Welcome to Hamilton, Ontario: Meet Jim Case, Rigger

rigger doing repair at hercules slr

RIGGING WITH OVER 15 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE: JIM CASE INTERVIEW

There’s so much experience to be found at Hercules SLR – today, we sit down with Associate Rigger Jim Case (he has over 15 years’ experience!) to discuss some cool projects he’s rigged, his path at Hercules SLR and some career tips for new workers starting out. 

Read on to learn more about Jim Case, and his job as a Rigger at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Tell us about your background as a Rigger, Jim: 

I started working in the rigging industry when I was 20 years old. I worked in a rope shop for 5 years and spliced rope. The company I worked for was bought, then switched hands a few times – I ended up making slings which, at the time, were more popular for us than rope. 

During my career, I’ve spliced a lot of wire rope for communication towers, steel mills, and have done a lot of work to drive belts. I’ve also had the chance to complete some projects for the US Military, specifically catapult ropes. And, I’ve done a bit of testing here in Hamilton, which is always fun! 

Nowadays, it’s easier to find a focus and not move around so much – workers will typically find their niche and grown within that. Examples of these niches could be circus rigging or offshore rigging.  

Now, I’m a rigger with Hercules SLR and fabricating synthetic slings – I enjoy work and keeping busy! 

Why did you decide to work in this industry?

Well, to be honest – I was 20 and needed a job! I put applications in, and I ended up really liking the industry. I’m doing the same job I was then, but now with Hercules SLR! 

I started working in the rigging industry in the late ’70’s – during the early 1980’s, many company owners were streamlining their business and selling off anything that wasn’t related to steel. This means I moved around a little bit! 

There’s a joke I always like to make – I’ve been bought and sold so many times, I don’t know if everyone or nobody wanted me! But, I’m very happy to have ended up with Hercules SLR. 

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

Honestly, I’m proud of my attendance. I’m a loyal employee, and I never miss work.

Tell us about an exciting or cool project you’ve worked on during your time at Hercules SLR:

One of the coolest projects (that’s pretty notable too!) I worked on was preparing rope to temporarily open the roof of The O Stadium in Montreal, where they held the 1976 Olympics.

The O Stadium’s roof was originally intended to be retractable, but (infamously) a tower meant to support it wasn’t completed in time. This meant they needed a way to temporarily hold it open for the Olympic games, and I got to work on that project.

rigger, olympic stadium ropes, hercules slr
Aerial view of The O Stadium during the 1976 Olympics, with ropes installed by Jim

 For the O Stadium roof, we used gelded, 2inch rope and a special lubrication. This took us 2 weeks and we had a 12-guy crew! 

On a day-to-day basis, I really enjoy splicing rope. Even though it can be repetitive sometimes, it’s different everyday. Most of the orders take 1-2 hours to finish, so I can work on a few different types of projects throughout the day which is a nice variety. 

You’ve worked in the rigging industry for many years – tell us why it’s important to service your equipment and gear:

The main reason? Safety. Over the years, I’ve seen workers take a lot of shortcuts, which can lead to a lot of mistakes. Sometimes, workers can be resistant to change  – which is sometimes why they keep taking these shortcuts that might not be a safe procedure.

For example, I splice differently than some of the riggers in Brampton, but the end-product performs the same function. Some riggers stop splicing the rope on the left, right or vice versa. When you make things according to specified standards, you can sometimes take more liberties – like I said, as long as it performs.  

Tell us about a mistake you see made often in the industry:

The biggest mistake has got to be rigging equipment used improperly. When Hercules SLR receives a complaint that a product isn’t working like it’s supposed to, we have to see the equipment being used to remedy any issues they’re having.

In my personal experience, 90% of the time when this happens the equipment isn’t being used correctly – which is why it isn’t working correctly! 

What advice do you have for a new rigger, or someone just entering this industry?

A  big piece of advice I have for new workers in any industry really, is to plan your daily schedule at the beginning of your day – this makes it easier to deal with the flow of the day. 

