Breakthrough Safety Upgrades to Die Lifting and Transfer Practices Protect Against Catastrophic Injuries

By: | July 25th, 2014

Today, the use of forged eyebolts, inappropriate lifting points and incorrect applications of eyebolts is still common, significantly increasing the probability of failure and fatal injuries.

Many manufacturing organizations are unaware that the direction of the pull can have a major impact on the working load limit of the standard eyebolt, thus creating a significant safety hazard.

Maintaining excellence is not an easy thing to achieve, especially in an industry where ensuring safety seems to be a continuous issue.

However, Dearborn Tool & Die (DTD) Plant has proven hard work and innovation pays off after being awarded a 2013 President’s Health and Safety Award for “transformational safety upgrades to die lifting and transfer practices.”

DTD sought to use the safest and most efficient products to help the company achieve its goal for high safety standards.

Leading the way among the safety upgrades was RUD Chain and the company’s VRS-F StarPoint® Swivel Eyebolts, a product in which DTD used to replace all standard lifting eyebolts in construction, bench, and tryout applications.

Luckily for DTD, RUD’s StarPoint® Swivel Eyebolts are engineered to accept side pulls and prevents breakage from improper use, ultimately eliminating the potential for catastrophic injuries.

RUD has made great efforts to develop and improve on traditional lifting points. The modern design of RUD’s lifting points prevents valuable loads from being damaged and is the perfect solution to eliminate unsafe lifts. RUD’s StarPoint® lifting point offers a viable solution, as it is designed to adjust to the direction of the pull.

As the StarPoint® swivels to the direction of the load lift, the WLL is always at the direction of the load.

The use of a StarPoint® in place of a traditional eyebolt will eliminate the chance of bent eyes, backed out threads, or over-tightening causing undue stress on the stem.

It is worth noting that utilizing RUD Chain products was one of the many changes DTD made in efforts to improve safety. Other upgrades included:

  • Purchased Dura Stat high density composite plastic cribbing replacing wood to improve ergonomic handling issues, and provide predictable high load capacity with minimal deformity. (As seen below)
  • Purchased Dyneema synthetic slings for all main aisle die lifting. Half the weight of polyester and a fraction of chain sling weight. Eliminated back injuries and smashed fingers. (As seen below)
  • Purchased and implemented the use of 5 pneumatic dowel pullers to eliminate the potential for smashed fingers that occurs with traditional slide hammers.
  • Resurfaced over 80,000 sq. ft. of floor surface with non-skid epoxy to eliminate the slipperiness that occurred with the previous flooring surface due to grinding dust.
  • Implemented a head protection policy while lifting and moving dies to help prevent potential injuries from overhead hazards.

Safety Manager Dave Lerner had this to say about the changes, “We are very proud of the safety improvements made by the Departments over the last year that contributed to a safer work environment and less injuries to trades personnel.”

UAW Health and Safety Rep Ernie Bailey thinks that, “As a general rule, the dies being built today are larger and weigh more than any other time in our industry. The managers took on the challenges of handling and staging the larger castings with a proactive approach of looking into new technologies to mitigate those ergonomic challenges. The change from chains to the Dyneema slings and the addition of the dura stat high density plastic cribbing replacing the heavy 6” by 6” wood will continue to support our zero injury mindset we are always striving to achieve.”

All in all, it is a wonderful process to behold when a company like DTD calls on the help of other companies, such as RUD Chain, to work together in order to complete their shared vision of putting safety first.

And it doesn’t stop there… The plant continues to make improvements every day by acting on the results of the National Safety Council Survey to establish better communication and feedback channels regarding safety issues that employees and process coaches may have.

Get more information on RUD Chain Products:


· The StarPoint® is available in sizes 1/4″ to 2″ and metric sizes of M8 through M48

· Marked working load limits (WLL) are rated at 90° from thread

· Capacities from .4 to 12 metric tons at 90° and 1 to 32 metric tons at 0°

· Clear indication of working load limit in metric tons and lbs. for side loading applications

· Forged material (1.6541) alloy quenched and tempered

Using Swivel Eye Bolts and Load Rings from RUD Chain:

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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