Suspension Trauma: 3 Must-Know Myths

suspension trauma

Suspension trauma has a few different names—Harness hang, harness-induced pathology and orthostatic intolerance (the medical term). Consequences can be fatal, and it’s important to be aware of symptoms and ways to prevent its onset.

Suspension trauma has its fair share of misconceptions—One of the biggest is that it’s a myth. 

In this article, we discuss three myths that surround suspension trauma you must know. 

MYTH #1: SUSPENSION TRAUMA ISN’T REAL

It is! Suspension trauma happens when a worker’s movement is vertically suspended, restricted and upright for an extended period of time and lose consciousness.

But why does this happen? Blood pools in the legs and makes them swell, while blood pressure drops. Typically, when orthostatic intolerance sets in the victim faints so blood will re-circulate through the body—A worker in restrictive fall arresting equipment can’t do this. 

It can be minor, too—A common example is people who are still for long periods of time and faint, or feel dizzy when they get up. 

Now, imagine you’ve arrested a fall, don’t have a rescue plan and first responders are still on the way. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and now 25 minutes pass. You know that suspension trauma can set in after just 30 minutes. Time is ticking. You’re covered in sweat, you feel dizzy and terribly nauseous.

Finally, you’re cut down and pass out, unconscious. You’re in the hospital—There’s paperwork, lost-time and incident investigations to happen. Who knew a little slip could cause so much trouble?

Yes, you’re alive, but next time, you’ll definitely have a rescue plan. And suspension trauma is real.

MYTH #2: SAFETY HARNESSES MAKE SUSPENSION TRAUMA EXTINCT

Suspension trauma is still a reality. Yes, education, training and equipment reduce injuries and fatalities in industrial workplaces, but prevention is still a priority. Look at it this way—Vaccines exist for illness like the measles, but people still contract it when they don’t use preventative measures. 

Individual factors increase a worker’s risk to develop the trauma, and its effects are not easy to predict person-to-person. 

These factors include: 

  • Individual’s ability to manage anxiety/stress
  • Harness selection & fit
  • Poor training
  • Previous injury or illness 

This is why training is vital. It’s important to teach employees not only what happens when you use the wrong PPE, but psychological coping mechanisms to help a worker deal with a potential fall. Proper training will also emphasize the importance to continuously move your legs in specific ways to maintain circulation—It’s important The right safety harness and leg straps will allow the worker to move 

MYTH #3:  WHEN THE HARNESS IS OFF, IT’S OVER 

Okay, so when I take the safety harness off I’m fine, right? Wrong.  

Workers in vertical positions must receive medical attention immediately after release. In past suspension trauma cases, victims have died after the harness comes off—This is known as ‘rescue death’.

Some doctors think it’s caused when blood tries to circulate through the body at its normal pace, and can’t. Did you know leg muscles are one of your body’s auxiliary pumps? When legs hang, motionless and upright, it pinches the arteries and blood can’t flow to crucial parts of the body, like the heart and brain. 

  • Leg circulation
  • Heart circulation
  • Brain circulation 

Fortunately, like we mention above, industrial environments benefit with the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to prevent suspension trauma. Recorded injuries from suspension trauma are somewhat rare—But training and proper PPE are key to this.

A body harness that doesn’t fit properly, is fit with the wrong accessories or is uncomfortable, does more harm than good. Remember—Suspension trauma does exist, the right safety harness help prevent it and negative effects of suspension trauma can linger after the harness is off. It’s important to train yourself and workers (even those who may not be working at heights) of the risk and procedures to take before, during and after a fall.


START BEING SAFETY SMART

STAY SAFE AT WORK AND LEARN THE SKILLS TO GET THERE AT THE HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY.

TRAINING@HERCULESSLR.COM 902-468-6827


FOR RELATED ARTICLES

VISIT OUR BLOG:

HERCULES TIPS: IS YOUR SAFETY HARNESS COMFORTABLE

SAFETY INSPECTION: MAKE YOUR HARNESS A HABIT

DON’T SLIP UP: FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY


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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 info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Get to Know your Training Specialist – Jamie England

Jamie-Trainer

Jamie England is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background?Jamie England

Jamie: I graduated from Acadia University in 1996 with a degree in Education. Over the years I have added to my educational training by completing Adult Education Programs from Dalhousie University and Henson College. I have also collected specific accreditations for industry work such as Enform’s H2S Alive Instructor program, the “Train the Trainer” program from the Advanced Rescue Techniques School of Canada., and recently the LEEA Foundation Course (North American Version).

