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HOLMATRO S

EMERGENCY SHORING
& LIFTING TECHNIQUES
A gui de t o equi pment handl i ng and t ec hni ques f or use i n emer genc y shor i ng and l i f t i ng oper at i ons
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HOLMATRO S
EMERGENCY
SHORING & LIFTING
TECHNIQUES
By : Br endon Mor ri s
Consult at ion & Training Manager Holmat ro Rescue Equipment
Copyright 01-2008
Holmatro Rescue Equipment B.V., the Netherlands
All rights reserved
980.000.197
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This book cont ains informat ion on rescue t ools and rescue t echniques t hat
can be employed in dif ferent emergency sit uat ions. The sit uat ions shown in t his
book are examples only and are merely meant t o assist t he user of t his book in
underst anding cer t ain basic shoring and lift ing t echniques and t ools available.
Every single emergency sit uat ion is unique. Variables such as t he kind and
t he act ual condit ion of vehicles, t he collapsed st ruct ure or t rench, t he number
of pat ient s and t heir act ual condit ion and ot her ext ernal hazards all play a role
in det ermining t he appropriat e act ions and t heir sequence. It is impor t ant t o
not e t hat you should always read and underst and t he manual for t he relevant
t ools, use t he st andard operat ing procedures and follow t he inst ruct ions of your
depar t ment and incident commanders.
The ext ricat ion scene is inherent ly hazardous. Your personal safet y depends
on t he t raining provided by your agency, your use of t he appropriat e personal
prot ect ive equipment and your underst anding of t he rescue equipment you or
your agency ut ilizes. It is YOUR responsibilit y t o read and underst and all
operat ion manuals associat ed wit h your rescue equipment , receive appropriat e
t raining in it s use, and ensure t hat it is properly maint ained. Your failure t o t ake
all of t hese st eps may lead t o deat h or severe personal injury of vict ims,
yourself or any body else at t he emergency scene.
Holmat ro disclaims any liabilit y for any damage or injury, whet her direct ,
indirect or ot herwise, and whet her asser t ed in cont ract , t or t , warrant y or
ot herwise, incurred as a result of t he use of rescue t echniques and/ or rescue
t ools described in t he book or t he use of any ot her rescue t echniques and/ or
rescue t ools t hat are employed in an act ual emergency sit uat ion, except t o t he
ext ent , and limit ed t o, t he t erms of any warrant y provided by Holmat ro for it s
own equipment . Holmat ro makes no warrant y, express or implied, wit h respect
t o it s own equipment from t he cont ent s of t his book, including wit hout limit at ion,
any warrant y of merchant abilit y or warrant y of fit ness for a part icular purpose.
Import ant not ice
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The rescue of trapped persons is inherently dangerous
work. Those who dedicate their time to this endeavor expect and
deserve the best knowledge and tools required to do this type of work
safely and effectively. This book hopes to provide the grounding to
good knowledge in the fields of emergency shoring and lifting
operations surrounding such rescue situations.
Many consider emergency shoring and lifting operations to be very complex. My
goal with this book is to provide a basis to the principles of emergency shoring and lifting
operations, as needed for the safe rescue of persons trapped. The principles of emergency
shoring and lifting reach across a range of specific extrication rescue disciplines. This said,
it should be understood that this book is not intended as a detailed discussion on these
disciplines* but rather a representation of collective knowledge on the fundamental principles
and applications of emergency shoring and lifting in them. This book is intended to
supplement training material and courses dedicated to the different disciplines described
within its pages.
It is not possible to cover every eventuality at an extrication rescue operation. The
techniques described in this book should be seen as generic principles that can be adapted
to the variety of situations one may come across. To this end, a large portion of this book is
dedicated to explaining these principles and the safe use of equipment needed to perform
them.
It is well understood that some of the techniques and strategies covered in this
book may be new to you and / or your organization. This book should never be seen as
representing every good idea in the field. With this in mind, it must be mentioned that in all
cases of conflict with the content of this book, guidelines from your local authority should be
followed. When it comes to techniques not used before it is further well advised that these
new techniques be practiced in a controlled training environment before using them in an
actual emergency.
Whatever your area of expertise, I trust that you will find this book a useful
addition to your rescue training programs.
* One of the technical rescue disciplines discussed in this book is Vehicle Extrication Rescue.
For a more detailed discussion on this topic take a closer look at the book Holmat ro s Vehicle
Ext ricat ion Techniques.
Brendon Morris
Consultation & Training Manager
Holmatro Rescue Equipment
Aut hor s not e
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EM ER GEN C Y S H OR I N G A N D L I F T I N G T EC H N I QU ES
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Cont ent s
SAFETY p.8
- Personal safety p.9
- Equipment handling p.12
SHORING EQUIPMENT p.16
- Terminology p.17
- Struts p.18
- Strut application comparison p.26
- Length extensions p.28
- Heads p.29
- Building up a shore p.30
LIFTING EQUIPMENT p.32
- Introduction p.33
- Lifting bags p.34
- Hydraulic wedge jack p.36
- Lifting jacks p.37
HYDRAULIC ASSIST EQUIPMENT p.38
- Introduction p.39
- Spreaders p.40
- Cutters p.41
- Rams p.42
- Combination tools p.43
- Self-contained hydraulic tools p.44
- Hydraulic pumps p.45
EQUIPMENT CARE & MAINTENANCE p.46
- Introduction p.47
- Care & maintenance p.48
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A Guide t o Equipment Handling and Techniques for Use in Emergency Shoring and Lift ing Operat ions
Cont ent s
LOAD MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES p.50
- Triangle of stability p.51
- Center of gravity p.53
VEHICLE RESCUE p.54
- Introduction p.55
- Vehicle on its side p.56
- Vehicle on its roof p.59
- Large vehicle stabilization p.62
- Large vehicle lifting p.66
COLLAPSED STRUCTURE RESCUE p.70
- Introduction p.71
- Collapsed structure safety p.72
- Principles of emergency shoring p.74
- Window / doorway shores p.75
- T / Spot shores p.78
- Progressive lifting p.81
TRENCH COLLAPSE RESCUE p.84
- Introduction p.85
- Trench safety and terminology p.86
- Trench rescue approach p.88
- Rapid safe area creation p.91
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS p.96
NOTES p.97
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Personal safet y
The following personal protective equipment represents a minimum personal safety
requirement for variety of technical rescue operations, including emergency shoring and lifting
operations. This equipment does however not protect against every hazard that may be
present in certain technical rescue operations. In some cases additional protective
equipment may be required.
A helmet appropriate to the environment you are working in should be
worn at all times.
Eye protection appropriate to the risk of the work you are doing should
be used.
Appropriate gloves should be worn at all times to protect your hands.
Sturdy long-sleeved working clothes should be worn as a minimum
requirement. Of course, if the environment requires more significant
protection, this should be used. Incorporated reflective material is
always beneficial for visibility.
Safety boots with ankle and toe protection are also a must for the
technical rescue environment.
Some extra pieces of personal safety equipment may only be required in certain
situations. Each rescuer should have access to this equipment in case it is required.
Hearing protection.
Knee and elbow protection.
Dust masks or other respiratory protection.
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While safety officers should always be assigned in rescue operations, ultimately
every rescuer is responsible for his or her personal safety. To be sure of this, rescuers should
always be aware of their surroundings and how they use their rescue equipment. Some
generic points should always be remembered.
At all times observe the equipment manufacturers operating instructions.
Pay attention to movement of
objects you are working on and
around, including shifting or
moving overhead loads.
Always monitor vibrations or movements that may affect the environment you
are working in.
Keep hands and feet away from
any potential pinch points.
