Winter Forklift Safety Tips

Winter Forklift Safety Tips

Hopefully, your car is fully prepared for winter—What about your forklift?

Winter in Canada can be a beautiful thing, fresh layers of glistening white snow coating trees and a shiny layer of frost on the grass…But as Canadian’s we know it’s not always quite that glamorous. Canadian winters require a lot of planning and preparation – It means it’s time to dig the shovels out from the back of the shed, making sure the winter tires get on the car in time and pull the winter coat from the back of the closet.

As good as Canadians have come to be at preparing for winter, there are some things that still may fall through the cracks. You may not realize the extra safety precautions that need to be taken when operating a forklift in the winter.

Read on to learn how to stay safe while operating a forklift this winter!

Prepare Your Forklift for Winter

Forklift operators should give their forklift a detailed inspection to minimize the chance of experiencing a forklift breakdown and getting stuck in the middle of an aggressive winter storm. Getting a tuneup ahead of winter is always recommended. And of course, as always ensure you are up to date on all of your scheduled service visits and inspections. Things to ensure are in tip-top shape before braving the winter months are:

  • Tires: Check tires for proper air pressure (for pneumatic tires) and to ensure that there is sufficient depth on your treads (needed for both solid and air-filled tires). For forklifts operating in snow or ice specialized forklift chains can be installed to provide extra grip
  • Lights: Winter doesn’t just bring cold weather, it also means darker days – So ensuring your lights are in working order is something you may not think of, but is especially important. Tip – If your forklift uses halogen lighting it may be a good time to consider upgrading to LED, which lasts longer, shines brighter and is not affected by freezing temperatures or the vibrations created by your forklift during operation!
  • Hydraulics: Frigid winter temperatures can cause joints to stiffen up so ensure all of your moving parts are well-lubricated.
  • Cabs: If your forklift has an enclosed cab and windshield (recommended for winter conditions), be sure the heater and windshield wipers are working correctly and that all latches are lubricated.
  • Cooling System: It is important to ensure there is the correct amount of anti-freeze used in the coolant system. Anti-freeze ensures that the engine will not freeze solid and block the coolant system, which can lead to a number of problems including dangerous overheating.

It’s also important to remember to allow your forklift to warm up before using it. Everyone knows you’re supposed to let your car warm up during cold weather, a forklift is no different! Allowing it to warm up lessens the chance of combustion and transmission-related problems occurring.

Ensure Forklift Operators are Appropriately Clothed

Pre-winter planning is not limited to the equipment itself, especially for work that takes place outdoors. It’s important to make sure operators are equipped to do the job under more challenging conditions. Clothing needs to be able to protect operators from snow, ice, wet and slippery conditions, cold or strong winds and limited visibility.

To protect the most vulnerable areas of the body against frostbite (i.e., the ears, nose, fingers, and toes) operators need to wear appropriate protective gear including a warm hat, gloves, face mask, and water-proof boots while operating a forklift (or during most work, for that matter!) Layers are the key here, so pairing these items with wind-proof, water-resistant and high visibility outerwear, is the best way to tackle the cold and wet conditions found throughout the winter months.

Always keep in mind typical year-round PPE such as protective eyewear, hard hats, steel-toe boots or safety gloves and ensure bundling up isn’t inhibiting your ability to wear those things. You may need to purchase specialized PPE meant to keep you safe & warm at the same time like NORTH OF 49° gloves.

north of 49 work gloves ppe hand protection safety

Operator Training and Education

Beyond supplying the proper equipment to your employees, it’s essential to educate your operators with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of operating a forklift. The Hercules SLR Training Academy can deliver this training (and more!) at The Hercules Training Academy or it can also be delivered on-site. The content covers:

  • Regulations
  • Hazard assessment
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Equipment stability
  • Operating principles
  • Refueling
  • Battery care

When it comes to managing the additional challenges posed by the winter weather, these steps can help navigate you through your shift ensuring you’re keeping the most important elements in mind:

Before Your Shift

  • Conduct a proper pre-operation inspection of the forklift. Record and report any issues.
  • Check the weather outside and make sure to adjust driving habits to current weather conditions.
  • Install and check all winter items – Including weatherized PPE and things like tire chains if needed on your forklift.
  • Avoid cold starts by allowing the forklift to properly warm-up before operating.

