Northern Strands
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When Is a Fall Protection Control Zone Needed?

At Northern Strands our Fall Protection division regularly receives questions regarding OH&S fall protection regulations in Saskatchewan. One of the most popular questions being, "When is a fall protection control zone required?"

OH&S regulations state the following regarding control zones:

OH&S Reg. 116.2

  1. An employer or contractor shall ensure that a control zone:
    1. Is only used if a worker can fall from a level surface in a work area; and
    2. Is not less than two meters wide when measured from the unguarded edge.
  2. When crossing a control zone mentioned in subsection (1), a worker:
    1. Subject to subsection (4) in not required to use a fall protection system, other than the control zone, to enter or leave the work area; and
    2. Shall follow the most direct route to get to or from the unguarded edge.
  3. An employer or contractor shall ensure that a control zone is clearly marked with an effective raised warning line or other equally effective method if a worker is working more than two metres from an unguarded edge.
  4. An employer or contractor shall ensure that a worker who has to work within a control zone uses:
    1. A travel restraint system; or
    2. A means that is as equally effective as a travel restraint system and that prevents the worker from getting to the unguarded edge.

If you are working on a flat roof and do not have this in place there can be consequences such as fines for the worker and the contractor or owner. It's the law and we see too often roofs where people are working or required to work without control zones. Control zones are inexpensive and easy to install. Make sure you are aware this is not a suggestion but a requirement when working on a flat roof.

To learn more about control zones and Fall Protection Systems contact our Fall Protection Divisions

Phone 30-242-7073


Or visit our fall protection webpage

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

The 4' Tie Off Rule. Should You Tie off at that height?

If you are like most people, you are probably thinking, "why would i wear a Personal Fall Arrest System at a height of only 4'?".

If you’ve ever thought or said this you’re probably:

a) Not alone, and  

b) Working on a site with a 4’ tie off rule.

Even OH&S regulations in Saskatchewan only call for fall protection once working heights exceed 3 metres/ 10 feet at any non-permanent work areas. So why the 4' tie off rule?

When a human being falls they are usually not hopping into their harness like you would imagine hopping down from a flatbed trailer or of the side of your front steps at home.  When a person falls they are actually tipping over, and to make matter worse, we’re top heavy. This means that our upper body is going to pass our lower body during a fall which makes it so that our head is going to be leading the fall.  

Current research indicates that if we fall from heights of 4 feet or more, we’re basically guaranteed to hit the ground with our head, and the chances of serious or otherwise life-altering injury goes up drastically when impacts to the head come into play.

Northern Strands Fall Arrest training is designed to not only teach trainees what the rules are but we also inform them of why the rules were written.  Contact us to learn more about our fall arrest training program.

Phone 306-242-7073
Or visit our fall arrest webpage 

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

What To Expect From Northern Strands Safety Training Courses

Our Safety Trainers at Northern Strands are often asked, "So what is X safety course like? How long is it?  Is there coffee?".  We believe that many people imagine safety courses as being boring and uninteresting events.   We can't speak for other Safety Training Schools, but at Northern Strands our Trainers ensure our training is engaging, interactive and interesting.    

Recently, one of our own Managers, Doug Purdy had this to say about a Fall Arrest Course taught by one of our Safety Trainers Ryan Green, 

"As the manager of the Fall Protection Division at Northern Strands, I find myself on various rooftops from time to time.  As such, I am required to have Fall Protection Training. My previous training had recently expired and I was in need of “re-training”.

Here at Northern Strands, we have a Training Division that, among many other disciplines, offer Fall Protection Training.  I took the training from Ryan Green of that Training Division, and it was great!

Ryan is able to offer subject matter that can be somewhat dry in a way that is very interesting and thought provoking.  He takes some time prior to the session to get some background of the attendees and then he is able to convey facts and examples of the various actual industries that the attendees are coming from.

Ryan creates an environment where trainees are encouraged to ask questions.  There are no dumb questions, Ryan points out. There is nothing dumb about being confident that one is fully trained and understands the “do’s and don’ts” of working at heights.   

Although there is a test, it is not something to have anxiety about.  Ryan walks participants through the material until all present have a clear understanding.

All said and done it was an enjoyable experience that I am glad I set the time aside for."

Mr. Purdy was not asked to write a testimonial.  He simply thought it was a great course by a great trainer and wanted other people to know.  We consider ourselves lucky at Northern Strands to have such great Trainers like Ryan Green who can make safety training classes interesting, engaging and thought provoking.  

We promise when you or your workers complete one of our Safety Courses you will leave confident, trained and awake!

