Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Hoist and Crane Safety: Stop New Employees From Hurting Themselves

The excuses for not adequately training new employees are plentiful.

“His past employment history was working with cranes.” 
“We’re not going to spend time right now, he may not stick around.”
“We’re too busy right now so we leave it to the supervisor.”

Of course, there are many more. And sadly, most lifting accidents are caused by operator error and are totally preventable. New employees are especially vulnerable as they try to adjust to a new work environment.

They aren’t always completely honest about their past crane operation experience. They often rush and hurry to attempt to make a good impression. An example I witnessed was the decision to not stop and rehook the chains to balance a 20 ft. long load of bar stock. Instead the operator sat on one end of the load to balance the load as he rode down the crane bay!

New employees are sometimes used as fill ins for multiple locations in the plant. A recent example of the problem caused by this was a work cell where the normal operator knew exactly how to hook up the chains to turn a fabrication. An accident was caused by the load tipping back on the operator. A comment I heard was, “I guess we didn’t know there was a wrong way to do it.

Some of the basic and most important parts of safe lifting training are not conveyed to the new employees:

  1. Don’t stop watching the load when operating controls.
  2. Never be under a suspended load! 
  3. Know how much the load weighs.
  4. Only use rated components.
  5. Sharp edges are hazards to nylon slings.
  6. Hazards caused by using magnets on thin gauge material.
  7. Hooks are not attached properly.
  8. Twists in chains can cause overload.
  9. Angles of lifts can cause overload.
  10. Eye bolt and hoist ring misuse.
  11. Don’t use crane to pull slings out from under load.

Morale can suffer in a plant when long time employees see lifting gear that everyone shares being misused and damaged. It is common these days to have language barriers that keep employees from sharing and learning specifics on safe lifting practices. 

New employees need to have basic lifting knowledge to help create a safe working environment.

Safe Work Environment for Employees, by Don Cooper  Written by Don Cooper, Vice President Sales, WiscoLift, Inc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Improve Lifting Safety in 3 Easy Steps

We all want safe environments for our workers and associates, but making a study of lifting products, their warnings and application instructions and their inspection methods, can be a time consuming effort.

A costly effort, with little measurable results. On the other hand, failure to implement an efficient, comprehensive lifting safety program can result in tremendous costs, both human and financial.

This article is designed to offer a logical approach for getting lifting under control, making it transparent and manageable.

An unfortunate misconception in the industry is that a sling or hoist purchase is an isolated event, unrelated to any further effort or investment. The truth is that the initial purchase can be the economic “tip of the iceberg.”

For example, let’s say that you purchase a web or chain sling. Cost: $10-$100. Probably not a significant investment. Scarcely worth your time to think about it, except for one thing: You now have the implied responsibility to provide training to the users, to inspect the sling and maintain records of the inspection and finally to provide adequate supervision in the proper use of the sling.

  • Cost of Sling?
  • Cost of Training?
  • Cost of Inspection?
  • Cost of Supervision?

Where is the true investment? In the sling, or in the responsibility?

At WiscoLift our commitment is to provide a System Solution in three easy and manageable steps.

Step 1. Get a qualified report on the condition of your lifting equipment

Provide a manageable inspection system. Companies have long struggled with the requirements of conducting and recording inspections. WiscoLift can provide you with a complete inspection program for all of your overhead lifting equipment. This report is based on a survey of your equipment conducted by our factory trained and certified inspectors. The inspection is conducted in accordance with OSHA/ASME guidelines.  
The report describes the condition of each piece of lifting equipment inspected. Any equipment recommended for repair or replacement will be identified for disposition.

The smallest of J-hooks to 75-ton chain slings. If you have just a few items or several thousand we can keep it all organized. Plate clamps, magnets, wire rope, chain slings, hardware, lift beams, and vacuum lifts. We also inspect all types and sizes of cranes and hoists. The inspectors record all items by serial number, type of equipment, model number, and a complete description with location in your facility. Pictures of the equipment can be part of the report with pictures of noted problems. Our database also has a feature that enables immediate reporting after the inspection. For a demonstration on how we can work this into your safe lifting program call us at 800-242-3477.  

