Category: Training

A Safe New Year in 2013

A Safe New Year in 2013

As we start out in 2013, here are some New Year’s Resolutions to be made by employees who want to have a safe year: Happy New Year 2013!

I vow to come into work ready for a safe day. I will be clear headed and ready to focus on my work with a positive attitude. I will be aware that there are risks and hazards in my workplace that I can control. I will take responsibility for my safety. I will look forward to going home at the end of the day without an injury.

I will take a moment for safety whenever I start a new task during the day. I will ask myself: Do I have the right tools? Have I checked the equipment properly before using it? Is the equipment set up to reduce any muscle strain on my body?

I will be responsible for the housekeeping in my area. I will make certain that the housekeeping in my work area allows me to do my job safely. I will not leave tools on stairs or on walking surfaces. I will maintain space for movement in the aisles.

I will take control of my safety by reporting any unsafe conditions to my supervisor. I will ask what is going to be done about the unsafe condition. If it is not corrected in a timely fashion, I will also report my concern to a member of my safety team for follow up.

I will wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment. I will wear my safety glasses with side shields in all designated areas. If a respirator, hardhat or hearing protection is required in an area or for a task, I will make certain that I wear the additional protection at all times.

I will use the right tool for the job. I will carry my tools to do the work over to the job so I am not tempted to grab the nearest object and use it. I will inspect my tools before use and not use tools in poor condition. I will clean up and put back my tools after each job so I know where to find them.

I will check my equipment for safe and proper operation before use. I will perform a walk-around and steering and brake check every time I get on a forklift. I will not use a piece of machinery that does not have the safety features in place and working.

I will lock out all equipment before I put my hands or body into an operating piece of machinery. I will carry my lock with me at all times so I can lock out equipment. If I have a question on a lock out procedure, I will ask a supervisor. I will test the equipment that I have locked out to make certain that it is off.

I will be aware of protecting my back and other muscles. I will stretch before jobs and periodically during the work day. I will look at positioning myself to avoid muscle strain and fatigue. I will determine if a piece of equipment can do the job better than putting strain on my body.

I will handle myself safely not only on the job but at home. I will wear my seat belt while driving. I will wear the same protective equipment for tasks at home that would be required at work. I will check my home and arrange to have unsafe conditions repaired.

This post was written by Peg Simons, former Corporate Health & Safety Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.


CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training


For over 30 years, CM-ET has been conducting this 1-day motor class to help familiarize entertainment technicians and riggers on safe and proper general maintenance and repair of the CM-ET Lodestar. Starting today, this popular class is available online!

Get trained today!
Students can expect the same level of information they would get if they attended one of our hands-on classes at our Training Centers, but without the inconvenience and expense of traveling. Get trained online and learn at your pace and on your own schedule.

Who should take the class?
This is a great course for beginners or anyone needing a refresher. For those individuals looking to take the more advanced hands-on CM-ET Motor Certification Technician course, this class is the perfect place to start.

Course Overview
This online course walks students through the disassembly of the classic model “L” CM-ET Lodestar.  Topics include:

  • Function and inspection of key components
  • Adjusting limit switches
  • Inspecting and adjusting the brake
  • Understanding CMCO specifications
    and inspection requirements
  • Types of proper documentation
  • Understanding basic electricity and wiring diagrams
  • Performing a Load Test
  • General maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting

Testing & Completion
Throughout the training, students will be tested on the material covered. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Certificate of Training.

Get Trained Today!

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

CM-ET Mega School

We love to talk about our entertainment training. We believe in teaching people how to be safer in their work environments. As much as I enjoy hearing stories from our training team, what gives me even greater pleasure is hearing this same enthusiasm echoed from one of our attendees.

Bart Wells from Cory’s Audio Visual Services recently attended our CM Entertainment Mega School. We hosted 45 attendees for 5 days together with instructors from across the country. Bart’s comments really grabbed my attention. But rather than me tell the story, I will let Bart do it himself:

CM-ET Mega SchoolIf you have ever considered attending a manufacturer hosted workshop or training seminar then you know that you run the risk of signing up for a ‘Sales Pitch’ with some education tossed in. Rest assured that if you attended the CM Entertainment Mega School – a 5-day hoist, truss, and rigging seminar – it is 100% education without any ‘selling’ going on the entire week.