For rigging, specifically, do the job right the first time! Earlier, you asked me about mistakes I see in the industry – rigging equipment passes through many different phases. It’s manufactured, used to lift various things and as I mentioned, is often used improperly. When rigging equipment fails, expensive loads can be damaged, companies can be shut down and people can be injured, or worse – killed. 

It’s important a rigger understands the consequences of cutting corners – and doesn’t do it. 

Any other helpful tips?

To select the right equipment for a lift, a big tip is to talk to someone who knows their stuff, and the end-user – whoever will be using the equipment. In a company, it can be helpful to talk to the sales team to learn more about this. 

For example, who will lift the rope? Do they have the capability to lift an 800-pound rope, or a 20-pound rope? They may want to select grommet-type or cradle-rope, which is usually smaller and more flexible. It’s important to make sure whoever’s at the end of the line can handle it. 

What’s something people might be surprised to learn about rigging?

Material and fabrication are surprising! People are astounded at the strength of nylon round slings! Sometimes, synthetic slings can be stronger and more flexible than other types of rope, like wire rope. For example, there used to be a rope made of Kevlar rope (this is what bulletproof vests are made of. FYI) that could float, but was heavier than steel – I haven’t seen it used recently, but it was used to pull huge barges. 

Finally, what do you like most about being a rigger at Hercules SLR? 

Our team. We have a great group of people here in Hamilton, Ontario. We’re like friends, but we actually get stuff done. 


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.

Meet your Hercules SLR Inspector, Quincy Warner

inspector from hercules slr
Quincy Warner is a qualified inspector at Hercules SLR in Hamilton, Ontario. Read on to learn more about his career path in safety and inspections and Hercules SLR. 

We sit down with Quincy to talk about his duties as Inspector at Hercules SLR, including his professional safety experience, fall arrest, equipment inspections and his travels with Hercules SLR—Read on to learn more. 

“Hercules SLR will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I’ve had so much training in the 3 months that I’ve been here. It’s been great see they really show their employees they care.”
– Quincy Warner

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I have worked in health and safety for over 15 years, and the last 5 have been in fall arrest. I also did training for fall arrest/protection, and how to inspect soft goods like self-retracting lifelines (SRL’s) and safety harnesses. 

What made you decide to go into this industry? 

I was looking for a change from what I was doing the last year or so, which was working on SRL’s. I was doing recertification of equipment, and teaching customers how to use the different types of SRL’s. Hercules has more to offer me with me being an inspector I can do a little more then just the SRL’S and fall arrest.

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

I worked for a safety company in their tech services department. There, I helped work on SRL’S and did on-site soft good inspections for customers, and also trained them on different health and safety issues seen in the workplace. 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?   inspector, hercules inspection, chain repair

My biggest reason for joining the SLR team is you can move around in this company. By that, I mean you can ask to do or be placed in another job and they will train you to better your self for that job. I am an inspector and I had so much training in the last 3 months that I have been here and it has been great they really show the employee that they care and want you to progress with in the company.

“I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers.” – Quincy Warner, Inspector

 

 

 

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

So far, Hercules SLR has sent me to a lot of places but the best was going out to head office in Halifax. I really learned a lot while I was out there and had fun meeting all the different people. We trained at the Hercules Training Academy for a week, and that was amazing to have offered to me and complete. 

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

I would like to go out to the different branches and shadow the different tech guys and girls. I find every branch has similar jobs, but the industry can be different. I’d like to see some new things out in the field that you might not find back at your branch. 

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

I started with Hercules SLR recently, and I’m most proud to have completed most of my training. I’m also proud to have learned a lot about this industry, and learned the things I have in just last three months.

I can’t wait to get out in to the field and start working with our customers. 


WANT MORE READING? LOOK NO FURTHER

  •  Synthetic Round Sling – Free Inspection Download Guide
  •  Get to Know your Langley, BC Inspector, Chris Davies
  •  Safety Inspection: Make your Harness a Habit
  •  Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: Safe Rigging Practices 
  •  Fall Protection Training: Don’t Get Left Behind
  •  Hercules Training Academy – Securing, Lifting and Rigging 
  •  Tool Fall Protection: More Important than you Think
  •  Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified? 
  •  Women in Industry: Inspection Technician Heather Young 

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.

