Your safety helmet should have the capability to withstand the impact of hazards. Apart from providing you with the highest level of protection, your safety helmet should offer comfort and most importantly, it should not create any additional safety issues.
You should consider the following parameters while selecting a safety helmet:
- The type of job: Safety helmets primarily provide protection against falling objects, but they should be designed to protect you from head injuries caused by other factors as well. For example, people involved in construction projects should have helmets that will protect them from lateral impacts which are more likely to be caused by contact against protruding or swinging objects. People performing electrical works should wear electrically-insulated helmets.
- Style: Safety helmets commonly appear in the form of hats and caps. The caps are lightweight options and are more suitable for use in narrow, constricted places. The hat-styled models are designed to provide a higher degree of protection against dust and the elements. Importantly, you should select a helmet that goes well with all other accessories you need to execute a project.
- Colour: Light-coloured helmets reflect heat and are more suitable for undertaking projects in darker environments. For workmen who need to do tunnelling work, helmets whose colours create a contrasting appearance against the background are ideal. You can have retroreflective material stuck to your helmets and you may want to call your manufacturer before you try testing this out.
- Accessories: Your helmet should be compatible with the accessories that you may have to use to successfully undertake operations. For example, if you need to work in darker environments, you will need to select helmets that have headlamps fixed to them. If you need to battle windy weather conditions, you will have to look for helmets that come equipped with chin straps.
- Comfort: Make sure that your safety helmet sits properly on your head. Select a helmet with the appropriate shell-size and with easily adjustable chin strap, headband, and nape. A high-quality helmet is lightweight as well as hardy. It comes with sweatband that can be cleaned or replaced easily.
Safety helmets should meet quality standards with regard to fire-resistance, shock absorption, electrical insulation, and penetration resistance. Make sure that the helmets you choose to comply with the European Standard EN 397. The helmet should bear engraved information with regard to the standard, the name of the manufacturer, the helmet-type, and the helmet-size and range. Additionally, each helmet should come with documents carrying information on safe practices and usage.
Weld on hooks are primarily used to facilitate axial loading. Additionally, they also promote the addition of fixed anchor points on spreader beams and farm machinery. Every weld on hook comes with complete welding instructions that one should abide by in order to ensure safe and efficient use. First off, make sure that there is no paint, rust, or grease on the welding surface. Clean the surface carefully. Before using the weld, it is a good idea to get it inspected. Importantly, you should get trained personnel involved in periodic visual inspections. Such inspections are normally undertaken to detect signs of cracks, gouges, wear, nicks, and distortion.
If you find the hook to be bent or distorted in any manner, it is recommended that you do not use it. Moreover, if the throat opening is found to be widened and if the hook tip bends by more than 10 degrees, you should refrain from using the hook. This is mainly because of the fact that the latch will not work if the tip of a weld on hook gets bent or worn out.
When you use a lifting sling to attach the load, use the bottom part of the hook while making sure that the latch remains closed. Make sure that you do not attach the load directly to the tip of the hook or to the latch. You should also avoid side loading. Keep only one sling attached directly to the hook. When you conduct the lifting operation, make sure that the activity does not generate any jerking movement. Simply put, the load should not be in motion during the lifting action. Most importantly, you have to make sure that the working load limit is not exceeded. In such a case, the hook will break, leading to injury and damages.
Important Points to Consider
- It is not a good idea to repair, reshape, or rework a hook through heating, burning, welding or bending.
- The hook should be positioned in such a manner that it can support the load in all positions. Apply the load in the hook’s plane. The hook should not act as barriers to the proper functioning of other mechanisms.
- Appoint a qualified welder who is adept at deploying standard procedures.
- Check the electrode manufacturer’s recommendations to have a clear understanding about the welding electrode.
After the welding is completed, get a detailed visual inspection conducted before you move to the painting stage. The hook should not contain cracks, notches, and undercuts. In case you have any doubt, get the hook verified through Magnetic Particle or Liquid Penetrate methods.
The expense that you may incur for overhead crane repair does not only include the cost of replacement parts, but it also includes the cost of downtime and the consequent loss of productivity. There are several variables that determine the cost of overhead crane repair and you may want to understand them well in order to formulate an appropriate equipment-maintenance and repair budget.
First off, you need to consider the age of your overhead cranes. Generally, you will have to spend more to repair old cranes compared to their newer counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that old cranes and hoists become obsolete, demanding reverse engineering for the replacement of out-of-stock parts. This, in turn, translates into bigger costs. On the other hand, the repair of newer cranes will cost you less and most importantly, they will come with warranties.
The cost that you will incur on account of reactive maintenance is just one half of the equation with the other half being the cost that you will incur due to the loss of production time and revenue. The success of a repair activity depends on your ability to manage and minimise downtime. Many industrial establishments prefer to get their cranes repaired during the weekends in order to maintain the continuity of their operations. However, you may need to pay more for the repair works that you get completed during the after-hours or the weekend.
