Northern Strands
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Northern Strands, a company built on safety leads by example in 2020

Safety was at the top of mind for everyone in 2020. Like the rest of the world, we were faced with developing protocols focused on reducing the transmission of Covid-19 while continuing to manage work-place safety. At Northern Strands in 2020 we managed to successfully handled implementing Covid-19 best practices and had our best year in workplace safety. We followed all government Covid regulations and recommendations. Our Health and Safety team worked around the clock to implement internal policies, react quickly to announced changes and communicate these changes to staff. They continually stressed the importance of following current regulations in the workplace. Employees physically distanced, washed hands, used hand sanitizer, and wore masks. Northern Strands implemented enhanced cleaning, put up physical barriers, modified showrooms, staggered lunches, and the list goes on.

 Although great effort and time was devoted to Covid safety, Workplace safety remained a priority. Regular employee virtual safety meetings replaced the standard in-person meetings. With an emphasis on preventative safety measures and maintaining a safe work environment, Northern Strands Management, our Covid Pandemic Committee, and employees put a year-around focus on workplace safety and the result was a serious injury-free year. We are proud to say Northern Strands had a TRIF(total recordable incident frequency), score of zero in 2020. This means we had zero recordable injuries in 2020! This is a huge accomplishment for Northern Strands and its employees. It shows that our company and employees value a safe working environment.

One of the reasons our employees understand the importance of safety is because many of them work in the "Safety" industry. Three of Northern Strands Divisions offer safety services and equipment: our Engineered Fall Protection, Safety Training, and our Industrial Rigging, Equipment & Supplies Division. Furthermore, Northern Strands has employees working in industries that put extreme importance on safety. The Canadian mining industry has strict safety requirements and requires contractors to have a low TRIF score to work on site. Northern Strands excellent TRIF rating allows us the privilege of working with Canadian Mining Companies. Northern Strands is literally a company built on safety. 

Northern Strands also supplies the construction, mining, and agriculture industries with safety gear and equipment. We sell Fall Protection Harnesses, Lanyards, SRLs, Roofer Kits, Dog Leashes, Grain Bin Fall Protection, and more.

Another safety accolade Northern Strands received this year was the Silver Safety Award from the AWRF(Associated Wire Rope Fabricators), for having a green rating. This is awarded to companies that have a low LTIR(total lost time incident report), and TRIR(Total Recordable Incident Rate).

We are confident that Northern Strands and its employees will have another exemplary safety record in 2021. We will remain educated, diligent, and remember that a company that provides Safety Training, Engineered Fall Protection, and Safety Products should and will lead by example! We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.

 To learn more about: 

Safety Training Courses visit https://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx :

  • Below the Hook Rigging
  • Fall Arrest
  • Air Winch Safety
  • Wirelock® Socketing
  • Crosby® Rigging
  • Suspended Access Equipment
  • Overhead Traveling Crane Operator

  • Engineered Fall Protection services visit https://www.northernstrands.com/fall-protection.aspx

    Industrial Rigging, Equipment & Supplies visit https://www.northernstrands.com/wire-rope-rigging.aspx

    or contact us by:
    Phone 306-242-7073
    Email info@northernstrands.com 


    Snatch Block Pulley Uses and Benefits

    A Snatch Block Pulley is simply a basic pulley that can be used to redirect a running rope or wire rope. Snatch blocks have to be one of the most commonly overloaded pieces of rigging equipment that we sell, and it often comes down to a lack of understanding the fundamentals of how they work. The reason for it is simple: most people tend not to know that the angle at which a snatch block redirects a line directly affects how much force the anchor point of the block will see. 

    The best way to envision this phenomenon is to start by imagining a line passing straight through the snatch block. In this unusual (and useless) arrangement, the snatch block will see no force whatsoever because again, the line is just passing straight through it. Now imagine pulling on the snatch block so that it redirects the line at a 90° angle. The amount of force on the snatch block (and its anchor point) will be equal to 1.41 times the line pull required to move the load attached to the line. This phenomenon is exacerbated as the angle of redirection steepens, to the point where when the line gets redirected at 180°, meaning that the lines coming to/from the snatch block are parallel with one another, the anchor point will see a force equal to 2x the line pull. 

