ITI Showcase Webinar Archive

What is a Rigging Engineer's Function?

What is a Rigging Engineer's Function?

Enjoy the resources!  You will find the video and transcription of the webinar below.  You may download the presentation PDF on the right pane.  This webinar was originally recorded on August 1, 2013.

This webinar will cover the essential functions of a rigging engineer from the perspective of FLUOR Corporation.  Mike Parnell of ITI will host the webinar, and will be joined by guest speaker Matt Dina, P.E. of FLUOR Corporation.

Guest Speaker: Matt Dina, P.E., FLUOR

Host: Mike Parnell, President/CEO ITI





Zack: Several people coming in again, but we’re going to get started. So, again, this is Zack Parnell, Vice President of ITI, want to welcome you all here to the showcase webinar series. We have Mat Dina from Fluor, he’s a rigging engineer online with us and Mike Parnell our host as well. If you’re not familiar with the process here, you can insert questions throughout the webinar on the right side control panel. We encourage you to do that, I will be plugging those questions into a word doc and we’ll repeat them to Matt after the presentation. We have several poll questions for you today as well that encourage interaction. If you’re not really familiar with our organization, haven’t been on the webinar before, ITI we are an education provider, world leader in crane and rigging training. We’re in a variety of different industry groups, much like Floor in global EPC and construction. We have a lot of customers on here, we also have a lot of folks we haven’t worked with yet online as well. We are excited to have you. We work with some of the most prestigious and biggest companies in the world that want to improve their lifting and load handling operations. If you’ve never been on a webinar, I encourage you to check out all the resources you have now at your disposal. You can access all the past presentations, you can go onto our website, and you’ll get directions on how to do this after this webinar to look at all the past presentations, the videos of them, and also get the presentation files. Matt has been very generous to release those presentations to us, so this presentation will be on the website, the recording will, as well, be on the url, e-mail after presentation. We also want to let you know next month we have a presentation: 9 Questions You Must Ask when selecting crane and rigging provider. Then, on the right pane here, we have a lot of lift and crane planning that we conduct. Most of our work is client sites, training, or open enrollment courses at our training centers. We also have instructor-led webinars coming up throughout, pretty much, every month of the year. So I encourage you to check them out. Just a touch on Mike, he’s on every month, he’s our president and technical director of our company. He has a lot of knowledge and experience, he’s currently serves as a volunteer, ASME is a volunteer board, and he currently serves as the Vice Chairman of ASME B30 committee. He’s also the Chairman of the ASME P30, which is the lift planning committee. So he’s affecting the industry and probably a lot of you have heard him on here before, and he’ll be chiming in the Q&A session as well. Again, I’m excited to have Matt Dina, he’s right here on the line, he’s going to take over here after a poll question. Matt, had a great experience so far, he’s a young engineer, but he’s had a lot of accomplishments, he’s worked for Bechtel and now with Floor Engineering, he’s now working on his MBA. He’s a rock star, you guys, and I’m excited to have you listen to him. They actually gave this presentation at the ACRP meeting in San Antonio earlier this year. Before I turn over to Matt, we want to get an idea of everyone’s opinion, I know we all have opinions, but regarding percentage of critical lifts. So you’re going to see a poll question coming up on the screen, right now, and basically the question asks, what percent of critical lifts conducted within your organization utilize a licensed engineer? So feel free to comment there. I’m going to leave it there about 5 seconds, and Matt is going to take over from here and begin the presentation. This will give us a good idea, again these are critical lifts, not standard lifts, in the organization so, your organization would have to deem them critical and we’re just curious how many of them involved a licensed engineer of some sort. I’ll be closing the poll here in about three seconds that was a long 5 seconds. So I’ll close it now. It looks like we have pretty good results. About 61percent of you said that about 0-25% actually used a licensed engineer. This really correlates to industry, Matt, I’m sure as you can testify to, but about 20 percent did say 76% and above. So, Matt, I’m going to hide these results and make you our presenter here. So that you can take over, okay?