Some repairs become obligatory after you use overhead cranes for a certain period of time. However, you can prevent breakdowns by keeping a preventive maintenance plan in place. Regular inspections will help you prevent emergencies that may translate into expensive issues later. The replacement of damaged crane wheels and rope drums demands heavy cash outlay and regular inspections can help detect issues that may trigger serious incidents at a future stage. Sometimes, you will find it to be more profitable to invest in new equipment than to spend an equal amount to buy replacement parts for a device that has almost completed its lifecycle.
Industrial lifting operations involve the use of wire rope hoists which are designed to lift objects that may weigh more than 80 tonnes. The selection of the right wire rope hoist depends on a number of factors, including the number of lifts that you expect your hoist to handle at a given point of time, the weight that your hoist will lift on a daily basis, the type of objects that you will be dealing with, and your future requirements.
You should check if you need to facilitate additional lifts that may exceed your usual workload. In such cases, you may want to buy a wire rope hoist or a crane that has the capacity to lift higher loads. Secondly, if you have plans to make important changes to your product line in the next few years, you may want to choose a wire rope hoist that will meet your future needs as well. With this, you will prevent further expenses which you might otherwise have incurred at a later stage while replacing your existing hoist with a new one. You will need a basic wire rope if you need to lift solid steel pipes. On the other hand, you will need a hoist with advanced controls if you need to lift materials related to the nuclear or aerospace industries.
Wire rope hoists come equipped with motors that are controlled by variable frequency drives (VFDs). Such drives allow for slow, controlled movements, which, in turn, facilitate the lifting of delicate items. Additionally, the VFDs that are required to facilitate trolley movements accelerate or decelerate the load-travelling speed which, in turn, promotes safe object relocation. Look for wire rope hoists that come with shock load prevention features. This feature prevents shock loading which may damage the wire ropes if a lift is initiated abruptly with a heavy load that has started getting detached from a mount.
Wire rope hoists facilitate most applications. However, chain hoists may be a better option for you if your operations are executed in rough or hazardous environments. Additionally, chain hoists have enclosed bodies which protect them from damages that may be induced by contact with caustic chemicals or environmental elements.
Some industrial corporations use submersible pumps for pumping out water from deep beneath the earth’s surface and such processes typically demand the use of special lifting equipment that can lower and lift the pumps during pumping operations. Pumps, which are normally situated at great depths, require a tall gantry and a long standard chain to be lowered and lifted. Such purposes are supported by the use of a special kind of chain called the pump lifting chain.
Because these chains are expected to endure wet conditions, they are made out of stainless steel. Commonly, the chains are made of grade 80 or grade 316 stainless steel and sometimes, chains made of grade 80 high-tensile steel are also used to support operations in less demanding situations. The chains come in different link sizes that have different capacity ratings and can support the lifting of pumps of various sizes. Notably, the chain features a larger master link at every one meter increment, which allows it to be fixed to the hoisting equipment at one metre intervals. This is what makes the lifting process slower and safer at the same time.
So how does the pump lifting chain work? The process is initiated by placing a tripod system or a frame over the hole through which the pump is to be inserted. The first master link on the chain is then attached to the hoisting equipment and it is lifted to a level where the third big link comes to the same height as the top of the hole. After that, a pole or a bar is inserted through the link and it is laid over the top of the hole itself. This is what allows the top master link to relax, which, in turn, allows you to remove the top master link easily. The hoist is then lowered to the level of the second link, which is located just above the top-most link. The bar is then removed and the hoist is lifted to a certain height. The process is repeated till the pump is lifted up. The process is slow, but it works.
High-pressure hydraulic equipment is normally used to undertake activities such as lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing. Considered as one of the safest methods of applying force, hydraulic power technology is noted for its simplicity and ease-of-use. However, it is the simplicity in the use of such tools which may lead to their abuse, inviting negative consequences for the users and impacting equipment function at the same time. Before you handle high-pressure hydraulic equipment, you need to make sure that you go through the standard safety rules and understand them accurately.
You should be ideally protected by safety glasses, safety boots, gloves, hard hat, and protective clothing and these are not just safety norms, but obligatory fundamentals as well. Improper assembly or operation is one of the prime reasons behind the occurrence of majority of mishaps and hence, you should ensure that you understand what each function is and how it works. You should avoid ‘overloading’ scenarios that may destroy the cylinders, seals, and the plungers. Make use of a gauge to specify safe operational loads. Before setting up or disconnecting a hydraulic connection, make sure that there is no pressure in the system. Check the gauge.
Place the hydraulic cylinder on a solid base that can bear sufficient strength. You would certainly not want the cylinder to disappear into the soil beneath it! Try to use a jacking base or alternatively, you may use a steel plate to distribute the load uniformly. Allocate the load across the entire saddle and place the cylinders in such a way that the hose and the coupler get adequate place when the cylinder extends. Wipe the couplers before connecting and keep the oil connections clean. Make sure that you avoid over-extension of the cylinders as all cylinders do not come with safety stop-rings.