    For example: If the snatch block is going to be used in a 180° configuration and is going to be used to lift a 2 ton load both the snatch block and the attachment point must be capable of at least 4 tons, so it is important that the proper snatch block is selected. Not knowing these facts can lead to selecting a mounting point that isn’t strong enough, but more commonly the snatch block itself won’t be strong enough. 

    A common misconception about snatch blocks is that they somehow reduce the line pull, which is true in some specific scenarios, but for the most part the only thing they do do (haha) for sure, as mentioned above, is endure increased loading and exert that extra force on whatever they are attached to. Just remember: a snatch block does not reduce the line pull required to move a load unless the snatch block itself can travel with the load. 

    So for another example: let’s say someone has erroneously concluded that with enough velocity, their quad will in fact make it through the slough. With the quad planted up to the handlebars in muck they now need to figure out how to get it back out with nothing more than a length of winch line, some slings and shackles, and a snatch block. A person might determine that it would be best to mount the snatch block to a tree and run the winch line through it back to a shackle on the stuck quad, but in actual fact the best strategy would be to attach the snatch block to the quad and run the winch line from the recovery vehicle through it and back to the tree. This arrangement will double the amount of force that the winch exerts on the stuck quad. 

    If you wanted to go one deeper, the use of a double sheave snatch block can offer even more benefit. Simply attaching the double sheave snatch block to the stuck quad and a single pulley snatch block to the tree can further amplify the pulling force of the winch. The recovery line must be reeved from the recovery vehicle, through one pulley on the stuck quad, back to the snatch block on the tree, back to the other pulley on the stuck quad and then attached back at the tree again. Stacking blocks like this can often lead to such a drastic increase in pulling power that the quad can nearly be extracted by pulling the recovery line by hand!  At a very basic level the amount of force amplification is equal to the amount of lines going through the travelling block.

    There's actually an excellent youtube video on how to use a snatch block https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2w3NZzPwOM 

    Northern Strands carries a variety of high quality Snatch Blocks and other Pulley's at our Saskatoon, Esterhazy and Regina locations. https://www.northernstrands.com/pdf/rigging.pdf 

    Northern Strands also provide in person Rigging Training that is offered at our Training Center or on site. We provide Crosby Rigging Training and a more comprehensive rigging course aptly named Below the Hook Rigging. You can find the full list of safety training courses and our Training Calendar here https://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx

    Did you know that Northern Strands is one of the largest suppliers of industrial equipment and rigging in Saskatchewan? We are locally owned and operated and have been been proudly serving Saskatchewan people and businesses for over 50 years!

    Email: info@northernstrands.coom 

    Phone: 1-800-242-7073


    The New Alberta Farm Health & Safety Producer Grant Program Pays 50% of Farm Safety Expenses

    The Alberta Provincial Government announced October 15, 2018 that a Farm Health and Safety Producer Grant Program has been developed to assist farmers with the costs of implementing the new Alberta OH&S Farming Legislation. 

    Here is everything you need to know about the new Alberta Farm Health and Safety Producer Grant Program

    Grant Details: 

    • The Farm Health and Safety Producer Grant offers financial assistance to eligible farmers that have waged, non-family workers and a WCB account 
    • Applicants can now apply for the grant that will pay up to 50% of the cost of eligible expenses up to $5,000 per year or $10,000 over the life of the program per applicant
    • The program helps farmers comply with the OH&S code that will take effect on December 1, 2018. 
    • The grant is available October 15, 2018 and runs until March 2021
    Expenses that are eligible for 50% coverage include:

