Self Dumping Bins

Self Dumping Bins save workers from harm, while improving job-site productivity. Check out this video to learn how.

Heat Stress

Top Takeaway:

High temperatures are the greatest challenge for jobsites in the summer. Make sure everyone on site is hydrated, eating well, and taking time to cool down to prevent heat stress.


Summer is here, and with it comes long days and hot weather. Warmer temperatures can be exciting but are also hazardous for those who work outside or in the heat. Heat stress is a serious threat on a jobsite, so check out these best practices to stay safe this season.


1. Have a plan.

The best way to keep your jobsite running safely and smoothly this summer is to be prepared. Consider supplying additional cooling PPE for your crew, such as fans or cold packs, and organize working hours to avoid the hottest part of the day.

2. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

These are the two simplest ways to avoid heat illnesses and protect your health in the long term. Drink enough water (most doctors recommend eight glasses a day) and continuously apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the heat and UV radiation.

3. Respect the sun, love the shade.

Exposure to sunlight is inevitable in the summer, but it should be avoided when possible. Create shaded areas with good air-flow to prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

4. Dress right.

Sleeveless may seem the way to go on a burning day, but exposed skin means a higher risk of sunburn and sunstroke, and could even lead to skin cancer in the long term. Instead of losing layers, wear loose-fitting clothing made of breathable material, a hat with a brim, and sunglasses that block UV rays. These steps will guard your health and keep you cooler in the long run.

5. Eat right.

It’s natural to crave sugary drinks and icy treats in the summer heat but these foods will sap your energy as you digest them and leave you with a sugar crash. Choose healthy, energizing foods, like fresh fruit or low-sugar granola bars and stick to water as your drink of choice.

6. Allow for acclimatization.

If an employee is new or has been off work for a while, their bodies will need time to adjust to the summer’s heat. Start them with reduced time spent in high temperatures and increase it slowly. An acclimatized body will be able to better handle heat exposure and is less likely to suffer from heat stress.

7. Stay cool.

It’s important to allow your body to cool down after spending extensive time in the heat. Prepare air-conditioned break rooms and encourage your crew to spend time indoors after work to prevent the effects of heat stress.

8. Plan for the next day.

Your habits outside of work will also affect your ability to operate in the heat. Avoid overindulging on coffee or alcohol after-hours, as these will continue to have dehydrating effects on your body the next day.

9. Watch for symptoms.

Heat stress can progress quickly once it has begun and, if left untreated, can require time off work to recover from. Watch out for dizziness, nausea, headaches, cramps, elevated pulse, and if sweating stops. If you notice any of these symptoms, take a break in a cool area and drink lots of water. If a person becomes unresponsive, call 9-1-1 immediately.

10. Educate your crew.

While it’s important to pay attention to the health of your crew, it’s impossible to monitor everyone onsite at all times. Make sure your staff are trained to recognize the signs of heat stress and treat it immediately.

11. Know when to call it.

Some days are just too hot to work. It may be frustrating to end a workday early, but it will be more productive in the long run to preserve the health of your employees. There’s no legal cut off for when it’s too hot to work, so monitor the heat and your crew’s condition to make the wisest choice.

For more information on heat stress and how to prevent it, read WorkSafeBC’s free guide here.

crane lifting safety tips

Wind is a major hazard when working at height, even on days that seem calm. Windy days can make working at height dangerous for everyone on the job-site.  Follow these best practices to ensure a safe job-site, no matter the weather.

#1: Keep Objects and Tools Secure

Be prepared by keeping objects and tools that are not in use well secured. Strong gusts can cause you to lose balance, blow tools and materials off of platforms, and weaken structures, so store materials and tools securely when not in use.

#2: Use a Wind Meter

General wind readings are usually taken at ground level and cover a large area, like a city or neighborhood. This makes them a useful tool for planning, but they don’t provide enough information to ensure safety on your job-site, especially when heights are involved. Wind speeds can increase by up to 50% at 20 meters above ground, which means a manageable breeze on the ground can translate to near gale force winds at height. Use one of our NAVIS wind meters to get accurate readings that reflect how your site is affected by gusts and how the surrounding buildings and landscapes are influencing wind currents.

#3: Don’t Underestimate Gusts

Even on calm days, gusts of wind are still hazardous, as they can come out of nowhere and travel up to two times faster than the average windspeed. Again, use a wind meter to monitor conditions, as you may need to quit working at height if gusts are too strong.

#4: Treat Flat Materials with Caution

Flat materials like sheets of plywood can easily turn into sails if hit by strong enough winds, and can drag people off heights or fall onto those working below. On windy or gusty days, make sure to carry flat materials horizontally in pairs and secure them tightly when not in use.

#5: Don’t React to Blowing Objects

Strong winds can blow away tools, hard hats, papers, and more, but at height it’s important to fight the immediate urge to catch blowing objects. It sounds counter-intuitive but reacting too quickly could cause you to lose your balance or could distract you from other hazards blowing toward you. If something begins to blow away, take a beat before retrieving it to ensure you can do so in a safe manner.