Always return all equipment not
in use to the designated tool
staging area and leave them in
the safe position.
Personal safet y
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Protect against the effects of prolonged exposure to extreme environments
such as loud noise, bright light or extreme temperatures.
The maximum allowable capacity of
each piece of equipment should never
be exceeded.
Equipment should only ever be used for applications for which it has been
designed. It is also vital to read and understand equipment manufacturers
users manuals.
Because hoses are susceptible
to damage (cuts, abrasion,
kinks, burns, chemical
contamination etc.) extreme
care must be taken. Damaged
hoses should never be used
and should be immediately
removed from service.
Always check equipment for damage and do not use equipment if it is not in
good condition. Maintenance should be conducted according to manufactures
recommendations.
Be aware of potential tool
movements and reactions of
tools that may lead to injury or
trapping of rescuers or patients.
Personal safet y
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A - Shoring
When working with emergency shoring equipment the following general safety points
should be noted regarding their safe operation.
Wherever possible, position
shores on a stable, flat solid
base without protrusions or
loose material. If this is not
possible, be sure to make use
of the appropriate heads and
accessories such as base
plates and tension straps
to counteract the unstable
situation.
The rescuer should never move
under or in the path of a load
that has not been secured by
either cribbing or shores that
have been mechanically locked
off.
Shores should never be side
loaded. In all cases shores
should be placed in such a way
that the load only
acts down the
centre of the
shore.
Other safety points, specific to different rescue applications, will be covered in the
operational chapters of this book.
Equipment handling
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B Lift ing equipment
No matter what lifting equipment is used, there are a few points that must always be
taken into consideration for safe working with such tools.
In all cases any lift or space
created must be followed with
chocks or mechanically locked
shoring.
Beware of placing fingers under a lift ed load. Always push
cribbing int o place carefully.
Always closely observe all the
effects of the lifting process to
ensure that the situation is not
being made unstable.
Always start with the most
appropriate tool for the initial
insertion space you have. This
will ensure the efficient use of
available capacity and stroke.
Equipment handling
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At no time should more than
two high-pressure lifting bags
be used on top of one another.
The practice of using bags on
top of each other should only be
seen as a last option when
absolutely necessary.
If two high-pressure bags are
stacked, be sure to place the
largest bag at the bottom. Also
be sure to have them centered on one another.
Low-pressure high-volume bags should never be used st acked
on each ot her.
While lifting bags are designed
to be resistant to damage,
all efforts should be made to
ensure lifting surfaces are free
of sharp edges or protrusions
as these may damage the bag.
In certain cases where this
cannot be controlled it may be
necessary to provide appropriate
soft flexible protection.
Avoid off center loads.
Use of unsecured headers above lift ing equipment should be
avoided as t he risk of t hem being displaced does exist .
Equipment handling
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C Hydraulic equipment
Hydraulic equipment such as spreaders, cutters, rams and jacks play an important
role in various technical rescue situations. The following general points should always be
considered, no matter what technical rescue discipline these tools are being used for.
Tools should only be carried and
operated using the designated
handles and controls.
Never put your hands on the
blades, arms or heads of any
of these tools.
Do not use the hoses to carry,
pull or move the tool or pump.
Equipment handling
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Using standard terminology such as this will dramatically increase team efficiency as
well as remove any chance of misunderstandings that may lead to unsafe actions. Using the
Holmatro PowerShore Emergency Shoring System as an example, we will have a closer
look at each of these components and identify which of the different components are best
suited to different shoring situations.
Dont be concerned if you still do not fully understand the application of every piece
of equipment by the end of this chapter. The chapters to follow will give step-by-step examples
of their use. Of course you can always come back to this chapter at any time while going
through the examples to see what system would be best to use.
17
To allow for good communication during shoring and lifting operations all rescuers on
the scene should use standard equipment terminology. The following labeled diagram
displays the terminology that will be used throughout this book when discussing shoring.
Terminology
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
heads
st rut
ext ension
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Variations in strut types occur due to
the different combinations of locking and
operation systems available. There are three
different types of operating systems for
struts. These are hydraulic, pneumatic and
manual. There are also two types of locking
systems for struts. These are Auto-lock and
Locknut locking systems (which are similar in
nature to the pin and collar systems).
These 3 operating and 2 locking system combinations make the possibility for 5
different types of struts.
St rut s
Aut omat ic locking
Hydraulic
Auto-lock strut
Pneumatic Auto-lock
strut
Manual Auto-lock
struts do not exist
Locknut locking
Hydraulic
Locknut strut
Pneumatic
Locknut strut
Manual Locknut
strut
Hydraulic (Oil) Pneumat ic (Air) Manual
All of the struts can be used with any of the extensions and heads. The whole
system, from struts through to extensions and heads, is universally compatible. This means
that any number of combinations can be used to develop the exact system required to shore
a particular environment.
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
hydraulic
pneumat ic
Strut operating systems
Auto-lock locking system Locknut locking system
manual
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A - Manual st rut s
These are the simplest of the strut types even though they have the same rated
strength as all the other types. The difference between this strut type and the others is that
they are extended and retracted manually. The advantage of this is that there is no need for
compressed air or hydraulic pressure to open these struts. This also however, means that
these struts cannot be extended from a remote location (remote shoring). For this reason,
this type of strut is not supplied in an automatic locking (Auto-lock) type strut.
St rut s
The use of manual struts is in most cases limited to structural collapse environments
or simple vehicle shoring scenarios where no remote shoring requirements exist.
Simple vehicle shoring application with manual struts
Manual struts in window Securing a manual strut in a doorway
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Manual t hreaded t ype:
this strut has a very small retracted
length and is ideal for shoring small gaps or any
situation where a small insertion space is
required.
Manual Locknut t ype:
this strut has the same Locknut system and stroke as available on the hydraulic and
pneumatic strut types.
St rut s
No air or hydraulic supply needs to be used to secure a manual strut type
The biggest advantage of the manual strut system is the fact that there is no need
for a supply of compressed air or a hydraulic pump to operate it. This means that it can be
used in any remote area or confined space without any need for hoses or pumps to set the
system in place. As seen in the picture a hook wrench can be used to tighten the strut in
place.
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B - Pneumat ic st rut s
These struts can be used with compressed air in situations were remot e shoring or
follow-up shoring is required. The Locknut type struts can also be used as manual struts
where no compressed air is available or required or where remot e shoring is not necessary.
St rut s
Remot e shoring used in trench rescue
Follow-up shoring used to back up
a lifting bag
Remot e shoring: the process by which a shore is positioned in an unsafe area and then
extended from a remote safe location by either pneumatic or hydraulic pressure.
Follow-up shoring: shoring used to follow
a load that is being lifted by other
mechanisms such as lifting bags.
This shoring is extended and locks
automatically (due to compressed air
inside the strut) as the load is lifted. It is
intended to hold the load in the event of
lifting system failure. It is important to
remember that the shore is only totally
safe when the locking mechanism is
engaged.
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Pneumat ic Aut o-lock t ype:
the automatic locking system of this strut makes it possible to perform remot e
shoring. It is, however, not suitable for use in inflexible spaces such as in most building
shoring situations. In this environment the force needed to set the automatic locking system
may disturb the balance of forces already in place.
This strut is very useful for follow-up shoring of heavy lift operations or in trench
rescue where remot e shoring is required.
Pneumat ic Locknut t ype:
makes use of a Locknut system for mechanically locking the extended strut. This
Locknut system is the same as the one used on the hydraulic and manual Locknut struts.
This is a very universal strut and can
be used for vehicle, trench or structural
collapse shoring. This type of strut can also be
used for follow-up shoring during heavy lift
operations but does not allow for remot e
shori ng (it does not automatically lock).
