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Northern Strands Co Ltd

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Why does rigging need a safety factor?
Have you wondered why rigging experts always suggest a sling that has a significantly higher breaking strength than the actual weight of the load you are lifting? The manufacturers know that the rigging used in overhead applications need to have room for error. This is known as the Safety Factor.
Northern Strands manufactures wire rope slings rated up to 36,000 lbs and sells round synthetic slings that are rated up to 140,000 lb capacity. This capacity is the Working Load Limit of the sling, which is the maximum amount of weight or force that the sling's user is allowed to put on the sling. Note: These slings do not break at the working load limit. These slings are designed with a safety factor of 5:1. This means that 5 times as much force as the working load limit has to be applied to the sling before it potentially fails. This means the wire rope slings have a Breaking Strength of up to 180,000 lbs and the round synthetic slings can withhold up to 700,000 lbs.
Why are these capacities reduced by such a drastic degree?
Among others, here are 3 good reasons:
1.Shock Loading - Unexpected drops where the load can accelerate and then must be 'caught' by the slings.
2.Wear - Working load limits are based on slings in brand new condition and a safety factor can help account for normal wear and tear until it is deemed unfit for further use.
3.Uneven loading - Slings are made up of either wires or fibers that must all share the weight of the load evenly. If any situation arises where the sling is bent or wrapped around an object, there is potential that some of the wires or fibers will be taking on a greater share of the load than others.
Visit Northern Strands website to use the sling tension calculator. The Northern Strands Sling Calculator has been designed to assist you in selecting slings with enough load carrying capacity for your lifting applications. It is your responsibility to assure that the slings you use are appropriate for your application.
To inquire about Rigging and Safety Factors, contact:
Northern Strands @ 306-242-7073
or Email
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When conducting work site inspections, audits, or periodic rigging inspections, it is not uncommon to have to take anywhere from 80% -100% of the synthetic web slings out of service. There are a large variety of reasons a synthetic sling, “gets itself” into such a state of disrepair, but one thing that comes up from time to time when you ask a sling’s user why it is still on the rack in a clearly damaged state, a typical response might be:
“Oh, well you can’t see the red marker threads, so I thought they were still good…?”
Unbeknownst to some, many synthetic slings can be cut completely in twain and there will be no evidence of the aforementioned “red marker threads” whatsoever.
Backstory: some sling manufacturers would weave a different colored thread into the web sling material as a way to warn users of excess wear/abrasion/etc. The idea was that sling users would be able to more quickly identify a worn out sling by seeing the different colored thread.
So now we can see the issue that I have with this: the manufacturers added a feature to help sling users identify worn web slings and then sling users eventually turned it into a Go/No-Go gauge. This is made even worse by the fact that many, many slings do not have red marker threads of any kind. And even when slings do have them there can be many other reasons to take a synthetic sling out of service before they become visible.
If you’re noticing a trend like this on your worksite inspections follow this link and we can discuss how the Northern Strands Below the Hook Rigging Training program could help you and/or your workforce learn where to draw the line and take slings and other rigging out of service before they become a hazard.
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Should Outrigger Tiebacks for Powered Suspended Access Equipment Be Wire Rope?
In the industry there is a misconception that portable outrigger beams and parapet clamps being used with powered suspended access equipment can be tied back using fibre rope, and often times it is old vertical lifeline rope that is used for this application.  However, using rope in this application is an incorrect practice.

Under the national CSA Safety Code For Suspended Platforms, the tieback cables for portable outriggers and parapet clamps must be of equal strength as the primary suspension rope.  Since most powered climbers use a 5/16” or 8.4mm diameter wire rope that has a breaking strength of 10,000+lbs, the use of 5/8” polysteel lifeline (which has a breaking strength of only 9,000 lbs when new) is not adequate.  In addition to that, ropes are usually terminated at the anchors with knots, and ANY knot will reduce the strength of rope by at least 25%.  While ropes of the proper strength and construction (and when terminated with the proper approved knots) can be used with rope access systems and manual bosun’s chairs, they should never be used with any powered suspended equipment that has wire rope as the primary suspension line.

At Northern Strands, we will always supply the proper tieback cables and wire rope clips for this connection, and provide complete instruction on proper rigging of tieback cables as part of our Suspended Access Equipment Training course.

For more information visit

"Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated."
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Northern Strands Crosby Shrimp Boil and Rigging Training Event a Huge Success! 

On June 1st Northern Strands hosted the Crosby Shrimp Boil and Rigging Training event.  Crosby picks only 4 companies a year in North America to host this event.  It took months of careful planning and teamwork to make the event a success.  
We started at the Travelodge for Rigging Training.  We had excellent attendance for the Crosby Rigging Course.  Over 80 people attend training!  Crosby Group gave an excellent course on rigging.  The Crosby trainer covered everything from rigging inspection to how the working load limit can vary between different types of rigging hardware.