#6: Wear the right Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

The right PPE could make the difference between a close call and a trip to the hospital. Wear eye protection on breezy days to keep out dust and debris, and make sure your hard hat is securely fastened to keep it from blowing off your head.

#7: Wear a Harness

No matter how uncomfortable or cumbersome it is, always wear a harness at heights of 1.5 meters and above, as 30% of fatal falls happen at heights of two meters or lower, and 50% happen at three meters or less.

#8: Don’t Make Covers Without Holes

It may be tempting to create a sheltered area in windy conditions (especially if they’re coupled with cold weather) but like sheets of material, covers made of tarp or plywood can tear away whatever anchor or platform they’re attached to if caught by a strong enough wind. We don’t recommend making these kinds of shelters, but if you must make a cover for yourself, cut holes in it to allow the wind to pass through without carrying it away.

#9: Know When to Stop Working

Losing a day of work is manageable, losing a co-worker to injury or worse is not. Create a plan to deal with windy conditions. We recommend this guide: Wilkins Safety Group’s Beaufort Scale Safety Guide, which details the precautions that should be taken at various wind speeds. It’s an extremely helpful tool in creating a safe plan.

#10: Always Inspect Your Structures

Strong winds over extended periods of time can cause structures to weaken or lean at unsafe angles. Always check over scaffolding, platforms and their anchor points after a wind storm to ensure they are still secure to work on, and that nothing has shifted that will cause them to fall or collapse.

Click here to learn more about wind safety devices. 

Click here to download a copy of this post for your files.

crane lifting safety tips

Working at Height in the Spring: 10 Ways to Stay Safe
Written by: Jen Adams

Key Takeaway: Be prepared for unpredictable spring weather by keeping the job-site clean,
planning for the forecasted weather, using the right PPE, and taking thorough
safety precautions.

Temperatures may be rising, but spring brings its own set of risks (and borrows some from
winter) that need to be taken seriously. Keep these best practices in mind while you’re working
at height this season to stay safe while enjoying the breeze.

1. Always check the weather.

The only thing consistent about spring weather is that it changes consistently. Be prepared for
the heat or cold by checking the weather ahead of time and plan accordingly, and always be
prepared for sudden changes that could occur.

2. Complete thorough safety checks on all large equipment.

With inconsistent weather comes loose earth, mud that gets everywhere, and a higher risk
of rust when equipment is repeatedly soaked and left to dry. Always make sure to check
equipment and machinery before using it and stay up to date on safety regulations by
checking and using tools like Bigfoot’s Crane Academy.

3. Secure your materials.

High winds can pick up quickly in the spring and are often stronger the higher you work, as the
site is usually more exposed. Make sure the materials you are working with are secure at all
times to avoid injuries or falls from loose materials or objects blowing around.

4. Avoid using power tools in rainy or wet conditions.

Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. By using power tools in the rain or wet after a
rain, you not only run the risk of damaging your tools, but risk electric shock or electrocution if
any wires become exposed while you work. Play it safe and use hand tools where possible or
set up cover over your work area to keep the area dry.

5. Be wary of thunder and lightning storms.

Spring storms are especially dangerous to those working at heights, as lightning is drawn to
metal and tall structures. Monitor the weather report, be aware of your environment, and if the
weather looks dicey, don’t risk working in a storm.

6. Give yourself some traction.

Slipping is always a risk when working on the job-site but becomes even more so when working at
height on wet surfaces. Wear boots and gloves that fit well (make sure they are tight enough that
they can’t slip off, but not so tight as to cut off circulation) and have a lot of traction and grip to
prevent accidents.

7. Always wear appropriate fall PPE, even if working at a lower height.

Most fall-related accidents occur at 30 ft. or less because people view lower heights as less
dangerous, but it takes very little height for a fall to cause injury or even death. Height should be
treated seriously and with caution in any season, but mud and rain make it especially important
to utilize fall PPE in the spring.

8. Let your fall PPE dry naturally before its next use.

Drying equipment with an electric dryer or heater can weaken or melt the material, ruining the
equipment and putting its user at risk. Blot your equipment with towels and hang it up to dry
completely on its own whenever it gets wet, and always check it carefully before each use.

9. Dress warmly enough, and cool enough.

Spring weather may feel warm compared to winter, but its unpredictable nature means that
temperatures can drop to hazardous temperatures, especially when coupled with consistent
cold rains. Dress in layers to ensure you can always keep up with whatever cold or heat the day
throws at you.

10. Train staff to identify weather-based illnesses.

Heat and cold stress occur when the body either warms up faster than it can cool (resulting in
heat exhaustion or sunstroke) or cools down faster than it can warm up (resulting in frostbite
or hypothermia). While they happen more often in summer and winter, they can also strike in
temperatures that don’t seem very extreme. People working at heights can also be at a higher
risk as they tend to be more exposed to the elements. Make sure there are staff on site who are
trained to recognize and treat signs of heat and cold illnesses.

Click here to download: Working at Height in the Spring: 10 Ways to Stay Safe

hoist operator training vancouver

Like most projects, there are always a lot of moving pieces specifically when working in a delicate environment like a hospital. In this specific job, construction would take place right on top of a cardiac unit that had several labs- all required to keep functioning during the construction. “You’re working in an existing operating hospital. The more you can keep construction out of that hospital, the better you are. Our whole logistic plan was geared around that idea.”

