How can you improve the safety of lifting operations in hazardous areas?

The global lifting industry faces substantial planning, logistical and procedural challenges during lifting operations.

Operating critical machinery, often in hazardous offshore environments, comes with significant QHSE risks, and all the while companies strive for increased safety and cost efficiency.

This push for more cost-effective techniques creates demand for innovative systems that can help facilitate reduced costs and risks. Service providers like Scotload are responding to these increasing requirements by working closely with customers in the lifting industry to add value to their operations. To this end, Scotload is developing innovative technologies that enable a new way of working, benefiting customers across a range of safety critical industries.

Recently, the company launched Zone I certified wireless SmartLoad® products to complement its globally approved range of hazardous area load monitoring solutions, delivering improved safety to an array of complex lifting operations.

Describing the how this innovative technology benefits customers, Simon Everett, managing director of Scotload said:

"The exciting addition of SmartLoad 1Ex to our already extensive portfolio of hazardous area products enables us to assist our customers in eliminating cables from critical work areas, helping to reduce the maintenance costs associated with cable damage and improve overall operational safety."

A project with lifting and mooring equipment specialist, Ansell Jones, demonstrates how collaborative working and the use of this innovative technology has benefited the industry. Ansell Jones approached Scotload with a requirement to convert a spider crane for Zone II requirements for a North Sea offshore platform - Cygnus, for operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd.

Typically offshore lifting operations need scaffolding and winches, but the spider crane's manoeuvrability will enable lifting operations to be performed quickly, safely and efficiently at multiple locations on the platform. The conversion of the spider cranes for offshore Zone II rated use is an industry first, but Ansell Jones expects significant interest due to its convenience and its ability to be deployed safely and quickly, significantly increasing operational efficiency and reduced costs.

SmartLoad includes numerous hazardous area display options including an ergonomically designed handset featuring an intuitive menu driven display with individual load cell naming facility. Requiring only one handset to connect load cells, load pins, links, shackles and tension line monitors, these simple plug and play products automatically detect all cells in range with a live simultaneous display of multiple cells.

Adrian Coventry, engineering director at Strainstall, explains:

"We applied the latest wireless technology to enable SmartLoad to deliver increased range and signal reliability over any other hazardous area product currently on the market. The intelligence and in-cell data logging is uniquely integrated into the load cell itself and is fully compatible with existing equipment, removing the need for expensive system upgrades."