Our Training Division offers many different types of Training programs and courses.  We offer training programs for mining, construction and emergency responder industries or individual courses. Here is a list of our most popular Safety Courses
  1. Fall Arrest Training
  2. First Aid / CPR Training
  3. Tugger Training
  4. Wirelock Socketing Training
  5. Crosby Rigging Training
  6. Suspended Access Equipment Safety Training
  7. Emergency Medical Responder program
  8. Medical First Responder Program
  9. Intermediate Level First Aid Training
  10. Firefighter Advanced First Aid
Contact our Training Division to book your next Safety training program or course. 

Phone: 306-242-7073
Or visit our training calendar 

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

Proper Rigging Techniques...Have You Ever Done This When Rigging?

Picture this: You’re connecting a sling to a swivel hoist ring using a screw pin shackle.  You get the sling nestled nice and comfy in the bow of the shackle and put the ears around the bail of the hoist ring.  You insert the shackle pin through the ears of the shackle (being careful to catch the bail on the way through) and you twist it until it’s tight against the side of the shackle.  You’re about to fly the load but wait, you forgot something! A supervisor told you that the pin is supposed to be backed off 1/4th of a turn! How could you have forgotten?!

If you’ve ever been in this situation before, we have some news for you.  The American Society of Mechanical Engineers states quite plainly in its B30.26 standard for Rigging Hardware “screw pin threads shall be fully engaged and tight, and the shoulder should be in contact with the shackle body” prior to any lift.

With rigging especially, there seems to be a lot of industry practices that came about without consulting the manufacturer and this is one of the many examples we cover in our Crosby Rigging Seminars.  One of our trainers goals during the training is to point out where there are no grey areas; if the manufacturer of a product has written procedures for its use and we don’t follow them then who is being negligent?  Proper rigging techniques should always be used to avoid accidents and injuries.

If you’re now wondering if there are any other rigging situations or practices that might not be up to par, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional Safety Trainers. 

We offer a variety of Safety Training courses for the mining and construction industries.  We also offer Emergency Responder courses.

Here is a full list of our Safety Courses:

  • Crosby Rigging Training
  • Fall Arrest Safety Training
  • Tugger Safety Training
  • Wirelock Socketing Training
  • Suspended Access Equipment Training
  • First Aid / CPR Training
  • Emergency Medical Responder Training
  • Medical Frist Responder Training
  • Intermediate Level First Aid Training
  • Firefighter Advanced First Aid

Contact Northern Strands to book your next Safety Course at 306-242-7073 by email or visit or webpage to learn more 

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

What are the Manufacturing Capabilites of the Northern Strands Rigging Warehouse?

Did you know that Northern Strands is the largest manufacture of rigging products in Saskatchewan?  Our Rigging Warehouse has the ability to manufacture many different types of custom wire rope and rigging products.

Here is a list of custom wire rope and rigging products our warehouse can manufacture:

  • Spreader beams
  • Lifting beams
  • Material baskets
  • Wire rope slings
  • Man baskets
  • Overhead lifting chain slings
  • Transport chain assemblies
  • Jib cranes
  • Gantry cranes
  • D-plates
  • Synthetic tow cables
  • Wire rope and synthetic winch lines
  • Double braid tow rope
  • Double braid nylon and polyester tow ropes
  • 8 strand platted superdan tow ropes
  • Polysteel fall protection lifelines
  • Fall protection anchor slings
  • Flemish eye wire rope slings
  • Thimble eye wire rope slings
  • Resin poured spelter sockets
  • Four legged wire rope slings
  • Three legged wire rope slings
  • Two legged wire rope slings
  • Multi legged wire rope slings
  • Harrow cable assemblies
  • Tow cables for tractors
  • Draw bar assemblies
  • Custom threaded studs
  • Rail car puller wire rope
  • Miscellaneous wire rope assemblies
  • Overhead alloy chain assemblies
  • Grade 100 overhead lifting chain assemblies
  • Galvanized stainless steel wire rope assemblies
  • Logging chokers
  • Swagged sockets

We also fabricate custom lifting devices for mining, construction, agriculture industries. 

Here are some examples of custom lifting devices we've produced:

  • Custom plate lifters
  • Coil lifters

Examples of products we've fabricated lifting devices for:

  • Concrete blocks
  • Secan containers

All of Northern Strands rigging products come with a certificate of compliance.

Northern Strands rigging division has technically trained sales staff that can assist you with the development of rigging and lifting plans.   

Contact us today for a quote on your next custom wire rope or rigging product.  Phone 306-242-7073,  email or visit our website


Did you know Northern Strands has been locally owned and operated for over 45 years?


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Saskatoon (Head Office)

  • 3235 Millar Avenue
  • Saskatoon, SK S7K 5Y3


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  • Regina, SK S4N 5W4
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