National Emergency Preparedness Week | What you Need to Know

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NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK

Since 1996, National Emergency Preparedness week happens each year in Canada for one week. This year, it’s being held from May 5-11. 

This is a national awareness campaign and is a collaboration between the provinces, emergency organizations and other groups across the country. It’s a great time to make sure your workplace, and your home is equipped with an emergency plan and kit to stay safe if an emergency happens. 

National Emergency Preparedness Week is meant to showcase the importance of being prepared for a range of emergencies—These three steps are recommended to prepare: 

  • Know the risks 
  • Make a plan 
  • Get an emergency kit 

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 1) KNOW THE RISKS 

One of the most useful (yet simple) things you can do to be prepared for an emergency is to understand the region you live in. Natural disasters are a risk in Canada, and they can vary depending on which region you live in. 

There are some risks other than natural disaster that are important to prepare for—These can include technological hazards, industrial or transportation accidents or power outages. 

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 2) MAKE A PLAN 

It’s important to have a plan in-case of an emergency. You can have an emergency plan that works for a variety of different circumstances. 

They plans might be different depending on your family, location and other factors. It doesn’t take long to create an emergency preparedness kit either—20 minutes is all it takes to ensure you, your workplace and family is safe in case of an emergency situation. 

Some important things to keep in mind when creating your emergency plan are: 

  • Be familiar/Have copies of your provincial emergency response plan. 
  • Plan how your family/workforce will communicate with each other if an emergency happens and you’re not together 
  • Plan for specific risks like earthquakes, power outages and severe storms 
  • Keep people from your neighbourhood in mind that may need extra help during an emergency, for example, an elderly neighbour, and assign ‘block buddies’ for those who require one. 

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE EMERGENCY PLAN CHECKLIST HERE

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 3) GET AN EMERGENCY KIT 

Emergency kits can be bought from places like Red Cross First Aid, the Salvation Army, or you can create you own. 

We recommend looking at your emergency kit each year and be sure to replace the food inside. 

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE EMERGENCY KIT CHECKLIST HERE

Here are some additional items you might want to keep in your emergency kit (beyond the basic items found on the checklist above). 

In your car:

  • Blanket 
  • Candle & matches 
  • Spare clothes and shoes 
  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter 
  • Flashlight (crank or battery-powered)—Replace batteries once a year 
  • Non-perishable food 
  • Contact information
  • Radio—Replace batteries once a year 
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Warning light or road flares 
  • Water 
  • Whistle
  • Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road maps
  • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
  • Tow rope and jumper cables 

FAST FACTS:

  • Around 5,000 earthquakes happen in Canada each year.
  • The Saguenay flood of 1996 was Canada’s first billion-dollar disaster and caused mud, rocks, water and trees to become dislodged and 12,000 people had to evacuate their homes.
  • Only 40% of Canadians have an emergency kit prepared, yet 85% of Canadians say it’s important to have one. 
  • Hailstones range in size—They can be the size of peas or baseballs.
  • Hurricanes can cause more widespread damage than tornadoes—Their damage can hit over 1,000 kilometres.
  • In storms, power lines, ice or branches can fall even hours after the storm has ended. 
  • One of the worst storms in Canadian history was an ice storm on the East Coast in 1998—Power outages lasted up to 4 weeks, and restoration efforts cost nearly $3billion. 
  • In 2007, 410 severe weather events plagued the prairie provinces—This is almost double their nearly average of 221 severe weather events.
  • The cost of natural disasters worldwide has increased by $7billion over the past decade. 
  • The biggest landslide in Canadian history saw a 40-metre deep scar that covered 80 city blocks in 1894 at Saint-Alban, Quebec. 

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INSTRUCTIONS 

We’ve given you a lot of tips about what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit. Here are more steps you can take for an emergency plan: 

In an emergency

  • Follow your emergency plan
  • Get your emergency kit 
  • Make sure you’re safe before assisting others 
  • Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities—Local officials might advise you to stay where you are. Follow their instructions! 
  • Stay where you are until it’s safe to evacuate. 

Evacuation orders

  • NOTE: Authorities won’t ask you to leave home unless they have a reason to believe you’re in danger 
  • If ordered to evacuate, take your emergency kit, wallet, personal identification for each family member and copies of essential family documents with you. Bring a celluar phone and spare battery or charger with you, if you have one. Use travel routes specified by local authorities. 
  • If you have time, call or e-mail your out-of-town contact (Here’s a printable list you can use to write down contact information) 
  • If there’s time, leave a note that tells others when you left and what you’ve shut off. If officials give the direction, shut off water and electricity. 
  • If you have a natural gas service, leave it on unless officials tell you to turn it off. If you do turn off the gas, the gas company will have to reconnect it—Note that in a major emergency, it could take weeks for a professional to respond in a major emergency. 
  • If you have them, take pets with you. Lock your home and follow instructions from authorities. 
  • If you go to an evacuation centre, register personal information at the registration desk—Leave only when authorities advise it’s safe. 