Matt: Thank you, Zack. It’s great to see ITI supporting education in the industry. There’s not a whole lot out there for rigging engineering. So, that’s one of the reasons we want to take part in the series and support the industry. As Zack mentioned, my background is in Civil Engineering,  Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, and I’ve worked 4 years, previously, for Bechtel, worked in 3 different countries and a couple of different states throughout the United States, also have a license engineering here in California. As Zack mentioned, I also want to give credit to my colleagues Craig Miller and Patrick Phillips for presenting this very similar presentation at PCRB conference, I just adapted it slightly for today’s presentation. So thank you for their help with this. So rigging engineering is a specialized function as I’m sure a lot of you are aware. Not a lot of companies have a dedicated rigging engineer on staff, not every job justifies it either. So, there’s some confusion, even within my own company, and some other companies, as to what a rigging engineer does what do we get involved, what sorts of information do they need to do the job effectively. So those are some of the things that we’ll touch upon today. Just a quick overview of what Fluor is, and what it’s like to work in our department. Fluor is a large, publicly traded procurement construction companies, we’re on the Fortune 500, we’ve just passed the 100 year experience as a company last year – so we’re really happy with our success. We’d like to keep that going forward. We have about 40,000 employees throughout the world working on about a thousand different projects at any. We have offices throughout the world, most of the location – most are permanent offices, and it’s also offices to support project execution throughout the world. We’re in various different industries, so this factors into our engineering. In my position, I support different business lines. Part of the challenge is knowing what’s important in the different business lines, learning the terminology and the things that are unique to each different business line. As you can see, we get involved in Energy and Chemicals,  petro-chemical projects, power projects, we have global services, divisions that help you operations and maintenance, things like that. Also, the structural infrastructure and division that’s involved in manufacturing, life sciences, metals, roadways, bridge constructions, things like that. We have also, a division that does work for the government organizations. One of Fluor’s, things that we’re really proud of, is our safety performance as a company. We’re doing better than other industry averages, and that’s something we’re really proud of, and really key when we’re talking about rigging – as that is the most important thing we talk about, crane and rigging. We do the work safely, I think that’s the most important thing of being a rigging engineer, our goal is to perform the work efficiently and try to do it in a responsible, low cost manner. Our primary function is to support the state operation for it and really be the technical resource that knows what to look for and to develop and approve rigging plans to support safety.

So things to discuss – a little bit on how a rigging engineer functions in a project and how that role changes throughout the different stages of a project. As much in Fluor as pretty broad scope in different projects, we get involved, a lot of times, in upfront fees studies, engineering and feasibility studies, compliance, all the way through actual hands on engineering design and procurement, going through pre-construction, construction, project close-out,  to throughout the different stages of projects  and various little bits on what the project is. Some projects we just do engineering and procurement, some projects we’ll do engineering and procurement, project management, or sometimes we’ll do construction in conjunction with engineering, design, and procurement. Sometimes we’ll just do construction. It really depends on what the project is and what is appropriate for the project. We’d like rigging engineering to become involved early,  this is the central thing that we believe in Fluor, is to get the construction, organization, construction personnel involved in projects really and bring instructional aspect into the project to make sure that the design and procurement things is instructable and pre plan things. One of our central tenets is to preplan our work, and not let it come out at a loss, before you’re trying to do work in the field. We bring engineers and other instructions, professionals involved in the project, that’s really what we’d like to do.

Just a reminder – if you have any questions, you can type them in to your screen and Zack will compile them and we’ll answer them at the end point. So starting off with conceptual planning, early on in the project, sometimes we get involved in planning what the rigging requirements are. As we work in many different industries and many countries throughout the world, many clients, sometimes it’s a challenge to get alignment on what the rules are for rigging standards, specifications, which safety standards to follow, what industry standards, which ASME codes and rule apply, things like that. What are client specifications? Sometimes clients, a lot of times, will have their own lifting policy. Sometimes it will differ even with the specific sites that they are on. So one of the things early on is to define those requirements, specifications, that we will follow and get agreement, and get everyone to sign off on those things. We also get involved, with some of our projects, in heavy haul. Transporting modules like you see in the picture here. Fluor has a strong modularization program that, where it’s appropriate, we try to build modules and get the work off-site in an area that has more resources available to be more cost effective or support the schedule of the project. A lot of times, that involves transporting really large loads. In conjunction with our logistics experts, rigging engineers will do some of route studies, looking at roads, bridges,  constructions, getting involved in looking at the permits. A lot of times Fluor doesn’t do the actual heavy haul in-house, some contracts it out to a heavy haul rigging company, but the rigging engineers help get involved and make sure all the requirements are met, and all the parties are talking to one another and understand what’s going on. Also get involved early on in the projects, what sorts of cranes, what sort of hardware will be part of the projects, defining standards, what will we do for the load tests on site, things like that. Coming to an agreement on what sense of list and classifications will be used on the project. We help support the direction and execution of the strategy, sometimes many project types, a lot of different methods for executing the construction. As I have mentioned, we have a modularization program that is really strong that we’re trying to grow that even more. So we have modularization experts within the company that work together with construction and engineering and work on the requirements and rigging engineers – we’re getting involved, making sure that we need to handle those modules by heavy haul equipment or cranes lifting, that it’s feasible and working right, that sort of thing. We also help determine what sort of crane will be needed for the projects, get involved with doing a site walk down. Getting crew to look at what sorts of obstructions, what sorts of transport route to get  in and out, what sorts of challenges that we have to do with. As much as we have many times, work in partnership with heavy haul, heavy lift, contractor to actually provide the equipment. Fluor doesn’t have a whole lot of its own equipment, we tend to rent it a lot of times. We work along with the contractors that sponsor the equipment to make sure that’s feasible, what sorts of availability we look at the cost of it. Sometimes these items have really long lead time, photographed here is project from the work done where this crane was actually custom fabricated for the objects, so, the duration of custom fabricating a piece of equipment like this is a year. This particular crane was built in the United States and in Asian, so there are a lot of logistical challenges to it, and a lot of work involved to come up with equipment in certain projects like this. You can also see the yellow lifting crane connecting to the bridge section that is custom fabricated for this project, with some adjustability in it. A lot of work went in upfront, way before we mobilize in the field to lifting these components. A lot of work had to go in to building this crane. Not every project is going to need its own crane custom designed for it, it’s kind of an exception. These are the things that we tend to look at early on in the project.

