Beam Clamp Applications: safety tips from Brampton, ON

Beam clamp applications provide support and better load control. Today, we spoke with rigging experts from Brampton, Ontario to learn more about the three main types of beam clamps—they spoke with us about safe tips for use and how to inspect your beam clamp before application.

Beam clamps: 3 different types

There are three different types of beam clamps:

  1. Scissor type
  2. Adjustable type with fixed jaw
  3. Adjustable type with swivel jaw

1. Beam clamps: scissor type

While not the most popular type of clamp, the scissor beam clamp is still one of the basic types of clamp, and is ideal for lifting applications. It uses scissor action to manipulate the weight of the load to apply clamping load. It’s clamping jaws are rougher, which helps to dig into the load and form a better grip.

Before use, be sure to check its condition—assess the pivot bolt, wear and deformation and check the SWL, identification and use of beam to be used on.

2. Beam Clamps: adjustable type (fixed jaw)

Before use, check the tommy bar, screw thread and screw spigot for wear and deformation. Check SWL and identification, and also check for general condition.

3. Beam Clamps: adjustable type (swivel jaw)

Before use, be sure to check the swivel jaws and ensure they move freely, check the SWL and identification and the tommy bar, screw thread and screw spigot for wear and deformation.

Beam clamp applications: inspect before use!

Before using your beam clamps, be sure to follow these pre-use inspection tips:

  1. Check SWL, Identification no. and colour code
  2. Check SWL of the clamp’s within the weight of the load to lift;
  3. Check the clamp is the correct size for the beam;
  4.  Thoroughly examine the clamp for wear, damage and deterioration—particularly at the hinge and shackle attachment points;
  5. Ensure the screw thread is in good condition—this means it’s not bent and rotates freely;
  6. Check the tommy handle for damage and distortion;
  7. Check jaws for damage, distortion and ensure the swivel type is free to rotate;
  8. Ensure screwed spigots aren’t damaged, distorted or worn excessively.
beam-clamp-applications-bronze-and-blue-hercules-slr
Hercules SLR Bronze & Blue Beam Clamp

Beam clamp applications: more tips for safe usage

  • Don’t exceed the SWL of beam clamp;
  • Don’t exceed SWL of beam that the clamp’s secured to;
  • Make sure the beam clamp is correctly and securely clamped to the beam and the centre line of the clamp suspension point is in alignment with the centre line of beam;
  • Contact the beam clamp supplier before replacing bolts—this could lead to the wrong screw being fitted and may cause damage to the beam clamp;
  • Ensure you’re using a certified beam clamp;
  • Ensure a competent person is applying the beam clamp—a “competent worker or person” is defined differently in each province according to OH&S rules. British Columbia and Quebec are the only two provinces which don’t formally define what a “competent worker/person” is. Click here for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety’s definitions of “competent” in each province or territory.
  • If using two clamps in tandem, you may need to use ancillary equipment, like a spreader bar;
  • Use beam clamps for vertical lifts only. (See ‘side loading’ below).

Bronze & Blue Specifications

Beam clamp applications: side loading

Standard beam clamps are designed for in-line use only. If the ID plate says to use the clamp at 0° only, do not use side-loading—use the angle that’s permitted. Beam clamps that are suitable for side loading are fairly new to the lifting industry—the IPU10 and IPU10S by Crosby, for example are meant to lift in any direction. View the Crosby IPU10 flyer and its specs here.

Universal beam clamps can be used as an anchor point to lift and pull, load at any angle up to 90° without lateral and longitudinal de-rating and for low headroom use.

Is your hardware up-to-date? We inspect, repair & certify rigging equipment:

Have your beam clamps been inspected lately? Find more information on our repair, inspection and certification services here.

Don’t worry about tracking equipment inspections—our asset management tool, CertTracker™ is a virtual lifeline to safety—and the best part? It’s free for all customers when your inspection is done by Hercules SLR.

CertTracker™ reminds you of inspection dates and timelines, helps you stay compliant with provincial and national safety standards and overall, reduces the ownership cost of your equipment.

Browse Bronze & Blue here or e-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to rent a beam clamp for your next project.

References: 
- https://dimide.com/blogs/why-dimide/clamp-guide-what-clamp-should-you-use-for-each-job
- https://www.ccohs.ca/Oshanswers/legisl/competent.html

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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.

Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: safe rigging practices

safe-rigging-practices-hercules-slr

Safe rigging practices are essential to get the job done and get home in one piece. Today, we spoke to our rigging experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch—some of their clients include IMAX, Siemens, GM and Bombardier. Read on to learn more about safe rigging practices to use when rigging with wire rope slings.

What is safe rigging—or even rigging in general?

Rigging, or safe rigging is simply the movement of a mass using mechanical application, like slings and/or lifting equipment. The term ‘rigging’ also includes figuring out what lifting appliances and slings should be used and fitted to control the load (never vice versa!), and where the load should be moved to.

Safe Rigging Practices: 4 steps
  1. Identify the load and find out its weight;
  2. Find best sling for the load and select lifting gear;
  3. Ensure the route your load will travel is clear and there are no hazards present;
  4. Prepare the area where you load will land, make sure there are no obstructions.

Safe Rigging Practices: lifting with wire rope slings

Okay, so you’ve decided wire rope slings are the best sling to lift your load—but wait! Before lifting with wire rope slings, determine these 3 things:

  1. Know or determine the weight of the load;
  2. Decide the sling arrangement—consider load control, type and means of attachment;
  3. Sling length—consider available headroom, leg angle.

When executing your lift with a wire rope sling, be sure to protect the load and sling from damage at sharp corners—padding the corners is recommended. Be sure to block as needed, examine your sling before each lift and use safe operating practices. This will also help prevent common wire rope sling damage.

While operating, make sure the following happens:

  • Sling is centered in bowl of hook;
  • Each leg supports part of the load so it’s under control;
  • Sling(s) are long enough that rated load angle is accurate;
  • If using multiple slings for different, specific angles, don’t load each leg with more than is permitted;
  • Stay alert for potential snags;
  • Balance basket hitches in choker hitches to prevent slip;
  • The load doesn’t exceed the rated load of sling or components and load is within rated load of sling (avoid shock-loading);
  • Stay clear of rigging equipment and especially a suspended load;
  • The load won’t collapse or change shape/form when in contact with bumps or jerk-movements;
  • After use, inspect and properly store the sling.

Multi-Leg Wire Rope Slings

If the load needs a multi-leg sling, do not exceed the SWL stamped on the ring—the SWL (safe working load) will always be slated for sling legs at 90°.

40° angle
wire-rope-sling-multi-leg
30° angle
wire-rope-multi-leg-angles
90° angle (max angle)

 

 

 

 

Safe Rigging Practices: slinging tubulars with wire rope slings

Tubular items include scaffold tubes, drilling tubulars, construction pipe work and other items like these. When rigging tubulars in a sling, consider the following:

  • Only tubulars  of the same diameter should be placed together;
  • The amount of tubes should be placed so middle tubes are gripped and won’t slip out of the bundle;
  • Tubulars should always be slug with two slings, each with a SWL at least equal to the gross weight of the load;
  • Slings should be placed at an equal distance apart—around 25% from the loads’ end. Place sling legs  1/4 of the tube length from the ends of tubes;
  • Use clamps or bulldog clips on the reeved wire to prevent loosening. Use a tie wrap on the sling’s reeved eye to prevent the sling from slipping over the bulldog;
  • Attach a tag line to one sling when rigging excessively long, tubular bundles.

Remember—it’s dangerous to bundle tube with steel angle, channels, etc. Small bore tube may lay loose in the gaps between differently shaped items of steel and could slide out when lifted. At height with the right amount of force, a tube can become a spear and result in fatal injuries.

Safe Rigging Practices: single-leg vertical hitch

Keep these tips in mind when using a single-leg vertical hitch:

  • The total weight of the load is supported by a single leg;
  • The SWL of the wire rope sling must exceed the load weight;
  • Don’t use your hitch to lift loose materials, long loads (unless using a spreader beam with 2 single-legs—see below) or a load that can tip;
  • Single-leg hitch won’t provide you with good control and is prone to tip.
Single-Leg Vertical Hitch: Spreader Beams

safe-rigging-practices-hercules-slr-spreader-beam-wire-rope

Hercules SLR spreader beam. Use a certified spreader beam for good control to support loads that are long and/or hard-to-handle. They reduce the tendency for the load to slip or bend, and both single legs will support the load—if the load is evenly balanced, each side will carry half the load.

Safe Rigging Practices: double-up

Double Basket
  • Make sure two hitches are placed carefully to ensure load is balanced;
  • Ensure legs are kept apart enough to balance the load (don’t cause slippage);
  • Never use a vertical angle bigger than 60°;
  • Double basket hitches don’t have great load control, the capacity depends on the vertical angle formed in the basket.
Double Wrap Basket

A double wrap basket is a basket hitch that’s wrapped around the load. When using this method with wire rope slings, keep in mind:

  • A single hitch doesn’t control load slippage;
  • Adjust legs as load is applied, equalize load balance;
  • Great for loose material handling and smooth loads due to it’s 360° wrap;
  • For good load control, use two hitches when at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller (depending on load weight).
Double Wrap Choker

A double wrap choker hitch is a choker hitch wrapped around the load—a single hitch won’t control load

safe-rigging-practices-wire-rope-sling
Load on offshore rig lifted by chain slings.

slippage. These are great for handling loose materials as it has a 360° wrap that can be achieved without battening down the eye—gain control by using two hitches at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller.

Safe Rigging Practices: stabilizing & landing the load

Before you begin lifting your load, you should have a plan and prepared space for the load to land. The type of load will determine how riggers prepare but typically, most loads should be lowered onto timber battens. Slings will be easy to withdraw from the load, but remember—never land a load directly on the sling.