Did you know that Northern Strands offers a variety of safety training courses? i.e. Fall Arrest Training, Rigging Training, Winch Training, First Aid Training, Suspended Access Training, Wirelock Socketing Training, Emergency Medical Responder Training, Medical First Responder Training, Intermediate First Aid Training and more.

After training, we all headed over to Northern Strands for the second half of our event.  The Crosby Shrimp Boil!  This is the part everyone was waiting for.  The meal consisted of sausage, peppers, corn, mushrooms, baby potatoes and of course shrimp.
At the Shrimp Boil we provided demonstrations on Northern Strands new Mobile Test Center.   We pulled rigging to destruction and showed how damaged rigging will readily break below the working load limit.  Our new Mobile Test Center was engineered and fabricated for Northern Strands by our sister company Fortis Mining Engineering & Manufacturing. 

Northern Strands is now offering free, "Is Your Rigging Safe Demonstration's" to qualified customers.  We will bring our Mobile Test Center on site for your demonstration.   Contact Northern Strands to book your demonstration 

In addition to the pull to destruction demonstrations, we offered tours of our Northern Strands rigging warehouse facilities.  We had employees giving demonstrations on how we fabricate 1" wire rope slings in our sling bay.

Northern Strands would like to thank all of our clients that attended the Northern strands Shrimp Boil and Training Event.  We hope you all enjoyed the training, dinner, pull testing demonstrations and tours of our rigging warehouse.  
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Now is the time when the agriculture, construction and mining industries are in full swing.  Demand for rigging supplies is increasing as the weather improves.  At this time of year farmers in particular are in need of many of our custom rigging products.  Northern Strands can manufacture tow cables for tractors up to 1 ½’’ diameter as well northern strands can make up replacement drawbar assemblies for harrows and cultivators.
Other popular rigging products at Northern Strands include:
Web slings
Round slings
Tow straps
Plate clamps
Aircraft cable
Wire rope sheaves
Chain hoists
Double braided tow rope
Block and tackle
Snatch Block
Crosby clips
Crosby rigging
Crosby shackles
Beam clamps
Fall protection harnesses
Lever hoists
Cable grips
Grade 80 chain
Grade 100 chain
Synthetic rope
Dyneema Rope
Beam trolleys
Clevis Hooks
Polyester slings
Screw pin shackles
Lifting beams
Spreader beams
Plate clamps
Transport chain
Wire rope slings
Northern Strands is one of the largest rigging companies in Canada.  We are the largest wire rope and rigging company in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.   We have a Saskatoon location and a Regina location serving our customers.  With both locations having the capability to ship products across Canada.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Northern Strands Training Division Expands and Adds New Training Courses

The Northern Strands Training Division is growing!  With growth comes the need for additional health and safety trainers.   Northern Strands has invited renowned trainer, Cassenna Parmeter to join our training team.  We're excited to have Cassenna on our team.  She is well known throughout the health and safety industry and brings a wealth of experience to the Northern Strands training team. Welcome aboard Cassenna!

Northern Strands has officially added 3 new health and safety courses, with more to be announced in the near future.  The first three health and safety classes we've added are Advanced Fire Training, E.R.T. Industry Training and Medical First Responder Training.   We also offer courses in First Aid & CPR, Suspended Access Equipment Training, Crosby Rigging, Fall Arrest, Wirelock Socketing and Tugger Safety.  

Visit our website training page to learn more about our courses:

Here are our top ten reasons to train with Northern Strands
Proven strategic results
Customized safety programs
Reduce acccidents
Experienced safety leaders
reliable customer service
Guaranteed safety motivation
Production and distribution of all items
Target specific safety topics
Build employee morale
Engage your workforce

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Wire Rope Corner: Did you know that there are different levels of rotation resistance in wire rope?

Rotation-resistant rope is defined as stranded rope designed to generate reduced levels of torque and rotation when loaded and comprised of two or more layers of strands laid helically around the center, with the direction of lay of the outers strands being opposite to that of the underlying layer.  However, there are different levels of rotation resistance to consider.
Rotation-resistant rope (Category 1):  Stranded rope constructed so that it displays little or no tendency to rotate, or, if guided, transmits little or no torque.  It has at least 15 outer strands and is comprised of at least three layers of strands laid helically over a center in two operations, with the direction of lay of the outer strands being opposite to that of the underlying layer.  This rope is also known as Non-Rotating.
Rotation-resistant rope (Category 2):  Stranded rope constructed so that it has significant resistance to rotation.  It has at least 10 outer strands and is comprised of two or more layers of strands laid helically over a center in two or three operations, with the direction of lay of the outer strands being opposite to that of the underlying layer.  This rope is also known as Low Rotation.
Rotation-resistant rope (Category 3):  Stranded rope constructed so that it has limited resistance to rotation.  It has no more than 9 outer strands and is comprised of two layers of strands laid helically over a center in two operations, with the direction of lay of the outer strands being opposite to that of the underlying layer.  This rope is also known as Spin Resistant.
Come back again in the near future for the next installment of Wire Rope Corner.  Be safe out there.
Northern Strands Mining, Wire Rope, Attachments & Equipment Division excels by providing a wide range of equipment and services, by being the best full service provider of wire ropes, attachments, equipment and service. Truly Mine Hoisting Solutions®.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Northern Strands Safety Divisions Leaves Lasting Impression at Industrial Safety Seminar!