In other words, the rescuers will have to
physically secure the Locknut themselves as
the strut extends.
St rut s
Rescuer securing the Locknut
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C Hydraulic st rut s
Hydraulic struts are the most versatile of all the strut types. The reason for this is
the combination of a shoring system with the ability to perform lift operations. These struts
are a little heavier than their pneumatic and manual counterparts but have various
advantages in terms of multiple applications.
St rut s
The hydraulic lifting capacity of these
struts means that they can be deployed in a
variety of lifting operations from heavy vehicle
rescue through to lifting concrete or other
barriers in a structural collapse environment.
With proper training, the hydraulic Locknut
type strut can also be safely used for shoring
in non-movable or inflexible shoring
environments such as doorway or window
shores. In this situation it is important that
operators understand the importance of not
creating any lifting forces that may destabilize
the building.
Hydraulic strut used in heavy rescue situation
Hydraulic shores carefully used in an
inflexible structural collapse situation
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Hydraulic Aut o-lock t ype:
the automatic locking system of this strut makes it possible to perform remot e
shoring. It is, however, not suitable for use in non-movable or inflexible shoring environments
(see page 23) for example, in building shoring. In this situation the force used to set the
automatic locking system may disturb the balance of forces in place. This system should not
be used where a lifting force may disturb the stability of the situation.
This strut is very useful for follow-up shoring of heavy lift operations. It even has the
ability, when used together with a second hydraulic strut that acts as a backup, to perform
the lifting and shoring simultaneously.
St rut s
Hydraulic Auto-lock strut being used for combined shoring/ lifting operation
In trench rescue, where remot e shoring is required, these struts can also be used.
However they are a little heavier than the pneumatic type.
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St rut s
Hydraulic Locknut st rut :
the Locknut system used on this hydraulic strut is exactly the same as on the
equivalent pneumatic and manual struts. This strut can however only be extended using the
hydraulic pump, unlike the pneumatic type struts that can be extended manually as well as
with a compressed air system.
This is a very universal strut and can be used in vehicle stabilization and trench or
building collapse shoring. This strut can also be used together with a second hydraulic strut,
to perform lifting and shoring simultaneously. In trench rescue, where remot e shoring is
required, these struts can also be used. It should be noted though that they are a little
heavier than the pneumatic type. This is however the only strut type that can be used for
remote de-shoring.
Both hydraulic strut types require a hand pump
to extend them. This may seem troublesome but
remember that it is this same hydraulic pressure that
makes it possible to provide a 10 t. / 22,000 lbs lifting
capacity. This is an advantage which, in most cases,
outweighs any difficulties of having a pump attached for
extension. Each pump also has a gauge on it, allowing
the operator to know exactly how much lifting force
is being exerted and what the limits are if
working over a certain length shore. This
issue of load capacity in relation to shore
length is covered in more detail on page 28.
Remot e de-shoring: the process by which a shore that is positioned in an unsafe area can
be removed working from a remote safe location. This is done by retracting the strut in a
controlled manner using the hydraulic pump. The Locknut will need to be released for this
technique to be used.
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The following table illustrates which struts are suitable in different applications.
St rut applicat ion comparison
Manual Locknut st rut Pneumat ic Locknut st rut
Heavy vehicle
rescue
st abilizat ion wit h
lift ing operat ions
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks
for lifting.
This st rut t ype has no
lift ing capacit y which
limit s it s use in t his
applicat ion.
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks for
lifting. Can be used for
manual follow-up shoring.
This st rut t ype has
limit ed lift ing capacit y.
Collapsed
st ruct ure lift ing
operat ions
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks
for lifting.
This st rut t ype has no
lift ing capacit y which
limit s it s use in t his
applicat ion.
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks for
lifting. Can be used for
manual follow-up shoring.
This st rut t ype has
limit ed lift ing capacit y.
Collapsed
st ruct ure
shoring
Good strut for this
application. Especially
when working in confined
spaces.
Good strut for this
application when used
without air supply
(as a manual strut).
Trench rescue
shoring
Good strut for this
application. Especially
when working in narrow
trenches, and when used
for secondary /
replacement shoring.
Good strut for this
application. This strut type
can be well used for
secondary / replacement
shoring.
Light vehicle rescue
st abilizat ion /
backup shoring
Good strut for this
application.
Good strut for this
application.
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Pneumat ic Aut o-lock st rut Hydraulic Locknut st rut Hydraulic Aut o-lock st rut
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks for
lifting. Can be used for
automatic follow-up
shoring.
This st rut t ype has
limit ed lift ing capacit y.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one. This strut can be
used for remot e shoring
and lifting.
Can be used for
stabilization when using
lifting bags or jacks for
lifting. Can be used for
automatic follow-up
shoring.
This st rut t ype has
limit ed lift ing capacit y.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one. This strut can be
used for remot e shoring
and lifting.
Not suit able for
t his applicat ion.
Good strut for this
application. Does however
require well trained user
aware of lifting capacity.
Not suit able for
t his applicat ion.
Good strut for this
application. This strut
can be used for remot e
shoring.
Good strut for this
application. This strut
can be used for remot e
shoring.
Good strut for this
application. This strut
can be used for remot e
shoring.
Can be used for this
application.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one.
Good strut for this
application. Can be used
for lifting and stabilization
in one. This strut can be
used for remot e shoring
and lifting.
ESLT 03 11/01/08 14:57 Page 27
For the PowerShore
TM
system, extension
pieces are used to customize the length
of the shore you are creating.
Any of the extensions can
be used with any of the
struts and heads. Each
extension is color coded
so that it can be easily
identified.
The overall strength of the system is dependent on the total length once it is in place.
The graph below shows how, up until 1.325 m / 53 in. the strength of the system created
will have a maximum capacity of 100 kN or 10 t. / 22,000 lbs. After this, the shore will
gradually begin to lose load bearing capacity as the system is lengthened, with a limit of
4.5 m / 180 in. shown. Shores built on the basis of this graph will provide a 4:1 safety factor.
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28
Lengt h ext ensions
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29
There are various types of heads that can be used to create your shoring system.
Different heads can be used depending on the environment and type of system you need to
create. The following table gives a breakdown of some of the applications for the different
head types.
Heads
Tilt ing heads:
This is probably the most universal of all head types. They
can be used at different angles in a variety of directions.
Tilting heads often have nailing holes so can be used
where nailing to a header or footer is required.
Swivel heads:
These heads have interlocking mechanisms that allow them
to be used together with more than one of the same type
of head for different shoring systems that can redirect
forces at different angles. These heads are generally used
in combination with a base plate.
Cross heads:
These heads grip well on the underside of vehicles and are
often used in systems for the stabilization of vehicles on
their sides.
Beam support heads:
These types of heads are mostly used in structural collapse
shoring operations. They normally support 10x10 mm / 4x4 in.
or 10x15 mm / 4x6 in. timber and have nailing holes. In some
cases they can also be used in heavy lifting operations where a
timber header is used to spread the lifting force of the strut.
V-block heads:
These V-block heads are generally used in vehicle rescue
where they do a good job of gripping onto inverted vehicle
sills. They can also be used in other situations for
supporting utilities such as pipes.
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A - MAPS approach
For a good approach to creating a shoring system we should always follow the
MAPS system.
Measure Either by actual measurement or by simply
assessing the length of shores you will need.
Building up a shore
Assemble - Build up your shores in a safe location away from any hazards.
Position The assembled shores are then
moved into place in the working area.
Secure The shores are opened slightly until
they perfectly fit the location for which they are
intended.