To read the full case study,  Click here 


When the Dominion Diamond Corporation needed a newer, safer, and more efficient solution for an ongoing challenge in their mining operations, they called Bigfoot Crane Company.

Dominion Diamond Corporation is a Canadian mining company that has become a major supplier of rough diamonds to the world market. Their operation at the Ekati Diamond Mine near the Arctic Circle often requires specialized equipment that can withstand challenging work environments and harsh climates.

In order to bring rough diamonds to the surface, the company utilizes a team of skilled workers known as High Wall Scalers. This specialized crew works in the open pits to remove hazards, like large rocks and boulders, from the sheer, vertical walls of the mine, which can be as high as thirty meters.

“The High Wall Scalers are there to protect other crew members,” said Chantal Lavoie, Chief Operating Officer for Dominion Diamond Corporation. “They’ll scale down from the walls of the mine using a scaling bar to push or pry the rocks off or an airbag to loosen them. If the rock is too big to move, they’ll anchor it in place by installing ground support.”

It’s this last activity that necessitated the need for a rock-scaling basket. Lavoie noted that if there was a large area where ground support was needed, the basket let the team go in and install ground support materials in a more efficient manner. The company had used a similar piece of equipment years before but wanted something bigger and better.

Enter Bigfoot.

Working with the engineering team at Dominion Diamond Corporation, Bigfoot designed and built a customized rock scaling basket according to the company’s specific requirements.

Lavoie noted: “We wanted to make sure this was going to work for the crew, so one of the first things we did was reach out to them to see what kind of improvements would help them do their job.”

Bigfoot delivered a completely customized finished product that turned out to be, according to Lavoie, better than expected.

The new man basket is ergonomically designed, with adjustable wall supports, covered sides and a solid bottom to cut down on wind. Best of all, according to Lavoie, the new basket significantly improved crew safety and allowed workers to use a different type of drill that was more efficient for them.

“The customized basket has doubled high-wall scaler productivity,” said Lavoie. “The team is pleased with how fast and how efficiently it works. It also allowed us to extend our operating season.”

“This was a good investment for us,” Lavoie concluded. “The equipment works well in our specific operating environment and given our specific and unique requirements.”

To read the full case study, click here.

For more information about Boscaro man baskets, click here.

Built back in 1889, during Washington State’s short-lived mining boom, the Pride of the Woods mine was abandoned by the 1920s, leaving behind mine tailings laden with toxic metals like arsenic and lead. These tailings had been leaching into the soil and nearby groundwater, posing serious health and environmental threats to both man and nature.

It fell to the U.S. Forest Service to handle reclamation for this mine and other abandoned sites in the area. While other sites had access roads to allow for more conventional clean-up, the Pride of the Woods was unique. Located in the pristine Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area, no road had ever been built and none would be permitted–not even for this project.

The challenge in getting Pride of the Woods mine cleaned up became two-fold: how to remove environmental waste without altering the existing environmental footprint in order to protect delicate eco-systems, endangered species, and cultural and historical artifacts.

It was decided that fly-in helicopters would be used. The Oregon-based company, Columbia Helicopters, was hired to bring in excavators and buckets. The plan was for the excavators to dig out the contaminated rocks and soil and dump them into the bins, which were then flown out and taken to a nearby repository for safe storage.

“It was definitely a challenge,” said Dave Horrax, Project Manager with Columbia Helicopters. While Columbia Helicopters could have used their own homemade bins or fill sacs, Horrax noted that they were difficult to load, and they had to be manually hooked up every time. He added, “We also needed to be sure that whatever product was used would be able to withstand heavy loads and extremely rough terrain.”

“I found the Boscaro self-dumping bins online through Bigfoot Crane Company,” Horrax said. “And since I knew up front what my weight limitations were, I was able to find the bin that I needed.”

Horrax ordered three A-200D Boscaro Self-Dumping Bins: two alternated between load and transit while one was kept in reserve.

About two thousand cubic yards of waste rock – 887 total bin loads – was removed during the site clean-up. The project took 12 days and actually required less time than originally planned, due in large part to the efficiency of the Boscaro bins. The mechanical arm on each bin allowed for easy hook-up and earned some serious respect from the helicopter pilots.

“The bins worked flawlessly from beginning to end,” said Horrax. “Plus, they’re so well-made. They stood up to pretty much everything we put them through.”

For Horrax and the whole crew, the best part was that the site clean-up was done with minimal environmental impact.

“I’ll definitely be using the Boscaro bins again,” he concluded, “and I’ll be recommending them to others.”

To read the full Self Dumping Bin Assist Mine Clean Up case study, click here.

For more information about Boscaro Self Dumping Bins, click here.

Windy smartphone anemometer

Safety is paramount on any production set and in an industry where getting just the right shot can make all the difference, that safety is even more critical when people and equipment are being lifted high in the air.

To read the full case study, click here.

For more information about the NAVIS Anemometer systems, click here.