Step 2. Provide training on the proper use of lifting equipment. 

The major benefit of this interactive training is improved awareness of risk management and lifting safety. The minor benefit is longer equipment service life, obtained through proper usage. This presentation is coupled with years of experience on the part of our trainers. The goal is shop floor knowledge of the proper use of equipment and the inspection techniques required.
ASME B30.9 states: “Sling users shall be trained in the selection, inspection, cautions to personnel, effects of the environment and rigging practices.” 

Step 3. Assist in risk management supervision and maintenance. 

Our technicians can assist in maintaining electrical and mechanical needs of your lifting equipment. All our technicians carry company cell phones and are always available. Several of our sales territory managers have extensive experience in overhead lifting and the products.

We are only one phone call away to help with your process and product decisions.  

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Article written by Joe Padour, District Sales Manager at WiscoLift, Inc.
#LiftingEquipment #Rigging #MaterialHandling

Friday, May 8, 2020

5 Uses for Synthetic Web Slings

When people think of web slings, they often assume they are primarily used for rigging in the construction or manufacturing industries. Since web slings provide superior gripping ability by molding and conforming to any surface, web slings can be used for a large variety of applications that don’t require crane operation. Common uses are:
Rock/Boulder Lifting Web Slings
  • Offshore Marine·       
  • Industrial Rigging
  • Pond Services
  • Shipyards
  • Arborists
Unlike other sling types, they generally do not mar or scratch machined surfaces and are equally suited for use on delicate surfaces.
WiscoLift has been manufacturing slings since its inception in 1974. Our in-house fabricators inspect each sling as it is made to ensure that the working load limit is not comprised due to improper stitching or fabric deficiencies. In addition to our online web slings, WiscoLift fabricates custom slings to accommodate every type of material handling application.
Material handling equipment dealers and industrial supply distributors who want to offer these products to their customers please contact us to discuss our private label reseller program for web slings as well as other type of lifting slings and custom lifting hooks
If you would like additional information on becoming a Contractor or pricing for custom web slings, please contact our Sales Specialist at 800-242-3477 or email csr@wiscolift.com­.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Help Eliminate COVID-19 Contamination with Hands-Free Door Openers

100% of the manufacturer's profits from sale of the new magnetic foot pull product will be donated to charity.
This hands-free device lets you gently pull or push open latchless doors using the sole of your shoe - so users don’t have to touch potentially contaminated surfaces and can help stop the further spread of germs and bacteria. Perfect for public restrooms and other swing-style doors. Prevents shoe damage and can be used with open toe shoes. Constructed from heavy-duty stainless-steel as a one piece, laser-cut and precision formed unit. Available with either magnetic mount for metal doors, which attaches in seconds and can be repositioned to the perfect spot, or direct through-hole mount for non-metal doors.
View Online: bit.ly/HandsFreeOpener

Hands Free, Foot Operator Door Opener

  • Sturdy, one-piece, Stainless Steel construction
  • Use the bottom of the shoe, protecting toes
  • Indoors or Outdoors
  • Powerful magnet mount installs in seconds and can be repositioned
  • Direct mount, two mounting holes, 2.75” center line, hardware not
  • included
  • USA M.A.D.E
For more information, contact our office at 800-242-3477 or email us at csr@wiscolift.com.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Top 3 Chain Sling Rigging Tips

When lifting a load with any type of rigging equipment the balance and weight of your load is a large determining factor on how to lift it safely. Chain slings are commonly used because of their strength and ability to adapt to the shape of the load. In addition, chain slings can be heated to temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit without permanently reducing its strength.

Tip 1: Use An Appropriate Chain Sling

Slings should be selected that are suitable for the type of load, hitch and environment. When using multiple leg slings, the rated load for the single leg sling shall not be exceeded in any leg of the multiple leg sling. When using multiple slings with non-symmetrical loads, a qualified person should make sure that no leg on the chain sling will be overloaded.

If you are working in an environment with exposure to chemicals such as gases or vapors, or working under extreme temperatures, check with the sling manufacturer to learn of any capacity reduction or possible degradation to the sling.

If you are lifting fragile loads, a spreader beam is recommended and corner protectors to prevent damage of the load.

