Hoist innovation meets BHP safety standard

KONECRANES has met the challenge of a BHP Billiton initiative intended to bring the mining conglomerate's cranes and hoists up to a higher safety standard.

KONECRANES has met the challenge of a BHP Billiton initiative intended to bring the mining conglomerate’s cranes and hoists up to a higher safety standard.

Twenty-two chain hoists at BHP Billiton’s Port Hedland iron ore facility in Western Australia have already been raised to the new compliance level, with further conversions to follow.

BHP Billiton’s Fatal Risk Control Protocol (FRCP) 10 was developed by the company in 2005 in the interests of developing world-leading workplace safety standards.

Konecranes WA contracts manager Kevin Williams said Konecranes had worked with a Queensland-based company to develop a comprehensive solution.

“Specially-developed safety upgrade kits are now being fitted to crane equipment of a variety of ages and makes. We have also developed a BHP Billiton specification for our own branded equipment, so it can be supplied more quickly and easily.”

The greatest challenge was to develop an FRCP 10 compliant chain hoist. These hoists are usually designed as simple, uncomplicated items that are not made with the sophistication required to meet FRCP 10.

BHP Billiton’s FRCP 10 standard for chain hoists requires that the equipment have some type of load cell with a digital read out. The conventional overload device on a chain hoist is a slipping clutch, which is not capable of supplying information to a load display.

The Konecranes solution is different from conventional strain gauges that interrupt the chain and can be used only on chain hoists with two drops.

The company has integrated the load sensing into the connection pins present on a standard chain hoist, so that there is no loss of lifting height as occurs with the conventional method.

Two load pins, which provide a signal for the load display, are inserted in the connection point that is normally reserved for standard connection pins. Each load pin is capable of lifting 3.1t, which is greater than the total lifting capability.

Konecranes 02 9933 3802, www.konecranes.com.