Are you curious about the new ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021 standard and how it will affect end users and Steel Erection companies?Then watch this informative webinar on the topic!
This webinar provides an overview of the standard and how it differs from the previous version. Additionally, we discuss how end users and steel erection companies can benefit from its implementation, as well as what manufacturers are ahead of the curve.
So, whether you’re a safety professional, a company representative, or just someone who is interested in learning more about this topic, make sure you watch this informative webinar!
Speakers: Bryan McClure of Trivent Safety Consulting and Mark Anderson of Columbia Safety.
Construction cranes are essential for completing large-scale projects, but their operation comes with inherent risks. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that all components of the crane are in excellent working condition to minimize accidents and injuries. One such component is the sling, which plays a critical role in lifting heavy loads safely. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of understanding and applying proper inspection standards for slings on construction cranes to maximize safety on job sites.
Introduction to Sling Inspection Standards
Rigging slings need to be inspected prior to every use. In addition to the visual inspections the rigger may need to implement a hands on tactile inspection were they are actually using their hands to feel for disturbances or anomalies/inconsistencies in the rigging structure. It is important to note that the use of proper PPE such as gloves and safety glasses will be needed during this process.
The purpose of a sling inspection is to identify any damage or defects that could affect the safety of the lifting operation. When inspecting slings, look for cuts, frayed edges, open seams, broken or missing stitching, kinks, gouges, nicks, abrasions, chemical burns, embedded objects, or other signs of damage.
If any damage is found, the sling should be removed from service and destroyed. Do not attempt to repair damaged slings. In some cases, it may be possible to have a damaged sling repaired by a qualified professional; however, this must be done by someone who is specifically trained and certified to do so.
When performing a visual inspection, it is important to use both your eyes and your hands. Look closely at the entire length of the sling for any signs of damage. Feel along the entire length of the sling for any rough spots or sharp edges that could damage the load or cause personal injury.
In addition to inspecting the body of the sling for damage, also inspect all hardware (such as hooks and rings) for cracks, bends, distortion, missing parts, or other signs of damage. Make sure that all hardware is properly secured and will not come loose during use.
Types of Slings Used in Construction Cranes
There are three primary types of slings used in construction cranes: wire rope, synthetic web, and chain. Each type of sling has its own unique set of inspection standards that must be followed in order to ensure safety.
Wire rope slings are the most commonly used type of sling in construction cranes. They are made from high-strength steel wire strands that are twisted together to form a strong, flexible rope. Wire rope slings are available in a variety of sizes and lengths, and can be used for a variety of lifting applications.
Synthetic web slings are made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester. They are lighter weight than wire rope slings and have a lower profile, making them ideal for use in tight spaces. Synthetic web slings are also less likely to damage load surfaces than wire rope slings.
Chain slings are made from metal chains that are connected together with links or rings. They are the strongest type of sling available and can be used for heavy-duty lifting applications. However, chain slings require more maintenance than other types of slings and can be more difficult to inspect.
How to Inspect Slings for Safety
Sling inspection is a crucial component of any construction crane safety program. Slings are one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment on construction sites, and they also can be one of the most dangerous. Improper inspection and maintenance of slings can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
There are three main types of sling inspections: visual, functional, and destructive. Visual inspections should be conducted regularly, and should include a close examination of all sling components for signs of wear, damage, or other defects. Functional inspections should be conducted periodically, and involve testing the sling’s strength and durability by putting it under stress. Destructive inspections should only be conducted by qualified personnel, and involve actually breaking the sling in order to test its breaking strength.
When conducting a visual inspection, pay close attention to the following:
All stitching for signs of fraying or other damage
All webbing for signs of cuts, abrasions, or other damage
All hardware for cracks, rust, or other damage
All labels for legibility and accuracy
If any damage is found during a visual inspection, the sling should be removed from service immediately and replaced. If you are not sure whether a particular defect is serious enough to warrant removal from service, error on the side of caution and replace the sling. Better to be safe than sorry!
During a functional inspection, slings should be tested for proper strength and function. This can be done by suspending a known weight
Defects and Damage that Need to be Looked Out For
There are many different types of defects and damage that can occur to construction cranes, and it is important to be aware of them in order to maximize safety. Some of the most common problems include:
Wear and tear: Over time, all crane components will experience some degree of wear and tear. This can eventually lead to structural damage or failure if not properly monitored and repaired.
Corrosion: Corrosion is a major issue for any metal structure, and construction cranes are no exception. If left unchecked, corrosion can cause serious damage to the crane’s frame and other critical components.
Fatigue: Fatigue is a common problem for construction cranes due to the constant stress they are under. If not properly monitored, fatigue can eventually lead to structural failure.