How we go about constructing the lift. We also get involved in development of the site and unit plot plan. A lot times with refinery projects or power plants and things like that, the real estate can get really crowded, we got to be careful of how we build the project – not to build ourselves into a corner, and look at things that need to hold a foundation, we need to hold out steel in a certain area, support a transport route or two, support crane access. That’s what we need to dress up areas, lay down areas, where we can bridge components with crane where controllers can reach it, tap it off. Also identifying anything that might be in the way and coming up with a plan to address that. We also look at alternative lifting solutions in some cases, not every project calls for this, but certain projects can be more cost effective and more safe by looking at alternative solutions, possibly jack and slide systems, monorails, strand jacks, things like that. Again, this photograph is from a bridge project where we custom fabricated. All the rent steel you see is  correlated with erection power to go with the permanent tower behind it. You see a number on the lifts, I think it’s roughly a 600 ton lift, being performed there by two strand jacks – that travel on top of a jack and slide system on top, and position as it’s being lifted. So a lot of work went into that project upfront, design, erection system, must be able to place the components. It would be very difficult to find a crane to be able to do this- alternative system is the best way to go in this case.

Zack: Matt, if I can interject here, we had a great poll question for contextual planning.  So everybody, we’re going to launch this poll, the question is basically is regarding , on average, how much lead time are you putting into planning critical lifts. So it might be your critical lift in your industry might not be that critical, or that difficult to plan – meaning one day or one week, some industries might be 6 months or 3 months, so we’d love to hear your feedback on this. Matt, for that Strand Jack lift, what was your lead time planning for that tower?

Matt: I’m not sure of the exact lead time, I came into the project after a lot of that work was done. But I’d say it’s on the order of years, there’s a lot of work that went into designing that lift. The tower, a lot of subcontractors and consultants help us design it, and procure it, help us shift from a foreign country, so there’s a lot of lead time involved there.

Zack: Sure. As you’re saying, it’s not just a lift you’re making, it’s a full – sounds like a maintenance activity, I think that’s the big differentiator. Everyone, I’ll leave this poll open for another 5 seconds or so. The big differentiation at Fluor is you guys are making maintenance activity, mostly construction activity that you build, a maintenance piece when you’re replacing something – that’s all the activity you might lead, that you’re doing, right? So you’re just making one lift, or a few lifts, in this scenario, you probably had to consider the construction space, all the lift you’re going to be making throughout. I think that’s a big difference between maintenance personnel and construction, right?

Matt: Sure. We do. Fluor does get involved in maintenance projects, we’ll get involved in power plants shut down, replacing old equipment. Sometimes we’ll come in and we’ll have to custom design a monorail or something to get in and move in some piping and other things. We get involved in projects that is whatever is appropriate to the project, and different skills, depending on which project you’re looking at. Whether it’s in position, and seeing different projects in different stages, and getting to see a lot of different variation involved.

Zack: Yeah. Very good. I’m shown all the poll results there, we’ll ask one last poll question at the very end, so go ahead, Matt, take it away.

Matt: Okay. So getting involved into the detailed engineering design and permit stage, this stage can be pretty long, can go on for years. Some of our projects, as I mentioned, we get involved in designing the site and unit plot plan – keeps getting involved throughout the life of the project. All the experts that come in are process engineers, monorail experts, things like that. We work in partnership with them to work through all those issues. We also provide special rigging design and mechanical equipment, we work together with our mechanical engineers, structural engineers, to make sure that the things that we’re designing are constructible, any specialized hardware erected, or to align it, it’s another picture here from the same project. Shows custom spreader beam that was constructed for lifting the tower shot segments there. As you can see, the size of it is really big. I believe there are some 600 shackles, so really not easy to move them, just getting hooked up to the piece is, in fact, quite a challenge.  A lot of work went in to looking at those challenges – looking at providing safety for the men hooking up the equipment. So we get involved looking at cost saving measures, if there’s alternative solutions that we could  use, also get involved in planning final modular plan. Again, we’re looking at procuring long lead items during this space, we have to custom fabricate our crane or there’s a crane that doesn’t have a lot of availability or sense of specialty, rigging hardware- we’re trying to get involved with the project and have them start thinking about these things and the right equipment to see if they’ll be available or possibly meet project requirements like that. Also get involved in refining heavy haul transportation requirements. Again, looking at equipment needs and availability, putting selection of haul route with contractor that will work. Also looking at any temporary steel needed for hauling, steel needed to resist dynamic courses or to get the loads to the trailers, things like that.