During Your Shift

  • Only travel as fast as the weather conditions permit – Slow down if needed and drive carefully.
  • Remove any accumulation of snow on windscreens, lights, etc. to maintain proper visibility.
  • Be sure to stop working if conditions deteriorate such as: slippery driving conditions (don’t let this be you!), limited visibility, etc. – Safety first! 
  • Try to avoid short run times (less than 30 minutes) as forklift engines tend to run a richer fuel mixture during the first 20 minutes of operation. This means it is possible for water vapor to accumulate in the engine oil and exhaust system in the cold, as evaporation isn’t possible. Try to plan your day so you can do multiple forklift tasks at once instead of scattered throughout the day.

After Your Shift

  • Clean the forklift – Remove all snow, dirt, and salt in order to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Make sure to plug in the forklift’s block and/or battery heater to avoid issues at the start of the next shift.
  • Park the forklift in a warm and dry place in between uses to avoid issues related to ice formation.

Click here to view the Forklift Safety Training course overview.

Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training.

Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.



A Look at the Towing Industry | Different Categories of Tow Trucks

A Look into the Towing Industry: Different Categories of Tow Trucks

Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like having your car break down as you’re trying to make your way through your day. When that does happen, you depend on towing companies to get your vehicle somewhere where it can be repaired safely. This is likely the extent of many people’s knowledge when it comes to tow trucks. They’re an industry that the everyday person wouldn’t think much of, until they are forced to Google the phone number of the nearest one, to save them from their rotten day.

Did you know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all tow truck? Towing companies often have a variety of vehicles on hand, each made for a different type of job. Tow jobs aren’t just limited to picking up small broken down cars on the side of the road, they also have to serve larger vehicles like RVs, box trucks and even the heaviest 18 wheelers. Even beyond the load size, tow companies have to be prepared to get vehicles out of hard-to-maneuver situations in the unfortunate case of an accident.

Tow trucks can be sorted into three basic types, light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty.

Light-Duty Tow Trucks

Light-duty tow trucks are used for the majority of incidents and are sent out to tow cars, motorcycles and smaller trucks. They are capable of performing a variety of tasks such as removing abandoned vehicles, private property towing and accident recovery. They have the ability to maneuver through small lots or parking garages, but usually stick to jobs that are located on paved and flat terrain.


Light-duty tow trucks are Class A vehicles that are often either conventional or rollback wreckers. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 11,000 pounds and often rely on winch & cable systems and wheel lifts to do their work.

Medium-Duty Tow Trucks

Medium-duty tow trucks are used for heavier duty jobs involving vehicles like box trucks, RV’s and farm equipment. They are also the choice for certain recovery operations for smaller vehicles because they have a larger range of configurations such as: lowering platforms or landolls, automatic trailers, low-profile trailers, and boom lifts. However, since they are a bigger vehicle, they are not ideal for tighter environments like parking lots.







Medium-duty tow trucks are Class B vehicles that often feature some varying styles of flatbed. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 17,000 pounds and feature at least a 12-ton capacity boom lift, 5-ton winch, and 5-ton wheel lift.

Heavy-Duty Tow Trucks

Heavy-duty tow trucks are the big guys. They are used for vehicles like garbage trucks, dump trucks and semi-trailers. These tow trucks handle the biggest loads and the most complicated recoveries. These are the tow trucks that vehicles like 18 wheelers depend on because not only are they capable of getting large vehicles themselves out of sticky situations, but also whatever that vehicle was hauling. They are also the tow truck used for vehicles that have gone off the road or down an embankment.

These are Class A vehicles that are required to feature at least a 25-ton boom lift, 25-ton winch and 6-ton wheel lift. They are capable of towing any load greater than 17,000 pounds!

