Tag: rigging safety

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

Over the past few years, our forging operations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been working vigorously to improve product quality and deliveries. As you have seen with our In-Stock Guarantee, we remain committed to manufacturing the highest quality products in the market, stocking over 275 of our most popular chain and forged rigging attachment products and guaranteeing to ship them in 3 business days.

As part of this commitment to quality, we implemented some changes that resulted in even higher quality shackles. These changes include larger CM shackle markings and a new shackle pin design.

CM shackle markings

Enhanced Shackle Identification Markings

The forged identification markings on our CM shackles are now the largest and most user-friendly on the market.  The lettering has draft and rounded edges for use with synthetics. Some of the benefits of the larger and more legible lettering are:

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Size
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Size

Improved operator safety by reducing the risk of users misreading or not being able to read important size and WLL information.

Reduction in replacement costs by decreasing necessary out-of-service issues due to worn and illegible identification.

Easier identification of the product as a CM shackle with a larger CM logo forged into the side.

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Logo
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Logo

New Pins

We have also changed the shackle pins on our Screw Pin Anchor shackles (SPA) to provide more efficient thread fitting inside and outside of the shackle.

CM shackle marking
New High Strength Pin

Both the enhanced ID markings and the new pins are now on all shackles we ship today. We will continue to look for even more ways to improve the safety and durability of our shackles, to ensure we are providing the highest quality products to our customers.

This article was originally posted on June 13, 2013. Updates were made on April 6, 2017 to keep our information current.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

popular blog posts of 2016As we look back at 2016 and are busy planning for 2017, it’s interesting to see which of our blog topics were the most popular with our readers last year. With all of our blog posts, we look to provide you with valuable information to help keep you safe and make your job easier. We want to address your hottest questions, share interesting and unique application stories and offer how-to videos and tips that you can use in your day-to-day jobs.

We received a lot of comments and views on our stories and we are thrilled with your response!

So without further delay, here is the list of our top 10 most read Columbus McKinnon blog posts for 2016:

1. Forging vs. Casting: Which is Better?
2. Understanding the Difference Between Chain Grades and How They are Used
3. Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles
4. OSHA Update: Facts About the New Sling Regulations
5. The Low-Down on Chain Tie Downs
6. Should a Warning Device be Continuously on When the Bridge Crane is Traveling?
7. Does your Overhead Crane Meet OSHA Regulations?
8. Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know
9. Shackle Markings, Materials and Appropriate Standards
10. Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems

While we’re at it, we thought we would share our most popular Safety Webinar ever. You can check it out here:

This is just one of the many safety webinars that we have presented over the last few years. If you are interested in receiving notifications for future safety webinars, you can subscribe here.

We want to take this time to thank you for reading our blog and sharing its messages across your various social media channels. Whether you’re a distributor or end user, we are grateful for all of your interest in our products and services. We look forward to connecting with you in 2017.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles

Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles

shackles

Shackles are used every day in a variety of rigging and load securement applications. Before you use a shackle, there are nine important rules to keep in mind.

Rule 1:

When making a sling, attach multiple sling legs to the bow, not the pin. Attaching legs to the pin can damage and weaken the sling.

Rule 2:

When point loading shackle to shackle, connect bow to bow or bow to pin. Never connect pin to pin.

Rule 3:

Do not side load “D” shaped shackles such as chain shackles or long reach shackles. These shackles are designed and rated for in-line applied tension. Therefore, the center line of the load should coincide with the center line of the shackle. Anchor body style shackles (screw pin style, as pictured above, or bolt nut cotter anchor body style) can be side loaded. Always refer to reductions in rating charts when performing this type of rigging.

Rule 4:

When securing a load, the bow of the shackle should be put into the running side of a choke.

Rule 5:

When using a shackle with wire rope, the shackle must be equal to or larger than the wire rope diameter.

Rule 6:

If using a shackle with synthetic slings, ensure the shackle is big enough to avoid pinching or binding the sling.

Rule 7:

Shackles should not be subjected to high or low temperatures that could affect thermal treatment and the strength of the shackle.  -4 degrees F to 400 degrees F is the operating range for full working load limit.

Rule 8:

Always ensure shackle pins are properly engaged. Screw pin shackles need to have threads fully engaged on the shackle ear. (The pin should be flush with the outside of the shackle body or slightly past). The pin head should make contact with the shackle body. Bolt nut and cotter shackles need to have the bolt and nut properly secured with the cotter pin attached.