What made you decide to into this industry?

Jamie:  The rigging field is similar to some of my experiences conducting Technical Rope Rescue seminars across Canada, as well as work I have conducted at height across the Atlantic and Western provinces. It deals with inspections of gear, load calculations, proper rigging techniques and the lifting and lowering of equipment and personnel. It seemed like a logical progression from previous fields of experience while at the same time providing new challenges.

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

Jamie: Once I completed my University Degree I joined a local Nova Scotia company called Survival Systems Training Ltd. It was here that I spent a number of years conducting training in such varied fields as sea survival, Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET), industrial firefighting, confined space entry and rescue, fall protection, and technical rope rescue. I was fortunate to be able to conduct these courses in Alaska, Scotland, Cuba, Egypt across Canada and the USA.

From SSTL I moved onto another local company, Frontline Safety Ltd where I began a career working offshore off the coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Brazil as a H2S Safety Supervisor. During this time, I also spent 11 months as the permit coordinator for the construction and commissioning phase of the Erik Raude Drilling Vessel, as well being the Safety Health and Environment coordinator for the Sable Tier II commissioning program.

Eirik Raude Drilling Vessel
Eirik Raude Drilling Vessel

On top of this, it is safe to say I have spent considerable time managing safety related jobs in every pulp mill and refinery in Atlantic Canada and beyond allowing myself to build up a wealth of experience of the many different facets of work in heavy industry in this country.

What made you want to transition into training?

Jamie: training was always something I had a particular skill for. I studied at a university level and gained a degree in education. I spent a total of 8 years training at Survival Systems and another 8 at Frontline in which conducting adult education was a requirement of the job. It is something I enjoy and something I am particularly good at, so it was never really a transition, instead it was an evolution. Now I am happy to bring these skills and experiences to another local Nova Scotian company, HerculesSLR.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Jamie: Hercules SLR has always had a strong reputation in industry, and after having worked for companies run out of Alberta or America I am appreciative of the fact this is a local Nova Scotian company with Nova Scotian sensibilities…something that cannot be undervalued, in my opinion. It was also exciting knowing I was walking into a situation where Hercules was looking to expand their training footprint and was willing to commit the finances to do so properly. It’s exciting times with our new training school nearing completion. I am glad to be a part of it.

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Jamie:  A great deal of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces, but we can deliver training anywhere in Canada. The majority of the training I’ve delivered is mainly in Nova Scotia, but I’ve also delivered training in Newfoundland, PEI and New Brunswick as well.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Jamie: in my career I still have great fondness for Brazil, Alaska and Scotland. Three very unique parts of the world with beautiful landscapes, interesting customs and vibrant people.

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

Jamie: I have pretty much seen all of Canada and most of the US during my work-related travels. I am always happy to travel to Europe, South America, Africa…so if there is any training to be done in any of these locals….I’m your man!

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Jamie: I am hoping to get more LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) courses under my belt. I would like to become an expert in the field, and then to

LEEA Logo

provide that expertise all over the world. This will require a lot of work on my end, but this is, I believe, where my future lies.

 

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.

Get to Know your Trainer – Boris Satiric

trainer boris satiric at hercules slr

Boris Satiric, is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your background?

Boris: I spent 12 years of dedicated service in the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada – Black Watch, I trained in, and became qualified in several aspects of leadership, operational skills in different environments, and trained with a wide selection of arms and vehicles.

During my time as a faculty member with the Laval University and Polytechnic school as an Electro Technician LEEA Logofor high tension network I developed my technical knowledge and skill set that helped me manage different technical demands within the industry.

During my 12 years with Hercules, I have obtained many additional skills and qualifications which include being LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) certified, with experience with Fall Protection equipment and Tower Cranes etc.

What made you decide to enter this industry?

Boris: My decision was based upon my first impressions and experience that I had when I started working for Hercules.  I knew it was a good fit technically for me, and decided to pursue my career within this field, progressing within the company. I like the challenges the job presents, and every day is different.

What made you want to transition into training?

