Warehouse Wow: How our Distribution Centre Leads the Industry

hercules distribution centre warehouse

WAREHOUSE WORSHIP: HOW OUR CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IS LEADING THE INDUSTRY

HERCULES CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE: WHAT WE DO

You’re probably reading this on a computer or mobile phone that at one point, was probably sitting somewhere in a warehouse. In 2019, warehouses are a huge part of nearly every industry but we often don’t consider where our things live before they get to us, or exactly what goes into running a smooth, successful warehouse operation. We’re here to help. 

Hercules’ Central Distribution Centre (DC) in Long-Sault, Ontario has the largest inventory of securing, lifting and rigging equipment under one roof in Canada. We’re also the only Central Distribution Centre (DC) warehouse in the securing, lifting and rigging industry that supplies products on a national-scale to our 20+ branches and ship directly to customers. The Hercules DC is in Cornwall on the 401 highway, sandwiched right between Montreal and Toronto and close to a border-crossing into the United States, as well. 

So, what exactly does it take to operate our DC? Luckily, we know just the guy. Terry Bartlett, Hercules’ Central Distribution Manager shares what he’s learned over his career, and what how he and his team run our DC like a well-oiled machine.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staffHERCULES’ WAREHOUSE: TEAM PLAYERS 

Terry Bartlett has been in distribution and material handling industries for over 20 years. Terry started as a Rig Technician at Hercules SLR in Montreal, quickly moving into a leading roles first as a Production Supervisor, then to Floor Manager. When Hercules decided to open a distribution center 3 years ago, Terry practically leaped at the opportunity to help the team establish operations. Over the past 6 years, Terry’s used his knowledge of Hercules and his distribution experience to set-up, recruit and make operations ultra efficient as our Central Distribution Manager. 

Terry can’t do it all alone—A hard-working team is essential to a well-run DC. Tim Bingley, Nick O’Brien and Jamie Plumadore have been part of the DC warehouse team for two years. They help Terry with basically all aspects of running the DC warehouse, including creating and setting policies & procedures and creating a culture that can continuously improve, keep up and grow with industry trends. 

As our business grows, so does the DC team. The DC Warehouse has doubled their team in the past year. Phillipe Gatien, Adam Bartlett, Eric Nadeau and Eric Vanderwal have joined our team to help operations.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staff

HERCULES WAREHOUSE: 5 SAFETY TIPS FROM TERRY

1. KNOW THE RISKS

Be aware of hazardous risks associated with warehouse work. These include slips and fall (which are some of the most common injuries on any jobsite, even offices) but warehouses present even more issues. Racking accidents, musculoskeletal injuries from improper lifting methods and temperature fluctuations are all risk factors for hazards.

You can’t prevent accidents or expect warehouse personnel to avoid hazards if they aren’t aware of them. 

2. PREVENT FALLS, MAKE HOUSEKEEPING A PRIORITY

Like we mention above, slips and falls are some of the most common warehouse injuries, and can be particularly dangerous when lifting equipment is being used. In Ontario, nearly 20% of lost-time injury claims were due to falls. To prevent falls and trips, be sure to have guards installed in areas where there are large spaces between floors that personnel could fall through. Mop and clean up spills, slippery materials like sawdust, and be sure to store boxes properly – not on the warehouse floor where someone may trip over them.

Train and make personnel aware of any abnormalities that might cause them to trip, like cracks in the floor, uneven stairs or plugged-in cords; and also human error that easily contributes to falls, like tools or equipment placed on the floor for just a moment.   

3. KEEPING TRAINING CURRENT

Yes, maybe employees who have been hired years ago have been trained, but as new standards come out, personnel should be familiar with them. Be sure to give thorough training on any new technologies you bring in, like connective radios or tracking systems, hand signals & important communicative phrases, and make sure safety and equipment training is up-to-date – to do this, give personnel ‘refresher’ courses regularly and hold safety meetings with warehouse personnel. 

4. USE EQUIPMENT PROPERLY

Again, “Isn’t this common-sense?” you probably think. However, one of the top citations OSHA gives out each year are for equipment violations. Ever see this scene from ‘The Office’? Some people shouldn’t use the forklift.

Make sure personnel has the proper training and licenses to operate machinery like forklifts, aerial lift trucks and even fall protection. Safety harnesses can be used improperly, which can lead to accidents. For example, a Hercules SLR inspector was once called into a warehouse operation whose safety equipment was often breaking. When he entered the warehouse, he saw a worker swinging from side-to-side on various platforms with a safety harness and lanyard which were only supposed to be used vertically. This was improper use, which explained why their safety equipment was failing so frequently.