The jobs that these tow trucks perform rely on more than just the truck itself. As we’ve mentioned above, each truck uses a different type of lifting and towing equipment. Especially when dealing with heavy-duty tow jobs, it’s extremely important that the tow truck is outfitted with high-quality lifting gear that won’t break under the pressure.

That’s where YOKE comes in! Since 1985, YOKE has been manufacturing durable, reliable & high-quality hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. No need to choose between quality and affordability, YOKE provides top safety certified lifting equipment without the big price tag. Products like the Grade 100 Clevis Grab Hook, when used attached to wire rope or welded chain, is sturdy enough for the toughest tow jobs. When purchasing your towing gear, don’t sacrifice quality for price – Choose YOKE instead. Learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR by clicking here.


ISO and Road Vehicles

roads and transportation at night

ISO AND ROAD VEHICLES iso and road vehicles statistics

DID YOU KNOW? Anyone who has driven a road vehicle of almost any make, almost anywhere in the world, will have directly benefitted from ISO 2575, which specifies the familiar symbols for controls and indicators we are accustomed to seeing on the dashboard. 

Who benefits from ISO standards for road vehicles? 

We’ve discussed ISO and energy, construction, the supply chain and we’ve debunked some myths – But what about ISO and road vehicles? Read on to learn why ISO and your vehicle are so important. 


ISO standards make driving a vehicle simpler and safer, while protecting passengers (especially children) and pedestrians, and lower the cost of buying vehicles.


ISO standards gives technical basis for regularly reviewed & improved legislation on things like safety and pollution. 


ISO Standards give specifications for safety, quality, performance and environmental impact. They set out harmonized requirements that enable outsourcing, fair competition, the participation of suppliers from developing countries and drive down costs as they facilitate competitive tendering. 

What do ISO Standards for road vehicles cover? 

iso and road vehicles






Much of the work in these areas is the focus of the ISO technical committee, called ISO/TC 22, Road Vehicles, which has developed more than 820 standards & updates worldwide. The committee’s made of 75 different participating and observing national standards bodies, as well as automotive-sector associations and international bodies such as the World Health Organization.

These standards aim to: 

  • Improve compatibility, interchangeability and safety
  • Specify the requirements for harmonized test procedures to evaluate performance.  

iso and road vehicles

Why do we need ISO standards for road vehicles?

why we need ISO standards for road vehicles

Electric Vehicles 

ISO/TC 22 Road vehicles has also developed a range of standards specifically for electric, hybrid and fuel-cell road vehicles. A number of these provide requirements for functional safety, test methods, on-board energy storage systems and measuring fuel consumption.

ISO 17409 Electrically Propelled road vehicles connection to an external electric power supply—Safety requirements 

ISO 234741, Hybrid-electric road vehicles exhaust emissions and fuel consumption measurements—Part 1: Non-externally charged vehicles. 

Intelligent Transport Systems 

Increasingly, road vehicles are being equipped with systems and networks based on information and communication technologies intended to improve safety, traffic control, navigation, fee collection and identification. Today’s communication capabilities give vehicles the potential to anticipate and avoid collisions, transmit their position to emergency services in case of an accident, navigate the quickest route to their destination, take advantage of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking space, minimize their carbon emissions and provide multimedia communications.

ISO/TC 204,Intelligent transport systems focuses mainly on this area and has developed more than 220 standards*. 

*These include the ISO 15638 series on telematics applications for regulated commercial freight vehicles (TARV) and ISO 11067, which gives performance requirements and test procedures for curve speed warning systems (CSWS).

Tyres and Other Components 

ISO/TX 3, Tyres, rims and valves has developed 78 standards, including the ISO 4000 series on passenger car tyres and rims and the ISO 4249 series on motorcycle tyres and rims. 

Road Safety

ISO 39001, Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems—Requirements with guidance for use, developed by ISO/TC 241, road traffic safety managementis widely regarded as a major contribution to the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. 