For the third year in a row Northern Strands attended one of the largest safety trade shows in Western Canada.   The Industrial Safety Seminar was held at Praireland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.   Hundreds of people interested in learning more about work place safety were in attendance.   The Northern Strands double booth featured an Advanced Davit Arm System for entry and retrieval applications.   Attached is a picture of the Davit System set up at the Industrial Safety Seminar

Many industry expert visited our booth to inquire about Northern Strands safety related divisions; Safety Training, Engineered Fall Protection, Wire Rope and Rigging and Suspended Access.   One of the more popular questions was, "What training courses do you offer?"   This was an excellent question!  

Our current training courses include:
Fall Arrest Training
Crosby Rigging Seminars
Wirelock Socketing Seminars
First Aid and CPR training
Tugger Safety Training
Suspended Access Equipment Training

Visit our website for more information on our safety training courses  
To see upcoming Training Courses visit the Northern Strands Training Calendar  Want to book your crew and don't see a day that works for you?  Our Trainers are flexible, call us to discuss a time and day that does work for you.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Do You Need a Commercial Roofing Fall Protection Plan?

Over the last few decades worker safety in Canada has become an area of utmost importance for our government, companies and workers.   Worker fall protection safety has been a particular area of focus in safety regulations and culture across Saskatchewan and Canada. 

Did you know that Saskatchewan's Occupational Health and Safety Regulations states that, "An employer or contractor shall develop a written fall protection plan where:
(a) a worker may fall three metres or more; and
(b) workers are not protected by a guardrail or similar barrier."?
What constitutes a fall protection plan or system?  OH&S regulations state, "The fall protection plan required by subsection (1) must describe:
(a) the fall hazards at the worksite;
(b) the fall protection system to be used at the worksite;
(c) the procedures used to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall protection system; and
(d) the rescue procedures to be used if a worker falls, is suspended by a personal fall arrest system or safety net and needs to be rescued.
(3) The employer or contractor shall ensure that a copy of the fall protection plan is readily available before work begins at a worksite where a risk of falling exists.
(4) The employer or contractor shall ensure that a worker is trained in the fall protection plan and the safe use of the fall protection system before allowing the worker to work in an area where a fall protection system must be used."

Northern Strands Engineered Fall Protection Division recently completed a job where we installed an Engineered Fall Protection System for a commercial rooftop.  We completed the installation of two force management anchors on a standing seam roof.  Standing seam clamps are attached to the roof top. Bearer bars bridge the gap between two standing seams.  Anchor plates are the riveted to the bearer bars and the pull tested. Finally the anchors are assembled on the anchor plate and torqued.  These rooftop anchors are now ready for the customers use.

If you have questions regarding commercial rooftop fall protection plans, please contact the Engineered Fall Protection Division of Northern Strands at 306.242.7073, email or visit our webpage

Northern Strands is COR safety certified and is a Mission Zero Charter Member. 

We are proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Exchange your old hoist for new at Northern Strands!

Northern Strands has long had chain hoists and lever hoist for sale.  Only recently has Northern Strands launched a chain hoist and lever hoist Exchange Program!  Chain hoists or lever hoists qualify for the program.  Save yourself the trouble of selling your used hoist when you can simply bring it to Northern Strands and exchange it.  We will give qualified customers discounted pricing to purchase new hoists and we will offer you an exchange allowance when returning used hoists of any brand, working condition or not.  Northern Strands carries some of the most popular chain and lever hoist brands on the market, such as Vitali and Columbus Mckinnon.

Conditions of program:
• The new hoist must be equal in tonnage to the hoist being exchanged.
   Example: Used 2 ton hoist for a new 2 ton hoist.
• We will accept all brands of hoists, working or not.
• Ask about custom chain falls and trade in allowance for 10, 15 and 20 ton hoists.

Northern Strands can supply lever and chain hoists to construction and mining companies across Canada.  Whether you are in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia or even Ontario, you can participate in our lever and chain hoist exchange program.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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