Rule 9:

Use bolt nut cotter anchor style shackles, if shackles will remain in place as a semi-permanent application or if they will be suspending a load. Screw pin shackles are used when the shackles are removed after the lift is complete. If a screw pin shackle is being used to suspend the load for any length of time, it is advisable that you mouse or tie off the pin to the body of the shackle with wire.
Want to learn more about safe shackle use? Here are some additional resources:

Shackle Markings, Materials and Appropriate Standards
New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety
Customer Concerns over Recommended Shackle Pin Length
Safety Webinar: Proper Use of Shackles 

Last updated on 12/21/15

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist 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.

clip_image002

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

clip_image002[9]

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.

clip_image002[12]

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

 clip_image002[14]

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

theatrical shackle

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!

clip_image002[16]

Read more about USITT’s own rigsafe program.

Herb Hart

Herb Hart is an Area Sales Manager for Entertainment Products 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 Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Ask Questions, Share Stories, Get Engaged on Social Media

Ask Questions, Share Stories, Get Engaged on Social Media

We decided to shift gears this week and show you a little of what we’ve been up to on social media lately. We have many exciting conversations and interactions happening there every day with our Channel Partners, end users and material handling professionals around the world. All of you reach out to us for different reasons. Here are just a few examples:

  • Some of you have a question you want answered. We received a tweet from a distributor in Mexico who requested special paperwork for border clearance. We got it to him within hours. This was one happy distributor!
  • Others have a cool picture from an exciting concert or event they attended, so we started a collection on Facebook. We love seeing photos from your kid’s sports game or stage performance or while on vacation. If you are lucky enough to get an application story that you can share, we could feature it right here on our blog. Just send it my way!
  • Some of you need expert advice on specific topics. We have addressed many of your questions here. Below are are few of our most popular posts:

Missing Chain Sling ID Tags and who is to Blame
What is the Working Load Limit of a 2 Legged Chain Sling?
The 3 Most Asked Questions from our CM-ET Motor Hoist Schools
Does your Overhead Crane meet OSHA regulations?
Can Lever Tools be Used to Adjust Slings?

  • We also enjoy your tradeshow engagement on Twitter & Facebook and sharing in your fun. Check out these cool beanies from USITT!

IMG_0654 Beanie Cap #3

Beanie Cap #1
Please feel free to reach out to us 24/7 on our social media channels. We are here to promote safety on the job and help you get the answers you need for any of your material handling questions. The first person to engage with us on each of our social media channels below and tell us your favorite CM product and why will receive a CMCO shirt!

(This means 6 winners in total.) We look forward to connecting with you!

Facebook
Twitter (Industrial Products)
Twitter (Entertainment)
LinkedIn
YouTube
Instagram
Google+

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.

Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overhead Lifting Slings are generally used in conjunction with a crane, powered hoist, manual or lever hoist or some type of lifting device. There are numerous types of materials used for building overhead lifting slings – each with specific advantages and disadvantages – including:

  • Chain
  • Wire rope
  • Synthetics
  • Metal mesh.

Understand the Application Before You Spec a Sling
Before you select a sling it is important to fully understand the application and gather specific information on how the sling will be used. When choosing a sling, you must know the weight, center of gravity, number of attachment points for a balanced lift, sling angles, reach, upper and lower fittings and ambient conditions. Communicate or obtain as much background information as you can about the load being lifted, then decide what type of sling works best. This will help ensure you choose the right sling material and configuration for the task at hand.

Alloy Steel Chain: Recommended by ASME, NACM & OHSA
When using chain slings, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommend only the use of alloy steel chain for overhead lifting. Grades 63, 80 and 100 are the alloy steel chains used throughout the industry. They contain elements that give them their unique strength, abrasion resistance, durability and toughness. Per ASTM Standards, alloy chain slings must have the ability to elongate at least 20% when overloaded in order to have a visual indicator to the rigger that the sling is overloaded. Once any stretch is discovered, the chain sling must be removed from service. Synthetics do not have any such indicators as standard.