Boris: With experience in leadership and teaching in Canadian forces I decided to use my teaching and technical knowledge to help other people understand the risks of rigging and lifting, and how to deal with those challenges. During site visits to customers, as an inspector I noticed a lack of understanding dangers and that message MUST be passed on to avoid accidents and uphold workplace safety.

boris-get to know your trainer-hercules-slr
Boris inspects tower crane wire 52 stories high

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Boris: A great deal of the training that I deliver is based in the Western Canada, but Hercules can deliver training anywhere in the country, so I look forward to travelling wherever the job may take me.

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

Boris: I would love to travel across the Middle East and South America! Hercules is currently a national company in Canada, however as and when they expand globally, I’d love to go back to Europe, Australia, United States, or Asia.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Boris: I am hoping to get more LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) courses under my belt to further my knowledge in the field and further my management potential. My main focus though, is to continue to contribute to today’s safety culture.

Hercules SLR offers a wide array of safety training courses. Alongside our standard courses we can tailor make courses to suit your specific requirements, at our facility or yours. To find out more about our course and how we can help you raise the bar in safety training email us at: training@herculesslr.com

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.

 

Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Underestimating the importance of equipment maintenance could be taking a toll on your bottom line. The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view equipment maintenance. Why pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it? Believe it or not, there are several reasons. All equipment is an investment — one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape.

BENEFITS OF MAINTENANCE

Preventative equipment maintenance is key to extending equipment life and ultimately saving you time and money. While your perception may be that paying for preventative maintenance is unnecessary spending, the reality is that without it, you’re often left with more expensive repairs. At Hercules SLR we believe in the importance of preventative maintenance, here are just some of the reasons why:

KEEP EQUIPMENT RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

When equipment runs efficiently, work get done on schedule, keeping that optimal condition is key to maintaining that level of equipment efficiency. If maintenance is overlooked, efficiency suffers and ultimately, your bottom line suffers as a result.

SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME BIGGER PROBLEMS OVER TIME

We’ve all seen it; something isn’t working exactly the way it used to, but it isn’t affecting the job, so we continue, sometimes even adjusting how we use the piece of equipment to keep things moving. While it may seem like this is the most efficient way to get the job done in the short term, it could cause you major problems long-term.

THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM, THE MORE THE EXPENSE

While it may seem like it makes no sense to spend the time and money to have your equipment inspected or repaired when you’re able to work around it, the reality is that waiting, is going to cost you even more. Bigger, more complex repairs come with a bigger price tag. Think of more than parts? yes, a more complex problem will likely come with having to replace more and/or larger parts that are expensive, but it doesn’t end there.

Larger problems often translate to more downtime, the more downtime means you’re suddenly behind schedule and/or unable to take on a new project. Employees scheduled to use that equipment need paying, so now you are paying for work that cannot be done during the downtime.

Don’t wait for the bigger problem — invest in the small one.

REDUCE INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Within the construction industry, 17% of fatal construction accidents are due to contact with objects and equipment. If your equipment isn’t being serviced on a regular basis, there’s a chance it isn’t working properly. If it isn’t working properly, you’re increasing your chances of workplace injury or death because of equipment failure.

Regardless of how much safety training you or your employees have been through, they don’t have control over equipment failure. Of course, there will always be unexpected breakdowns, but you can minimize them through being proactive about your equipment maintenance.

Workplace injuries and fatalities are tragic and expensive. Company morale suffers, and so does your bottom line. One of the benefits of maintenance doubles as a proactive step in reducing the number of injuries or fatalities you have on site. You can’t put a price on your team’s safety in the field.

cert-track-en

Service records and documentation answer many of these questions and put many of the concerns of the unknown to rest. At Hercules SLR all our customers have access to CertTracker®, our FREE online equipment management system.

CertTracker® delivers innovative solutions that streamline any inspection and maintenance process. Mobile computing, Radio Frequency (RFID) tagging and internet applications provide you with enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency. Not to mention eliminating most of the paperwork.

CertTracker Cycle

The CertTracker Advantage

 TRAIN OPERATORS AND TECHNICIANS

In conjunction with technology, there is no substitution for the human touch. It takes a trained operator to understand the problem and a trained technician to know how to fix it or to alert someone that it needs repairing. Educating your equipment operators and any technicians you have on staff is key to extending the life of your equipment, as they will be sure that small problems don’t turn in to big ones.

If training isn’t feasible, there needs to be a summary of best practices and an operation manual in place so you can ensure operators are using the equipment the way it was meant to be used. Always respect all weight limits and guidelines. An untrained equipment operator could unintentionally cause costly repairs, so make sure the best practices and expectations are outlined clearly and regularly.