Future ISO 39002, Good practices for implementing commuting safety management, aims to reduce the amount of fatalities and severity of injuries caused by road accidents, by providing solutions and recommending measures that organizations can use to protect their staff.

 Road-safety-related standards are also developed by other ISO technical committees, for example to make crossing the street safer for disabled persons. 

Vehicle Safety

With the latest technological progress bringing us everything from advanced navigation systems to driverless cars, putting measures in place to spot potential risks across the whole vehicle lifespan is more important than ever.

ISO 26262 (series), Road vehicles—Functional safety, outlines an automotive-specific risk-based approach to help avoid any potential system failures. 

Looking Forward

Cyber Security 

A quick look at your dashboard will give you an idea of how connected vehicles are – and it is only increasing. From your GPS to other gauges and sensors telling you when your tyre pressure is low, there is constant interaction between in-vehicle embedded systems that communicate wirelessly. As this interconnectivity grows, so does the risk of cyber-attacks, threatening not only our safety but our personal information. Work has recently started on standards to address these issues by providing recommendations and solutions for building cyber security into vehicles

Hydrogen Vehicle Stations

If fuel-cell, electric and alternative-fuel vehicles are the future, there need to be adequate stations for refuelling them.

A new technical specification, ISO/TX 19880-1, Gaseous hydrogen—Fuelling stations—Part:1 General requirements, will contribute to the proliferation of hydrogen fuelling stations by providing important guidelines on their safety and performance. It covers everything from hydrogen production and delivery, to compression, storage and fuelling of a hydrogen vehicle, and provides a useful stepping stone to an International Standard in this area, due to be published in 2017.  

This article originally appears on





INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 1 (877) 461-4876  

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

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

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

Wire Rope: A Manufacturing & Transportation Pioneer

Early Life

Andrew Smith Hallidie was born Andrew Smith, later adopting the name Hallidie in honour of his uncle, Sir Andrew Hallidie. His birthplace is variously quoted as London in the United Kingdom. His father, Andrew Smith (a prolific inventor in his own right, responsible for inventing the first box door spring, a floor cramp and had an early patent for wire rope) had been born in Fleming, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, in 1798, and his mother, Julia Johnstone Smith, was from Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire.

Andrew Smith Hallidie

The younger Smith was initially apprenticed to a machine shop and drawing office. In 1852 he and his father set sail for California, where the senior Mr. Smith had an interest in some gold mines in Mariposa County. The mines proved disappointing, and he returned to England in 1853. Andrew Smith Junior, however, remained in California, and became a gold miner whilst also working as a blacksmith, surveyor and builder of bridges.


In 1855, young Hallidie built a wire suspension bridge and aqueduct 220 feet long at Horse Shoe Bar on the Middle Fork of the American River. During 1856, whilst working on the construction of a flume at a mine at American Bar, the now, Andrew Smith Hallidie was consulted over the rapid rate of wear on the ropes used to lower cars of rock from the mine to the mill. These ropes wore out in 75 days—unsatisfied with this, Hallidie manufactured rope for the project consisting of three spliced pieces one-eighth of an inch thick, 1200 feet long. These lasted for two years—a vast improvement from the previous 75 day standard.

Hallide invented the Hallidie Ropeway, a form of aerial tramway used for transporting ore and other material across mountainous districts in the west, which he successfully installed in a number of locations, and later patented. After a few years of drifting from camp to camp working claims, narrowly avoiding disasters both natural and man-made, and briefly running a restaurant at Michigan Bluff in the Mother Lode, he abandoned mining in 1857 and returned to San Francisco. Under the name of A. S. Hallidie & Co., he commenced the manufacture of wire rope in a building at Mason and Chestnut Streets, using the machinery from American Bar.

In addition to aerial tramways, his rope was used to build suspension bridges across creeks and rivers throughout northern California. He was often away from the City on his bridge projects until in 1865 he returned to San Francisco and focused his energies entirely on manufacturing and perfecting wire rope. The discovery of the Comstock Lode silver mines in Nevada increased the demand for wire rope.