“The week begins with a 2-day intensive ‘dive’ into the Lodestar electric chain hoist. Dave Carmack walks you, step by step, through every moving and electrical part of the hoist. Dave’s intimate knowledge of the hoist’s design, engineering and construction make it easy for him to demystify the hoist and allow every student to feel comfortable pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

“With the Road Technician Certification Class (RTC Class) the end of the second day brings an exam. If you passed, you will be rewarded with a CM certification identifying you as a qualified CM Motor Technician. This IS NOT a “gimme” course with a certification that is guaranteed just because you attend. The test is difficult and people do fail. But if you pay attention you will get all the information you need to pass from Dave.

“Day 3 covers truss theory and safe working practices with truss, taught by the president of James Thomas Engineering, Tray Allen.

“Days 4 and 5
are a formula filled frenzy of safe rigging practices, fall protection and rigging calculations. Eric Rouse shares his knowledge of theatrical and aerial rigging while easily relating it to the arena environment as well. His honest approach to safe and practical rigging practices provides the understanding that we are responsible for knowing our craft and keeping ourselves and our peers safe.

“Perhaps the most exciting part of the course is the math. Eric presents the most common formulas that are used in calculating bridal lengths as well as being able to provide load, force and tension calculations for any scenario. This overview provides attendees with the tools to not only “know” that something is safe, but to be able to back it up with numbers.

“In the end the CM Entertainment Mega School is truly a week of education. The instructors are working members of the industry, not salesmen. If you come to the course with the intention of learning 5 new things, you will leave the course with a great deal more than you ever expected. Do not miss the opportunity to become a better, safer and more educated member of the entertainment industry. Attend a CM-ET Mega School this year.”

Barton Wells
Cory’s Audio Visual Services

Helpful CM Entertainment Links:
The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share
What is Wrong with this Entertainment Application?
CM Entertainment Website
CM Entertainment on Twitter

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

The 2012 National Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) conference was held in Anaheim, California this month.  The conference consisted of industry leading companies that are involved in voluntary protection programs from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Energy (DOE) or other government agencies. These agencies are responsible for developing and implementing cooperative recognition programs. During the conference, Columbus McKinnon had the opportunity to present a workshop on Rigging Gear Safety Inspections.  

Everyone came together for networking and education.

VPPPA conference participants  included health and safety managers, employee safety team members, industrial hygienists, union representatives, consultants, environmental health specialists, human resource managers and government agency representatives from OSHA and the DOE.

The VPPPA Conference allows workers to have a voice.

The VPPPA has grown and diversified itself since its inception in 1982, continuously adding members and addressing newly identified safety and health issues. Columbus McKinnon is a proud member and supporter of the VPPPA and its mission. The conference allows workers to have a voice and presents the tools to improve their workplace, become more efficient, and save money each year. The conference provided an educational experience that exceeded our expectations. Over the course of 3 days an estimated 200 workshops were conducted. The workshops, open to all attendees, gave workers the opportunity to learn or improve their knowledge of safety and health issues. They are conducted by industry professionals proficient in a particular subject manner. Presentations were followed up by a Q & A session.

Columbus McKinnon is recognized as an industry leader in material handling manufacturing, but did you know Columbus McKinnon is also a leader in material handling safety? We conducted a Rigging Gear Safety Inspection workshop at the VPPPA. Our hands-on workshop identified potential hazards in the manufacturing, construction and entertainment industries. Common misused material handling gear such as slings, shackles, wire rope, and below the hook lifters were discussed.

We take material handling seriously.

Columbus McKinnon offers material handling safety training in various full-day courses to allow workers to participate in a hands-on experience. Workers can get their questions answered by industry professionals. The experience and the knowledge gained through our training courses allows companies to improve safety in their workplace and become more efficient. Click here to learn more.