SET AND STICK TO A MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Every piece of equipment is different. They all have their own intricacies and need a maintenance and repair schedule to match. Rather than waiting for parts to cause a problem, replace them when they are scheduled to be replaced.

How do you know when that is? The piece of equipment will have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance recommendation. Commit to it. It may seem like by being proactive you’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, but trust us, neglecting to do this will result in expensive repairs.

CONDUCT REGULAR INSPECTIONS

No, inspections are not the same thing as maintenance schedules. equipment should be inspected every time it’s used. Trained operators should know what to look and listen for to ensure equipment is working properly. Checking for simple things, like signs of wear on equipment, can go a long way. The reality is equipment is often used with vibration, high temperatures and friction? all of which contribute to the wear and tear. Add age to the mix, and you have a recipe for deterioration.

This happens with all equipment, and the key to extending equipment life is to make sure you do something as simple as adding an operator visual inspection to your equipment use requirements. Noticing slight wear and tear may seem small, but these things can be identified through a visual inspection and fixed before they cause a larger problem.

HOW QUALIFIED ARE THE TECHNICIANS INSPECTING YOUR GEAR?

When it comes to inspections, testing, repairs and certification, you need to know that you and your equipment are in safe and experienced hands.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. They provide third party training and examination for technicians in the lifting equipment industry.

At Hercules our inspectors have undergone this internationally recognized training and some hold multiple diplomas.

OUR TECHNICIANS ARE:

  • Familiar with the most recent technology in the lifting industry
  • Skilled and confident in their inspection skills
  • Constantly learning and expanding their knowledge
  • LEEA Registered Technicians

LEEA Header

For all your maintenance requirements, let our experts help. If you need to book your equipment in for service or have any concerns, questions or call us Toll Free on:  1-877-461-4876.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Get To Know Your Trainer – Lou Gould, CHSC

Lou Gould

Lou Gould, CHSC is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background?

Lou: I have established great relationships with the leading manufacturers in safety personal protective equipment. This has allowed me to be involved in
Lou Gould 2many product development discussions providing industry feedback and application recommendations. I have had the opportunity to visit and view their manufacturing processes and facilities enabling me to understand their operations, business model and product offerings. I have participated in numerous hours of product training enabling me to consult and educate to my clients with knowledge, experience and the confidence to recommend the appropriate product for the task.

I am a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and have achieved the Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) designation. I currently sit as the Vice Chair on the executive committee for the NS Chapter of the CSSE.

I have achieved the Certificate in Health, Safety and Environmental Processes (CHSEP) from the University of Fredericton.

Certified trainer in Fall Protection, High Angle Rescue, Forklift, Aerial Platform, Telehandler and Respiratory Fit Test Administrator. I have completed courses in Adult Education and instructional design.

What made you decide to enter into this industry?

Lou: Very early in my career I realized that most of the personal protective equipment purchases were made with little or no thought to the hazard, task and application. Customers were purchasing products and training as an afterthought or a directive with little or no explanation. To be blunt: “to get this off their plate” or because someone “told me to”. I found myself researching the task, hazards and applications for the clients and recommending the appropriate products to mitigate their risk while educating them. This became my doorway to evolve from product sales to Health and Safety consulting and training. I have a passion to help and educate. Every day I feel great knowing I am helping someone work safe and go home to their family.

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

Lou: I have been in the industry since 1994 and have held various roles from Inside Sales, Purchasing, Account Manager, Management and currently Consultant and Trainer. This has allowed me to understand the basis of all business aspects and how health and safety is an integral part to ensure the health of the business and the personnel. I have always been a builder of things and enjoy seeing plans and people grow and prosper.

I have created safety divisions within companies. I have constructed training facilities complete with classrooms and practical exercise areas as well as designing and delivering training courses. As I worked to increase service offerings I have created rental and inspection programs. All these roles have given me the tools to be an effective health and safety consultant and trainer.

What made you want to transition into training?

Lou: I am naturally a storyteller and enjoy being in front of people sharing stories and getting to know each other. I pride myself on providing a positive, nurturing and comfortable environment in which the students can become engaged and educated.  It is very important to me to provide superior knowledge transfer to my students and give them another tool in their toolbox to complete their task safely and efficiently.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Lou: Hercules SLR has a great reputation and is respected in the industry. They have a great company focus and allow the employees growth personally and professionally. It is very important to me to work for a company that provides for all aspects including  design, supply, install, inspection, certification, consulting and for course TRAINING! Hercules SLR does it all.