The city became a major industrial center for mining operations in the 1860s and Hallidie prospered, becoming a leading entrepreneur, US citizen, husband to Martha Elizabeth Woods, and in 1868 President of the prestigious Mechanic’s Institute.

Hallidie’s ‘Endless Wire Ropeway’—Precursor to Cable Cars

It was about this time that Hallidie began to implement a scheme for urban transportation he had been considered for some time, based upon his use of wire rope for the aerial tramways. He worked on improving the tensile strength and flexibility of his wire to develop an “endless” wire rope that could be would around large pulleys, which could then provide continuous underground propulsion for a car that could be attached or released at will from the cable. Hallide took out a patent Endless Wire Rope Patentfor this “Endless Wire Ropeway” and for years it dominated the construction of tramway at mines throughout the West. However, it was the implementation of his Endless Wire Ropeway for moving streetcars in San Francisco that brought him lasting fame and a place in the history books.

It is here accounts differ as to exactly how involved Hallidie was in the inception of the first cable car at Clay Street Hill Railway. One version, has him taking over the promotion of the line when the original promoter, Benjamin Brooks, failed to raise the necessary capital.

In another version, Hallidie was the instigator, inspired by a desire to reduce the suffering incurred by the horses that hauled streetcars up Jackson Street, from Kearny to Stockton Street.

There is also doubt as to when exactly the first run of the cable car occurred. The franchise required the first run no later than August 1, 1873, however at least one source reports that the run took place a day late, on August 2, but that the city chose not to void the franchise. Some accounts say that the first gripman hired by Hallidie looked down the steep hill from Jones and refused to operate the car, so Hallidie took the grip himself and ran the car down the hill and up again without any problems.

The named engineer of the Clay Street line was William Eppelsheimer. Given Hallidie’s previous experience of cables and cable haulage systems, it seems likely that he contributed to the design of the system.

wire rope cable car

The Clay Street line started regular service on September 1, 1873, and was a financial success. In addition, Hallidie’s patents on the cable car design were stringently enforced on cable car promoters around the world and made him a rich man.

A. S. Hallidie & Co. became the California Wire Works in 1883 with Hallidie as president. In 1895, it was sold to Washburn and Moen Co., the oldest manufacturers of wire in the United States (established in 1831).

Hallidie died on April 24, 1900 at the age of 65 of heart disease at his San Francisco residence, but his name lives on. In San Francisco, Hallidie Plaza (near the Powell and Market Street cable car turntable) and the Hallidie Building (an office building in the city’s Financial District) are named after him.


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.


New Safety Legislation for Alberta’s Agriculture Sector

Safety System

A new legislation will soon require Alberta farmers to ensure their farms are equipped with proper safety plans. Emergency response, fall protection, and hazard assessments are just some of the plans that will be implemented to ensure worker safety on Alberta farms. The Alberta agriculture sector will now begin using checklists to help maintain these safety programs.

Alberta farms and ranches with paid employees will soon be required to follow a slate of new safety rules, some of which address using seatbelts, operating older equipment and conducting inspections.

The province announced the incoming changes in an effort to strike a balance between keeping farm workers safe while ensuring operators can practically abide by


them. They don’t apply to family members or neighbours helping on the farm.

Starting Dec. 1, seatbelts will be required wherever possible for all equipment that is over 700 kilograms. If it’s not possible to install them, the rules state farmers must use reasonably practical methods, like driving slow.

As well, farmers will still be able to use or sell existing equipment even if it’s not up to the latest manufacturer code. This means farmers won’t need engineers to come onto their farm to write up safety manuals for old equipment.

As well, these legacy equipment rules won’t affect dealers because all new equipment is considered up to code.

The rules regarding seatbelts and old equipment were some of the main sticking points among producers last fall, which is when the technical farm working groups put forward recommendations for review.

“It didn’t make sense for us to bend on legacy equipment,” said Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier.