    Tuition, 
    Course Fees, and Materials

    First Aid Training, Fall Protection Training, Confined Spaces Training, WHIMIS Training, Forklift Training, Heavy Equipment Training, Health and Safety Basics Training, Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee, Health and Safety Representatives, Workplace Harassment and Violence Occupational Health and Safety Certificate Courses
    Fall Protection EquipmentHarnesses, Lanyards, Shock Absorber, Positioning Device, Connecting Components that Satisfy the Requirements in OH&S Code
    RespiratorsDisposable Respiratory Protective Equipment, Half Mask Respirator, Full Face Respirator, Filters, Cartridges
    Eye SafetyEmergency Eye Wash Equipment, Emergency Baths or Showers
    Fire ProtectionFire Extinguishers, Bonding and Grounding Equipment
    First AidFirst Aid Kits
    Welding SafetyFlashback Arrestor, Backflow Prevention Devices, Welding Helmet, Goggles or Screens
    Guarding for Existing EquipmentPTO Guards, Powered Saw Guards, Angle Grinder Guards, Auger Guards, Guards for Rotating Parts on Machinery, Rollover Protection Systems, Falling Object Protection Systems, Seat Belt Installation, Warning Lights
    Noise ExposureHearing Protection Ear Plugs, Hearing Protection Ear Muffs 
    Eye ProtectionSafety Glasses, Safety Goggles, Face Shield 
    Personal Protective ClothingFire Resistant Clothing & Coveralls, Chemical & Biological Resistant Coveralls or Apron, Safety Boots, High Viability Vests
    Warning SignageNot Limited to: Confined Space Entry, Overhead Power Lines, Do Not Enter, Chemical Storage Area, No Smoking, First Aid Kit & Fire Extinguisher, Hearing & Eye Protection Required

    Northern Strands' Bin Protection System is eligible for 50% off using this grant. Northern Strands also offers various safety training courses that are covered by the Alberta Farm Health and Safety Producer Grant. 

    Northern Strands Bin Safe System Informationhttps://www.northernstrands.com/grain-bin-fall-protection.aspx 

    Northern Strands Training Divisionhttps://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx

    Grant FAQ: https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv482/$file/FarmSafetyFrequentlyAskedQuestions.pdf?OpenElement

    Grant Application Formhttps://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv482/$file/FarmSafetyApplicationForm-Fillable.pdf?OpenElement

    Grant Funding List: https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv482/$file/FarmSafetyFundingList.pdf?OpenElement

    Grant Terms & Conditions: https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv482/$file/FarmSafetyTermsandConditions.pdf?OpenElement

    Call, Text, or Email our Bin Safety Fall Protection Representative

    Martin Toews
    Email: farmsafety@northernstrands.com

    Cell Phone: 306-441-6845

        

    The Northern Strands Group of Companies Honored with 2017 NSBA Community Builder Award

    March 30th was an exciting night for employees of the Northern Strands Group of Companies.  It was the NSBA Business Builder Awards and the Group of Companies was a finalist for Community Builder and Safe Employer Awards.  The Children's Wish Foundation of Saskatchewan had nominated the Group of companies for the Community Builder Award and the NSBA nominated us for the Safe Employer Award.

    Why were we honored with the Community Builder Award you might ask?  On an annual basis the Northern Strands Group of Companies gives back to the community in a variety of ways. An employee-driven Committee has been established to drive fund-raising while keeping in mind the other areas of social responsibility. 

    Right from day one our employees are exposed to our culture of community support and social responsibility. In our new hire pack we have included a letter that explains our efforts to be an active contributor in the community. This same letter explains that we have partnered with the Saskatchewan Children's Wish foundation and have the goal of granting one child's wish annually. After reading this letter, many of our employees choose to donate through our Children's Wish payroll deduction program. This is just the start of our fundraising though.  

    Throughout the year we raise funds for Children's Wish in a variety of ways; Paper, pop cans, containers and batteries are recycled. Additional funds are raised through yard cleanup with scrap steel and other reusable goods being sent to auction. The Group of Companies holds several fund-raising BBQ's throughout the summer. Employees are encouraged to participate and volunteer to help with the activities during the event. We contact neighboring businesses and drop off flyers in the effort to grow each and every BBQ. 

    We also have a very unique way of giving back to the community. We use our Safety Training Ambulance to raise money at events like Craven Country Jamboree and other similar events. Our Trainers donate their time as first responders. They offer basic medical care out of the ambulance. Any money we are paid is donated back to Children's Wish. 

