Category: Rigging

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

chain grades
Chain has been around for over a thousand years. It is one of the most versatile and reliable ways to lift, tension and tie down materials in a variety of applications. In the past, people would use any type of chain to lift something, tie down a load or tow a vehicle. Proper inspection, safety procedures and general standards of practice for chain were lacking.

In recent years, due to safety concerns and regulations, the industry has begun to differentiate between various materials and grades of chain and the specific applications they should be used for. ASTM (American Society of Testing & Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) began to publish safety standards and regulations for the manufacturing, testing, use, inspection and repair of chain.

Chain Grades

One of the safety measures implemented was to place chain in Grades based on the ultimate breaking strength of that chain. This number is what we see today G30, G43, G70, G80 & G100 and the common chain grades. The number after each letter is N/mm2. For example, G80 means that the maximum stress on the chain at ultimate strength is 800 newtons per millimeter squared.

Working Load Limit (WLL) of Chain

The other safety measure was identifying which types of chain are appropriate and strong enough for overhead lifting. Anytime we move or lift a load it is dangerous. Moving a load along the ground has the advantage that the ground is supporting the load. We have to overcome the coefficient of friction to move the load. The chain’s working load limit does not have to match the weight of the load. It needs to be able to handle the tension applied, which is based on the surface that it is being moved over plus some fraction of the weight of the load. This can be calculated using formulas.

If we lift that same load off the ground, we now have to overcome gravity. The chain’s working load limit will have to be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the load plus any additional forces imposed by angles and hitch type(s) used.

Which Chain Grade Should Be Used for Which Type of Application?

Alloy Chain Grade 80 or Grade 100 should be used for overhead lifting. ASTM states that alloy chain shall be able to elongate a minimum of 20% before fracture (7.3.5). To ensure that alloy chain consistently meets this requirement, ASTM requires the use of certain alloying elements in the manufacturing of the steel for alloy steel chain. These alloys can vary from company to company, but some key requirements are specified by ASTM. The alloy properties also improve the wear and tear that the chain will experience.  Note that when chain is in use, no amount of stretch is allowed.

Carbon Grade 70 chain is a “heat treated” carbon steel chain that has no alloying elements added to the steel. This chain will elongate before breaking but does not have the properties needed for overhead lifting; therefore, Grade 70 chain is not intended for overhead lifting. This chain is designed for use as a tie down chain or lashing for transportation. Grade 70 chain has a gold chromate finish to help resist corrosion from continuous exposure to the elements and the rigors of highway use, such as road salts in the winter.

When any type of overhead lifting is required, use only alloy chain slings unless specified by the manufacturer.

The preferred chain for load securement is Grade 70, but any grade of chain can be used for tie downs or tensioning. You have to know your tensions in order to select the proper chain. Refer to load securement safety standards FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance), WSTDA (Web Sling Tie down Association) or the state regulations for more information.

Training is key in knowing how to properly size and use any type of chain for any application. Learn more about Columbus McKinnon training programs.

Watch our Safety Webinar on Load Securement.

Henry Brozyna
Henry Brozyna is a Product Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
#rigsafe: Promoting Safe Rigging in the Entertainment Industry

#rigsafe: Promoting Safe Rigging in the Entertainment Industry

On Friday, April 24th we celebrated #RigSafe day, an initiative started by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) to promote safe rigging in the entertainment industry. USITT asked companies to join the initiative by sharing rigging safety tips on social media under the hashtag #rigsafe.

Columbus McKinnon participated in the event, tweeting our rigging safety tips throughout the day. We received such favorable feedback on the information we shared that we wanted to share them with those of you who may have missed out!

Tip 1: Disconnect the power source.

Before removing end covers on any electric hoist, you MUST turn off and remove the electrical power from the motor. One of the most common mistakes when you’re in a rush is to make a hoist adjustment without disconnecting the power source. If you’re very lucky, you’ll just get a small electric shock, but even a little jolt can be very dangerous and cause injury.