There are a couple of pictures of our typical working environments. You’ll see a chemical procurement project in the United States. You can see that it gets pretty congested, so, still have to look at crane access, interferences,  swing radius, different plans.  Demi Ride is another chemical project, code for construction, again in the United States. Some of the things we get involved in is doing the detailed calculations for some of the west, some of my background is civil engineer, most of rigging engineers I know either have civil engineering or mechanical engineering backgrounds. So these calculations are just examples of looking at the loads and the vessels of two different cranes as angles change, calculating the forces of the vessel. You’re going to know an example of a calculation looking at the stresses on the base ring of the tailing vessel, and also looking at the bolted phalange long. There’s another example of a lifting log design. A number of things we look at in the stage, in the engineering design and procurement, working together with our mechanical engineers and other experts in the company, again, trying to make sure that what we’re designing can be constructed, is feasible, and we all try to catch any problems before the shot in the field, and catch anything in an earlier stage before the lift becomes really costly to fix. Some of the above, in the center of the picture, you can see a log. The problems in this space the log have had lift plans to pick up a shackle, through a lot of lifting. That’s obviously a problem you wouldn’t want to find in the field, and it can be fixed in the design stage. On the right, you can see the vessel with trunion on it. The problem in this case is the trunion, the vessels were delivered on site, in the wrong orientation, so the trunion was not in a feasible location to develop in this case. Also getting involved in the procurement of the logistics personnel, and trying to ensure these things are looked at in the contracts, and the document review, to ensure all sorts of these concerns are picked up and communicated to all parties before these items show up on in the field.

So one of the things we’ll look at in some projects, this is more typical for petro-chemical projects – looking dressed c columns and large vessels that have external platforms or ladders added on to it. Just looking at these sorts of procurement vessel to rigging and transport. So for transporting a vessel with these sorts of platforms on them, or ladders and these things on them, you need to ensure that the shipping saddles need to be clear, these constructions and the saddles are wide enough and stable when you’re transporting the load and trailer, shipping saddles are attached to the column. Again, transport stability, looking at things like clearing installation and also insuring that the saddles are modeled, 3D modeled, a lot of our more complicated projects use 3D models to look at all sorts of constructions like this for the job and how it works digitally before we go into the field. Ensuring that all these components are thought of in the design stage, and modeled, and geometry, and plan like that is something we’re going to be involved in. There’s another example of a platform, this time it’s closer to the top of the vessel. So for lifting vessels from the top, we then ensure that the platform will clear, the lifting logs clear the sling, things like that. And they have adequate access for the riggers to get off and access those components to put on and take off the shackles, slings, rigging hardware’s, ensuring that the work can be done and there are not major obstructions.

We all look at the tailing lugs and vessels help our mechanical engineers and other experts work together with our vendors that are fabricating these vessels to provide a tailing lug. Again, going back to the spreadsheet I showed, the calculations for lifting up a load transfer tailing like this, make sure there’s a smooth load transfer from the tail to the head crane. Designing the log for strength, and make sure it meets requirements, participations of users, and ASME codes with these lugs. Checking the base ring stress, again, like the example I showed earlier. Checking all the clearances is there. There are platforms that hang out, you don’t want the lug bar with the slings coming into contact with the platform and potentially damaging it. Moving on into pre-construction, a lot of time really iterative, a lot of times our projects are on the order of years and planning before we get to the field, so, coming up with our subcontractors and doing types of evaluations on them, assisting the final selection, and trying to get the best value for our vendors that help us out with these things. Also, finalizing plot layouts,  again, looking at the plot plan, ground validation and 3D models, making sure that there’s room for bringing the crane onsite, some booming up, things like that. Looking at ground bearing requirements, working together with the soil engineers and soil reports experts, looking at if we need to establish crane mats or more sophisticated ground bearing systems.

Once again, here’s another example of looking at the plot plan and it’s pretty hard to see – basically we’re just looking at variants of where we need to hold out, lay some foundation for steel or erection after the crane or the rigging equipment has completed its job. Just working together with our other experts onsite to look at the schedule, and the sequence of construction and all that. So we will help projects work on procuring rigging hardware. Providing general site rigging, common sling, shackles, spreaders, or specifics needed for certain lifts. A lot of times we just have rigging lots, but hardware that is often used we have a case where you need real specialized equipment’s, and we try to identify them upfront and prepared, work with our procurement people to ensure that they show up at the right time with the right materials specified and inspected. Then we get involved in potential critical lifts. It’s a graded system for lifts with proximity and weight, things like that, what sorts of requirements, what kind of reviews, all sorts of documentation, so we start working together with a construction team to classify these lifts and come up with a list, look at the sequence, and all these lifts will go together in all sorts of review, what kind of timeline we need to put together, and all sorts of equipment. Then we’ll start generating lifting and rigging plans. Again, this depends on the scope of the project, some projects work on its own construction work, and we will produce these rigging plans internally. Other projects, we’ll be working more in a construction management environment where we’re seeing other contractors doing work. Depending on the project scope and execution strategy, whether or not we do these lift plans internally or the review approved or finds guidance where a contractor is doing work. Again, working with the project and contractors support selection of cranes and other equipment. Then supporting mobilization of cranes on site.