Impact damage: Construction cranes are often hit by falling debris or other objects. This can cause serious damage to the crane’s structure and/or components.
Broken wires: Broken wires on a wire rope sling shall be assessed using the following criteria. 5-broken wires in a outer strand in one lay length, or a total of 10- broken wires in one rope lay length. Please see video demonstration below for additional guidance.
OSHA Requirements and Regulations
When working with construction cranes, it is important to be aware of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and regulations. OSHA has specific standards for the inspection of slings used with construction cranes. These standards are designed to protect workers from injuries caused by defective or damaged slings.
In order to ensure that slings are safe for use, employers must inspect them before each use. Slings should be inspected for damage such as cuts, abrasions, burns, chemical deterioration. If any damage is found, the sling should be removed from service and replaced.
In addition to inspecting slings before each use, employers must also keep records of all inspections. These records should include the date of the inspection, the name of the person who conducted the inspection, and a description of any damage found. Records must be kept for at least one year.
By following these OSHA requirements and regulations, employers can help protect their workers from injuries caused by defective or damaged slings.
Benefits of Proper Sling Inspection
There are many benefits to properly inspecting slings before using them. Doing so can help avoid costly repairs or replacements, and it can also help identify any potential safety hazards.
Inspecting slings prior to use can help ensure that they are in good working condition and free of any damage that could cause them to fail. It is also important to inspect slings for proper length and width, as well as the correct type of sling for the job at hand.
Inspecting slings on a regular basis can also help extend their lifespan, as early identification of problems can allow for quick and easy replacements as needed. Additionally, regular inspection can help prevent small issues from becoming bigger, more expensive problems down the line.
In conclusion, it is clear that proper inspection and maintenance of construction cranes is essential for ensuring a safe working environment on the job site. Through understanding and applying sling inspection standards, crane operators can identify potential hazards early on and take steps to prevent accidents from occurring. By staying up-to-date with safety regulations, employers can help ensure that their worksites remain secure against any potential dangers. If you would like to learn more about this topic, you can do so by calling us at 800-819-6092, or by signing up for one of our comprehensive rigging training programs listed below.
If you’re like me, you love this time of the year. The weather is warmer, friends and family get to enjoy the outdoors. On most evenings in my neighborhood you can smell the happiness from the grills. Some nights it’s hamburgers and hotdogs, others it’s steak. This is the time of year when children have no worries, just fun times with their friends and no fear of school tomorrow. It’s also the time of year when we begin to hear the inevitable bang and pop coming from some distant house. We know what that noise is, the pre 4th of July firework shows.
As a kid I remember me and my friends enjoying bottle rockets, black cats, and the random M80. We were out at all hours; I’m sure making sleep difficult for all my poor neighbors. Looking back on it, I realize how lucky we were. In all my years of messing with fireworks, not one of my friends was ever injured. Not a minor injury, and thankfully not a major injury. Unfortunately, we did set a few fires, destroying a bush here and there. I consider myself very lucky that there was not any major “incident” that follows me today. For others though, they aren’t so lucky.
According to national reports, in 2017 alone there were 8 fatalities and almost 13,000 injuries that required medical attention due to fireworks. The 4th of July is a special for us in America, most of us will spend the evening staring at the skies, enjoying the shows put on by our local communities. But the 4th is not the only night for fireworks, 67% of the injuries occurred from June 16th, 2017 – July 16th, 2017. We usually start having a significant increase in nightly fireworks a couple of weeks prior to the actual holiday and this is the problem.
The shows on the 4th of July are professional and are accompanied by fireman. The shows that are put on in the neighborhoods are usually not. Additionally, depending on the laws where you are, the fireworks are probably illegal. Colorado, where I’m from, does not allow the use of any firework that explode or are intended to leave the ground. I love firework shows, I love the 4th of July, and I enjoy having fun with my friends and family. But when it comes to fireworks, I recommend leaving it to the professionals. But if you are going to use fireworks, here are some recommended safety tips:
Check your local laws to see what you can and cannot legally use
Avoid drugs and alcohol if you’re going to set off fireworks.
Wear safety glasses
If you’re going to allow children to use fireworks, it should only be done under close adult supervision.
Do not light them near house, people, or other things that could possibly ignite.
Never light them indoors.
Stay away from “duds”. Do not pick up or handle fireworks that don’t explode.
Keep a hose, extinguisher, or bucket of water close by in case of an accidental fire.
I know some people will be setting off fireworks this year that shouldn’t be. I personally recommend that you sit back and enjoy the show put on by your local community. If you still want to use fireworks and you’re going to have your own show for the neighborhood, then please do it safely.
Hilti Inc. is facing $164,802 in penalties after OSHA discovered numerous safety violations following a forklift accident. Investigators discovered the company exposed workers to struck-by hazards after an employee was injured while operating a forklift at a distribution center in Atlanta. OSHA inspectors determined that Hilti failed to provide forklift operator training and instructions to employees operating the vehicles, and ensure that employees performed daily forklift inspections. Follow the link below to read the full story.
OSHA estimates that 35,000 serious injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts occur annually. Further, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 96 U.S. workers were killed in incidents involving forklifts in 2015. OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks Standard – 29 CFR 1910.178 – establishes that “the employer shall ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation” outlined in the standard. So who should receive training when it comes to operating forklifts? Any person who will be operating the equipment no matter how long or simple a task may seem. The penalty for negligence in the event of an accident can be severe, as mentioned in a previous blog. https://www.triventsc.com/blog/business-owner-manager-charged-with-manslaughter/
1. Formal instruction can be given using lectures, discussions, interactive computer learning, videos, or written material.
2. Practical, hands-on training covers demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee.
An evaluation of the operator’s ability to handle the truck safely in the workplace must be conducted by the trainer. Specific training topics to be covered are listed in the standards. All of the topics must be covered unless the employer can show that certain topics are not needed. Employers must certify that the training and evaluation has been done. Each operator’s performance must be evaluated every three years. Usually, the person doing the evaluation would first observe the operator to determine if he or she is performing safely, and then ask questions to ensure that the operator has the knowledge or experience needed.Refresher training is required whenever one of the following occurs:
the operator is involved in an accident or near-miss incident;
the operator has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner;
the operator has been determined in an evaluation to need more training;
there are changes in the workplace that could affect safe operation (such as a different type of paving, reconfigured storage racks, or new layouts with narrower aisles or restricted visibility); or
the operator is assigned to a different type of truck.
Are you, or your staff in need of training? If so, contact us today 1-800-819-6092 and we can get one of our industry leading trainers out to your location as soon as possible! Remember luck is never considered a strategy, but proper training and policy development is. Let us help you achieve your goals!
The anxiety of walking around with an OSHA inspector when you don’t know if there are holes in your safety measures is something you should never have to deal with as a safety manager or business owner.
Have you ever sat through a fall protection class or looked at the standard regulating your industry? There are a lot of numbers and other information thrown at you. To begin, you need to understand where you work and what you do. This will help you determine what OSHA source material you’ll need to review. It will be either 1910 Subpart D for general industry or 1926 Subpart M under the construction standard. Depending on the specific task you’re engaged in, there could be other areas you may need to visit. Are you working on scaffolding in the construction industry, then Subpart L? Maybe a question about steel erection, then Subpart R has some information you could reference. Regardless, numbers are an important part of fall protection. We’re going to focus on the construction industry and the standards that regulate it.
Let’s start with one of the most important number to remember in the construction industry, 6 feet. This number is important specifically because OSHA has designated this as the height an employee on a walking working surface 6’ above the lower level needs to be protected from falling. Additionally, the maximum allowable freefall distance in most instances is also 6’. Protecting your workers can be achieved with several options, the most popular of which are the use of a guard rail system, or personal fall arrest system. Ensure you and your employees are familiar with 6’ and have a plan in place to protect workers at or above this level.
When determining the protective measures, you’re going to use, guardrails are a common and easy choice. If you’re going to use a guard rail system, it must meet several requirements, again more numbers to remember. The top rail must be located at 42” +/- 3”. It must support 200# of an outward downward force. The mid rail must be located directly between the top rail and the walking working surface, typically this is 21” and support 150# of an outward downward force. If you install a toe board, it must be no higher than 1/4” above the walking surface and support 50# of force applied against it. Ensure that your workforce understands the height requirements and the limitations of the system. Although common on most jobsites, remember, they only need to support 200#’s at the most. That number is not very big when you think about an employee potentially falling into or against an installed guard rail on your project.
Another method to protect employees is the use of a restraint or personal fall arrest system (PFAS). This method, when used correctly, should ensure that your employees are never exposed to a fall or protected in the event of an actual fall. With the use of these protective methods, there are all sorts of numbers that we need to ensure our work force understands. Teaching the employee’s, the ABC’s of fall protection is an easy way to help them remember.
The A stands for anchor. In any system, you need to ensure what you are anchoring to, will support you. With this, the OSHA requirements call for one of the following numbers. 1000, 3000, or 5000. These are the minimum anchorage connector breaking strength (per ANSI) depending on your fall protection application. 1000# for restraint, 3000# for work positioning, and 5000# for fall arrest. You can also use an anchor that is designed, installed and used as part of a complete PFAS which maintains a safety factor of at least two, under the supervision of a qualified person.