Be sure to turn off the power and disconnect the power cable from the hoist and remember to always use proper lockout tagout procedures.

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Tip 2: Fall protection matters in the entertainment industry.

Choosing a proper harness, finding the anchorage needed and using the proper lanyard for the work area are critical. Work areas constantly change and you need the correct setup to ensure a safe environment in every work area. Take a Master Rigging class to improve your skills and work safe. Learn more: http://owl.li/M2qG7

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Tip 3: Have the proper rescue plan in place.

Without a proven and practiced rescue plan, a situation can become very complicated. If a fall were to take place, the person must be brought down in a safe and timely manner.  Once on the ground, first responders should tend to the victim, then take them to the hospital. No matter their condition, the person must be checked out by medical personnel at the hospital.

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Tip 4: It is never acceptable to choke a round polyester sling to another round sling.

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Shackles or appropriate connectors are the only acceptable method of connecting slings to one another.

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Tip 5: Inspection and maintenance of rigging systems should be one of the most important safety concerns for a rigger.

Ongoing inspection is key to safe rigging, and safe rigging starts with the manufacturer. The manufacturer will guide you on equipment application and safety practices, training and maintenance procedures. Thank you, Fernando Hernandez from the VER Rigging Division, for sharing this tip with us!

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Read more about USITT’s own rigsafe program.

Herb Hart
Herb Hart is an Area Sales Manager for Entertainment Products for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Unique Uses for CM Industrial Rigging Equipment

Unique Uses for CM Industrial Rigging Equipment

As a manufacturing and engineering company, Columbus McKinnon places high value in STEM education – education encouraging students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But, in recent years, STEM education has evolved into STEAM education, which aims to connect art to these areas of study to demonstrate how industrial products can contribute to creative artistic pursuits.

A perfect example of STEAM in a real-world application was initiated by our Channel Partner, American Crane. Artist, Janet Echelman, created an aerial art sculpture entitled “Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks” in Vancouver, Canada, that is suspended from the 24-story Fairmont Waterfront Building and the Vancouver Convention Center. Weighing more than 3,500 lbs., the sculpture is made of 145 miles of braided fiber and 860,000 hand/machine made knots.

To keep pedestrians safe as they walked below the sculpture, American Crane relied on CM Master Links and CM Master Rings. Known for their strength and durability, CM rigging products were perfect for this unique application with working loads limits ranging from 10,000 up to 86,000 lbs and a 4:1 design factor.

Without the use of heavy-duty equipment and engineering know how, such an impressive art installation would not have been safe or possible. This is just one unique example of how industrial technology contributes to making the world a more beautiful place.

A big thank you to our Channel Partner, American Crane, for sharing this unique application story with us!

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article on sling regulations originally posted in 2011. This article continues to be one of our most visited, and we feel it our duty to keep this very important safety information up to date.

sling regulationssling regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for slings:

  • 1910.184 (general industry)
  • 1915.122
  • 1915.113
  • 1915.118 (for shipyard employment)
  • 1926.251 (construction)

Effective June 8, 2011, all slings, chain, synthetic & wire rope, are required to have identification tags/labels permanently attached to them. This sling regulation applies to slings sold and used in the United States.

Historically, companies did not require wire rope slings to have permanently affixed identification tags/labels on them; it was not required per OSHA 1910.184. This has since changed. Tags/labels are now required.

Also, original load capacity tables found in the OSHA standards were based on information found in ASME B30.9 dating back to 1971.  New tables reflect the current industry standards for working load limits for slings, chain, and synthetic or wire rope.

Changes include:

  • All load charts for slings have been updated to current industry standards.
  • All slings, regardless if made of chain, wire rope or synthetic, must be marked with a tag/label. Now only properly tagged/labeled slings can be used.
  • Slings with detached tags/labels must be removed from service until new tags/labels can be permanently reattached.

To view the OSHA changes made in 2011 in its entirety or to download a copy click here.

For information on rigging training, please click here

Henry Brozyna
Henry Brozyna is a Product Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

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Joe, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “Does welding spatter warrant the replacement of a chain?”

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers:
Yes, weld spatter does warrant chain replacement. Weld spatter should be considered as heat damage. Because hoist chain is heat treated, any heat 410 degrees F and up could have an effect on the chain’s integrity. Weld splatter is molten metal at temperatures above 2,000 degrees. When it comes into contact with the chain, weld spatter adversely affects the heat treat properties of the link or links and the chain must be replaced.

To learn more about hoist chain inspection & lubrication, we encourage you watch the following safety webinars:

Hoist Chain Inspection and Maintenance
Hoist Chain Lubrication: Why is it so important?

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Do Chain Slings Need to Be Load Tested After a Repair Has Been Performed?

Do Chain Slings Need to Be Load Tested After a Repair Has Been Performed?

Chain SlingXavier, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor, asks the following question:
“I am doing some research on the guidelines and laws concerning repairs made to chain slings. I found some very conflicting information from OSHA and ASME. To summarize, ASME states that chain slings do not need to be load tested after a repair has been performed. OSHA says that new and repaired chain slings must be load tested before being returned to service. I was hoping to get your opinion and maybe Columbus McKinnon’s official stance on this issue.“

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager, answers:
Thank you for reaching out to us with your concern. This is a great question. If the chain is a welded assembly (only certain companies are authorized to do this) and a welded link was repaired, then the sling needs to be load tested. If the sling is made up of mechanical components and those components have been individually load tested by the manufacturer, no load test needs to be done.

For example, I have a single-leg sling and I replace the top oblong link. The oblong link is connected with a mechanical coupler, such as a Hammerlok, and has been tested by the manufacturer. Under these conditions, I do not have to load test the sling, but I would recommend inspecting the sling, link by link, to be sure all components are safe to use per ASME B30.9 and OSHA 1910.184.

For additional information, check out our Chain Sling Inspection Safety Webinar or our new Rigging Catalog.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
A Chain Sling Question from the Mining Industry

A Chain Sling Question from the Mining Industry

Chain Inspection photoHere is a question from Adam, a mobile crane operator working in the mining industry, who regards proper rigging equipment and practices as a major safety priority:

“We have a 1-inch GR80 chain sling, 30 feet in length that is around ten years old and in good condition, although there is inner link wear throughout the sling at its bearing points. The narrowest measurement in link diameter at any point was .945″, which is well away from removal criteria. No components in the sling show any evidence of a stretch condition, and the sling has not been subjected to overload to the best of our knowledge, though I cannot guarantee that.

“The reach of the sling is approximately four inches longer than its tag indicates. According to my calculations, this stretch is due to the contact wear in each link. The chain moves freely and there is no binding or restriction of movement. Is this legitimate? If so, does the tag need to be replaced or modified to indicate its current length? Our inspections have always been completed by a company assigned employee.”

Response from Peter Cooke, training manager:

Thank you for reaching out to us. For your reference, I have included a section on alloy rigging chain inspection from our Columbus McKinnon rigging catalog here. Be sure to do a link-by-link inspection and follow the rejection criteria from OSHA 1910.184 and ASME B30.9. Be sure there are no stretched links. Reference the “Allowable Chain Wear Allowance tables” from the manufacturer and ASME B30.9.

Not knowing your exact configuration, I will use a standard DOS 1-inch grade 80 x 30’ reach sling as an example. If we just isolated the chain (taking out the master link, coupling links and hooks) you have approximately 106 links of chain. If you determined the minimum thickness to be 0.945” at the bearing points, that is approx. 0.055” of wear from the nominal dimension. 1” grade 80 chain has a pitch length of approx. 3.07” (dimension from the top inner link radius to the lower inner link radius) Let’s assume that wear occurred at both ends of the chain link. The pitch length would increase by 0.11”. Over the entire chain length you could see an increase in reach of approx. 11.66” (0.11” x 106 = 11.66”)

As long as there are no stretched links or deformation this would be acceptable. There is no rejection criteria for reach other than stretch. Wear is not stretch.