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Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

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

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

Crosby Guest Blog: Shackle Inspection & Care

crosby shackles

CROSBY SHACKLES 

Crosby shackles are a popular option for lifting applications. Time-tested and work proven, Crosby has made their mark in rigging—they’ve produced the first wire rope clip, quench and temper fittings (this makes performance more reliable) and were the first to fatigue-rate products. Their shackles are particularly popular – read on to learn more about Crosby shackles and how to use them safely, a handy interactive inspection checklist and more tips for best use. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: 3 MAIN SHACKLE TYPES

Round pin shackles can be used for lifting applications and others like tie down, towing or suspension applications when the load’s strictly applied in-line.

Screw pin shackles are used for pick and place applications. Pick and place applications are when a load is moved to its desired location, and the screw pin is tightened before each pick.

Bolt-type shackles can be used in any applications that round pin or screw pin shackles are used. They’re also great for long-term or permanent installations where the load may slide on the pin, which causes it to rotate. The other way to secure a shackle includes using a nut and cotter, which eliminates the need for you to tighten the pin before each lift or movement. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY  

Before you put your Crosby shackle in service, make sure your shackle’s in good condition. To do so, look for these conditions:

  • The shackle’s pin works freely and fits correctly. 
  • The pins are undamaged, have no considerable wear and fit properly from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The load line and jaw opening are aligned.
  • The pin is always seated and is ‘matched’ to the body.
  • The shackle is the right material, size and type for the proposed lift.
  • Shackles are stored in a dry, cool place.

CROSBY SHACKLES: INSPECTION 

It’s important to inspect your rigging equipment frequently. Ideally, this happens before use, during (check for points of stress or tension during use) and after use. Inspection is important to prevent equipment failure, which can lead to damaging the load entirely, or worse—injure or kill workers’. 

Check your shackle before use. If any of these conditions are present, remove your shackle from service and have it inspected, repaired or replaced. 

  • The shackle’s jaws or pins are distorted.
  • The shackle isn’t stamped with is safe-working load (SWL).
  • The shackle is home-made (never use homemade shackles).
  • The shackle’s pin does not work freely, or fit correctly in the shackle’s opening. 
  • The pins’ threads are damaged, worn down or don’t easily screw in from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The unthreaded hole is enlarged – a hole too big places unnecessary strain on the loaded shackle. 
  • The shackle has wear that’s reduced its diameter by more than 8% of its original diameter. To test for cracks that may be hidden, tap them with a hammer. A shackle in good-condition should ‘ring’ clearly.
  • The shackle’s pin has been replaced, especially if it’s been replaced with anything but a pin. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY OR NOT AT ALL 

There are a few things to keep in mind when using shackles for securing and lifting applications. 

  • When you use shackles in conjunction with multi-leg slings, you must give consideration to the angle between the legs of the sling. 
  • As the angle increases, so does the load in the sling leg, and as a consequence, any shackle attached to the leg. 
  • Try to avoid erratic loading of the shackle – to do this, place a loose spacer on either end of the shackle’s pin, or use a shackle with a smaller jaw. 
  • If using a shackle to secure the top block of a rope block set, the load on the shackle is increased by the value of the hoisting effort. 
  • Take care to make sure the shackle and assembly above the hook is the right capacity. 
  • It’s important that on shackles fitted with a nut and bolt pin, the length of the bolt’s plain portion will cause the nut to jam on the inner end of the thread, and not on the shackle’s eye. This leaves the bolt free to rotate.
  • Be sure the bolt and nut are cross-drilled for the fitting of a split cotter pin. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CROSBY PRODUCTS,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

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Click here to learn more about Crosby 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.

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

Forklift Safety – Top Tips for a Safe Workplace

chariot élévateur

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.

Below are a few tips that will help you keep your workplace safe and ensure you get the most from your equipment and employees.

1.   Know the Stats

It’s important to know the dangers that come with using forklifts on loading docks and in warehouses. Keep these statistics in mind while training workers and safely operating forklifts.

  • Overturned forklifts are the leading cause of deaths involving forklifts; they account for 22% of all forklift-related fatalities
  • Workers on foot struck by forklifts account for 20% of all forklift-related fatalities
  • Victims crushed by forklifts account for 16% of all fatalities and falls from forklifts account for 9% of all forklift fatalities

2.   Know the Classes

These are classifications of six commonly-used types of forklifts, as recognized by OSHA, along with different types of trucks unique to each class.

  • Electric Motor Rider Trucks (such as rider-type counterbalanced forklifts and sit-down, three-wheel electric trucks)
  • Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks (such as high lift straddle trucks and platform side loaders)
  • Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks (such as low lift pallet trucks and high lift straddle trucks)
  • Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Solid/Cushion Tires (such as counterbalanced fork trucks with cushion tires)
  • Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Pneumatic Tires (such as counterbalanced fork trucks with pneumatic tires)
  • Electrical and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors (such as sit-down riders)
  • Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks (such as vertical mast type forklifts, variable reach type forklifts, and truck trailer mounted)

Download a full list here

classes of forklifts

3.   Know the Common Hazards

Here’s a quick look at a few common hazards associated with forklifts.