30
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31
B- Shore assembly
When assembling a shore, the first thing to remember is the terminology as
discussed earlier (page 17). We can only consider a shore complete when it has been
correctly assembled using the most appropriate strut, heads and where necessary,
extensions. In considering the actual assembly of the shore there are a few essential steps
that must be followed.
1. Choose the most appropriate struts for the application for which you will be using
the shore. (See strut application comparison on pages 26-27).
2. Select the heads you will require for the situation.
(See table of head types on page 29).
Building up a shore
hol mat r o
hol mat r o
hol mat r o hol mat r o
hol mat r o hol mat r o
hol mat r o
hol mat r o hol mat r o
hol mat r o
hol mat r o
hol mat r o
3. Choose the length of extension you require. Remember to always use
as much extension as necessary to save the stroke of the strut for any
adjustments or lifting you may need to do.
Always remember to use the least amount of separate extension pipes to create the
extension length you need. This will keep the complete shore lighter.
Always keep the shortest extension pipes at the end of the shore and not in the
middle. This makes it easier to adjust length and decreases susceptibility to side loads.
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33
There are many different types of rescue equipment that can be used for lifting
operations. In this chapter we will limit our discussion to those pieces of equipment that are
solely designed for the purpose of lifting heavy loads from the ground up. These are:
Lift ing bags
- High pressure low volume
- Low pressure high volume
Hydraulic wedge jacks
Rescue lift ing jacks
Hydraulic shores
Hydraulic shores can be used for lifting loads and have the advantage of being able
to be used for shoring at the same time. These struts have been discussed in the previous
chapter.
It should be said that there are various other pieces of equipment such as spreaders
that can also be used for heavy lifting. These will however be discussed in the Hydraulic Assist
Equipment chapter.
Int roduct ion
Staged lifting equipment
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34
There are several types of lifting bags available to rescuers. The most widely used
are high pressure low volume bags and low pressure high volume bags. Both these are
useful in different rescue situations.
A High pressure lift ing bags
High pressure low volume lifting bags, commonly called high pressure lifting bags,
work on a pneumatic system of 8 bar / 116 psi pressure. These bags, available in various
sizes, are exceptionally versatile and very robust in design. They are primarily used in
situations where lifting heavy loads with a very small initial insertion space is required. They
are also very useful in situations where small working spaces limit the use of larger hand
tools and other lifting devices.
Lift ing bags
Lifting bag used in small insertion space created by a hydraulic wedge
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35
B Low pressure lift ing bags
Low pressure high volume lifting bags, normally referred to as low pressure bags,
make use of more air to affect a lift. These bags work on a 0.5 bar / 7.25 psi pneumatic
system and use the large surface area of the bag to create lift. They are useful in those
situations where lifting or stabilizing of heavy
loads with large surface areas is needed.
They are especially useful on
soft or uneven terrain. These bags are
also used in certain trench rescue
incidents. Available in different sizes,
these bags are most often used in sets
of two side by side to increase stability.
Lift ing bags
Low pressure lifting bag used over the large
surface area of the side of a tanker
Low pressure lifting bags used
on soft ground
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A hydraulic wedge jack, sometimes referred to as a power wedge, is an exceptionally
useful auxiliary tool.
Its ability to create a 50 mm / 2 in. opening from an insertion space of only 6 mm / 0.25 in.
means that it is able to create opportunities to use high pressure lifting bags where this
would otherwise not be possible. The hydraulic wedge jack can also be used for forcing open
certain types of doors.
Hydraulic wedge jack
Wedge jack creating space for high pressure lifting bag
Working action of a wedge jack
Wedge jack used to force
open a rolling door
The wedge jack works by pushing a wedge out of the tool between two narrow
hardened plates. This creates over 20 tons of lift force between these plates.
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Hydraulic lifting jacks have been used for many years in
industrial applications. Despite their simple design, lifting
jacks are very useful rescue tools. These jacks have
been optimized for use by rescue professionals.
J acks are often used
in sets of two with one jack
proportionally smaller than the
other. This allows for progressive
lifting from one jack to the next.
Toe jacks are also commonly
used by technical rescue teams.
These jacks were originally
designed for use on trams but
their toe design gives them the
added versatility of being a low
and high clearance jack in one.
Lift ing jacks
Two proportionally sized lifting jacks used
for progressive lifting
Toe jack used for low
clearance lift
Toe jack used for high
clearance lift
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The large majority of the hydraulic rescue tools are double acting. This means that
they have the ability to create force on both opening and closing. Double acting equipment is
usually powered by a portable pump connected to the tools by a hose system. In a coaxial
hose system such as the Holmatro
R
CORE
TM
system this may appear to be a single hose.
However, there are in fact 2 hoses in the system, one providing hydraulic power to the tool
inside the one taking returning hydraulic oil back to the pump.
39
A wide variety of hydraulic rescue tools are available for assisting the rescuer during
emergency shoring and lifting operations. These include simple single acting jacks through to
advanced specially designed cutting tools for dealing with advanced vehicle construction. For
the purpose of this book only the basic tools used to assist in lifting and shoring operations
will be covered. For a more detailed review of hydraulic equipment used for extrication rescue
take a look at Holmatros Vehicle Extrication Techniques.
Int roduct ion
Hydraulic double acting hose systems: CORE
TM
above, traditional below
ESLT 03 11/01/08 10:30 Page 39
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Spreaders functions include spreading, squeezing and pulling, making
them useful for all sorts of rescue situations. While they are mostly used for
vehicle extrication, a heavy duty spreader is often seen as an essential
piece of equipment for general technical rescue applications. By using
different tips, a spreader can be transformed into a powerful squeezing,
pulling, cutting or lifting tool.
Spreaders
Spreader used for space creation
Cutting tips used on a spreader
Ext ra caut ion should be used when lift ing wit h a spreader as
limit ed point s of cont act can lead t o inst abilit y. A load lift ed wit h
a spreader should always be chocked.
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Cut t ers
Hydraulic cutters are available in various shapes and sizes. Larger heavy duty type
cutters are well suited to cutting strong and often bulky components of vehicles. To this end
a good hydraulic cutter is considered an essential piece of any complete rescue equipment
set.
Smaller, more portable mini type cutters are also useful in the emergency shoring
and lifting environment. These cutters can be used to cut locks or reinforcement type bars in
hard to reach locations where space is often limited. This type of mini cutter is also growing
in popularity among technical rescue teams due to its versatility.
Mini cutter cutting
hardened chain
Mini cutter cutting
reinforcement bars
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Rams
If lift ing wit h a ram is unavoidable always be sure t o chock
t he load as you lift .
Rams are primarily used in vehicle extrication rescue for pushing vehicle components
away from trapped patients. They can of course be used anywhere where there is a need for
pushing power over large distances. When fitted with different heads, some rams (check with
your supplier) can also be used with chains as a pulling tool.
In general a ram is not considered to be a lifting tool. In this regard the use of rams
for long distance lifting should be avoided as any shift of the load may lead to extensive
damage to the ram if the piston is bent. It is also important to remember that rams do not
have mechanical locks so are always reliant on the maintenance of hydraulic pressure to hold
the load.
Ram with pulling head attached
(not all rams have the ability to pull)
Mini telescopic ram
used for space creation
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Combinat ion t ools
Ext ra caut ion should be used when lift ing wit h a combi t ool as
limit ed point s of cont act can lead t o inst abilit y. A load lift ed wit h
a combi t ool should always be chocked.
Combination tools, better known as combi tools, combine several functions in one tool.
The biggest advantage of such a tool is the fact that spreading, lifting, squeezing and
cutting can be done without having to change tools. It should also be mentioned however, that
combi tools have less capacity than dedicated cutters and spreaders. This means that
in certain cases a dedicated spreader or cutter may still need to be used. The use of
accessories for pulling with chains is also possible on a combi-tool.