Did you attend the VPPPA conference?  If so, what did you learn? What inspired you the most? Please share your experiences with us in our comments section.

Chris Zgoda

Chris Zgoda is a Corporate Trainer for Columbus McKinnon.

IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

Oil & Gas

Over the summer I had the opportunity to share a Hoist Safety presentation at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) conference in Lafayette, Louisiana. Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is three-fold: to advance drilling and completion technology; improve industry health, safety, environmental and training practices; and champion sensible regulations and legislation which facilitate safe and efficient drilling. Membership is open to any company involved in oil and gas exploration, drilling or production, well servicing, oil field manufacturing or other rig-site services.

The meeting focused on training and competency.

A group called the Offshore Lifting Safety Data Workgroup (OLSDW) formed in 2009 analyzed lifting data/incidents on the outer continental shelf. They looked at data from 2007 – 2011. From this data they concluded that the majority of the injuries were happening from human error. Incidents occurred when individuals came in contact with the load or loads shifted. The OLSDW is recommending that more emphasis be placed on proper rigging training. The focus is to ensure that riggers are following proper procedures.

How do we measure competency?

IADC presenters asked a very important question. “How do we measure competency?”
A  member stated “…a person can be very competent up to or until they have an incident.”  Even though the individual may be well trained, they may have made a bad decision or choice on that given day or time period. Training is important, but it represents only one aspect of competency.

Hercules Offshore put things into perspective when they showed an engaging video. The video showed a family man who was very aware of safety and even taught his son safe practices at home. When he arrives at work, he is tired from a poor night’s sleep. He finds out he did not get promoted. One of his crew team members is sick but is working through it. Some of the guys are not taking the morning safety briefing seriously and joking around. The supervisor comes in and tells them there is a rush to get a job done and to get back to work immediately.

Three Outcomes

As these daily distractions happen, the focus is no longer on the job task at hand. Suddenly, there is an accident. The video shows three outcomes.

1. In the first outcome, the family man dies. His family is devastated. A wife is without her husband, depressed and not able to engage with her son who is also equally depressed. Their lives are ruined.

2. In the second outcome, the man severly injures his arm. When he arrives home from the hospital, he is addicted to pain medicine and depressed. He no longer engages with his family. His marriage is falling apart. Their lives are seriously impacted.

3. The third outcome shows what happens when the job was done properly and everyone stayed competent. The man arrives back home safely. Life is normal. This outcome is what is expected and should happen every day.

Think about your own state of mind or physical condition.

Many of us drive cars. How many times have we been tired, angry, upset, sick and should not have been behind the wheel or just simply driving bad at a given time? I sure many of you reading this message agree.

Managers, supervisors and employees need to spot or recognize times where distractions can lead to incompetency from competent people. Proper training, procedures and checks can help minimize the risks. We need to be more aware of our surroundings. Not just site hazards but also be aware of ourselves and the people we work with.

IADC is working to develop worldwide competency guidelines.

IADC has started a challenging project to develop worldwide competency guidelines for virtually all rig positions for the oil field. The American Petroleum Institute, (API) is also taking this seriously. They are revamping their API RP 2D to address training for lifting operations. The 7th addition, expected to be completed and out for balloting by January 2013, will revolve around training required for personnel that are involved with lifting operations. (crane operators, inspectors and riggers.) There will be more emphasis on “hands on” training and the demonstration of competencies.

Columbus McKinnon has a “hands on” rigging training program called the Qualified Rigger Workshop. This 3 day course is 50% lecture and 50% hands-on. Students are tested with (2) written tests and hands-on exercises to demonstrate competency. A third party rigging certification (level 1 basic or level 2 advanced) through Crane Institute Certification is offered as an option on the 4th day.

Invest the time to get the training that you need. Be aware of your surroundings. Be safe.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

ASME B30.11 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard, B30.11 has another chapter.  Revised in 2010, the most apparent change is the addition of Chapter 11-4, “Maintenance Training and Maintenance.”

ASME B30.11-4.1 states:

Maintenance training shall be provided to promote proficient adjustments, repairs, and replacements on crane and monorail systems….”