Moving into construction. This is my favorite stages in the things that finally get on the ground and seen working done – work of the riggers, the workers, the tradesmen doing the work is my personal favorite part of it. Again, as I’ve mentioned, depending on whether we’re doing the work ourselves on power construction or if we have other contractors doing the work. A lot of times we’ll have heavy haul/heavy lift subcontractors that have the specialized equipment that we don’t have long term. Getting them involved in the project and helping ensure that everyone else is communicating and all sorts of things. Looking at permits or heavy haul, crane erection, things like that. Again, looking at the haul route, if it’s with instructions addressed. Looking at crane assembly/disassembly, execution of that work, laid down room, making sure everyone’s talking, and looking at all sorts of concerns. Again, preparing crane location verification are one of my concerns as things move around and slide, and may change on and off. Equipment drops on projects. It may have a certain crane that needs a couple of lifts to move out, so tons of concerns on the construction side. I’m sure that all of you know things change daily and hourly on construction sites. So working a job with a team to try and make sure that all of these things are added, nothing is overlooked. We don’t always have a rigging engineering per se on site, on the project full time, depending on the scope and propensity of the project, it may have other field engineers or rigging superintendents, or other personnel looking at the day to day operations. Sometimes we’ll bring in a rigging engineer for a particular power lift, in other cases, projects will have enough skill to place someone full-time rigging engineer to look at these things and find out why for the life of the project.

So here’s an example of a heavy haul transport plan, SPMT,  trailer – it’s kind of hard to read, but at this stage we’re just looking at the hauler, the one sitting on the trailer looking at tie down equipment, tie-down forces, looking at ground loading, stability, ensuring the saddles support the load properly. Other items we get involved in, sometimes designing temporary support and guying systems, not every project needs large guying systems, but in certain projects, we will get involved in designing support and guying systems to ensure that structures are stable until they are completed. Again, assistance with procurement of the rigging hardware, we normally have procurement professionals that deal with this as their daily job. We’ll get involved with helping look at the right specifications are involved in the procurement documents, the right sorts of things are being bought, inspected, and being brought onsite. Sometimes we’ll get involved with providing rigging/lift plan training to the craft personnel or to other engineers on site, just making sure that everyone’s talking and looking at the right sorts of things and that everyone’s training is standardized for a project. Again, trying to support safety and make sure that everyone is aware of all the concerns.

A couple other pictures of very typical Fluor projects – on the left you can see an energy and chemicals project, modules being transported off of a ship, being lifted by the ship’s own crane gear, and being transported onto a barge, in this case, from the right you see a petro-chemical project lifting of a vessel, tailing it with two cranes in this case. You can see some of the concerns of hooking of the tail lug, the specimen, tailing end of a vessel, you can see the spreader involved in picking the head of the vessel. In some projects we’ll look at supporting pre-assemblies onsite, a lot of times on power projects we have very large docks pieces that goes into the construction. Sometimes these are delivered onsite, fairly large pieces assembled on site. Sometimes they’re brought onsite and we add additional pieces to it onsite, the needs of transporting it onsite, erecting them. Sometimes these components will be a challenge to deal with because of their size and things like that. Another common thing to look at, with these pre-assemblies, is to make sure that the documentation is there, the same cases where the document will say the weight of the piece, the booms, but really it’s the weight and kilograms, and engine transposed, things like that. Just making sure that the documentation is there, we add pieces onto it in the field, from what the documentation is, making sure that the weight of that additional piece is taken into account of lift planning. Looking at how that affects the center of gravity, oftentimes this can be really challenging knowing which particular section of overall structure is lifting, and trying to make sure that the documentation we used matches what’s actually going to be performed in the field. The right picture, it’s hard to see, but you can see some power lines in floor ground in the picture. So again, these are things we help projects look at, ensure that there’s clearance around these power lines,  ensure that we have to have the shut valves involved to shut down the lines, or encroachment along the lines, just making sure we’re working safely around the obstructions. Everyone’s looking at the same sorts of concerns, making people aware of these things, how they do work. So again, helping developing and issue rigging plans is really the heart and soul of being a rigging engineer. As mentioned before, we have to come to an agreement on what standards will be involved in these lifting plans, whether it’s OSHA in the United States, certain states have their own OSHA. Working in the mining industry there’s mention on rules to look at also, so making sure that we are looking at the right sorts of regulations, safety regulations, if we’re working in a foreign country, making sure that we’re aware of their requirements, things like that. Again, we have the project and the other engineers at Fluor help the  sign out, the craft work, making sure we’re looking at the right rigging hardware, doing the technical verification on these, the right strength, right sorts of documentations to back them up, the load test required, these sorts of things. Again, looking at the plot layout, making sure that it’s constructible, the construction site progresses and changes daily, making sure that we still have room to maneuver and do the erection of certain components. Again, looking at the delivery of the equipment, trying to see how we’re going to bring that equipment onsite, how the delivery of the crane or whatever we used to erect it, just making sure that those concerns are looked at and planned for. Again, as I mentioned, working with the field, making sure that the piece, before we pick it, the dimensions, weight, center of gravity, the lifting attachments and lifting lugs, etc., match what we expected from the documentation from our earlier planning. Making sure that those things are fabricated and delivered as we expected them to be. Dealing with any last minute changes that come up, if there are discrepancies and the likes. 