There is also no statement in 1910.184 and ASME B30.9 to replace the tag in this event with the correct reach.

A good practice would be to retag the sling with the current reach. The new tag would be considered a repair so your company’s name or initials would have to be on the tag. A load test would not be required. Lastly, lubricating the chain is an excellent way to minimize wear.

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
A Day in the Life of CMCO University

A Day in the Life of CMCO University

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Working for Columbus McKinnon for the last fifteen years, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of great people and products. Wanting to get a bit more hands-on experience with CMCO hoists and rigging products, I recently completed our CMCO University course at our Niagara Training Center and am more motivated than ever about who we are as a company and what we do.

CMCO University is a training that we offer to educate our Channel Partners and Distributors on the fundamentals of our hoist and rigging products. Being on the marketing end of things, I am the messenger of our product and safety messages, so it was nice to have some hands-on time to explore the products that I speak about on a daily basis across our social media channels.

The class was packed with great information presented by various experts on our team. I truly enjoy listening to our product managers and trainers who are so passionate about what they do.

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Corporate Trainer, Henry Brozyna, teaching students about rigging.

There were three highlights to my week at CMCO University:

  • Getting to meet our Channel Partners and learn about their daily challenges. I heard many great stories about applications in the field and how our products are used on a daily basis along with excellent application-specific questions.
  • Being inspired by our Product Managers and Trainers, particularly Henry Brozyna. I felt like I received a class in Rigging 101. His passion and enthusiasm for what he teaches really came through. I was impressed (and humbled) to learn how extensive the options are for everything “rigging” and the considerations that need to be made before making a product decision.
  • What stood out most to me was the hands-on product experience, particularly with the 360 degree rotation of our CM Hurricane 360° hand chain hoist. I have seen the video demonstrating its competitive advantages at least 100 times, but using it in person in this drifting application made me a real advocate of its benefits. (Click here to see it in action!) I think that our participants will agree – nothing beats hands-on experiences when it comes to learning.

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If you want to learn more about Using Hand-Chain Operated Hoists (Chainfalls) at an Angle, plan to join our upcoming safety webinar this Friday. I will be hosting our live event and it would be great to meet you there!

Aside from all of the learning that took place, we still had time to see the sights of Buffalo and the Niagara region and get to know our fellow classmates better. CMCO University was a great experience for me and the other attendees and I encourage you and your teams to attend as well. It is a great investment that will pay significant dividends for your business and your own development as a material handling professional.

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Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Resources for Rigging Safety at your Fingertips

Resources for Rigging Safety at your Fingertips

Many of you work with chain and rigging equipment every day; that’s why Columbus McKinnon works hard to promote the safe and proper use of all rigging products regardless of industry or application. Relying on 139 years of experience in the material handling industry, we’re continually striving to expand and improve our comprehensive offering of rigging training and product resources to help you do your job efficiently and safely. These tools are easy to access and available to you whenever you need them, whether you’re in the office or out in the field.

Rigging Catlog

The Ultimate Rigging Resource
Rigging equipment end-users need information on the proper selection, use and care of rigging products, as well as insight on application and industry requirements. We took all of this information and combined it into one world-class resource – the CM Chain and Rigging Attachments Catalog.

This catalog was a major collaborative effort between our product, application, industry and training teams with feedback from a number of our Channel Partners and end users. It’s more than just a product catalog; it’s the ultimate rigging resource.

To order copies of our new Chain and Rigging Attachments Catalog, fill out our online form or contact CMCO customer service at 1-800-888-0985. You can also download a copy of the new catalog on our website.