Advantages of Chain slings versus Synthetic slings

Durability:

  • Resists impact, cuts and abrasions
  • Resistant to chemicals and UV radiation
  • Can be used in oily or dirty environments
  • Can be used at higher temperatures range -40oF thru 400oF with not reduction of WLL (synthetic slings can be used in temperatures no higher than 194oF)
  • Minimum elongation when lifting or tensioning
  • Long service life compared to synthetic slings

Versatility:

  • Easily adjustable (synthetic slings cannot be adjusted and therefore are often used incorrectly)
  • Can be constructed in the field

Inspection & Maintenance:

  • Easy to inspect
  • Completely reparable (cannot repair load bearing fibers in synthetic slings)

139 Years of Chain & Forging Know-How
Columbus McKinnon’s chain manufacturing roots date back to the 1800’s. We hold patents for chain and chain link design as well as the chain manufacturing processes, which help ensure our chain is the strongest and most reliable chain on the market today. We also invented the first alloy chain in 1933 – the forerunner to our industry-changing Herc-Alloy® 800 and 100 chains. In addition to chain, we also manufacture a variety of dual-rated hooks, links, sub-assemblies and other attachments that complement our chain offering.

For additional information on the safe and proper use of chain slings, check out our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection.

Henry Brozyna

Henry Brozyna is a Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know

Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know

Chain slings are a combination of chain, hooks, rings and other attachments used primarily for overhead lifting applications. Slingssling selection 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.

Proper Chain Sling Selection

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.

sling selection

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

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

RFID in material handling
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, good news, RFID tagged rigging hardware and hoists can help with all these issues and more. Let’s start with what RFID is and how it works.

An Overview of RFID in Material Handling

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and it is now being used on almost everything. There are RFID badges for security and time clocks. There is an RFID chip in my dog in case he gets lost or stolen. RFID chips are even available in rigging hardware and on hoists. There are two main types of RFID chips: active and passive. Active chips are larger, have a longer read range, and are battery powered. Passive chips can be as small as a grain of rice, have a shorter read range, and are remotely powered.

There are many reasons why passive RFID chips are better suited to rigging hardware and hoists. Size is an obvious one. The smaller a chip is, the smaller the equipment it can be mounted in. The short read range makes the inspector actually touch the equipment being inspected, so there is no confusing the item being inspected with other nearby products. Passive RFID chips are also super tough and durable. Rigging hardware and hoists can be banged up, dropped and virtually destroyed and the chips still work flawlessly.

The Benefits of RFID Inspection

So how does RFID help you do more with less? One of the biggest selling points for RFID rigging hardware and hoists is how much faster and efficient it can make the inspection process.

Imagine this: an inspector merely touches the RFID chip in a shackle, chain sling or hoist with an RFID reader and he/she can instantly see the product’s serial number, description, traceability code, working load limit, size, certificates of compliance and origin (some material handling product manufacturers even associate this information with the chip and load it to the web for you). In addition to product information, inspectors can see previous inspections complete with pictures and notes, the next scheduled inspection date, inspection criteria, and even information on how to inspect the product.

The inspector can also use the RFID chip and reader to log information from the current inspection he/she is performing, complete with notes and pictures. Recoding the information can happen right at the point of inspection with a tablet or laptop. There isn’t any need to record information for someone else to transcribe or log later. That’s a huge time saver!

What about the issue of never having enough good inspectors?

We have already talked about how RFID-based inspection systems save time by allowing fewer inspectors to do more inspections. Have you thought about how much time and money it takes to train an inspector to acceptable levels? RFID systems can decrease training time while increasing inspection accuracy and detail. The ability to have a software package that walks an inspector through the inspection process is beneficial. The software can help identify things the inspector should look for during an inspection and provide acceptance/rejection criteria, pictures of concerns or wear areas from previous inspections for that specific product, and other reference materials to help ensure proper inspection.

Another issue inspectors can run into is not being able to read the serial number or tracking number on the hoist or rigging hardware. Sometimes the serial number can wear off or become difficult to read. With an RFID chip this will never be a problem.

Inventory/Serialization

RFID can also help with tracking and serialization of products. If you have a thousand pieces of rigging hardware or multiple hoists being rented or used in multiple locations, it can make the inventory process so much easier. When you scan an RFID chip, you can record the location of the product. This allows you to easily track its location later. Some RFID inspection software systems can also be designed to directly interface with your business system for automatic billing. There are so many time-saving opportunities!

Are you as excited by the possibilities of RFID as I am? Are you already using a RFID-based system to track the inspections for your hoists and rigging products?

Columbus McKinnon recognizes the value and possibilities for RFID technology in inventory and inspection management, as well as other applications.

Troy Raines

Troy Raines is the Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations.