Proper selection and specification of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware is always essential to safe overhead lifting, but in no environment is this more critical than on offshore oil and gas facilities.

In offshore oil and gas applications, there is a higher potential for flammable gases to be present. Therefore it is extremely important that proper safety precautions are taken to protect workers aboard these vessels and prevent equipment damage. It is important that the individuals responsible for specifying and purchasing material handling equipment for use in these environments can properly identify any hazardous locations or areas per the U.S. National Electric Code (NFPA 70), IEC Standard 60079, and other applicable local, national and international standards to ensure compliance with these regulations and safe operation. Additionally, the use of mechanically spark-resistant materials should be strongly considered, although these materials are not specifically addressed within many of the referenced standards.

In the absence of a definitive industry standard specifying what constitutes spark-resistant construction for hoists and cranes, it is frequently left to the knowledge and discretion of the seller to determine what materials will be used unless the purchaser designates specific requirements. If not clearly defined in the bid specification, the product and spark-resistant features provided often depend on the sourcing channels utilized by the end user.

Columbus McKinnon manufactures many products specifically designed for applications that require spark-resistant features. Our diverse, made in-America portfolio of hoists and trolleys are built to suit, rather than a mass produced “one size fits all” approach. Many of the products lend themselves to modification and substitution of materials that allows us to configure our hoists and trolleys to the specific application.

  • Chester Hoist products utilize solid spark-resistant materials such as bronze hooks, trolley wheels and brake ratchets as well as stainless steel load chain, hand chain and hook latches. In some cases it is necessary to use nickel-diffused chains or copper-plated hooks due to headroom constraints or to reduce costs for equipment that will be used infrequently or in temporary applications. In these cases, Chester also can provide plated components to reduce costs. For equipment that is relied on heavily and is required to maintain spark and corrosion-resistant qualities for the life of the equipment, we actively promote the lasting protection of solid spark and corrosion-resistant materials rather than plated components. 
Explosion Proof Cable King Hoist
Explosion Proof Global King Hoist

 

 

  • Yale Cable King wire rope hoists can be supplied in a wide range of capacities, lifting speeds and configurations with both spark and explosion resistance. The Cable King is  available in a spark-resistant pneumatic model and an explosion-proof electric model, for Class 1, Division 1 or 2, Group C & D; and Class 2, Division 1 or 2, Group E, F & G.

Special consideration should also be given to the environmental conditions at the work site, including temperature extremes, humidity, corrosive atmospheres and the potential for dynamic loading due to vessel motion. Special materials, testing, material certifications and design modifications may be required to ensure safe operation and minimal down time of lifting equipment. Additional factors such as headroom clearance, end approach, frequency of use and the availability of utilities (electricity, compressed air) must also be considered.

Reading and understanding applicable safety standards and consulting with experienced and reputable manufacturers are two important steps in ensuring operator and facility safety when selecting hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore applications.

Interested in learning more about Explosion Proof vs. Spark Resistant Hoists?
Check out our recent Safety Webinar.

Columbus McKinnon is a leading designer and manufacturer of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore environments. With a long history in the industry, we have years of experience working on offshore applications, their unique challenges  and specifying the best products suited to harsh environments. Our Chester and Yale products have been used in these applications for decades and are relied on by end users around the world.

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Chain slings are a combination of chain, hooks, rings and other attachments used primarily for overhead lifting applications. Slings are often used in conjunction with cranes and other lifting devices and allow riggers to create custom configurations to lift loads depending on the needs of that specific application.

Standard chain sling configurations consist of chain branches that are affixed on one end to a master link or ring with some type of attachment. When building a sling, ASME, NACM and OSHA recommend that only alloy steel chain is used. Columbus McKinnon’s Herc-Alloy chain, available in Grades 80 and 100, is made of superior triple alloy steel and is a strong and durable option for building chain slings.

All chain slings should come with a metal identification tag that is affixed to the chain. The tag should include the following information: sling size, reach, working load limit, serial number, manufacturer name, grade of sling and number of branches.

How to Select the Proper Chain Sling
When choosing a chain sling there are a few things to consider:

  1. Weight and configuration of the load(s) to be lifted
  2. Type of chain sling required, according to weight and configuration
  3. Size of the body chain according to the working load limits. Be sure to take into consideration the effect of the required angle (see information below).
  4. Reach required to give the desired angle. This is measured from the upper bearing surface of the master link to the bearing surface of the lower attachment.
  5. The share of load on pick points and location of the center of gravity

What Determines a Sling’s Working Load Limit?
The working load limit indicates the maximum load that should be applied to the sling and should never be exceeded during use to ensure operator safety.

Sling working load limits are determined by the following:

  • Type of hitch
  • Material strength
  • Design factor
  • Diameter of curvature (D/d)
  • Angle of loading

The working load limit of a sling can also be affected by the conditions the sling is used in. For example, rapidly applying a load can produce dangerous overloading conditions. Also, the twisting and knotting of links or sling components can decrease a sling’s working load limit. Environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures, can affect the working load limit of a sling as well.

Since slings are most often used at an angle, let’s review an example of how angle of loading affects a sling’s working load limit. In the diagram below, the percentages shown represent the maximum working load limit of the sling when used at the designated angle. In some instances the working load limit of the chain is reduced to 50%!

For example: One 3/8″ Grade 80 double sling used at 90˚ would have a working load limit of 2 times the working load of a 3/8″ Grade 80 single or 2 x 7, 100 lbs. = 14,200 lbs.

The same double sling used at 35º would have a maximum working load limit of 57% of 14,200 lbs. or .57 x 14,200 lbs. = 8,094 lbs.

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For another example of how the angle of use can affect the working load limit of a chain sling, check out this past blog post: What is the working load limit of a 2 legged chain sling?

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection

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Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

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Is there anyone out there who’s having to do more with less? Do you have a large inventory to manage or equipment to inspect, and all of it requiring thorough documentation to comply with regulations? Are you having a difficult time finding a good inspector or ensuring your inspectors are doing a quality job? Well [...]

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CM Cyclone is Hoist of Choice for Chimney Construction Project

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At Columbus McKinnon, we always enjoy seeing how our products are used in the industries we serve.  So when this application photo (above) from a construction site featuring our products crossed our path, we had to share it. This photo shows 70 of our CM Cyclone hand chain hoists being used for the construction of a [...]

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CMCO University is off to a great start!

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Last month Columbus McKinnon kicked off its inaugural session of CMCO University with great success. More than 15 distributor associates from across the country came to our  Niagara Training Center in Tonawanda, N.Y.,  to “Profit from Knowledge,” learning detailed information about our products and how to best sell and position them in the marketplace. CMCO’s Niagara Training [...]

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