    Every year our efforts have helped give hope to a local family that needed it the most. We believe one of the key reasons we are successful in encouraging our employees to donate their time is the connection we make with the child we are aligned with. Every year we make an effort to meet with our Children's Wish child and their family at a Children's Wish organized event. The last two years we participated in Children's Wish's Exile Island.  A fundraising event where 8 employees take the afternoon off to compete in a series of fun events with their child. 


    We are proud to say that for last 4 years in a row we have donated over $10,000 towards granting a Child's Wish!

    Although Children's Wish is our main focus, we still contribute to the community in a variety of other ways. We have sponsored or donated to many other local charities, events and teams; the Contacts, Delisle Rodeo, Saskatchewan 4H club, The Salvation Army, Saskatoon Food bank, Friendship Inn and SWITCH. 

    We are equally proud of our NSBA Safe Employer Finalist Nomination. Safety of our employees, customers and community has and always will be the cornerstone of the Northern Strands Group of Companies. Many companies promote safety, but our company is literally built on safety. We have several divisions with a direct link to offering safe solutions to our community including safety training, fall protection systems, rigging and lifting, and suspended access. We also perform safety inspections and regularly develop safe work procedures and systems for the mining and industrial industries. We are continuously reviewing and enhancing our own safety and environmental polices. We will continue to demonstrate that our commitment to safety and environment in our community will always be our highest priority. 

    The Northern Strands Group of Companies will continue to lead by example by supporting our local communities and being an industry leader in employee and worker safety.  We would like to thank the hardworking employees of the Northern Strands Group of Companies.  Our employees are the driving force behind our fundraising efforts and our safety first mentality.



    All the NSBA Business builder award winners can be found here http://nsbasask.com/news/details/nsba_business_builder_award_winners_announced.html

    Northern Strands, Fortis Mining Engineering & Manufacturing and Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals are all proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated. 

    Proper Rigging Techniques...Have You Ever Done This When Rigging?

    Picture this: You’re connecting a sling to a swivel hoist ring using a screw pin shackle.  You get the sling nestled nice and comfy in the bow of the shackle and put the ears around the bail of the hoist ring.  You insert the shackle pin through the ears of the shackle (being careful to catch the bail on the way through) and you twist it until it’s tight against the side of the shackle.  You’re about to fly the load but wait, you forgot something! A supervisor told you that the pin is supposed to be backed off 1/4th of a turn! How could you have forgotten?!


    If you’ve ever been in this situation before, we have some news for you.  The American Society of Mechanical Engineers states quite plainly in its B30.26 standard for Rigging Hardware “screw pin threads shall be fully engaged and tight, and the shoulder should be in contact with the shackle body” prior to any lift.


    With rigging especially, there seems to be a lot of industry practices that came about without consulting the manufacturer and this is one of the many examples we cover in our Crosby Rigging Seminars.  One of our trainers goals during the training is to point out where there are no grey areas; if the manufacturer of a product has written procedures for its use and we don’t follow them then who is being negligent?  Proper rigging techniques should always be used to avoid accidents and injuries.


    If you’re now wondering if there are any other rigging situations or practices that might not be up to par, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional Safety Trainers. 

    We offer a variety of Safety Training courses for the mining and construction industries.  We also offer Emergency Responder courses.

    Here is a full list of our Safety Courses:

    • Crosby Rigging Training
    • Fall Arrest Safety Training
    • Tugger Safety Training
    • Wirelock Socketing Training
    • Suspended Access Equipment Training
    • First Aid / CPR Training
    • Emergency Medical Responder Training
    • Medical Frist Responder Training
    • Intermediate Level First Aid Training
    • Firefighter Advanced First Aid

    Contact Northern Strands to book your next Safety Course at 306-242-7073 by email training@northernstrands.com or visit or webpage to learn more http://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx 

    Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

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    • 3235 Millar Avenue
    • Saskatoon, SK S7K 5Y3

    Regina

    • 125 Henderson Drive
    • Regina, SK S4N 5W4

    Esterhazy

    • 816 Park Ave
    • Esterhazy, SK S0A 0X0
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