Northern Strands
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Latest News

Northern Strands Supplying Waste Isolation Pilot Plant With Mine Ropes, Wire Rope Attachments and Specialized Equipment

Northern Strands was awarded the supply of ropes, attachments, wirelock and specialty equipment for the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) project in New Mexico. 

The WIPP website describes the project as follows, "WIPP was constructed for disposal of defense-generated TRU waste from DOE sites around the country. TRU waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other man-made radioactive elements. The waste is permanently disposed of in rooms mined in an underground salt bed layer over 2000 feet from the surface.

The $75 million shaft sinking is integral to increasing ventilation to the WIPP underground. When completed, it will be WIPP’s largest shaft at 26 feet in diameter, reaching 2,275 feet, with drifts, or passageways, being excavated at the 2,150-foot level to match the rest of the WIPP underground that will eventually connect to the shaft."

The scope of supply includes the sinking rope, stage rope, clam rope, and emergency hoist ropes along with all the shaft sinking rope attachments. Due to their wide range of capabilities, Northern Strands was also able to provide the sinking bucket chains, plumb bob lines, load cells, as well as specialty installation and maintenance equipment including maneuvering glands and a double down sheave.

Northern Strands supplies Mining Wire Rope, Attachments and specialized to tools for mines across the world.

Email: info@northernstrands.coom 
Phone: 1-800-242-7073


Who Can Inspect a Fall Protection Safety Harness?

Our Safety Trainers are often asked questions like, "Who can inspect fall protection equipment" and "How often should you inspect a Safety Harness?"

A proper fall protection course will surely have taught its learners how to don a harness and more importantly, that it, and the rest of their equipment, must be inspected prior each use as well as how to perform these pre-use inspections.  The course may have even mentioned that the equipment must also be inspected annually by a ‘competent’ person.

This ‘competent inspector’ is often a source of great panic as companies scramble to find a course that gives them what they think they want insofar as ‘qualifications’ go.  Many times our training department gets asked if we offer a competent inspector course for fall arrest gear to which we normally respond with a question of our own: “if someone is potentially relying on this gear to arrest a fall and save their life, who should be more competent than them to inspect it?”

Especially given that the exact requirement as specified in manufacturer manuals for fall arrest equipment far and wide is that the equipment be inspected by a competent person other than its principle user, it would seem that the manufacturers are on the same page.  The manufacturers themselves are not in the habit of bestowing some special title on someone that certifies them as being a special inspector that is somehow more qualified than the users of the equipment.  They also agree that whosoever may need this equipment to save their lives should surely be also be fully capable of inspecting it. That is why the Northern Strands Fall Protection course has hands on inspection of harnesses as a key focus of the training.

In this part of the course learners are led through what to look for on a harness, what is acceptable and what is not, and ways of preventing that sort of damage from happening in the first place.  Students are guided on how to look through harnesses to ensure that the buckles, D-Rings, grommets and other hardware are not deformed, cracked, corroded, nicked, gouged or otherwise damaged. They are shown how to assess the webbing to ensure that there are no burns/melting, abrasion, cut fibres, UV-damage or broken stitches. The course also teaches learners how to verify that the tags on the harness are attached and legible, as well as how to check to see if the equipment has been used to arrest a fall, as fall arrest equipment is only rated for one save.

So essentially every company that uses fall arrest and employs trained, competent fall arrest users can take care of itself, but as we all know this is not always the case. One such example is when companies do not assign individual harnesses to their personnel, and instead crews will share a handful of harnesses.  In situations like these, all of the competent users at the company are also all the principle users of the equipment, so how could one possibly satisfy the manufacturer’s the annual inspection requirements? Well, in cases like this, Northern Strands has you covered as well with our fall protection inspection service.  Simply drop off all of the gear you want inspected and let our in-house, competent fall arrest users take care of it for you.

If you ever have any doubts about inspecting your fall protection equipment, call Northern Strands and we can make arrangements to either teach you how to do it properly yourself, or we can inspect it for you.

For Fall Arrest Training or Harness Inspections:

Call 306-242-7073



Northern Strands Offers Unique Suspended Access & Fall Protection Solutions for Regal Towers

Both Regal Towers have been part of Saskatoon's skyline for decades. Yet they are some of the most well kept and upgraded buildings in the city. Currently Boardwalk Communities is replacing Regal Towers windows. Candor Build Construction Company was in need of Swing Stage Equipment for this project. They subcontracted Northern Strands to install the suspended access equipment that would be needed to install the windows. 

Being an older building, Regal Towers lacked fall protection anchors that are commonplace in newer buildings. This meant there was nothing conventional for the outrigger beams or lifelines to anchor to (Outriggers are horizontal beams that extend over the parapet wall for the suspension cables of the swing stage platforms to connect to. This presented some unique challenges for our Suspended Access team.

The Northern Strands Swing Stage team had to devise solutions to overcome the lack of traditional anchor points:

  • Engineers approved the installation of D-Plate points. Multiple anchors were installed at various points across the roof. All anchors were labeled and softeners were included at potential wear points.

  • Wood cribbing boxes were fabricated to raise the outriggers over the parapet wall.

  • To anchor the outriggers our team used the utility building that sits on top of the main roof, after engineers had deemed the structure was adequate. Our Suspended Access crew wrapped cable around the entire building structure and softeners were once again employed on the wire rope at the structure corners to prevent damage. This was a unique and forward thinking solution

  • Panoramic views of the overall set up:

Northern Strands has the largest Suspended Access equipment fleet in Saskatchewan. We are locally owned and operated out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 

Contact Northern Strands to quote your next job

Large Custom Chain Slings Developed for International Customer

Northern Strands was recently contracted by an International Mine, GCR Mongolia, to supply 30 large Custom Single Legged Chain Slings.

The 30 Chain Slings have a 13 Ton Working Load Limit. The Chain Slings are being connected by a Shackle to the structure and to the Shaft Mucker. These Single Leg Chain Slings are 3 meters long.

GRC Mongolia is a Mongolian company that combines the expertise of 3 partners with various skill sets. GRC Mongolia focuses on complete solutions to construction, infrastructure, and mining developments throughout Mongolia. 

For more information about Custom Chain Assemblies and Custom Rigging options, please contact us!

Contact us at (306) 242-7073 or email for more information.

Tyson Vogel - Mining Division - Technical Sales Manager
Ph: (306) 242-7073
Fax: 306.934.2920

Vitali-Intl Hoists vs.The Competition

How does your current hoist brand stack up against Vitali-Intl? Vitali-Intl hoists are equal to or better than the next two major competitors!

We often hear, "I like my current hoist brand and supplier. Why would I change?". The simple answer is . . . the price!

Vitali-Intl Hoists also have the SAME SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS as the competition. Every Vitali-Intl hoist comes with a manual, parts list, and Certification of Compliance. Vitali-Intl Hoists are ANSI/ASME b30.21 and HST-3 compliant.
Why are you playing 2-3 times more money for your current hoist brand? Simple . . . the brand name! Make the switch today.

Contact us for more information on how to switch hoist brands, or for more details about Vitali-Intl!

“We loved all the Vitali-Intl products. We used everything from the lever hoists, chain hoists to the beam clamps on our last job. Would recommend these products to any company.”

-Steve Slusar WS Plumbing and Heating


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