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Lou: I support all our branches across Canada and we can offer training for all regions. Most of my time is spent in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Lou: Houston, Texas USA was fantastic! Great weather, great food and a good bunch of guys on the course. Also, Long Harbour NL is beautiful place with great people.

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

Lou: Vancouver would be great in mid-winter! Anywhere in the US would be exciting.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Lou: I am committed to continue to invest in myself while increasing my accreditation as part of my personal success plan. Displaying leadership, integrity and character will allow me to remain at the top of the safety industry and retain respect from my peers, colleagues and competitors.

 

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.

 

Hercules Training Academy: Employees Learn the Industry

hercules training academy outdoor rigging

Hercules Training Academy was thrilled to host our employees from across Canada at the new Hercules’ Training Academy at Wire Rope Industries (Atlantic) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to participate in the first specialized training course for securing, lifting and rigging.

Eight employees from the Hercules’ company ranging from our customer service team to our sales team strapped on their steel-toe boots and safety glasses for one week, to gain first-hand securing, lifting and rigging experience. This aims to provide Hercules’ employees with a better understanding of the complications involving securing, lifting and rigging and first-hand experience with the products we sell, talk and write about everyday.

How did they practice securing, lifting and rigging in a smaller space? The Hercules Training Academy has two new classroom spaces, outdoor space and a warehouse complete with two cranes—one smaller crane, and a larger custom crane built into the floor, capable of lifting nearly 10-tonnes. This combination of classroom and practical experience gives Hercules’ employees a thorough awareness of the realities of securing, lifting and rigging.

hercules-training-academy-securing-lifting-rigging

Practical training included an outdoor setup which mimicked the challenges of lifting and securing on top of a larger structure—like a boat, for example. The metal frame held large tarps with various shaped cut-outs, where the trainees were tasked with fitting objects up and through the openings. This helps the trainees understand the difficulties workers’ faces when trying to lift and hoist objects through tight or irregular-shaped openings.

Indoors at Hercules’ Training Academy, practical training included a securing and lifting activity which required Hercules’ employees to secure, lift and hoist irregular-shaped objects into a mock shipping container. This shows employees the complexities of arranging these large and heavy objects, the issues workers face on job sites and how the products and services Hercules’ SLR provides contribute to the entire securing, lifting and rigging process.

Interested in training from Hercules? Head to our Safety and Training page to discover our offerings.


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.

 

Women in Industry – Angela Penton, Improving Processes

Angela-Penton

When Angela Penton returned to NSCC at 39, she’d already achieved success as a chef, a landscaper, a textile artist and a metalsmith. What she felt was missing, however, was a high school diploma.

“I left high school a year before I graduated,” says Angela. “Back then, you didn’t have to have your high school diploma to start an apprenticeship program, so I left and did cooking at NSCC.”

During that time, Angela’s artistry in the kitchen inspired her to branch out, and she soon found herself in a metalsmithing, design and art history degree, and running her own textile business on the side. As the demands of running a business, attending school and raising a young family became too much, Angela says she had to make a choice. “I left my degree with just a handful of courses remaining.”

Angela Penton 3“I ran my own business for six years, and also supervised at a landscaping company,” says Angela. “But, because I didn’t have my high school or degree, I was very limited in what I could do.”

With her heart set on a more stable and rewarding career, Angela decided she was going to finish what she had started.

Back to class

“I completed my last year of university first. Then, I enrolled in the Adult Learning Program. Because I had just finished my degree I was able to get credit for nearly all the high school credits that I required, except math.”

Through the program, Angela discovered her aptitude as a problem solver.  “I realized I really wanted to change careers and do something technical –– something that would allow me to get into a management role.”

Angela says she saw NSCC’s two year program options as the fastest route to starting a new career. “I wanted to get some real intensive education that would allow me to go right into the work world.” She adds,

“I looked through all of NSCC’s programs and I kept coming back to Industrial Engineering Technology because I saw that these professionals were in every industry. It was something that didn’t narrow my opportunities, as many of my life choices had up to that point.” ~ Angela Penton

Angela admits she was scared that she was “too old” to go back to school and worried that employers wouldn’t hire someone her age. “I knew I had the potential, but it took the program to retrain my mind to see myself as someone who could operate as a professional at that level.”