Free Safety Webinars
Since their inception in early 2014, our monthly safety webinars have been a tremendous success. These webinars are not sales pitches. These 1/2 hour educational webinars cover safety best practices that you can use everyday. From pre-operational hoist inspection to determining the center of gravity when rigging a load, these free webinars have something for everyone.

Some of our most popular rigging safety webinars include:

If you ever miss one, don’t worry they’re recorded and available online on our YouTube Channel.

Classroom & Hands-On Safety Training

CMCO Training Class

Columbus McKinnon offers classroom and hands-on rigging training from basic to advanced. Our team of full-time instructors are material handling product and safety professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in the industry. Like our safety webinars, these courses are not sales pitches; they are intense learning experiences that leave attendees with the knowledge and experience they need to safely select, use, inspect and repair overhead cranes, hoists and rigging equipment on a day-to-day basis.

Visit us at www.cmworks.com/training for more information and a complete training schedule.

In-Stock Guarantee (ISG)
In addition to training, we also work hard to ensure our rigging products get to you fast, so you have them when you need them. With that in mind, we are continually expanding our In-Stock Guarantee to ensure shipment of our most popular hoists, chain and rigging products in three days or less. Currently more than 275 products are available through our In-Stock Guarantee.

Product Improvements
We have also made a number of significant product improvements to our rigging portfolio. For example, our shackles now have enhanced markings as well as a new pin design for increased operator safety. We have also expanded our selection of dual-rated rigging products to help customers reduce and better manage their inventory.

Professional riggers, maintenance workers, plant engineers and safety specialists rely on us for knowledge and expertise on material handling products and use – and we hope you do too, using the variety of resources made available to you by Columbus McKinnon.

This article was originally published on June 6, 2013 and was updated with new content on September 26, 2014.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Taking Entertainment Rigging Training to New Heights

Taking Entertainment Rigging Training to New Heights

 

1 outdoor trusstilson rope skills

In the entertainment industry, rigging can be both a challenging and dangerous task. To help provide entertainment professionals with hands-on rigging experience, Robert Lannon of RPL Building Services, LLC, kicked off his first Rigging Climbing Camp in June of this year. Sponsored by Atlanta Rigging Systems and held at Southeastern Rope Access Training Facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, the three-day course was designed to teach basic climbing, rigging and aerial platform operation to entertainment professionals to prepare them for real-world rigging scenarios.

“Most of the riggers I know had no training whatsoever the first time they stepped out on a beam, pulled a point or drove a lift,” said Dave Gittens of Atlanta Rigging Systems. “The first place a rigger performs any of those tasks should not be in an arena roof structure. That was the motivation for this class.”

Twelve entertainment professionals attended the camp, including myself and CMCO’s Entertainment Business Development Specialist, Jennifer O’Leary. We kicked off the training by first discussing personal protective equipment, including harnesses, lanyards and helmets, as well as fall protection, structure climbing and beam walking. We also learned rope access techniques, including ascending, changeovers, descending and edge negotiations.

Other critical skills covered during the hands-on training included:

  • Utilizing motor control systems
  • Moving trusses
  • Rope management
  • Rescue pick offs from a structure
  • Aerial platform operation, including scissor and boom lifts

Using a 30 foot truss supplied by Atlanta Rigging, we pulled together everything we learned to conduct beam walks, climb a wire rope ladder, use horizontal life lines and rappel from the top of the structure. As we got more comfortable navigating the structure, product and tasks, you could see everyone push themselves and gain confidence in their skills.

Columbus McKinnon rigging training is a perfect complement to Rigging Climbing Camp, educating attendees on rigging fundamentals, safety practices, regulations and inspection techniques. When paired with the hands-on experience provided by the Rigging Climbing Camp, entertainment professionals will have a well-rounded understanding of proper rigging practices as well as real-life rigging situations and challenges encountered at entertainment venues.

To see our full selection of material handling products for the entertainment industry, visit www.cm-et.com.

Ken Tilson
Ken Tilson is our Entertainment Vertical Market Specialist at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.