In fact, the contentious rules were years in the making. Following massive protests in 2015, the government did extensive consultations with groups like the AgCoalition, which was established to provide advice on farm safety, to come up with changes that it hoped would ease concerns.

As well, AgSafe Alberta, a producer-led group, was developed to help farms get up to date on the incoming changes.

Other rules state that farmers will be able to raise or lower workers in loader buckets in the rare case that it’s not reasonable or practical to use a machine for that purpose.

As well, producers using equipment weighing over 700 kg will need to complete a rollover hazard assessment and either use a rollover protective structure or do other safe working procedures.

The rules said fall-protection equipment might not be practical or possible, so safe work procedures can be grain-elevatorimplemented in place of this.

Workers can also be transported on loads under controlled conditions. Their access to work areas must be safe, and structures must be strong enough to support them.

The province is providing $6 million over the course of three years for the purpose of helping producers with waged employees adopt the new rules. It will provide up to $10,000 per person. More details on the program will be announced later in the year.In terms of hazard inspections, farmers can conduct inspections whenever they feel necessary. Visual inspections before using equipment are good enough.

Farms that have 20 or more workers who are employed for 90 days or longer must establish a health and safety committee. The committee must keep records of safety meetings and make recommendations to the employer on how they can improve safety.

Farms with fewer than 20 workers who are employed for 90 days or longer will be required to have someone designated as a health and safety representative. The representative will be responsible for addressing complaints and doing regular inspections to mitigate potential hazards.

OHS officers can be called to investigate a farm if a complaint is filed or if the farm reported a serious injury or death.

In the long run, OHS visits will be focused on farms with higher incidences of injuries and incidents. They will focus on compliance assistance and promote AgSafe Alberta resources.

Keep you workers safe, especially when it comes to working at heights. Hercules SLR stocks a wide range of Fall Protection systems from leading manufacturers – from Roofing kits to ladders systems, harness and lanyards. We can also provide you with customized training and solutions to suit your every need. If you would like more information please contact us toll free at (877) 461 4876.

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.

Oh, Deer! Avoiding Wildlife on the Highway.


Important driving tips as peak season approaches

Fall brings beautiful autumn colours and more wildlife onto Ontario’s roads – and a need for drivers to be extra vigilant.

The number of animal strikes on Ontario roads has increased from 8,964 in 1999 to 13,152 in 2014, including two fatalities and 410 injuries, according to the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report. This represents a 45 per cent increase over a 15-year period.

Crashes involving animals – mainly moose and deer – are a growing problem. October to January is a peak time for vehicle collisions with wildlife, and autumn is the most dangerous time. Collisions with wild animals can result in serious vehicle damage, personal injury, or even death.

Approximately 13,000 highway collisions in Ontario each year involve wildlife, with an estimated cost of more than $1 billion, and the number is growing. In northeastern Ontario, wildlife collisions are even more frequent, and can account for as high as 50 per cent of the total number of collisions along some highways. The risks to drivers are especially high in remote areas of the province, where the likelihood of encountering a large animal on the roadway is higher.

Employees at high risk


For Ontario workers, motor vehicle incidents account for more than 38 percent of all worker traumatic fatalities, including wildlife collisions. Driving is one of the highest risk activities an employee can undertake. Unlike a worksite, employers cannot control the types of drivers and vehicles that share the road with their employees.

If employers have workers driving from site to site, travelling to a meeting, or even going

out on a coffee run, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board considers them to be occupational drivers. Between 2006 and 2010, the board reported more than 7,000 lost-time injury claims and 149 fatalities involving occupational driving.

Did you know?

  • On average, there is a motor vehicle-wild animal collision every 38 minutes
  • One out of every 17 motor vehicle collisions involves a wild animal
  • Motor vehicle-wild animal collisions are increasing annually. In 2014, 13, 152 collisions were reported.Many more go unreported.
  • 89 percent occur on two-lane roads outside of urban areas
  • 86 percent occur in good weather
  • Wild animals are unpredictable at all times, however, there are two peak times when the risk of a collision is highest: May and June and from October to January.