This added chapter includes requirements for not only underhung crane and monorail maintenance training, but for certification as an underhung crane and monorail maintenance person.  Certification is required for all persons who maintain and/or service monorails and underhung cranes. Are you and your underhung crane and monorail maintenance personnel trained and certified?

If your answer is “no” and you are interested in becoming certified, here are some classes that may interest you:

CMCO Chain Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Wire Rope Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Overhead Crane & Hoist Inspection Certification
Overhead Crane and Hoist Frequent/Monthly inspection

For additional reference, check our other ASME blog post:  The Latest ASME Updates

Tom Reardon

Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Columbus McKinnon Opens New Training Center

Columbus McKinnon Opens New Training Center

plate lifting

hoist testing

Columbus McKinnon has opened its newest state-of-the-art training facility in Tonawanda, NY. Over the past few months, our training team has been renovating Columbus McKinnon’s previous headquarters(most recently the LodeRail production plant) in Tonawanda, NY into a new training center. This facility now holds certification classes and training courses featuring a combination of classroom and hands-on learning.

Here is an overview of the classes we will be offering in 2012:

By expanding its training offering, Columbus McKinnon now allows distributors and users the opportunity to learn in a controlled environment built for comprehensive training. Our training programs are designed to increase workplace productivity while emphasizing ergonomics and worker safety. For more information on available classes, please visit us at

This post was written by Joshua Karczewski, former Distributor Marketing & Product Launch Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Entertainment Technology and the Business of the Arts

Entertainment Technology and the Business of the Arts

Business of the Arts

In today’s challenging economy where competition is fierce in almost every market, it is important to concentrate efforts in areas that some observers may classify as “non-traditional.” One of these areas is the business of the Arts. By continuing to stay on the cutting edge of entertainment technology, and with hard work and innovation, we are striving to satisfy the wide-ranging needs of the Arts industry.

The Entertainment Innovation Conference began three years ago by bringing together major players in the Arts business. Through the efforts of Cirque du Soleil, Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, University of North Carolina School for the Arts (UNCSA), and the Technical Partners (Stage Technologies, Coolux, Vari-lite and Meyer Sound), the conference is now a resounding success. The program, particularly due to the dedication of Cirque du Soleil and UNCSA, has raised the bar for other training programs such as USITT Elite.

For the second year, CM-ET partnered with eight other organizations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with one goal in mind; to help to build a stronger and brighter future for participants in the entertainment industry. More than 300 participants from seven states attended the conference this year, with students arriving from as far away as Arizona. Students were taught subjects ranging from Stage Management to Hoist Repair, Stage and Sound Design, Props and Rigging to proper use of all equipment from a professional and practical point of view.

“This is a big deal in higher education” said Joe Tilford, the Dean of UNCSA’s School of Design and Production. “This is like MIT partnering with some big technology group. This is a game-changer in higher education and the entertainment field.”

“Our students have an amazing level of dedication. When you have 50 freshmen who have already confirmed a major, that’s just amazing,” says Dennis Booth, Assistant Dean – Scenic Technology Faculty. “On top of that we have a graduation to employment ratio of 98.9%.”

Jonathan Robertson, a freshman at UNCSA says, “This is great! Nowhere else will you ever be exposed to the variety of talent and professionalism that we are experiencing this weekend. What I am taking away is priceless.”

No other industry is willing to share like the Arts. It is not a job, it is a passion.

Bridget Van Dyke, third year student at UNCSA says, “This is a valuable educational opportunity for students from UNCSA and around the Southeast. Hands-on workshops covering all aspects of the entertainment industry give us practical opportunities to apply classroom knowledge alongside industry professionals.

Year after year I am amazed by the energy the presenters bring! UNCSA students are known for being passionate and driven, but it’s refreshing to see how that enthusiasm is reflected in the presenters, and their eagerness to connect with the students and learn from them in return.”

Click here to learn more about CM Entertainment Technology.

Dave Carmack

Dave is a Product Trainer for our CM Entertainment Division. Other credentials include being an ETCP Recognized Trainer & IATSE TTF Recommended Trainer.