Combi tool used for lifting Battery combi tool used for cutting
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Self-cont ained hydraulic t ools
Self-contained hydraulic tools have become increasingly popular in the past years.
These tools are usually driven by either built in hand operated pumps or through the use of
battery technology. Battery technology has advanced significantly in the past few years. This
means that running hydraulic tools with electrical motors powered by battery technology is
more effective than before. It has of course always been possible to run tools off batteries,
but before now this would have required a large battery, less practical for the rescue scene.
Completely self-contained hydraulic tools (whether battery or manually driven) are
very useful for work in remote or difficult to reach places. They have become common place
pieces of equipment in most urban search and rescue (USAR) teams.
Self-contained tool used
in USAR environment
Self-contained combi tool used
for cutting
Self-contained tool carried over
difficult terrain
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Hydraulic pumps are available in a variety of types. Petrol
driven pumps are however the most popular. New technology
used in these pumps makes them lighter, more portable
and quieter than previous models.
Hand and foot operated pumps make good backup
systems and can also be used in those environments
where operation of another sort of pump is not
possible. For hydraulic shoring operations only hand
pumps may be used. This is due to the fact that
hydraulic shoring requires precise control which is not
possible with a conventional motor driven pump.
Hydraulic pumps
Light weight pump - easy to
carry to the scene
Single acting hand pumps used with hydraulic shoring for fine control of lifting
Foot pump used
with wedge jack
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Good care of equipment on a regular basis will greatly increase the useable life of
your equipment and will also ensure its proper function when you really need it. To this end,
equipment care and maintenance should be incorporated into all training programs.
It should be mentioned that regular user maintenance and inspection does not
replace the need for periodic factory authorized service of your rescue equipment. In general,
annual inspection and service of your equipment should be performed by a manufacturer
certified technician. The equipment will be tested and the necessary routine maintenance,
such as the changing of fluids, will be done.
It is also important to remember that a rescuers care and maintenance does
not include making repairs. Damaged or faulty equipment requires the attention of a
manufacturer certified technician.
Int roduct ion
Equipment being serviced by a technician
in a mobile workshop
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The following represents an overview of day-to-day care of the different equipment
groups discussed in this book. This chapter should in no way be seen as a complete
discussion of all maintenance issues surrounding all the different pieces of equipment
available. Always consult your users manual for complete instructions on care and
maintenance. Equipment manufacturers should always be able to provide you with more
detailed descriptions of product specific care and maintenance issues.
A - Shoring
Check that all parts are clean and
free of damage, including
couplings, either air or hydraulic.
It is especially important with
automatic lock type shores to
make sure the threads are clean
and free of damage. In the case of
pin and collar systems, make sure
that all pins and other loose parts
are properly attached. Locking
mechanisms should also be
tested, making sure they are
functioning properly.
Other auxiliary equipment to your shoring, such as hydraulic hand pumps or
pressurized air regulators, should also be inspected.
Over and above this regular care, it is strongly advised that shoring equipment be
inspected by an authorized technician on an annual basis.
Care & maint enance
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B - Lift ing bags
Check the general condition of the
bag:
- Remove any glass or other minor
debris that has splintered into
the surface.
- Bags should be kept clean
using only soap and water.
Bags must be removed from service if there are any signs of damage or
significant wear. Including but not limited to:
- The non-slip surface being worn away.
- Presence of cuts or punctures.
- Aramid inlay threads are visible.
Check the condition of the connection nipple.
Worn or damaged nipples can lead to a bad
connection.
Other than these, an annual inspection by an
authorized technician is strongly advised.
C Hydraulic assist equipment
For a more detailed discussion on the care and maintenance considerations for
hydraulic equipment, take a look at the Equipment care chapter of Holmatros Vehicle
Extrication Techniques. The following points represent an absolute minimum of what will be
required by the manufacturer:
Regularly visually inspect components for external damage.
Check all fluid levels on pumps.
Keep all equipment clean and free of damage, including hoses and couplers.
All tools should be left with their arms, blades or pistons in the safe position i.e.
slightly open, not under pressure.
Care & maint enance
Any worn or damaged hose should be immediat ely removed
from service.
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When shoring equipment is used for stabilization of lifted loads, the principle of
working within an established t riangle of st abilit y should be applied. This means that the
shoring system one makes should always be assembled and positioned in a way that will
ensure it is capturing any potential destabilizing forces.
In this first theoretical
diagram we see that a lift angle
strait upwards (90) will be very
effective at lifting. At this angle all
of the opening stroke of the shore
will contribute directly to the lift. At
the same time however a 90 angle
does not provide any stability
against lateral movement.
By using angles during lifting we create a more stable situation. A shore angled
between 45 and 60 protects against lateral movements. As we see in the theoretical
diagram below, three angled lifting forces may not be as effective at lifting, (they loose some
lifting force acting against each other and not all lifting stroke contributes to the actual lift)
but do act against the potential destabilizing lateral forces.
In reality, most lifting performed during rescue operations is actually a type of tilting.
In other words, we are not trying to completely lift a load off the ground. This is good news,
as lifting something completely off the ground will often lead to a very unstable situation (See
next chapter on center of gravity). When performing such lifting operations, it is important not
to forget the need for control of the lateral forces as seen in the theoretical diagrams above.
Triangle of st abilit y
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In the case of a tilt situation, whether lifting or stabilizing, it is usually best to control
lateral forces by using connection straps between the base of your shore(s) and the object
you are stabilizing / lifting. When creating this network of straps it is important to control all
the potential forces. This is best done by creating a sort of triangle in which you can work
safely with your shore. By using the two diagrams below as examples we will discuss how the
straps between the shores and the object, control all potential Hori zont al and Lat eral forces.
Triangle of st abilit y
Hori zont al forces
Straps used to close the triangle of forces stop the bottom of the load from
being pushed away from the strut.
They also stop the base(s) of the strut from being pushed away from the load.
Lat eral forces
Straps used to close the triangle of forces stop the load from moving from
side to side.
They also stop the base(s) of the shoring from slipping to one side or the other.
The importance of creating and working within this triangle of stability is critical to
successful application of a shoring system. This is especially true in vehicle rescue where
loads can easily move especially when wheels are still in contact with the ground.
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Another important principle of load management is the consideration of a loads
center of gravity. Top-heavy loads are particularly vulnerable to tipping over. This is all the
more true if these loads are lifted. Understanding where the approximate center of gravity
of a load lies will help the rescuer choose the best possible placement and use of their
stabilizing and / or lifting equipment. In some cases estimating the center of gravity can be
complicated. For this reason, principles such as using points of connection as high as
possible on the load are helpful.
It is well understood that lifting a load from a point
of attachment above the center of gravity is going to
provide the most efficient lift. In terms of
stability however, this lifting from above can
lead to uncontrolled movement, especially
at the point where the load leaves the
ground. Of course, in some cases such
a lift is just not possible or practical. In
these cases it becomes necessary to lift
from below.
When lifting or tilting from below, the rescuer should try to make the point of
attachment as high as practically possible. This should ideally be in line with or just
above the center of gravity. Again this may not always be possible, in which case extra
consideration for destabilizing lateral forces (as discussed earlier) should be controlled
and / or closely monitored.
A further consideration when stabilizing or lifting loads from two sides is to line up your points
of attachment. As one can see in the diagrams below, points of attachment that are not lined
up tend to cause the load to shift laterally rather than lifting up and / or stabilizing the load.
