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Safety ensured for Stony Mountain employees

Mitigated risk and improved return on investment

After identifying a safety hazard involving steel-wire rope, Stony Mountain used SupreemX-12™, made from Dyneema® SK78 fiber, to operate the winch system that opens and closes the waste bin lids – eliminating the risk of operator injury and improving the company’s overall return on investment.

Stony Mountain Waste Management

Located in the center of Canada’s oil industry, Stony Mountain Waste Management provides full-service waste management solutions for hazardous and non-hazardous materials throughout the western province of Alberta.

Extreme climate pushes equipment to its limits

Canada is a land of extremes, with drastic seasonal variations in weather commonplace, and bountiful wildlife prevalent. Due to its location in the center of such a harsh climate, Stony Mountain takes additional precautions in order to ensure the safety of employees, clients and the public, as risks are magnified in climates experiencing such severity.

“An injury to a customer is an injury we have to bear as well,” says Stony Mountain’s Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, Eugene Thiessen, “which is why we want to eliminate hazards wherever we can.”

Identifying risks to operator safety

Synthetic rope made with Dyneema® was used to replace steel-wire on the winch system that controls the lids on the top of Stony Mountain’s waste bins. The change occurred after a wire rope frayed, leaving employees susceptible to a hand injury if the sharp strand penetrated through a worker’s glove.

According to research conducted by ASSE, hand injuries alone can cost companies $7,500 per incident in both direct and indirect costs.

Steel-wire rope poses breakage and recoil risks

Although Stony Mountain conducted visual inspections of their ropes daily, the risks to employees were obvious – rope failure could mean serious injury. “Steel-wire rope tends to fray and, once it does, it immediately becomes a hazard. The opportunity to eliminate that hazard with a fiber rope product was something we were very interested in,” says Thiessen.

Not only does the increased weight of steel-wire rope require additional manpower and larger equipment, but any breakage can pose a serious risk due to the wire’s heavy and uneven breaking behavior. Consequently, when a steel-wire rope breaks, the combination of the enormous energy and heavy weight causes unpredictable recoil with incredible force, endangering operator safety.

“With wire rope, you can’t gauge when it’s going to break – when it goes, it goes”

Dyneema® offers a safe and lightweight solution

The inherent properties of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, make it stronger than steel, yet seven times lighter, which enables faster and safer handling. Additionally, ropes made with Dyneema® are more durable, UV and moisture resistant and show extraordinary performance even in extreme conditions. “When you’re sending a guy out with several feet of wire rope in the cold, it’s a dangerous and unpleasant experience,” says Thiessen. “With Dyneema®, temperature fluctuation and safety are no longer an issue.”

Supreem-X-12™ successfully replaces steel-wire rope

Stony Mountain replaced three of their winch systems with SupreemX-12™, a 12-strand synthetic rope manufactured by Atlantic Braids out of Ontario, Canada. SupreemX-12™ is known as a high strength cable replacement using Dyneema® SK78 fiber, which has very little stretch, low creep and torque free performance characteristics – making it ideal in winch, tow, rigging/control and utility lines.

To date, the 5/16” diameter SupreemX-12™ has performed without issue, and is a smaller diameter than the previous 3/8” steel-wire rope, yet still provides 13 times the required break strength for the 1,000-pound pulley system.

“Our customers and end users couldn’t believe a synthetic rope could replace steel-wire.”

Increased performance and return on investment with Dyneema®

Like many companies, Stony Mountain is continuously looking to increase efficiency and performance in order to deliver ongoing cost savings to their customers. “A synthetic rope that’s stronger and lasts longer than steel-wire is not only a hazard mitigation but also an efficiency that was very easy to sell to upper management,” says Thiessen. “The ropes we’re buying now don’t fray and last 10 times longer than steel-wire.”

The increased lifetime of synthetic rope over steel means fewer change outs and less down time for Stony Mountain. “We have brought high tech performance to a relatively low tech mechanism. It’s a major asset to Stony Mountain when our clients can see us proactively working to find innovative solutions that not only increase performance, but also eliminate risk,” says Thiessen.

Direct collaboration with Atlantic Braids

Nick Snow, the President of Atlantic Braids, echoes the benefits of synthetic ropes, crediting the successful implementation of SupreemX-12™ in Stony Mountain’s operations to Dyneema® fiber. “We work directly with DSM Dyneema’s engineers and technical experts to produce quality products that provide our customers with premium performance and, more importantly, peace of mind,” says Snow. “We can directly track the origins of the fiber, ensuring consistency in every rope we make.”

The verdict is in

Stony Mountain has vowed to continue using synthetic rope made with Dyneema® in their operations. In fact, the company has already repeated their order to ensure they don’t run out anytime soon.

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