If you could talk to the animals
Frequently asked questions about animal behaviour

What should drivers know about wildlife behaviour in order to anticipate hazards? 

Animal behaviour is related to the “fight-or-flight response.” There is a certain amount of space in which an animal feels safe; but once that boundary is violated, the animal’s reaction is unpredictable. Even if an animal sees you, it may still jump in front of your vehicle. Some animals travel together, for example deer, bears, and mother-offspring pairs. If one animal crosses the road, others may follow. If an animal has crossed the road, it may turn and cross again. Animals standing calmly at the side of the road may bolt unexpectedly.

Why do deer swerve in front of the vehicle?deer-on-highway

n an attempt to avoid predators, deer run in a twisting or dodging motion. That is why deer may make a sudden swerve right in front of a vehicle – that is how they are “programmed” to respond to a threat.

Is wildlife attracted to the road?

Humans know that the road can be a dangerous place, but wildlife may actually be attracted to its wide open spaces. Roadside forage and road salt attracts wildlife. In the winter, ploughed roads offer easier movement. In the summer, increased wind provides relief from biting insects.

Wildlife Bridge

To reduce the risk of collision, Ontario developed the province’s first wildlife overpass. The structure was built as part of the expansion of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury, in an area where collisions with large animals, including white-tailed deer, moose, elk and black bears, are common. Fencing along the highway guides the animals towards the overpass. For cost-effectiveness, designers took advantage of existing landscape features. Similar overpasses have been built in Banff National Park, the United States and Europe. There are also plans to install wildlife crossings under Highway 69.
Wildlife Detection System

In 2010, a “break the beam” wildlife detection system was installed on Highway 17 near Sault Ste. Marie. When an animal crosses in front of the beam, a flashing light on the wildlife sign is activated, signalling motorists that animals are nearby. When the lights flash, drivers reduce speed and become more alert to movement along each side of the roadway. The preliminary findings of this new technology are very promising: in the five years preceding installation, there were 11 reported wildlife collisions; however, in the first two years of the system’s installation, there has only been one reported collision.

Continue reading here

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.

Netherlands Builds the First Road Made from 100% Plastic


Three industry giants are joining forces to make the PlasticRoad, a road made of 100% recycled plastic from the ocean, becomes a reality. KWS, in collaboration with Wavin and Total combined their knowledge, experience, and resources to build the first road made from 100% recycled plastic

The ‘cycle’ path to the PlasticRoad

The first pilot project will be a 30-meter-long cycle path made of hollow prefabricated elements enabling water drainage and laying down of cables and pipes. The PlasticRoad partners KWS, Wavin and Total have worked extensively on the development and testing of the concept to validate and optimize performance such as the load bearing capacity of the modular elements, the appropriate blends of recycled plastic and the three-dimensional design of the road itself. In addition, research focused on the reduced environmental impact has been carried out. The positive results achieved to date support moving forward to make the first pilot project reality.

After an extensive period of design, testing and development, we are delighted that the PlasticRoad is becoming a reality. Together with the municipality of Zwolle and the province of Overijssel, we as PlasticRoad partners are taking steps towards a more sustainable world with this first PlasticRoad cycle path.
Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma , inventors of the PlasticRoad and KWS employees
The brainchild

The PlasticRoad concept was conceived by VolkerWessels’ enterprise, KWS, the largest road construction company in the Netherlands. After observing the road network build and maintenance related issues faced by urban areas the idea of a road made from 100% recycled plastic waste from the ocean made

Plastic Road 2

 complete sense. To accomplish this sustainable feat and develop a PlasticRoad prototype, three industry giants (KWS, Wavin and Total) have joined forces. Wavin, who is a world leader in recycled plastic pipe systems, along with oil and gas company Total, provide the perfect combination of knowledge, expertise and experience to align with KWS in this ground-breaking endeavour.
Why the PlasticRoad ?

A few facts….

