton chain hoist, 20′ lift with load limiter
  • 1 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift
  • 1 ton chain hoist, 10′ lift with load limiter

Need a lift? What are you waiting for—Come see us in Sudbury! 




Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes 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 Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Women with Skill: Kelly Baird-Pestell talks Rigging Industry & Teamwork

Kelly Baird-Pestell is our Territory Sales Manager from Sudbury, Ontario and she’s worked in and around the rigging industry for most of her career—just because she’s behind-the-scenes, doesn’t mean her hands don’t get dirty.

Read on to learn more about her career path in the rigging industry, and her role at Hercules SLR. 

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I completed a Business Administration diploma at community college and right from school, went to work in the mining industry. I worked as a mine clerk right out of college for 2 years, and then went to work for another company as their Service/Maintenance Planner, and this role included a lot – I was in-charge of contracts, ordering equipment parts and scheduling jobs for multiple businesses and mine sites in town as we had several contracts. I had a hand in most of went on at the mine.

I had my third child, went back to work for a short time and decided it was time for a change. I saw a position with Hercules SLR as a Service Supervisor, and this proved to be the best move I could’ve made. Since then, I’ve been Operations Manager and now, as Territory Sales Manager I feel like I have a solid understanding of all aspects of the business.

What made you decide to go into the rigging industry after achieving your diploma? 

The Sudbury mining industry was booming at this time, so it made sense to follow the opportunity – I grew up with family who worked in the mining industry, so it was also something I was familiar with. (Did you know Mining is one of the main industries Hercules SLR serves?!)

I made a goal to get a job with a large mine that’s in Sudbury right out of school, and I did! Some people joke and say I have a horseshoe hanging over my head, (laughs) but I think it has more to do with knowing what I want and having the drive to go after it. I was a single mother that was able to spot an opportunity, decide what I wanted, and achieve it. I walked out of college with a diploma, and right into a job!

I loved it. Even though I didn’t come from a technical background, I can learn anything I put my mind to. I jumped in headfirst, and even though the environment was tough, I was able to grow a thick skin quickly (important in this industry!), and learn how to hold my ground.

I also love that the rigging industry impacts the whole community. Especially since mining is so prevalent in Sudbury, the rigging industry impacts our entire community – It’s nice to know work makes a difference.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

The biggest reason I joined the Hercules SLR team is the opportunity for growth. Sometimes, you’re thrown into things that take time to grasp and there’s so much going on that really, you’re forced to learn.

We have some awesome training opportunities at Hercules SLR, like Covey Leadership Training, Rigging Fundamental training and meetings with suppliers about new products – this hands-on experience is just one of the reasons I wanted to work to Hercules SLR.

I love working for a Canadian company, contributing to an end-result and actually having my voice heard. Even though we’re a national-wide company, it really has that small-company-feel. At Hercules SLR, I really feel like our executives listen to what we say, and will actually try our suggestions to see if they work.

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR?

I haven’t travelled very much during my time at Hercules SLR – I’ve been to Hamilton, Ontario! However, I’d love to visit our head office on the East Coast. Eventually, I want to visit Hercules SLR’s East and West Coast branches and learn more first-hand about how different regions work, and what they focus on.

rigging industry

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

Honestly, I’m most proud of our team in Sudbury. Our region experienced a lot of change over a 6-month period, and during this challenging time we were able to come out stronger than ever. Our team not only brought in new customers, but we were even able to bring back customers we had lost.

Advice on leading a team:

To be brutally honest, there was an Operations Manager here once who gave me some great, simple, advice – “Have work-life balance,” Which is something I used to struggle with. Now, I don’t live to work, I work to live. I enjoy my family, job and life in general.

To do this, I try to take a step back, get organized, not put too much pressure on myself and remind myself I can only do so much. I find if I’m stressed, I can’t work to my full-potential. So now, I try to put myself first– for me, this means eating healthy, going to the gym and spending time with my family, so I can do my job better.

Being able to put myself first makes it easier to focus on the different priorities that arise each day. This company doesn’t run with only one person. Hercules SLR needs every team member it has to rise to top and be the leader in the rigging industry. I’m so grateful to be a part of it!

What do you love  most about your job and the rigging industry? 

I love the variety! Everyday looks different. I love helping our clients fix their problems  Nobody calls us because their crane is working! We’re constantly the solution for our clients, and I love being part of the solution, not the problem.

And, as I mentioned, I also love our Sudbury crew Adriana, Rick, David, Netasha, Frank and I make a great team!

Learn more about life at 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.