Become a Rigger: Your Career Map

"become a rigger"-become-a-rigger-hercules-slr-rigging-careers

BECOME A RIGGER.

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP

                                    

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING & EDUCATION                                                                               

 

 

So you want to become a rigger?

A rigger’s main responsibility is to lift, lower, hoist and pull objects using machinery and lifting equipment like synthetic, chain and wire rope slings, hoists and cranes.

They are responsible to make and determine the best configurations and equipment to lift a load, be knowledgeable about safety & operating procedures and know how to fabricate, repair, inspect, install and service rigging and lifting equipment – lifting equipment can range from synthetic slings, wire rope, lifting magnets or cranes and aerial lifting trucks. 

Certain industries, or niche industries (particularly those that require you to use and operate heavy machinery and equipment like cranes and lifting trucks) will require a specific certification to operate them. 

A rigger can provide these services: 

  •  Inspections, on-site or in-shop
  •  Load tests 
  •  Crane repair, sales, inspection and installation
  •  Training
  • Sales and services 

BECOME A RIGGER: TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS                                                                

 

 

Many industries that use riggers or rig technician’s don’t require formal training, but do require and/or provide on-the-job learning, training courses and certifications.

However, it may be beneficial to complete a college or technical diploma, which can improve your chances of getting a job or apprenticeship.  

At Hercules SLR, our riggers have a combination of LEEA certifications and on-the-job training from our certified trainers and inspectors.  

Some of these include:

  • Lifting Certifications from LEEA
  • Training Courses 
  • College Diploma 

You also have the option to become a rig technician, which is a Red Seal Trade in Canada. According to the NSAA, a rig technician: 

  • Operates drawworks, rotary equipment and pumps 
  • Inspects rigs 
  • Maintains records of drilling operations
  • Oversees rig mobilization and demobilization 

You don’t need formal education to become a red seal technician, but must complete 9,000 apprentice hours to qualify to complete the rig technician red seal exam. A rig technician is responsible for the above duties, but also operating tools, wearing and ensuring the proper PPE is used and must operate lifting and hoisting equipment. 

become a rigger, "become a rigger"
Cranes, chains & cargo – a glimpse at common items and equipment found in rigging industry 

BECOME A RIGGER: ESSENTIAL SKILLS                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                 You might wonder—”This sounds nice, but what should I be good at to be a rigger?” A career as a rigger may be right for you if you’re:  

  • Mechanically inclined;
  • Comfortable with math and physics; 
  • Interested in a balance of both physical and administrative work, comfortable using technology;
  • A strong, effective communicator;  
  • An eye for detail and quick decision-making; 
  • Comfortable in harsh climate conditions, rigging often involves working in the extreme heat or       cold.  

BECOME A RIGGER: INDUSTRIES YOU COULD WORK IN                                                           

 

 

  • Entertainment (set and stunt rigging) & Theatre (stage rigging) 
  • Maritime, marine & fishing – sailboat rigging included 
  • Airline 
  • Construction  
  • Offshore Drilling/Oil and Gas 
  • Mining 
  • Manufacturing
  • Forestry
  • Transportation
  • Utilities 
  • Shipping/Receiving and Material Handling 

BECOME A RIGGER: LIKE THE SOUND OF THESE JOB TITLES?                                                   

 

 

If you become a rigger, you could have one of these job titles: 

  • Slinger
  • Parachute Rigger
  • Sailboat/Ship Rigger
  • Gantry Rigger
  • Machinery Mover
  • Hook Tender
  • Wire Rigger
  • Yacht Rigger
  • Grip
  • Crane Rigger
  • Acrobatic Rigger
  • Theatrical Rigger

BLOGS                                                                                                                                                             

 
 
 
 
Interested to learn more about rigging, becoming a rig technician and rigging and lifting equipment? Check out our blogs below:
 

HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY

TRAINING COURSES

References: https://www.nscc.ca/Learning_Programs/Programs/PlanDescr.aspx?prg=MIRG&pln=MARINDRIG, https://nsapprenticeship.ca/trades#accordion58, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html, http://www.red-seal.ca/trades/rigtech/2012n.4.1_.4v.2rv.3.2w-eng.htmlhttps://www.jobhero.com/how-to-become-rigger/, https://www.myplan.com/careers/riggers/description-49-9096.00.html
 

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.