Cent er of gravit y
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In the case of a collision, vehicles often come to rest in unusual positions. With the
understanding that movement of the vehicle during rescue efforts may lead to further injury
of those trapped inside, it becomes very important to be able to rapidly stabilize a vehicle in
the position it is found in before extrication rescue efforts can begin on the vehicle.
It is important that we firstly develop a clear understanding of the difference
between securing a vehicle and stabilizing a vehicle. Lets for instance take the example of
a car on its side. If we simply tie this vehicle off with some rope this may well secure the
vehicle (in that it would not fall over) but it would not be stable. In order to truly stabilize a
vehicle we have to create ground up stabilization that will ensure the vehicle will not move
due to any of our extrication efforts. Once this has been achieved one can say that the
vehicle is stabilized.
Some of the procedures covered in this chapter can also be found in the book
Holmatros Vehicle Extrication Techniques. The focus of this book is however more on
stabilization requiring shoring. If you would like to know more about basic stabilization or how
to perform extrication after stabilization take a look at Holmatros Vehicle Extrication
Techniques.
Int roduct ion
Shored tanker in under-run situation
A st abilized vehicle is one that will not move as a result of normal extrication rescue
procedures applied to it.
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OBJECTIVE:
To mi ni mi ze movement of t he vehi cl e, t hat may negat i vel y af fect
t rapped pat i ent s or i nj ure rescuers.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
Speci al at t ent i on shoul d al ways be gi ven t o pot ent i al hazards. In t hi s
case (vehi cl e on i t s si de) t hi s can i ncl ude dangerous fl ui ds t hat may have
l eaked out of t he vehi cl e due t o i t s posi t i on.
Vehicle on it s side
THE PROCEDURE:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is a basic manual strut (see pages 26-27).
To ensure the vehicle will not roll towards
its roof side, start by supporting it under
the A and C pillars.
Think ahead, avoid placing
stabilization in
areas where you
are likely to need
to cut later
during the
extrication.
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Vehicle on it s side
Now place a base for your shore on the other side
of the vehicle.
It may also be useful to preposition the tension
straps you will need later to secure the base
of your shore.
Next, position your shore between the vehicle
and the base.
Remember to pay attention to
the point of contact between the
vehicle and your shore ensuring
a stable point of contact. A
cross head usually works best
for this.
Finally, secure your shore by tightening
the tension straps between the base
and the vehicle. At the same time recheck
your chocks on the other side.
Remember t o consi der t ri angul at i on of t he forces i n your
syst em, see pages 51-53 for more det ai l s.
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Vehicle on it s side
It is important to have stable contact
points between the vehicle and
your straps. Also always try to attach
your straps as low as possible.
In some cases it may also be necessary
to stabilize the top / roof side
of the vehicle.
By using two hydraulic struts it is
also possible to lift a vehicle on its
side in a very controlled manner
so as to free a trapped limb.
No mat t er what t ype of st abi l i zat i on syst em i s creat ed, t he
pri nci pl e of t he t ri angl e of forces shoul d al ways be fol l owed.
See pages 51-53.
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Vehicle on it s roof
OBJECTIVE:
To mi ni mi ze movement of t he vehi cl e, t hat may negat i vel y af fect
t rapped pat i ent s or i nj ure rescuers.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
Speci al at t ent i on shoul d al ways be gi ven t o pot ent i al hazards. In t hi s
case (vehi cl e on i t s roof) t hi s can i ncl ude dangerous fl ui ds t hat may have
l eaked out of t he vehi cl e due t o i t s posi t i on.
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
h
o
l
m
a
t
r
o
THE PROCEDURE:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is a hydraulic Auto-lock type (see pages 26-27).
Chock the space between the roof
of the vehicle and the ground.
This may be easiest
with inverted step
chocks.
59
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Vehicle on it s roof
In some cases it may be necessary to add
additional blocks between the engine
compartment and the windshield for added
stability.
The pillars of a vehicle on its roof are,
in most cases, supporting the weight
of the underside of the car.
For this reason, shoring to take over this
support should be applied before cutting
any of the pillars to create space.
By using the tension straps attached
to the base of your shores in combination
with the opening of
the shores, the
system should be
secured.
Remember t o consi der t ri angul at i on of t he forces i n your
syst em, see pages 51-52 for more det ai l s.
Remember not t o use t oo much of t he st roke of your shores
t hat you may need l at er duri ng space creat i on.
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Vehicle on it s roof
It should now be possible to make any cuts
through pillars that may be necessary
for space creation.
If components of the vehicle will be lifted
with the ram to create space, the change
in height should be secured by following up
with the struts.
When the space has been created
and the shores are locked in place.
Detach and remove any unnecessary
hoses that may be tripped over.
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Large vehicle st abilizat ion
OBJECTIVE:
To st abi l i ze l arge vehi cl es t hat are not posi t i oned i n t hei r normal
ori ent at i on (not on al l wheel s or unevenl y l oaded).
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
Al ways consi der t he l oad t hat a heavy goods vehi cl e may be
carryi ng. Al so t hi nk about how your movement of a t ruck may af fect t hi s
l oad. Fi nal l y remember t hat l arge vehi cl es normal l y have heavy suspensi on
wi t h a l arge amount of t ravel whi ch can compl i cat e st abi l i zat i on and l i ft i ng.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is a hydraulic Locknut type (see pages 26-27).
These types of rescue situations
can vary significantly. For this
reason a range of important
considerations are given rather
than a step by step procedure.
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Large vehicle st abilizat ion
When it is time to begin stabilizing
the vehicle, always begin by chocking any
wheels that are still touching the ground.
It is also important to
strap down components
of the vehicle or load
that may move during
rescue efforts.
Consider, for instance,
a floating cabin on
a heavy goods vehicle.
Before deciding on shoring
placement, it is good to get
an overview of the situation
allowing one to better
understand where the center
of gravity lies and what type
of load shifts may occur.
Don t forget t he l arge suspensi on normal l y found on t hese
vehi cl es. Wheel s t ouchi ng t he ground may not be ful l y
l oaded, and so may easi l y rol l .
Al ways begi n wi t h an i ni t i al safet y assessment consi deri ng
any hazards t o your approach.
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Large vehicle st abilizat ion
With a good understanding of the different
forces at play in your situation, it will now be
possible to construct the best shoring
system to support the load.
Always start with the base plate, making
sure, by using tension straps, that you
control all possible horizontal and lateral
forces within the triangle of stability
(see pages 51-52).
When considering assembly of your shores,
make rough measurements first. This will
help the rescuer maximize the use of shore
stroke for any adjusting that may be required
later.
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Large vehicle st abilizat ion
When positioning your shores consider
the most appropriate angle (see
pages 51-52).
It is best to use a swivel
type head in this
situation so that the
load will always be
directed through the axis
of your shore.
Once you have positioned your shores
always be sure to take up all the slack
in the straps connected to the base
of your shore.
Always remember to construct shores to replace
the integrity of vehicles structure (such as a roof)
that is going to be cut away during the rescue effort.
Use a minimum of t wo shores. This helps balance t he load
being shored as well as providing a back up.
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Large vehicle lift ing
OBJECTIVE:
To t i l t or l i ft t he wei ght of a l arge vehi cl e i n such a way as t o al l ow
ext ri cat i on of ent rapped persons.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
Al ways consi der t he l oad t hat a heavy goods vehi cl e may be
carryi ng. Al so t hi nk about how your movement of a t ruck may af fect t hi s
l oad. Fi nal l y remember t hat l arge vehi cl es normal l y have heavy suspensi on
wi t h a l arge amount of t ravel whi ch can compl i cat e st abi l i zat i on and l i ft i ng.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is a hydraulic Locknut type (see pages 26-27).