In 2018, three of OSHA’s most frequent citations in warehouses were for Fall Protection training & general requirements and industrial truck violations – invest in training for warehouse personnel, especially when fall protection is being used.

5. HAZARD COMMUNICATION 

Another citation OSHA often gives out is for hazard communication. Hazardous chemicals can cause corrosion, respiratory issues or become flammable, and should be labelled. Hazard communication includes proper labelling, education for employees about the risks involved and plans to control spills and proper disposal. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WAREHOUSE WORK,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: 8 STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A RACKING ACCIDENT

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: MEET KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: IS YOUR FORKLIFT HOLIDAY SEASON READY?


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Have questions about our  rigging equipment or our Central Distribution Centre? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

E-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to learn more about Hercules SLR’s rigging equipment.

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

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

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

Change is Coming: New & Improved CertTracker Asset Management

certtracker asset management

NEW & IMPROVED! CERTTRACKER ASSET MANAGEMENT 

A few changes are coming to our CertTracker asset management service – all good, of course. This month, CertTracker is switching platforms to offer our customers better service and more secure management for your assets. 

If you have an account, don’t worry – CertTracker asset managment is still easy to access. To get your new login details, e-mail us at CertTracker@herculesslr.com to receive your new username and password. 

CERTTRACKER ASSET MANAGEMENT: BENEFITS 

Like we mentioned, CertTracker is new and improved. What are the benefits of the new CertTracker asset management, you ask? Benefits of the new CertTracker platform include: 

  • Better Interface: The new CertTracker has a modern, intuitive, agile and user-friendly interface for inspectors and customers.
  • Easy equipment management: Easier to mark failed equipment/gear, and reorder equipment.
  • Inspections: Perform pre-use inspections of equipment.
  • Better asset management: View your assets and documents quickly and easily, with new filter options that allow you to easily determine the status of any asset.
  • Collaboration: Better work with Hercules, to ensure equipment and gear is certified well before the deadline.
  • Asset management: Quickly locate (in detail) any item you own on-site, all in one place. View your assets and documents quickly, easily, and with new filter options that let you determine the status of any asset. 

HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT HOW TO USE CERTTRACKER?

CALL US AT 1-877-461-4876 OR EMAIL CERTTRACKER@HERCULESSLR.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ASSET MANAGEMENT,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

RISK MANAGEMENT: SAFETY IS EVERY RIGGER’S BUSINESS 

BEAM CLAMP APPLICATIONS: SAFETY TIPS FROM BRAMPTON, ONTARIO

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TIPS: SECURE YOUR WORKSITE


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Interested in CertTracker Asset Management? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CertTracker asset management at Hercules SLR. 

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

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

CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 

FACTORS

It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 

 

cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.

SOLUTIONS 

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


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Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment at Hercules SLR. 

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

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

Workplace Mental Health: How Hercules SLR Supports Staff

workplace mental health at hercules slr

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: A HERCULES SLR PRIORITY

Mental health is like a sling. Load a sling beyond capacity, and it breaks. A sling must be maintained to work properly, and mental health in the workplace is similar. 

Mental health in the workplace is just as important as physical health in the workplace. Each day, Canadian workers’ pull on coveralls, get in vehicles and drive to their jobs, even though they’re sick, suffer or struggle with mental illness. Often, a sick day isn’t enough to recover, so it’s important to Hercules SLR to provide employee support.

Mental illness affects approximately 20% of the population – that’s 7.5million Canadians. One of the biggest risk factors related to mental illness in the workplace is psychological support. At Hercules SLR, we take measures to reduce risk factors and support our team so both physical & mental wellness is encouraged. 

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHY WE DO IT

Why support mental health in the workplace? If those numbers aren’t enough, people with mental illness are less likely to be employed, and each week nearly 175,000 full-time workers miss work because of mental illness. Says Hercules’ HR Generalist, “Hercules SLR understands the importance of mental health in the workplace and strives to promote a supportive environment for employee’s well-being.”

Mental illness is also more likely to surface in times of stress or uncertainty, which is a common part of many jobs. The cost of physical illness versus mental health is significant, too  financially, it costs almost twice as much to take leave for mental illness over physical illness. Not only does it make financial sense, it’s one of our core values. 

