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.

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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!

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 2: Nicks and Gouges

April 10, 2015

This article is Part 2 of a 6-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss nicks and gouges. When chain is used to lift, pull or secure materials, the outside surface of the links can come in contact with foreign objects […]

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Get Genuine Columbus McKinnon Hoist Parts with the New Parts Star Program

April 1, 2015

Ordering replacement parts for CM, Yale and Shaw-Box brand electric chain and wire rope hoists is easier, faster and more economical than ever with Parts Star™ by Columbus McKinnon. The Parts Star™ replacement parts program ensures customers that they’re getting authentic Columbus McKinnon parts — the parts designed to fit the hoist’s exact specifications, maintain warranty […]

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We Are Where You Are: Columbus McKinnon Opens New Modern Warehouse in Houston

March 27, 2015

As some competitors are closing and consolidating their distribution centers, Columbus McKinnon continues to invest in its network of warehouse facilities in North America. We’ve worked hard to strategically position our facilities across the country to align ourselves with the critical needs of our customers – one of which is fast delivery of our products. […]

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Do You Need to Load Test When You Replace the Wire Rope in an Underhung Hoist?

March 13, 2015

Richard, a recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “Do you need to load test when you replace the wire rope in an underhung hoist?” Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers: The replacement of wire rope or chain for underhung hoists is specifically excluded from load test requirements. The wire rope should have already […]

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Columbus McKinnon Products and Services on Display at Tradeshows

March 6, 2015

Trade shows are a great way for us to meet Channel Partners and end users, and to showcase our latest products and services. We’re always excited to connect with business associates and make new friends. Representatives from our Columbus McKinnon de Mexico and Duff-Norton facilities participated in Expo-Manufactura, a trade show held recently in Monterrey City, […]

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Customer Questions Acceleration Time on Variable Frequency Drives

February 26, 2015

Tom, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question on variable frequency drives: 3-step infinitely variable control is 1st detent slow speed, 2nd detent HOLD, 3rd detent acceleration. If the application absolutely requires less than 2.0 second acceleration (Lodestar) can anything be done to accommodate? Chris Zgoda, Corporate […]

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OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article 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.   The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for […]

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 1: Twisting and Bending

February 13, 2015

This article is Part 1 of a 6-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss the effect of twisting and bending. Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly. Rigging chain around […]

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