  • Unsecured loads may fall, crushing pedestrians or drivers.
  • Forklifts may tip over, due to excessive speed or imbalanced loads
  • Workers may fall if they stand on the forks
  • Drivers may not see pedestrians, leading to collisions and fatal accidents
  • Improper or missing floor marking may lead to accidents between forklifts and pedestrians

4.   Know the Requirements

Before any employee takes control of a forklift, ensure they’re trained in accordance with CCOHS requirements. 

  • 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.

5.   Know What to Watch For

Employees and employers should work together to ensure a forklift is safe to use before getting behind the wheel. Follow these steps before using a forklift.

  • Perform a daily inspection of all forklifts in use
  • Examine the tires and oil levels
  • Check for water, oil, or radiator leaks
  • Ensure forks are straight and not cracked
  • Test brakes, lights, the horn, and the steering wheel
  • Look for obstructions, uneven surfaces, overhead obstacles, and other potential hazards

inspections

6.   Stay Safe While Using A Forklift

Workers should do the following while behind the wheel to protect themselves and co-workers:

  • Make sure the load is balanced and fully secure to prevent a forklift from tipping over
  • Ensure both forks are as far under the load as possible before lifting
  • Drive with the load as low as safely possible
  • Pay attention to posted speed limits and warning signs
  • Always look in the direction you’re traveling; if a load blocks the view ahead, travel in reverse
  • Steer clear of areas where forklifts are prohibited or restricted
  • Keep an eye out for signs, floor marking, and other warnings for pedestrians and forklifts
  • Use the horn at intersections and in areas where pedestrians may be present

Travelling on an Incline

Keep the forks pointed downhill without a load, and pointed uphill with a load. Do not attempt to turn the lift truck until it’s on level ground.

Steering

Support the load by the front wheels and turn with the rear wheels. Do not turn the steering wheel sharply when travelling fast. If the lift truck is overloaded, steering will be difficult. Do not exceed load limits, and do not add a counterweight as an attempt to improve steering.

7.   Keep An Eye Out Around Your Facility

Even if you’re not operating a forklift, you can take steps to keep workers safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Post forklift safety signs, aisle markers, and forklift procedure labels—using pre-made signs, custom labels, or a combination of the two
  • Implement a floor marking system in your facility
  • Ensure safety signs are at all intersections where pedestrians and vehicles intersect
  • Use steering wheel covers and padlocks when necessary
  • Use proper lockout/tagout equipment to prevent forklifts from inadvertently starting up

Lift Truck Forklift Operator

8.   Safe Loading

It’s important to know the recommended load limit of the forklift (shown on the data plate) and the capacity of the fork, and to never exceed these limits.

Position the load according to the recommended load center. Do not add extra weight to counterbalance an overload. Keep the load close to the front wheels to keep the lift truck stable.

When inserting the fork, keep the mast of the forklift in an upright position before inserting the fork into a pallet. Level the fork before inserting it.

Raising the Load

Do not raise or lower the fork unless the lift truck is stopped and braked. Avoid lifting a load that extends above the load backrest if there’s any risk of the load, or part of it, sliding back toward the operator. Check for adequate overhead clearance before raising a load, and maintain a safe working distance from overhead power lines. Lift the load straight up, then tilt back slightly. Watch that the load doesn’t catch on adjacent loads or obstructions. Don’t back up until the forks are free.

When a load is raised, the lift truck is less stable. The operator must stay on the forklift when the load is in a raised position. Don’t allow anyone to stand or walk under the elevated part of the forklift, whether it’s loaded or unloaded.

Handling Pallets

Ensure that forks are level and high enough to go into the pallet, and that they go all the way under the load. Forks must be the proper width to provide even weight distribution.

Avoid trying to move or adjust any part of the load, the forklift or the surroundings when on the forklift. Do not use pallets elevated by forklifts as an improvised working platform.

9.   Develop a Visual Communication System

Here are a few tips for successful visual communication, which can alert operators and pedestrians to hazards caused by forklifts:

  • Use “Stop” signs, speed limit signs, and other traffic control devices
  • Implement way finding to improve the flow of traffic, keep pedestrians away from forklift paths, and direct forklifts along safe routes
  • Point out loading docks, shelves for inventory, and other important places within a warehouse
  • Post signs at junctions to warn pedestrians and forklift operators to stop and look for hazards
  • Display checklists and inspection requirements where forklifts are stored

10.  At the End of a Shift

Once the task is completed or the operative’s shift ends, the forklift should be returned to the designated area and parked safely in the authorized space.

Operatives should never change mid-shift, or in an unauthorized zone, without the new operative being given the time to check the vehicle and adjust the controls, seat and mirrors to suit them, in a safe and designated area.

Forklift

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

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

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