When a load is lifted by a chain sling, the legs of the sling with exert lifting forces to raise it. These forces can crush or deform the load if it cannot withstand these forces.

Tip 2: Inspect Chain Sling Before Using

Only slings fabricated with Grade 80, Grade 100 and higher chain and components are strong enough and can be used for overhead lifting. Check the links to make sure it has the 80, 100 or 120 markings.

All slings should include a tag with the load capacity and hitch capacities on them.

Make sure to check the links of your chain sling before using it because any links that are worn, bent, gouged or stretched can affect the capacity of the sling. Also, the chain should not be twisted or knotted, instead it should be free of any sharp edges or nicks.

Before lifting the load, make sure that every leg of the sling is connected and that the hoist or crane is directly over the load. Never shorten a sling by knotting or twisting the chain. Instead use a chain with an adjuster because these have been designed specifically for shortening the chain.

Written records are not required for frequent inspections (inspection interval less than monthly), however, a complete inspection of the sling is required periodically (normal service interval, not to exceed 1 year). Keep a written record of your periodic inspections in case you ever need them for OSHA inspection purposes.

 "Only slings fabricated with Grade 80, Grade 100,
and higher chain and components are strong enough
to be used for overhead lifting." 

Tip #3: Store Your Sling As A Prized Possession

Your overhead rigging equipment only works as well as it is treated. Slings should be hung in a cabinet, off the floor, away from dirt and grime, and preferably in a place where air can circulate around the chains to keep them dry.

When using chain slings, avoid dragging them on the floor or over abrasive surfaces. Also be alert to possible snagging on materials or the load itself.

For additional rigging tips or questions, please call our office at 800-242-3477 or visit OSHA.gov for specific tips on proper chain sling usage.


WiscoLift manufacturers 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-leg Grade 100 Chain Slings. View their wide selection of chain slings at WiscoLift.com/Chain-Slings.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Retaining Quality in an Impatient World

Before the computer, we were used to calling up a company to place an order or filling out their order form in the middle of their catalog. The general rule of thumb for deliveries was 4-6 weeks. We expected that and so we planned accordingly. If we needed something sooner, we’d trek off to the local store to purchase what we needed and usually had one or two choices, so we took what we could get.

How things have changed. Now we expect to be able to get products shipped to us overnight, delivered to our door, and some of us even want to order without having to speak to anyone. The easier the better. Has the quality of fabricated products suffered because of the expectancy of manufacturing products faster, cheaper, and with less attention to detail?

At WiscoLift, we refuse to compromise quality for expediency. While we have a variety of roundslings and web slings in stock to ship out immediately, our recovery straps and chain slings are fabricated when an order is received. Since we are considered a small company by government agency standards (less than 500 employees), we employ local residents and train them to produce high quality products that adhere to ANSI/ASME standards. We may not fit perfectly in the context of an impatient world, but we are proud of the quality workmanship that comes from our facility and think you may agree that “you get what you pay for.”

For more information on our fabricated web slings, recovery straps, and chain slings, visit us at WiscoLift.com or call our office at 800-242-3477.

#materialhandling #manufacturing #fabrication #slings 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Are You Interested In Collaborative Robots?

As you probably know, many companies are now integrating collaborative robots into their operations to increase efficiency. Especially for manual, redundant tasks. We are considering adding two types of Collaborative Robots into our line of material handling solutions. First is a Mobile Robot which looks like an AGV, however, it is sensor-driven and self navigating. It moves items from one location to another and automatically stops, turns and goes around objects in its direct path. No facility modifications are needed with the installation of this AIV (Automated Intelligent Vehicle). Second, the TM Series takes human-machine collaboration to the next level. This robot has a built-in vision system. The integrated camera localizes objects in a wide field of vision and the image-enhancement light enables object recognition under almost any conditions. It can pick up items and place them elsewhere. And, these two robots can be combined together to create a total integrated solution.

If you are interested in meeting to discuss ways a collaborative robot can increase productivity at your facility, please contact your Sales Representative or Rod Fisk at 800-242-3477. You may also email us at smartlift@wiscolift.com if you would like a representative to call you back.