A good rigger will always asses unusual loads and try to estimate their centre of gravity in order to stabilize it. It’s important to attach slings so the centre of gravity is below or within the lift points. If you doubt the load’s stability at all, lift it very slowly. If it tilts, lower it (slowly) and re-sling the load so it’s stable. 

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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.

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: lifting with eye bolts

eye-bolt

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: select the right eye bolt

There’s a lot of hardware to consider when researching lifting and rigging equipment. Links, hooks, swivels—today we’re talking eye bolts. Eye bolts are used to attach a securing eye to a structure, so ropes or slings can be pulled through.

Keep reading to discover how to select and use the right type of bolt, their dimensions and Working Load Limits.

Eye bolts are marked with thread size, not with their rated capacities. Make sure you select the correct eye bolt based on type and capacity for the lift you are conducting.

  • Use plain or regular eye bolts (non-shoulder) or ring bolts for vertical loading only. Angle loading on non-shoulder bolts will bend or break them.
  • Use shoulder eye bolts for vertical or angle loading. Be aware that lifting eye bolts at an angle reduces the safe load.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended method for angle loading.
lifting-equipment-incorrect-use-of-shoulder-bolt
Shoulder bolt, used incorrectly.
shoulder-eye-bolt-lifting-equipment
Shoulder eye bolt, with load applied correctly. 
Incorrect way to apply angle load.

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: using eye bolts safely

  • Orient the eye bolt in line with the slings. If the load is applied sideways, the eye bolt may bend.
  • Pack washers between the shoulder and the load surface to ensure that the eye bolt firmly contacts the surface. Ensure that the nut is properly torqued.
  • Engage at least 90% of threads in a receiving hole when using shims or washers.
  • Attach only one sling leg to each eye bolt.
safe-use-eye-bolt-lifting-equipment
Direction of pull

 

  • Inspect and clean the eye bolt threads and the hole.
  • Screw the eye bolt on all the way down and properly seat.
  • Ensure the tapped hole for a screw eye bolt (body bolts) has a minimum depth of 1 1/2 times the bolt diameter.
  • Install the shoulder at right angles to the axis of the hole. The shoulder should be in full contact with the surface of the object being lifted.
  • Use a spreader bar with regular (non-shoulder) eye bolts to keep the lift angle at 90° to the horizontal.
    • Use eye bolts at a horizontal angle greater than 45°. Sling strength at 45° is 71% of vertical sling capacity. Eye bolt strength at 45° horizontal angle drops down to 30% of vertical lifting capacity.
    • Use a swivel hoist ring for angled lifts. The swivel hoist ring will adjust to any sling angle by rotating around the bolt and the hoisting eye pivots 180°.

 

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: eye bolt techniques to avoid

improper-eye-bolt-use-lifting-equipment
Don’t run your sling through an eye bolt!
  • Do not run a sling through a pair of eye bolts: this reduces the effective angle of lift and puts more strain on the rigging.
  • Do not force the slings through eye bolts. This force may alter the load and the angle of loading.
  • Do not use eye bolts that have been ground, machined or stamped.
  • Do not use bars, grips or wrenches to tighten eye bolts.
  • Do not paint an eye bolt. The paint could cover up flaws.
  • Do not force hooks or other fittings into the eye; they must fit freely.
  • Do not shock load eye bolts.
  • Do not use a single eye bolt to lift a load that is free to rotate.
  • Do not use eye bolts that have worn threads or other flaws.
  • Do not insert the point of a hook in an eye bolt. Use a shackle.
  • Do not use non-shouldered bolts to lift horizontally—non-shouldered bolts should only be used to lift vertically.

 

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: eye bolt dimensions

 

Machinery Eye Bolt

lifting-and-rigging-equipment-machinery-eye-bolt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screw Eye Bolt

lifting-rigging-equipment-screw-eye-bolt-dimensions

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Eye Bolt—Forged

lifting-and-rigging-equipment-regular-forged-eye-bolt

  • The Ultimate Load* is 5 times the WLL**. Maximum proof-load*** is 2 times the WLL.
Shoulder Eye Bolt—Forged

lifting-and-rigging-equipment-shoulder-eye-bolt-forged-dimensions

  • Ultimate Load is 5 times the WLL. Maximum proof-load is 2 times the WLL.
Definitions

* Ultimate Load: The load at which the item being tested fails or no longer supports the load.

** Working Load Limit: The maximum combined static and dynamic load in pounds or tonnes should be applied to the product in service, even when the product is new, and when the product is uniformly applied in direct tension to the product.

*** Maximum Proof-Load: The maximum tensile force that can be applied to a bolt without deformation. This is usually between 85-95% of the yield strength.

Need more definitions? Find common securing, rigging and lifting definitions on our ‘Quality and Safety‘ page.

Fact sheet via CCOHS: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/materials_handling/eye_bolts.html

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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.