The need for lifting large vehicles
is not limited to trucks. While a
truck vs. car under-run is used in
this step by step approach, the
principles discussed can be
applied to a host of other lifting
rescue situations.
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Large vehicle lift ing
After the initial assessments, always start
by properly chocking any wheels in contact
with the ground. This includes both
the vehicle to be lifted and the vehicle
trapped below.
The next step requires the strategic
placement of your shoring systems bases.
These should be secured using a network
of straps
between
the bases and
the vehicle that
will be lifted.
To ensure the best use of available
stroke for lifting, make rough
measurements of the shore length you
will need before assembling your
shore.
Al ways begi n wi t h an i ni t i al safet y assessment consi deri ng
any hazards t o your approach.
67
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Large vehicle lift ing
As discussed in the chapter on load management
(see pages 51-53), a good balance between the ideal
lifting and stabilizing angle of your shoring
system will have to be chosen.
Always remember to consider the final result of your
intended lift, bearing in mind that the angle and length
of your shores will change as the lift is performed.
Once the shores are in place at the
appropriate angle, all slack should be
taken out of the tension straps between
the shores bases.
Before beginning to lift the load,
always recheck the chocking of
wheels still in contact with the ground.
It is also good to post rescuers
at different locations around the load
to check for any abnormal movement
during the lift.
Use a mi ni mum of t wo shores. Thi s hel ps bal ance t he l oad
bei ng l i ft ed as wel l as provi di ng a backup.
Never move under an unsecured l oad. When worki ng near
an unst abl e l oad al ways work on one knee, al l owi ng one
t o move away qui ckl y i f requi red.
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Large vehicle lift ing
Coordination of the lifting process should
be controlled by one assigned rescuer
from a position with a good view of the full
lifting process.
All lifted loads need to be secured. This can
be done using chocks and blocks however
this may be impractical when dealing with
large distances. Shoring is more efficient
and effective for this task.
Mechanical locking of shores should be
done at the same time on both sides.
This will help avoid rollover if there is failure
of the lifting system.
When locking the shores be sure to grip
the locknut from below so as to avoid a pinch
hazard.
Throughout the lifting process
recheck the chocks.
Only lift the load as much as
necessary to achieve the rescue.
No shored l oad i s secure unt i l i t i s mechani cal l y l ocked.
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EM ER GEN C Y S H OR I N G A N D L I F T I N G T EC H N I QU ES
A Guide t o Equipment Handling and Techniques for Use in Emergency Shoring and Lift ing Operat ions
It is important that we understand why and where emergency shoring is required on
the rescue scene. Shoring by industrial standards is the temporary support of structures
during construction and / or demolition etc. in order to provide stability that will protect
property as well as workers and the public. Emergency rescue shoring on the other hand
is a temporary support of only those parts of the structure required to perform search
and rescue operations at a reduced risk to patients and rescuers. Emergency shoring is
generally built using systems that can be assembled and deployed rapidly.
71
This chapter gives insight into the basic applications of emergency shoring and lifting
in collapsed structure environments. For each specific application type a detailed explanation
of the build up and use of the PowerShore
TM
system is provided. Details on secondary
extensive shoring such as raker systems, secondary timber shores or more long term
industrial type shoring are not discussed as they fall outside the scope of this book. This book
focuses on initial emergency shoring.
The main aim of any emergency shoring is to create a rapid safe area for emergency
operations. Bearing in mind that rescue operations may already be on the go when the
emergency team arrives the two main goals of emergency shoring are:
to protect access and exit routes to and from trapped patients
to create safe working areas around emergency operations that can
later, if necessary, be replaced by secondary shoring.
Int roduct ion
Shores built to protect
a rescue scene
Spot shore used to protect
an exit route
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Working in and around collapsed structures is inherently dangerous. The following
diagram highlights some of the many safety considerations when working in such an
environment.
Collapsed st ruct ure safet y
Heavy items on the roof such as air-conditioning units or large
water tanks may fall off or through a damaged roof.
Sections of floor or wall panels may
only be hanging from rebar and likely
to fall.
Broken glass from windows may fall
with even the slightest wind.
Secondary explosions or aftershocks
may lead to additional falling
objects, but may also lead
to further collapse.
Broken gas and water lines will be hazards.
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Cables supplying electricity
to the building may be damaged
leading to an electrical hazard.
Various loose items such as
signs or panels may fall.
Damaged columns are a sign
of heavy structural damage.
In an effort to control movement in and out the hazardous area, always enforce
the use of working zones. The inner, or action zone, is for rescuers actively involved in rescue
operations; the secondary zone is reserved for all other emergency personnel. All non-
emergency service persons should be kept clear of these two zones.
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J ust because it is emergency shoring does not mean it can be assembled in an
inferior or unsafe way. All emergency shoring should be built using the same engineering
principles as found in more extensive secondary shoring. The only difference is that
emergency shoring needs to be rapidly assembled and deployed.
A shoring system should be like a double funnel or wine glass. It needs to collect the
load at the top of the shore, redirect that load through the shore and then finally redistribute
the load on a stable surface below or at the other end of the shore.
Depending on the nature and amount of structural damage to the building or
structure you are working on, varying amounts and types of shores may be required. Your
specialized Collapsed Structure Rescue Team or Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team
should have a structural specialist to help make the calculations of how many and what type
of shores will be required.
Timber is normally used at the top and / or bottom of your emergency shoring
system to collect and distribute the load according to the double funnel principle. In addition
some consider timber to also act as an audible or visual warning of increased load as it
deforms.
Principles of emergency shoring
Wherever possi bl e use t i mber bet ween your shore
and t he damaged st ruct ure.
l oad
col l ect i on
l oad
redi rect i on
l oad
redi st ri but i on
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Window / doorway shores
OBJECTIVE:
To support openings in walls t hus creat ing a safe access and / or exit
rout e for rescuers. These shores may lat er be replaced wit h secondary shoring.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
They may al so be used i n bui l di ngs where door or wi ndow headers
have been damaged. Thi s t ype of shore shoul d be bui l t up i n a safe area and
t hen moved i nt o pl ace.
THE PROCEDURE:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is any Locknut type strut (see pages 26-27).
This shore system makes use of two shores
with one header and footer the width of the
opening. The shore system should be
assembled in a safe area and then moved
into place.
75
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Window / doorway shores
First make rough measurements
or estimations of the width
of the opening.
On the basis of this, cut or choose two
pieces of wood to use as the header
and footer of the system.
After placing the header and footer on top of each
other in the opening, measure the length of shore
required.
Now select the appropriate struts and
extensions for the measured space and
assemble two shores of the same length.
Aut o-l ock st rut s shoul d not be used for t hi s t ype of shore
(see pages 26-27).
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Now that the shores are assembled,
nail the heads to either end of the wood
header ensuring the shores remain parallel.
In some cases it may be helpful to leave
space to the outside of the shores to
allow secondary shoring later if required.
A wood footer can be prepared in the
same way.
The assembled shore system can now
be moved into place.
Now extend and lock the shores in place
using the required system.
Manual system used.
Hydraulic system used.
Window / doorway shores
Remember never t o l i ft or push wi t h a shore syst em
i n a col l apsed st ruct ure envi ronment .
Al ways posi t i on any ai r or hydraul i c connect i on poi nt s t o
t he out si de of t he wi ndow or doorway.
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T / Spot shores
OBJECTIVE:
To provi de i ni t i al st abi l i zat i on of dangerous areas where ful l y braced
syst ems (such as col umn shores) may be const ruct ed l at er.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
The exact number of T / spot shores requi red t o st abi l i ze a cer t ai n
area wi l l have t o be cal cul at ed t o ensure t hat t he correct amount of
st abi l i zat i on i s achi eved. The st ruct ural speci al i st on your t eam wi l l be abl e
t o hel p wi t h t hese cal cul at i ons.