B is for body support, typically a full body harness. Inspect your harness, you’ll find some more numbers. 310# and 420#. Depending on your equipment, this will be the maximum permitted worker weight able to use this equipment. This difference is typically dependent upon the next part of your ABC’s.
The C is the connector you use. This is the lanyard, retractable, or restraint system you are using to keep you from falling or hitting a lower level. It’s what connects your body support to the anchor. Manufacturers have a wide variety of connecting equipment to use, most are rated at 900#. This is the maximum average arrest force permitted under normal conditions, although OSHA and ANSI both permit the number to be 1800#. Additionally, the connector will have a deceleration distance. That number is 3.5 feet, although ANSI allows for 4’. These numbers are important because they will help determine an appropriate anchor height. You don’t want to go to low and end up hitting something below you.
A complete fall protection program should look at all of these different numbers and consider them when putting together a plan to protect your workers. If you need help understanding the fall protection numbers and standards or want someone to help develop a plan for you, give Trivent Safety Consulting a call (800) 819-6092. We would love to help you set up a plan that works for you and your team.
It’s a scenario that plays out hundreds of times every day across the United States, you need to access an upper elevation using a Mobile Elevated Work Platform but you do not know if it is legal or what the correct steps to ensure that you are legal are.
Trivent Safety Consulting is offering a 3-Day Mobil Crane Operator Workshop March 22.
This course is designed to increase the crane operator’s knowledge, skill and proficiency level through classroom and hands-on training. This is an excellent prep course for those who wish to take the NCCER National Center for Construction Education & Research written exams. The candidates for the mobile crane operator course are individuals who wish to be operator apprentices, maintenance personnel, and current operators who need to recertify or have never received formal training. This course is also excellent for supervisors of crane activities that wish to expand their knowledge base.
Course Subjects Are:
Center of Gravity
Load Weight Calculations
Gross and Net Loads
Pick and Carry Practices
Applicable Federal, State, and Provincial Regulations & Standards
Suicides in Construction Occur at Higher Rate than OSHA’s Fatal Four
Everyone is aware of the dangers of working in the construction field. Every day, workers go the job and are surrounded by hazardous conditions that could cause serious injury, or even death. Safety professionals around the world are tasked with helping ensure that workers go home each day to their friends and family, we take that responsibility seriously. But what happens when employees get home? Are they ok when they leave the job, or should we be concerned with what happens after they get home? Most people are not aware that suicides in construction occur at a higher rate than OSHA’S Fatal Four.
The construction industry is four times more likely than any other industry to lose an employee to suicide
The suicide rate in construction is 45.3/100,000 compared to the national average for other industries of 14.2/100,000. Based on these numbers, it is five times more likely that an employer will lose an employee to suicide than to what OSHA considers the fatal four: falls, electrocution, struck by, caught in/between.
Take time to educate employees about the contributing factors, signs, and prevention of suicide during National Suicide Prevention Week each year, but also throughout the year.
Suicide is the second biggest cause of death
For men between the ages of 25 and 54, suicide is the second biggest cause of death. Men in the construction industry face the additional hardship from physical activity paired with a ‘tough guy’ culture that can make it more difficult to reach out and seek help.
Stress is one of the main contributors to the decline in mental health, and it can manifest in five ways: physical, emotional, intellectual, and personal well-being. Physical symptoms can present itself as rapid weight gain or weight loss, difficulty sleeping or fatigue. Emotional stress symptoms can come from feeling incompetent and cause irritability. Intellectual symptoms are often shown through procrastination or difficulty concentrating, and personal well-being stressors can mean isolation from friends and family or a loss of sense of humor.
These types of stress can exacerbate mental health issues and lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Often, individuals choose to self-medicate and abuse both drugs and alcohol instead of seeking professional help, due in part to the stigma associated with mental health.
Stress factors common in the construction industry that can contribute to a decline in mental health:
Periods of unsteady employment depending on seasons
Chronic pain caused by manual labor
Travel which may separate workers from families and friends
Pressure to finish projects
Difficult working conditions
What resources are available
In the workplace, it is important to know what resources are available to support employees’ psychological health, and where there are gaps in the system. Learn to recognize the signs of an at-risk employee and create a supportive environment where individuals are not afraid of being reprimanded.
Be aware of the signs and behaviors that tell us we may not be functioning at our best.
Help employees develop coping skills for life’s challenges such as, stress management, parenting, conflict resolution, and anger management.
Integrate psychological safety into overall health and wellness priorities.
Conduct Toolbox Talks on psychological safety topics.
Contact your work comp provider to see what resources are available.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Line (800) 273-8255 if you or someone you know is struggling.
Make a commitment to your employees to establish and maintain a mentally healthy workplace.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – (800) 273-8255