So again, looking at the ground bearing requirements, if we need to provide mats for the crane, if there are certain areas we need to avoid, looking at potential interferences. As I’ve mentioned, the power lines in the way, adjacent to the lift is a common concern, we have existing plant equipment in the way, will be working operating plant environment if we have to lift, or to revise process area, those lifts typically become critical lifts and get a lot of scrutiny. Looking at those types of things, where our load chart will be, and swinging the frame, swinging the load, explaining those things are past and clear, and we have barricades to keep personnel out. Also looking at central interferences. Again, looking at underground utilities, excavation, manholes, etc. a lot of times these explanations are going on in parallel with our crane work. So keeping track of which excavations are where, and they are exact and compaction, things like that. Being the technical resources for the craft personnel and other engineers, other managers, on site, ensuring that they are looking at the load chart for the cranes that load equipment, looking at the charts properly, sometimes it can be difficult. There’s not a whole lot that’s there for the standardization of load charts among the different manufacturers. We try to be the technical resource and keep up with how each manufacturer list their requirement that they need to follow, making sure that everyone is aware of the fine prints in the load charts and etc. looking at the right sorts of equipment. Again, looking at the load rating for lifting equipment, making sure that those are followed onsite. We’d like to keep our crane percentage utilization at an appropriate level, some projects depending on the requirements and geometry, really come out to a high percentage of the crane charts. Those lifts tend to get more scrutiny and concern, and may get more detailed in planning in those cases. Ensuring that the crane has adequate room onsite to work with, all swing, making for the crane to boom up, boom down, if there’s severe weather that’s coming in, the crane needs to boom down in a quick manner, make sure that those sorts of concerns are addressed. Being the technical expert, possibly conversing with the manufacturer directly to make sure that we understand the limitations of the equipment as it’s designed, the operational limitations. Just making sure that the work is being done in alignment of those requirements, there are so many different manufacturers, different equipment nowadays that it becomes a challenge knowing what the limits of the equipment are ,and making sure we’re not exceeding them. A lot of lifting aides nowadays on cranes and things, we really need to be cognizant of the limitations of these equipment- making sure that they are followed and make sure that they are communicated to the people doing the work. The superintendents, the safety representatives onsite, Fluor has really strong safety representative program on sites, making sure of everyone is responsible for safety onsite, it’s not just the safety personnel’s responsibility, it’s everyone’s. A lot of times those personnel may not have detailed technical knowledge of rigging equipment being used. Ensuring that those personnel are aware of those concerns are also, giving another set of eyes to make sure that nothing gets overlooked or dismissed. Here’s an example of a rigging drawing, I know that these are very hard to read, from top left you can see a plot plan, plan view, looking at the crane radius, looking at where the crane will be sitting, things like that. We have our general notes, there’s an erection procedure, and there’s stops that should be gone through the lift. The top right you can see a tabulation of the lifting crane data, for the primary crane, or the tail crane. Some data about the vessel being lifted. In the center you can see elevation view, looking at the radius of the lift, look at the boom length, looking at the height of the lift, things like checking the two-block distance. On the right side you can see the views of the rigging hook-up, specifying the equipment and job of how that will work- spreader beam, shackles, slings, etc. hauling out in particularly low watt required on the following.

There’s another example of a rigging drawing, this one’s a little more focused on the rigging hook-up, again, just pointing out the requirements that are requires, some of the geometry, and some notes that are important to keep in mind on this. Again, as we’re working on construction in the fields, helping oversee the operations generally the rigging engineer is not the one directing the lifts. Usually, it’s the superintendent or foreman working the lift, so we work in conjunction with them. As I mentioned, we may not be there for every lift, as do a dedicated rigging engineer, but we must be on site for certain projects through the duration of the project. Just working with the rigging personnel to make sure that the rigging plans are approved by the proper people, the right documentation, and involved in the field. Sometimes it can be a challenge that the most recent documentation is being used, other last minute change that they come up with the equipment, the crane setup, anything that comes up last minute – overseeing that, making sure that it’s appropriate, need to get client approval for those actions. Approval by the safety representatives on the project or the project  manager, things like that. The actual inspection of the crane setup, the last check we do before the crane setup, making sure that all the hardware matches as specified, that there are no obvious signs of damage in the equipment, no cracks, no shackle, things like that. Just make sure that everything is it ought to be, hooked up properly and matches the drawings, what’s been approved.

Oversight of the lifting operations, we get involved in the prelist meetings- making sure that everyone is communicating that the plan is understood by everyone involved. Communications can be a challenge on certain projects, manages different experiences involved, different people involved, certain lifts, making sure that everyone is communicating and understanding the terminology and sequence of things that will take place. What particular equipment will be used, what the authority is for performing the lift, when we need to stop, wind picking up, other environmental conditions. We had situations where the approval of the crane gets stopped with the thick layer of ice and gets loaded on the crane when they had to stop, lift wait for the wind to become more favorable. Just making sure that everyone is aware of those limitations of the lift. These limitations can be very specific to the particular cranes involved, specifics of the site, making sure the personnel performing the lift, the managers overseeing the lift, making sure that everyone is aware of the parameters performing the lift, where the lift takes place and in what parameters, we need to stop, hold off to evaluate those. Again, facilitating the approval of lift plans upon the particular site or company policy, whether if we’re developing those plans internally or we as Fluor are approving and reviewing contractors. Lifting plans that they have devolved, just making sure that those approvals are all in place and the appropriate persons have signed off on it.

Monitoring the lift for other concerns, settlement of a large tract, picking up an outrigger, things like that, you really want to watch out for. We’re not the only ones qualified to look out for these things, put some people to look at these things, have an extra set of eyes to make sure that all of the sorts of concerns are being addressed. Dealing with any sort of last minute things, plans, we all know that things can change once it gets out on the field and situation may change. Something may come up and the equipment, weather, whatever the case  may be, looking at those things and see if you can complete the lift safely, all sorts of approvals and documentation changes are needed to support this phase. Some other concerns, as I mentioned, are verifying the center of gravity, and the stability of the load as expected. Verifying the weights, and checking units, on the weights, making sure that software is used to protect slings and other hardware, making sure the units are being stored in the appropriate conditions. Helping monitor communication, again, makes sure that personnel are communicating effectively, whether we’re using hand signals or radios, systems being used for communications. Just make sure that everyone understands their role in the units and getting other people involved in it. As the rigging engineer, just being the technical resource for anyone to come to about questions the equipment limitations and the equipment capacity, a specific hardware that we’re using or when the slings are used, things like that. Plans being possibly developed, site designs, or equipment designs,  or personnel performing the lift. Making sure that technically, we’re the experts that people come to ask questions and make sure everyone is comfortable and understands how that equipment works and what the capacity, limitations are. Again, here’s a couple of project at Fluor that I worked on for custom fabricated large crane and this was actually a lifting crane involved in a bridge, in fact, these lifting crane, there were a couple of lifting crane used in the project, all custom fabricated for that project along the items fabricated in the United States, lug it here, performing of the equipment, it’s design and safety copies, things like that. On the right you see energy and chemicals type project, again lifting/tailing a vessel on the vertical, you can see the external platforms that I mentioned previously, helping support the safe operation of those.

Then moving onto the final stage of the project, project close out. It may not be onsite, on the project at this point, we may have demobilize from the project there in the field, supporting project close-out. Making sure that any documentation is properly reported in the project files, helping close out subcontracts and performing evaluation and suppliers report performed . Things that we have learned in the project is captured and passed on to future units during final closeout. With that, it concludes what I want to present and Zack, if you can help out with questions now.

Zack: Perfect. Good job, Matt. We do that. I’m going to launch one last poll question, everyone, let’s do that right now. We want to get your perspective on this after understanding all the complex lifting activities. I love all the pictures, Matt, you had in various industry groups. It’s basically, which industry offer the most complex lifting activities. You can select more than one, so give it some thought, we’d like to hear your opinion. Matt, while we’re doing that, I’ll ask you the first question so you could. Everyone, while you’re waiting, feel free to put in any questions you have, we have time to go over a few. Matt, the first question is, do you feel the need to P.E. to stamp all lifts? If not, when do you feel that a P.E. needs to stamp a lift? Matt, did we lose you?

Matt: Oh no, just a technical. So, when is it necessary for a rigging engineer to get involved in a lift?

Zack: Well, it’s almost an opinion question, you can broaden it if you’d like, but do you feel like a P.E. needs to stamp every lift? Well, that’s kind of universal. But the question is, when do you need feel a P.E. needs to be involved with a critical lift?

Matt: My personal opinion is, I don’t think a professional engineer is necessary for every lift. It may be the kind of time of a particular requirement  of the project in which a particular jurisdiction you’re working in, what your type is like. I don’t believe a professional engineer is required for every lift, but someone with adequate experience and adequate training should really be involved in every lift. Certain lifts, the foreman or the rigger in the field have the adequate experience and knowledge to perform it safely. Problem is, if there’s a very complicated lift, requiring a lot of lifting requirement, or electric field, something like that, then it really demand a higher technical knowledge or again, in cases where you have to custom fabricated components for the lift, then I think you need to start looking at having a professional engineer design it, it may not be the nicest engineer depending on how the rigging requirement are of the project, but you just need to focus on having people with the right knowledge, the right experience as appropriate. There are a number of cases where you need someone with engineering background to understand the stress and the strain to the components, and making sure that not everything is overloaded. So really, just looking at, if you’re operating within the parameters that the manufacturers have provided if you’re following the load charts of the cranes, if you’re following the work propensities. You may not need an engineer for the rigging outside those limits, and providing something custom and really unique, then you need a rigging engineer.