Welcome to Ontario: brampton riggers talk chain hoist safety

chain hoist,

CHAIN HOISTS

Chain hoists (sometimes referred to as chain falls or their older term, ‘chain blocks’) are popular piece of equipment to lift heavy loads. A chain hoist is durable and allows heavy loads to be lifted with ease since they require much less strength on the part of the rigger. However, this means they’re more likely to be abused since they typically make a lift much easier, but are not suited for every application.

Rigger Colin Grieg of Brampton, Ontario shared what to look for when inspecting your chain hoist and tips for use.

Before you install your chain hoist, check: chain hoist, Welcome to Ontario: brampton riggers talk chain hoist safety, hercules slr

  • Clean the load chain with a solvent, then add slack to the chain and make a link-by-link inspection for nicks, gouges, twisted links and excessive wear or stretch;
  • That the load chain anchor pin is in good condition;
  • That the top and bottom hook safety catches are operating correctly;
  • Check hooks for cracks, damage, distortion and excessive throat opening – a damaged hook often means it was misused and should be removed from service;
  • Hooks swivel freely;
  • Check name plate and see that SWL, ID number and colour code (if used) are clearly visible.

After installation and mounting, check:

  • That load chain sits correctly in the pocket wheel. To do this, run the unloaded hook up and down a reasonable distance – the chain should run free of snags or binds;
  • The hoist is rigged to lift in a straight line from hook to hook;
  • The hoist is free to swivel on the upper hook;
  • For damage on the handwheel and gear covers.

CHAIN HOISTS: hand chain

Although hand chains are not load bearing, make sure:

  • The chain is free of twists and damage to links;
  • The chain is smooth to touch and ‘joint’ links sit firmly in the chain wheel’s pocket;
  • The chain wheel turns freely with no signs of a bent spindle, buckled wheel or damaged ‘chain pockets’;
  • Make sure operation in ‘hoist’ mode produces a ‘hard’ sound – this is the sound of a ratchet running under a spring-loaded pawl.

CHAIN HOISTS: safety first

  • If the chain’s twisted, don’t use the hoist;
  • Don’t use the load chain as part of a sling configuration;
  • Chain hoists can only be used at its maximum capacity to lift a load vertically – if you must lift a load at an angle, the hoist’s capacity is greatly reduced;
  • Don’t operate a chain hoist beyond the capacity specified – you will cause the bottom hook to run beyond it’s range of lift, and possibly add too much weight to the load-chain slack-end anchorage;
  • Don’t lift a load beyond it’s specified SWL (safe-working load);
  • Don’t let dirt, grease or other harmful debris/chemicals to collect in the load’s profile or hand-chain wheels;
  • Don’t use your load chain if it jumps, is not ‘smooth’ or has marks – this means it’s likely ‘out of pitch’ and should be replaced and removed from service;
  • You should not need extra force/strength to operate your chain hoist – if using extra strength, stop the lift immediately and find the cause. (An easy tip? If it takes more than one man – something’s wrong!)

CHAIN HOISTS: post-mount & pre-use 

After you mount your chain hoist but before you actually use it, you should inspect the following:

  • The chain hoist shouldn’t be allowed to lay against a support, since this can cause the hook or frame to bend and damage the unit;
  • Make sure the hoist can swivel through 360° on the top hook;
  • Make sure the ‘member’ the hoist hangs from is sat all the way in the middle of the chain hoist’s saddle.