  • Around 8 million metric tonnes end up in the oceans each year
  • 54% of plastic is still incinerated or dumped into landfills today
  • only 14% of plastic waste is currently recycled

(Ellen MacArthur fondation: The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics)

With the PlasticRoad, we will bring plastic waste back into the chain, thus reducing the environmental impacts of building and maintaining a road. The concept of PlasticRoad is completely in sync with environmental initiatives like Cradle to Cradle (C2C) and The Ocean Cleanup. Plastic from the ocean is recycled and made into prefabricated road parts that can be installed in one piece – making the installation easy, quick and lightweight. It also alleviate the continuous issues linked to asphalt and paved roads: erosion, weeds, potholes, surface flooding, surface heating, noise.

The PlasticRoad is:

  • prefabricated with hollow space for drainage pipes, cabling and flood water attenuation
  • 70% faster to install than traditional road surfaces
  • expected to last 3 times longer than traditional paved roads
  • half the construction cost

There are an estimated 40 million kilometres of road worldwide (Science Advances: Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made). The potential of the recycling and re-use of plastic in roads is huge.

This is a really solid way of reusing plastic.

Katinka Von Der Lippe , INDEX Award Jury Member and Strategic Designer & Manager at Eker Design Hydrolift

Next steps for the PlasticRoad

Wavin is excited to be an integral part of this project and delighted to be working alongside KWS and Total. We will certainly keep you posted with the results of the installation.

In the UK, we are leading the debate on what the future of drainage could be, as we know that more can be done to tackle urban drainage and flood issues. Wavin recently developed three concepts with a team of graduate engineers. Watch the concepts they came up with:

Here’s to a greener future for road technology and urban drainage management!
Read the original article here

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.

Investment Puts Belfast at Heart of Hi-Tech Coal Industry


Investments totaling £30M by Northern Ireland-based LCC Group and Belfast Harbour have put the city at the centre of the global supply chain for hi-tech coal.

Since opening last year, LCC’s £12M facility has handled almost 500,000 tonnes of processed coal which is exported directly across the world to destinations such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, Scandinavia, mainland Europe and North Africa.  LCC’s investment and export opportunity is built upon a circa £20m investment by Belfast Harbour in recent years to enhance its deep water and cranage capability.

The LCC facility, the most sophisticated of its kind in the world, removes impurities from coal. The coal can then be used to produce ferro alloy and silica metals which are used in the manufacture of hi-end products such as solar panels and medical equipment.  LCC imports coal to Belfast from Columbia for processing before onward export.

Belfast Port and coal

Over 130 direct and indirect jobs are supported by the operation including engineers, lab technicians and port support services.

Michael Loughran of LCC Group, said:

“This £12m investment means that LCC operates one of the most environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art coal processing facilities to be found anywhere in the world.  In addition to creating 30 new jobs and up to 100 indirect jobs in supporting sectors, the facility has put Belfast at the heart of the global hi-tech coal industry.

“Working in partnership with Belfast Harbour and building upon its investments in port infrastructure, LCC is now to the fore of the emerging clean-tech coal sector. The facility is designed to meet the most stringent 21stcentury environmental standards, and uses the most up-to-date technology to combat potential air and water pollution.”

Michael Robinson, Belfast Harbour’s Commercial Director, added:

“In recent years Belfast Harbour has invested around £20m in a new deep-water quay and new larger cranes to enhance its bulk cargo operations in anticipation of our customers’ future needs.  This has enabled the Port to handle ever larger vessels and accommodate LCC’s new facility beside its main bulk handling quay at Stormont Wharf.

“Belfast Harbour is now handling direct export shipments to Saudi Arabia for the first time in its history and recently exported bulk cargo to Australia for the first time in living memory. This new trade is also supporting jobs across a wide range of port services including stevedores and hauliers.”

This week Belfast Harbour handled a shipment of 20,000 tonnes of processed coal destined for Saudi Arabia.

Article from Spring 2018  – Read original Article Here

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.