Zack: Thank you very much for that answer. It makes perfect sense, Matt, relative to situation, right? I appreciate it. Another good question that came in, how often do you run across your subcontractor to require their own rigging engineers?

Matt: I’d say it’s fairly common. Depending on the kind of project, what sort of contractor we’re getting involved in. some of the major crane and rigging companies often have that, sometimes some of the other steel erection companies may not have someone with a rigging engineer title, but they probably have some engineer on staff, field engineer, whatever their particular title is. It’s fairly common for contractors to have someone with the knowledge. They may not have that specific title per se of being a rigging engineer, but it’s pretty common to have someone with majority of the knowledge required to serve in that potion.

Zack: Sure. Okay. I have a question from John, this is a Mike question, and I apologize. Mike had to step out – we actually have a class going on right now and he had to go assist the instructor out there. This would be right up his alley, John asks, how is the new lift planner law going to come into effect? How will the responsibilities of lift planner be? John, what I assume you’re talking about is the ASME P30 lifting standard, and what it basically is, the standard is definitely not a regulation or law, so it’s best practice preferred by ASME, and I believe that it’s through public review, and they’ll be publishing it, after submitting changes, public review those changes. They’ll probably publish it quarter 1 or 2, in 2014. Everyone’s thinking it’ll be January. Regarding the responsibilities, the document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the team, and the people involved, and what the standard says for the skills and the requirements, this is what that person should look like. If you e-mail me: John, I can probably shoot you some more information. Matt, have you been involved in the ASME P30 at this point, or do you have any comments on that question?

Matt: I haven’t been involved myself, and do not have an understanding of it. But that was my understanding of it, also, it’s really a base document that doesn’t have legal authority itself but may be incorporated into law based on the particular jurisdiction, so that was my understanding of it.

Zack: Absolutely. Well, let’s end on this last question, Matt. There was an anecdote about a gentleman, he’s a contractor of a marine and offshore, and he’s basically talking about, he voices a concern to a corporation that there’s little pre-planning, before lifting activities, and the comment back to him is just the nature of our industry. I guess I want to frame it this way for you, and the listeners, Matt, how did Fluor go from 20/30 years ago to today? What did it look like to the culture shift to the incredible amount of pre-planning? That’s all that you can really speak to, right? How did Fluor grow into the organization that it did culturally regarding planning lifts?

Matt: Well, my experience within Fluor itself only goes back about 4 years, within the industry 10 years, my experiences has always been with very large contractors, global contractors, and my understanding of it is that, we want to do the right thing. It’s very important to our company that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. Really, the only way to support that is to preplan activities.    So, a lot of that is internally self-driven, and that does take time to develop that culture. Also, it’s dictated in some cases by our clients. A lot of the work we work in are in hazardous industries,  we see a lot of leadership in our clients in the petro-chemical industry, for example ,being very particular about how we do lift planning and approval of lifts, so a lot of cases, our clients have derive that culture and ensure that those are things that we look at and are rewarded in projects. Sometimes we may even have contracts that’s based upon safety performance, so I think the only way to address these things is really through pre-planning. That’s the message that a lot of industry organizations are trying to push, also. Definitely can be a challenge, things change often. Construction projects and it is a challenge to get everyone to look at these things ahead of time and have the personnel in place, have the resources to look at these things far up in advance. My particular career, I’ve been blessed to see, in organizations that see the value in preplanning and spend the efforts to do that upfront. Can’t say I’m an expert on how to transform culture to get you there, I can attest to the rewards that you can get in that kind of atmosphere, ensure that things are looked at ahead of time.

Zack: Okay. Appreciate that. I realize that you experience is limited with them. I know that the culture is definitely one of planning everything out, and the nature of the corporation is that you do with everything is pretty specialized. Culture shift is difficult, I don’t know anyone that can handle that situation. With that, we want to really expect everyone’s time, Matt, from ITI, we really respect you with your Fluor participation. It’s been really interactive, people have a lot of good feedback from the comments section, so thank you so much again. Everyone, you can access this presentation on the website and you’d be getting an e-mail about that. We really appreciate Matt for turning over to the listeners as well. Thank you. I’ll turn it over to you for the last word.

Matt: Thank you, Zack. Personally, I really appreciate what you guys are doing to help support education industry, and again help drive the culture shift and make sure we’re doing everything safely as an industry. It’s really what it comes down to at the end of the day is ensuring that our partners are, everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. Doing all sorts of dramatic lifts, doing the everyday lift, and doing them safely. I think it’s great what you guys are doing to support the education in the industry. Thank you.

Zack: Sure. We appreciate that. Thank you very much and everyone, thank you again for attending, have a great week/weekend in August. We’ll see you soon. Appreciate it.