Avoid using an extension on the pump handle. This will not only make the pump lose its stability, but may also make the system excessively pressurised which may invite dangerous consequences if the pump is not equipped with a relief valve. When you use a power pump, make sure that hoses and fittings are linked to the appropriate inlet and outlet ports of the cylinder and the valve. Make sure that the oil level is accurate. Check the pump’s electrical specifications against the supply voltage. In case you are using an air-operated pump, make sure that the air is clean as dirty air is one of the major causes of failure of the air motor.
Make sure that you do not drop heavy objects on the hose as this may lead to hose failure. Additionally, make sure not to carry hydraulic equipment by the hose as this can put undue pressure on the hose fittings, which may cause leakage. Keep hydraulic couplers in fully tightened form as loose connections may lead to partial or complete obstruction of oil flow between pump and cylinder. With lubrication determining the life and operating ability of hydraulic equipment, you should abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations on oil use. Periodic oil changes are an absolute necessity.
A frequently asked question amongst the industry when it comes to buying Height Safety Equipment- “What is the difference between Fall Restraint and Fall Arrest equipment?”
When working at height one must always take the preventative measures to ensure complete safety at all times when working at height- fail to do so and you leave yourself at risk from serious injury and potentially death. Now who wants that on their site?!
If working at height and want to prevent a fall by safely anchoring yourself to an anchor point which when secured there is no risk of a fall as the lanyard connected is shorter than the fall hazard and there for restraining you- this is called Fall Restraint.
When working at height and there is a constant risk of a fall then Fall Arrest equipment is necessary- this can be in the form of a fall arrest lanyard (lanyard similar to restraint lanyard but features a shock absorber to break the fall) or a Fall Arrest block which is usually a cable or webbing reel that allows one to travel greater distances without having to re-anchor a short lanyard. When a fall is detected by the sensitive units it is broken safely to reduce pressures on the person falling and reduce risk of serious injury.
Either of the above methods of Height Safety can be connected to a suitable anchor point such as a height safety eyebolt, beam clamp or trolley. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section.
As I am sure you are aware; safety is paramount when it comes to lifting gear, risking anything usually means lives are at risk- and that shouldn’t be something you ever intend or practicing.
Excessively worn Load Chains and ropes are the main cause of dropped loads and fatalities, correct maintenance and inspection should never allow this to happen, but in the hands of the neglectful, it can. And it does. Above the hook equipment by law should be thoroughly inspected every 12 months, while it is recommended that equipment used intensely be inspected more regularly.
Load Ropes in particular can be more noticeable when it comes to a light ‘everyday’ visual inspection. Wear to the diameter of the rope is the most obvious signs while splintering and kinking can be another. Minor splintering should be monitored where as heavy splintering requires a new rope. With chains it is slightly different. Most wear occurs on the lower inside half of the chain link- this is where the majority of pressure is exerted, excessive wear if the hoist is not used often is usually down to lack of lubrication to the inners of the links. Many doubts and questions are raised when issues with Load Chains/Ropes arise due to an inspection, most companies will recommend a change, but the true decision is down to the company that own the equipment. My best advice is don’t risk a life to save a penny.
If in doubt- change it!
You’ve herd of crazy dutch people, but this one takes it a step further, watch the video below of a Mobile Crane as it topples in to an innocent home causing major damage.
The man who rented the crane was planning to use it to lower himself over his girlfriends house and in to her garden to surprise her and propose to her, unfortunately however, before that, the crane toppled over smashing in to a nearby neighbours home causing catastrophic damage.
So far neighbours have been evacuated while the crane remains still lying on the house while emergency services figure out how to pull it out without it falling over again.
View the video here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/11292766/Watch-moment-crane-smashes-through-house-during-failed-proposal.html
Steerman Roller Pinch Bar
Roller Pinch Bars otherwise known as a crow bar with fitted with smooth rolling wheels to enable minimal damage to the surface one is lifting on. With standard capacities up to 5 Tonnes roller crow bars can be used to provide that initial step in to jacking up the load in order to insert toe jacks for a higher lift and slide in a set of load skates. Without them where do you start?
Available widely usually in 1500kg or 5000kg capacities offering a broad range of options and applications- do be advised however the 5Tonne models are rather heavy! Manufactured from high grade steel coated in a safety yellow colour accompanied by robust, heavy duty steel wheels, combined they offer a super low toe height providing easy of entry and usability.
When it comes to load moving however, Steerman are the only brand for me. Offering high quality British engineering with reasonably quick lead times on most of their equipment, I love knowing that when a bearing or wheel goes on my skates (because lets face it if your using them regularly in industrial environments things may wear) they are always available right from stock overnight in the UK. You don’t get that with cheap imported alternatives, past experience has lead me to choose quality and durability over price.