“Hercules SLR understands the importance of mental health in the workplace and strives to promote a supportive environment for employee’s well-being.”

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: WHAT WE DO & HOW 

A well-rounded, healthy life for employees leads to people who can reach their full potential, and workplace support is a crucial part of this. So, we have a Employee and Family Assistance program (EFAP), that’s free and private for employees to access. It’s not always easy to disclose to an employer that you’re struggling – this allows employees to call anytime and receive guidance, tools and advice for a number of issues that relate to mental health. They offer advice and support for legal issues, nutrition, addiction, workplace conflict, financial issues, relationships, depression, anxiety, anger and life transitions. 

Physical wellness is linked to mental wellness. Poor mental health can make physical conditions worse, and those with poor physical health are at a bigger risk to develop mental health issues. Hercules’ understands this, so we offer an annual financial incentive for employees to purchase something that supports their health, whether it’s a fitness class, gym membership or even a pair of running shoes that encourages you to get outside. 

By giving our employees tools to be more resilient in the face of mental health issues, we improve our overall company culture and give our people an environment where they can thrive. We value mental health, because we value our employees. 


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.

Stop the Snap: Prevent Rope Snapback

rope snapback, rigging service, hercules slr

Dwayne Fader’s been with Hercules SLR for over 30 years and recently, he decided to ditch the dark Canadian Winter for summery, sunny Florida—before he flies away, we sit down with Dwayne to ask him a few questions about rope snapback. 

Rope snapback never fails to shock workers – it’s fast, forceful and damaging, yet preventable. Read on to learn more about the dangers of rope snapback, and discover our tips to prevent it. 

WHY DOES ROPE SNAPBACK?

When rope has too much tension applied to it and it breaks, it will snapback toward the direction of the pull because of kinetic energy—both wire and synthetic rope does this. Rope will always snapback, but you can’t always determine how fast it will snapback. It will always snapback to its pulling point, which is visible before or when you lift. This can cause terrible injuries, or even be fatal. 

The biggest thing you can do to prevent rope snapback is to inspect your rope before, during and after use. 

If you notice that there’s a lot of tension applied to the rope, you should re-rig the operation.  

rope snapback, rope, hercules slr, rigging ropeHOW-TO PREVENT ROPE SNAPBACK

How does one prevent rope snapback? Unfortunately, once the rope has broke there is nearly nothing you can do – except try to get out of its way.

Prevention is the main way to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by rope snap back. No matter the strength of a rope, it undergoes wear and tear like exposure to chemicals, harsh environments, friction and bends – this causes rope fibres to degrade over time. 

The best way to do this is with education and training for all workers—not just those who operate the rope. To keep rope in good working order, educate workers on:

  1. How to select the correct type of rope to use for the application/job; 
  2. Proper methods to handle the rope for application and beyond;
  3. When to remove the rope from service. 

To know when to remove your rope from service, you must conduct a rope inspection. To do this, inspect ropes before, during and after use. Training should also include inspection criteria for the ropes being used on the job, which can vary depending on the type of rope. This will help workers know what to look for, so they can tell if a rope should be taken out of service, or not. 

It should also cover the reality of what happens when a rope snaps back, areas where it’s most likely to snapback in a dangerous way (for example, sailboats typically have marked off “snapback zones” that indicate dangerous zones to stay away from) and an emergency plan of what to do when snapback occurs. 

ROPE MAINTENANCE TO PREVENT SNAPBACK 

SPLICING

Rope splicing is a method use to add a termination or join two ropes together without tying a knot.

Don’t tie a knot in rope, as knots reduce their safe-working load – splice rope instead to add terminations to a rope’s end. This also (typically) retains all of the rope’s strength or WLL. 

END-FOR-ENDING

End-for-ended rope is rope that’s rotated – the frequency depends on the rope and the application its used for. End-for-ending rope adds variety to the points of the rope where stress is regularly applied, which allows you to get more life from your rope. 

STORAGE

It may sound like common sense, but it’s important to store your rope properly. Improper storage could make your rope deteriorate and fail faster. 

ROPE SNAPBACK TRAINING

An effective method to make people aware of how wrong snapback can go is to educate them in the areas and methods discussed above – and to show how scary the reality is. 

Watch the video ‘Aircraft Carrier Cable Snap’ below for a frightening example of rope snapback. Note the crew near the back who are knocked to the ground by its force, also see the person who jumps it – TWICE: 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember – to prevent rope snapback, ensure you’re using the right kind of rope for the move or lift you’re planning. Be sure to train workers on proper use of rope, like rope splicing, end-for-ending and safety issues. 