CHAIN HOIST: crane hooks

When you suspend a chain hoist from a crane hook, stay safe with these tips:

  • The chain hoist’s SWL will be reduced by 15% – this allows dynamic loading;
  • A safety link with a SWL of 5 times the load weight should be fit between the crane hook and load shackle;
  • Before you hoist with a crane, conduct a short lift test with both to make sure the hoist brake is locked.

CHAIN HOIST: storage 

To store your chain hoist:

  1. Raise bottom hook
  2. Wrap load chain
  3. Wrap hand chain
  4. Secure ends

When storing your chain hoist, be sure to: 

  • Lubricate chain hoist with oil or grease – be careful, as misapplied lubricant may enter the brake disc and cause it to fail under the load;
  • Make sure you have a dedicated spot to store your chain hoist – this place should be dry and free from injurious pollution and extremes of temperature;
  • Chain hoists should be suspended by their top hooks, and the hand chain should be clear of the ground – this will prevent damage to the chains;
  • Don’t use strong solvents on your chain hoist – ensure wet or dirty chain hoists are clean before storing.

CHAIN HOIST HOW-TO: light load brake lock-out test

  1. Suspend chain hoist from a suitable lifting point, and apply a load test of 5% chain hoist SWL to the load hook;
  2. Stay clear of the load – raise test load 70 to 100mm from the ground;
  3. Enter restraint pin through lack side of load chain;
  4.  Operate the chain hoist and lower the direction until the restraint pin gives a lock against the heavy pull of the chain hoist;
  5. Remove the restraint pin and make sure the brake engages right away, which will stop the load from dropping;
  6. If the load drops – don’t use the chain hoist. Remove them from service, and have them repaired.   

VIEW CHAIN HOISTS  

chain hoist, hercules slr, lfiting equipment


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.

Happy New Year from Hercules SLR

happy-new-year

Happy New Year from Hercules SLR!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Rigging Services: 3 securing tips to lift you anywhere

rigging-services-hercules-slr

Rigging Services

So you’ve got a difficult load to move – whether it’s due to an awkward shape, uneven weight or hard to determine lift points, Hercules SLR rigging services will lift you where you need to be.

We don’t just sell slings at Hercules SLR – we provide inspections, repairs, training and expert advice to keep your projects safe and efficient.

In addition to calculating the load’s weight, there are a few other tips to planning, rigging and executing a successful lift – read on for tips from our expert riggers to secure your hard-to-manage load and accomplish your next lift with ease.

rigging-services-hercules-slr
Crane lifting electric generator

Rigging Services: 3 tips to move an “awkward” load

One

We can’t stress this enough – inspect your equipment! Says rigger Dwayne Fader, Sales Manager at Hercules SLR “Once the equipment is broken, it’s already too late – maintenance and regular inspection is the key to prevention.”

Check the manufacturer instructions or manual for suggested and required inspection times – Unless you want to damage that expensive part, package or material, which costs WAY more over time than simply investing some time and money into inspections.

An informal inspection should be done before each lift, and official inspections should be done according to manufacturer and/or provincial regulations.  

Two

Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes, you might look at a large object like a vehicle and just think, “well I’ll grab a bigger shackle or sling.” But you’d be surprised at how much support a smaller sling and/or hardware does have.

“Most people are surprised to learn that a small, 2 1/2″ shackle is strong enough to lift a car – bigger shackles are available, but why go bigger when you don’t need to? Often, the smaller piece of equipment will be safer and better suited to the application as it’s meant to support a specific amount of weight.” says Fader.

Using slings which are too big and create bunching are a safety issue, and so is using a shackle which is too big that a sling may slide around in.

Three

Preventative maintenance is a pain, but important. The longer a piece of equipment isn’t inspected or small repairs are ignored, the worse the outcome typically is. A small build-up of issues can eventually lead to large, more expensive repairs. Neglecting preventative maintenance will increase both cost and the risk of injury or death.

Rigging Services: your reading list

Want more? Find more rigging tips and information on our blog – try these:


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.