Entering the industry

She soon discovered that age wasn’t an obstacle. “I was past that point in life where I was worried about standing out, asking questions or feeling silly. I put myself out there and networked.”

Her hard work paid off. After graduation, Angela was hired as the Process Improvement Specialist for Hercules SLR — a specialty industrial equipment, products and services company.

Angela says her position is the perfect blend of creativity and technical thinking. “I felt badly about leaving my artistic career and thought that I’d never get to be creative again; but, I learned that creativity isn’t just limited to making things or designing things. It’s a way of thinking.”

Hitting her stride

Angela penton 2Angela says she now works to ensure that the company’s more than 400 employees remain focused on reducing operational waste and variance across processes.

Angela explains that a large part of the success of this project and others like it is strategic communication. “The first thing that we learn in the program is the idea that you have to go to where the work is being done — a gemba walk. See it, ask questions, learn from the person doing it and show respect. Treat them like the experts that they are.”

She adds, “It’s only when an Industrial Engineering Technologist does that, that we see the truly meaningful impact we can make.”

Original Interview can be found here 
Images copyright Matt Madden NSCC

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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.

 

 

Get to Know Your Training Specialist – Kevin Giles CRSP

Training -Kevin-Giles

Kevin Giles, CRSP is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists and Safety Consultants. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.

Tell us about your educational background?

Kevin: I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, so I started my education at the Nova Scotia Community College in the Forestry Program. I went on to further my education at the Maritime Forest Ranger School in Fredericton NB and graduated in in 1997.

During the next 11 years I worked in many different aspects of forestry from privet woodlot management, and saw milling to large scale harvesting operations. In every job I did I always played a strong role in health and safety of the workplace, it became clear to me that this was the area I wanted to concentrate on, and I never turned back.

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I completed the Health and Safety Professional (HSP) designation and was one of the first people to achieve the designation from the Canadian Association Of Provincial Safety Councils. In 2011 a major highlight of my career was achieving the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation with the Canadian Board of Registered Safety Professionals.

During my 11 years with Hercules I have furthered my education in many areas including; train the trainer programs, Master Rigger, non-destructive testing, and completing 4 diploma programs with the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA). As you can tell I love to grow my knowledge and am highly committed to continuous education, my next goal is to complete the Diploma program in Occupational Health and Safety with the University of New Brunswick, only 3 more courses to go!

What made you decide to go into this industry?

Kevin: As I mentioned the safety industry sort of came to me rather than me seeking it out. With every job I ever had since I was 16 years old I played some kind of role in safety, from being a first aid provider on the ski hills with the Canadian Ski Patrol, to being part of various safety committees, and developing policies and procedures with large industrial forestry operations and sawmills. The rigging industry has given me the opportunity to explore so many aspects of safety I find It amazing to think of.

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

Kevin: Upon graduation from the Maritime Forest Ranger School I worked with the SNB Wood Co-op and the Hants County Woodlot Owners Association helping private woodlot owners manage their woodlots for a verity of forest productivity, environmental, and wildlife goals. This was a very rewarding time and experience in my forestry career.

After 4 years in the privet woodlot industry I moved into several new roles in a more industrial forestry operation with JD Irving ltd., working as harvesting supervisor, planer mill supervisor, and chip plant supervisor. This industrial atmosphere gave me to opportunity to work with contractors, unionized workers, students and many more. Working in these environments which already had a very strong safety culture helped me to build confidence and a broad knowledge base of various safety program elements.

What made you want to transition into training?

Kevin: I’ve always enjoyed helping people and sharing my knowledge whenever I could. I started formally instructing with the Canadian Red Cross first aid programs and have taught for the Canadian Ski Patrol, Saint John Ambulance, Safety Services Nova Scotia, and various employers along the way. I enjoy when I can help a student or coworker have that “lightbulb moment” when everything seems to come together and they get a clear understanding of the topic.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Kevin: When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in safety the opportunity to Join the Hercules team came available. The timing was right and it was the perfect fit. Having a fulltime safety professional was new for the company and it was new for me. I am very happy to say the company and myself have grown together over the last 11 years to build a strong safety culture.

Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Kevin: The majority of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces, but we are able to deliver training anywhere in Canada.  I’ve delivered training from the coast of NL to the coast of BC and many stops in between, including Ontario, Quebec, PEI, NB and Alberta.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

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Kevin: Traveling to different parts of NL over the past few years has been interesting. The people are great, and it has been very interesting to see the change in safety culture since the oil industry has grown so much there. Some of the most memorable places to provide training has been in a federal prison, on various ships, sawmills, and airplane hangars. Sometimes you just don’t know what you are getting into and that is always exciting.

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

Kevin: I would really like to travel to the northern parts of Canada maybe up to Yellowknife or somewhere in the North West Territories.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Kevin: I hope to be able to make a great success of our Hercules Training Academy and some day expand the course offerings to include some more of the academic safety programs to help companies build a strong safety culture.

 

Hercules SLR offers a wide array of safety training courses. Alongside our standard courses we can tailor make courses to suit your specific requirements, at our facility or yours. To find out more about our course and how we can help you raise the bar in safety training email us at: training@herculesslr.com

 

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.

 

Get to Know Our Trainers: Steve Hache, CD

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Steve Hache, CD is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose 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 at 19 years old. In the 21 years of dedicated service in the RCN, I trained in and became qualified in a number of technical aspects ranging from complex seamanship evolutions, boarding operations, Steve Hachecrane operations, forklift operation, small arms, etc. to rigging and hoisting.

During my time as faculty with Nova Scotia Community College, I was introduced to the field of adult education and obtained my Community College Education Diploma (adult education – teaching, learning). I had an interest in safety so I successfully completed the Construction Safety Supervisor certification through Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association.

While I was employed with MSA Security in the United Arab Emirates I took courses in course design (HBI Learning Centers, Sydney, Australia) and adult education and assessment (Global Maritime And Transportation School, NY, USA).

What made you decide to go into this industry?

Steve: It made sense to continue with the field of safety and, rigging and hoisting since that’s what I was accustomed to. While I was in the RCN, there were constant opportunities to operate cranes or forklifts and perform rigging or hoisting tasks. Almost daily, we were called upon to remove or replace machinery out of engineering spaces, load or unload missiles, torpedoes, stores, operate cranes, etc., so, rigging and hoisting was a regular occurrence.

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

Steve: Upon retirement from the Royal Canadian Navy I accepted a job working for an American security company in the United Arab Emirates. There I would be exposed to a whole new and exciting culture, training their Coast Guard in seamanship, basic boat operations, tactical boat operations and maritime law enforcement. This was an extremely challenging and rewarding experience!

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After a couple of years in the UAE, I came home and accepted a temporary position at NSCC as faculty of the Marine-Industrial Rigging program where I was tasked with turning 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 and every one of them.

After my temporary position at the community college, I was employed as a training manager and fall protection trainer for Total Fall Protection. There I gained a great deal of experience in training and gained a huge appreciation for the wide variety of industries within the maritime provinces.

What made you want to transition into training?

Steve: Speaking to groups of people was not a difficult thing for me to do since I have been doing so ever since I entered the workforce. In the military, I had to brief command on, and supervise, complex seamanship evolutions, rigging operations, boat operations, etc. However, teaching and training didn’t come naturally. My first role as a trainer was in the Royal Canadian Navy where I was posted to the Bedford Rifle Range as a small arms instructor. Nervous at first, but I grew to love it! I actually enjoyed speaking in front of people!

From there, my career path has been based on speaking in front of groups of people.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

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.

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Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?

Steve: A great deal of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces but we are able to deliver training anywhere in Canada. The majority of the training I’ve delivered is mainly in Nova Scotia but I’ve also delivered training in Ontario and New Brunswick as well.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

Steve: Abu Dhabi, UAE was awesome!! I met a great deal of fantastic people there and would welcome any chance to go back.

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

Steve: I would love to travel back to British Columbia! Hercules SLR has branches across the country and I’ve always loved BC. Other than that, I’d love to go back to Europe, Australia, United States, or Asia.

Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?

Steve: I am hoping to get more LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association) courses under my belt to further my knowledge in the field. My main focus though is to continue to contribute to today’s safety culture.

Hercules SLR offers a wide array of safety training courses. Alongside our standard courses we can tailor make courses to suit your specific requirements, at our facility or yours. To find out more about our course and how we can help you raise the bar in safety training email us at: training@herculesslr.com

 

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.