 

References: Miles, A., & Prentice, G. (1986). Synthetic Line Snapback (pp. 1-9, Rep.). Naval Sea Systems Command., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuIbvX_B7sY, https://www.samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care, http://www.workingwaterfrontarchives.org/2015/01/29/rope-snap-back-and-parting-among-marine-safety-hazards/, https://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge-publications/article/best-practice-mooring-snap-back-zones-135637/, https://samsonrope.com/resources/rope-care 

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.

Stuck in a Tight Spot? What to know in a confined space

confined space, hercules slr, how to work in confined spaces

Most workers will have to work in a confined space at some point in their career – although common, many workers and employers don’t plan or account for common hazards found in them. 

Read on to discover commonly-found dangers in confined spaces and how to prepare for them. 

WHAT’S A CONFINED SPACE? 

A confined space is an area that:

  • Is large enough to enter and do work in;
  • Has limited entries and exits;
  • Isn’t meant for long-term human occupancy.
  • Examples: Silos’, tunnels, sewers, wells, underground utility vaults, an empty tanker trailer

WHAT’S A PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE (PRCS)?

Yes, it’s a confined space that you need a permit to enter – but a permit-required confined space also:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain serious safety or health hazards like:
    • Engulfment
    • Toxic Atmosphere
    • Puzzling Configuration
    • Heat or Cold Stress
    • Slipping Hazards
    • Flammable Atmosphere
    • Oxygen Deficiency

CONFINED SPACE HAZARD: 2 FACTORS THAT CREATE HAZARDS

  1.  Failure to see and control hazards associated with the confined space
    • Atmospheric hazards
    • Physical hazards
  2. Poor Emergency response time or plan
    • Many injuries or fatalities in confined spaces occur when other workers attempt to save coworkers injured in a confined space
    • Nearly 60% of worker fatalities occur when trying to save someone else from a confined space hazard 

Nearly 60% of deaths in confined spaces happen to the would-be rescuer

CONFINED SPACE: KNOW THE HAZARDS

Hazard #1: Oxygen Deficiency

Normal air has an oxygen content of 20.8-.9% – when there’s less than 19.5% available, you’re in a oxygen-deficient space. When this level decreases, even by 1-2% the effects are felt immediately. When working in a space with this level, remember to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). 

What leads to oxygen deficiency? Inadequate ventilation, poor air quality, oxygen consumed from welding, decomposition, rust are some of the factors that cause oxygen levels to drop.

Oxygen Deficiency Levels

  • Minimum for safe entry: 19.5%
  • Impaired judgement and breathing, accelerated heartbeat: 16%
  • Faulty judgement and rapid fatigue: 14%
  • Nausea, vomiting, inability to perform simple tasks, unconsciousness: 6-10%
  • Rapid loss of consciousness, death in minutes: Less than 6%
Hazard #2: Oxygen Displacement

Oxygen displacement occurs when there’s an inert gas (it’s worth noting inert gas is different than a noble gas – an inert gas doesn’t chemically react, and a noble gas does chemically react under certain conditions. All noble gases are inert, but not all inert gases are noble).

When enough of a inert gas is in a confined space, it displaces the oxygen which makes it difficult – well, impossible to breathe. For example, nitrogen is non-toxic, colourless and odourless – but will displace the oxygen in a room.

Hazard #3: Fire & Flammable Atmosphere

Flammable atmospheres are caused by flammable liquids, gases and combustible dusts which if lit, can cause an explosion or fire. The ignition doesn’t have to be a flame – it can be something as simple as static electricity or a small spark.

Hazard #4: Physical

You can become engulfed after being trapped or enveloped by material. Electrocution can happen when electrical equipment is activated, and mechanical energy can activate and cause physical injury. 

Other physical safety hazards, although small that can still cause injury are inadequate lighting, noise, vibration and radiation. Nearby traffic, vehicles and other heavy machinery could also be a hazard. Objects and slippery areas pose falling hazards, and hot or cold temperature extremes also pose a threat. Extremely high temperatures can cause your body to undergo heat stress. 

Heat Stress Symptoms

In a confined space (and other areas) your body might not be able to cool down which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke to occur.

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin

When these symptoms occur, you should move to a cool area, raise your legs, take off any heavy clothing, drink water and apply a wet cloth to your skin. 

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Dry, pale skin – with no sweat
  • Hot, red skin that looks sunburnt
  • Unable to think straight, seizure, unconsciousness

When this occurs:

  • Call 911
  • Move victim to a cool area
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
  • Place icepacks at your armpit and groin

To protect yourself:

  • Try to work or accomplish physical parts of work during the coolest parts of the day
  • Use spot ventilation
  • Use buddy system
  • Drink cold water – try to drink around every 15 minutes and take frequent breaks
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in high temperatures, and be mindful of medication as this can increase your risk of heat  stroke.

confined space, hercules slr, srl, self-retracting lifeline, inspections, repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFINED SPACE: PROCEDURES

Before you start work in a confined space, it’s essential to follow a procedure to control and/or minimize safety hazards and remain safe on the job. Follow this procedure before working in a confined space:

  • Conduct a pre-entry evaluation (like a discussion with everyone who will be working at the site);
  • Identify and eliminate potential hazards that can enter the space, both atmospheric and physical;
  • Use forced air ventilation and use lock out/tag out if necessary;
  • Complete an entry permit – Assign an entrant, attendant and supervisor and any other relevant competent person needed on the site.

The Authorized Entrant will:

  • Know hazards that will face workers during entry;
  • Wear proper PPE;
  • Maintain communication with the attendant;
  • Know the signs of overexposure/heat stress and stroke;
  • Evacuate the confined space when ordered to or when over-exposed to hazard(s).

The Authorized Attendant will:

  • Keep their position outside the entrance at all time;
  • Know the signs and symptoms of overexposure;
  • Prevent unauthorized people from entering the space;
  • Maintain communication with entrants;
  • Begin the emergency response/rescue plan if needed;
  • Complete an evaluation of the entrance before they start work;
  • Make sure personnel know the hazards;
  • Implement any necessary control measures, for example – ventilation;
  • Complete any permits that are necessary to enter the space;
  • Complete any tests needed to enter the confined space safely.

REMEMBER TO use retrieval equipment to remove yourself or the entrant from the confined pace.

Ensuring you have the necessary PPE for emergency rescue situations is the most important step of working in a confined space.

As we mentioned, almost 60% of confined space deaths happen to someone trying to rescue a coworker – It’s natural to want to save a life, but it’s important to not take two lives in the process. This is why confined space planning is essential to completing work efficiently and safely.


Choosing and having the proper PPE for the job is essential to staying safe amidst hazards in a confined space. This may include self-retracting lifelines, anchorages or body harness’ – click the link below to find out more about Hercules SLR’s fall protection services. 

Fall Protection

Check out our blogs to learn more about fall protection and staying safe at heights: 

Sources: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health - https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/confinedspace_intro.html 

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

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

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

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.

 

Rigging Services: 3 securing tips to lift you anywhere

rigging-services-hercules-slr

Rigging Services

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

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

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

rigging-services-hercules-slr
Crane lifting electric generator

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

One

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

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

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

Two

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

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

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

Three

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

Rigging Services: your reading list

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


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

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

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

CCOHS Forum 2019: Changing World of Work Explored

Forum: 2019 Changing World of Worksafety-conference

A wise person once said, “safety doesn’t happen by accident.” This is why the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety will hold it’s 6th conference, called Forum: 2019 The Changing World of Work, which they host every few years. This year, it will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 5-6, 2019.

The Forum brings together industry leaders, innovators and subject experts who represent government, labourers and Canadian workplaces. At Forum 2019, industry members will discuss their experiences and knowledge of existing and new health and safety issues in the workplace – the focus of 2019’s Forum will be the workplace of today and tomorrow. Topics of discussion will include the changing workforce, the changing workplace and the way the nature of work changes in modern times.

Right now, speakers at Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work include:

forum-2019-changing-world-of-work
Safety gear
  • Futurist Nikolas Badminton will set the stage with a keynote on artificial intelligence and how the world of work may change over the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond
  • Lionel Laroche, President, MultiCultural Business Solutions Manager on bridging cultural diversity in the workplace
  • Steve Tizzard: building a mentally healthy, peer to peer support program on the Hibernia Platform
  • Darby Allen, Fort McMurray’s Fire Chief (Ret.) will close the event with his inspiring personal story of leading through a crisis

The event is currently being developed, with more details to come. To find more information on Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work, visit ccohs.ca/forum.

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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-Header

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.