THE PROCEDURE:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is any Locknut type strut (see pages 26-27).
This type of shore should be assembled in a safe area and
then moved into place. They are normally installed with wood
above and below to spread the load.
Depending on the nature of the
ground you are working on, it may be
best to make use of tilting heads at
the base.
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T / Spot shores
First make rough measurements
or estimations of the shore length
needed.
If a doorway shore is already in
place, a measurement of the extra
length to the roof can be added
to the height of the doorway shore.
Now select the appropriate struts and
extensions for the measured space and
assemble your shore in a safe environment.
A beam support head should be nailed to the
center of the timber header.
A timber footer may be prepared in the same
way if required.
The shore complete with header and / or footer
can now be moved into place.
Aut o-l ock st rut s shoul d not be used for t hi s t ype of shore
(see page 26-27).
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T / Spot shores
Now extend and lock the shore in
place using the required system.
Remember that as the length of any shore
increases, load capacity decreases
(see page 28).
As a final step remove
any hoses or other
components that may get
in the way during rescue
operations.
Remember never t o l i ft or push wi t h a shore syst em i n a
col l apsed st ruct ure envi ronment .
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Progressive lift ing
OBJECTIVE:
To safel y and syst emat i cal l y l i ft a heavy l oad, maki ng use of
compl ement ary l i ft i ng equi pment .
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
Al ways l i ft wi t h a good overvi ew of t he si t uat i on. Smal l l i ft i ng
act i ons i n one area can dramat i cal l y af fect t he st ruct ure el sewhere.
THE PROCEDURE:
Start by ensuring all necessary
lifting equipment is readily
available. This equipment
should ideally be staged
close by.
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Progressive lift ing
Start by creating an opening for your high
pressure lifting bag(s). In many cases this
is best done with a hydraulic wedge.
The space created by the hydraulic wedge
should be secured using wedge blocks.
Now slide your lifting bag into place. This is
best done with a wedge block against the
bag so that your fingers are not in danger.
Always position your bag(s) completely (past
the center of the bag) under the load before
inflating.
As the lifting bag is inflated, the progression
to the next lifting tool can be considered.
In this case the logical progression is
to a lifting jack.
Never place you fingers under or near a load being lift ed.
All lift ed loads should always be backed up using blocks,
wedge blocks or a mechanically locked shoring syst em.
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If the lifting bag needs to be left in place,
a shut-off hose with a safety valve
should be used.
Larger lifting bags can also be backed
up using automatic follow-up shoring
(see pages 21-22).
Always be extra cautious when lifting loads
at angles. Be sure that your lifting action will
not cause the load to shift uncontrollably.
This is best controlled by good chocking.
Progressive lift ing
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Around the world trenches are dug for various
reasons such as the laying of pipes and cables or for
creating foundations. The number of trench collapses
varies significantly from country to country. The cause,
however, is almost always the same. Trenches collapse
due to inadequate shoring by those responsible for
digging the trench. In order to be able to work in a trench
safely, so as to extricate the injured and / or entrapped
persons, it is necessary for the rescue services to be
able to rapidly create a safe area around the patient.
While this chapter provides a basic overview of
emergency shoring used in trench rescue, it is not meant
to take the place of specialized trench rescue training
required to perform such rescue operations. If rescuers
are not aware of the risks and how to work safely in and around a trench, this can easily lead
to death and injury. It is essential that rescuers do not move into a trench that is not properly
shored. Moving into an unsafe trench will only put the rescuers at risk of becoming injured,
entrapped or worse in the very likely event of a secondary collapse.
Even in training, caution should be taken in and around un-shored trenches. For many
of the pictures used in this chapter a safe concrete training trench was used.
Int roduct ion
Collapsed trench
Properly shored trench
Rescuers shoul d never move i nt o an un-shored t rench.
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In all cases it is vitally important that a trench rescue scene is approached with
extreme caution. Many hazards can exist on such a scene and are beyond the scope of this
technical skills orientated book. It is, however, strongly advised that for complete knowledge
on this matter, an established trench rescue training program is used.
The diagram below highlights some of the many considerations that have to be taken
into account when working at a trench rescue scene. It also serves to explain the trench
terminology that will be used in the rest of this chapter.
Trench safet y and t erminology
Ladder(s) for access.
Atmospheric monitoring
and necessary ventilation.
Low pressure bag used
for backfill behind
shoring.
Staging area
for additional secondary
shoring material.
Shoring
planks.
Shoring boards.
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Limit ed access
side
Working
side
Soil pile
Edge
Wall
Floor
T
o
e
T
o
e
T
o
e
Edge
Head
Inner or action circle
for rescuers directly
involved.
Secondary zone reserved for all
other emergency service personnel.
All non-emergency service persons
should be kept clear of these
two zones.
Shoring board used as edge padding.
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Trench rescue approach
OBJECTIVE:
To creat e a safe working environment around t he edge of t he t rench,
so as t o allow shoring work t o be done, minimizing t he risk of furt her collapse.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
The great est ri sk t o t he approachi ng rescuers i s a secondary
col l apse l eadi ng t o t he rescuer becomi ng t rapped i n t he t rench. The
fol l owi ng approach ai ms t o mi ni mi ze t hi s ri sk.
THE PROCEDURE:
This procedure represents the absolute minimum of safety steps that need to be taken in
an approach to a trench rescue.
Always approach the trench from the head,
with caution, using edge padding to spread
your weight over the ground.
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After placing a ladder in the trench at the
head, encourage those in the trench who are
not entrapped to leave the trench.
From here one
can now assess
the shoring needs.
In the meantime, other members of the team
can begin to place boards at the edge of the
trench so as to spread the weight of rescuers
who will be working there.
It may also be necessary to position more
ladders to allow escape for those remaining
in the trench or for any rescuers that may
accidentally fall in during rescue efforts.
Trench rescue approach
Never approach t he edge of a t rench wi t hout edge paddi ng
i n pl ace no mat t er how st abl e i t mi ght seem.
Once cont act has been made wi t h
a consci ous pat i ent t hi s cont act
shoul d never be broken.
89
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Trench rescue approach
It may also be necessary to clear the soil pile
from close to the edge to allow access.
After doing this, always place boards
on the ground to help spread the weight.
Perform gas monitoring
continuously and provide
necessary ventilation.
Finally, your trench rescue equipment should
be staged in a specific order, allowing quick
and easy access to the tools required.
Rescuers shoul d never move i nt o an un-shored t rench.
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Rapid safe area creat ion
OBJECTIVE:
To rapidly creat e a safe working area (safe haven) from where rescue
and emergency medical care can be given t o t rapped persons.
SITUATION ASSESSMENT:
A l ocat i on for rapi d safe area creat i on shoul d be chosen based on
where t he pat i ent (s) i s / are l ocat ed.
THE PROCEDURE:
STRUT CHOICE: a good strut type for this application is any Auto-lock type strut (see pages 26-27).
Position the shoring team with one rescuer
on the limited access side (where the soil
pile normally is) and at least two on the
working side (see page 87).
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From the working side, position the first
shoring plank into the toe on the opposite
(limited access) side of the trench.
This shoring plank should be left lying
against the edge of the working side
of the trench.
Now slide the first shoring board over
the shoring plank already in place.
Next pass the shoring plank and board
together to the limited access side of trench.
These can then be held in place by the one
rescuer on the limited access side
of the trench.
Rapid safe area creat ion
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From the working side place the second
shoring plank into the toe of the working side
of the trench. Pass the top of this shoring
plank to the limited access side where it
should be rested against the shoring plank
and board already in place.
Again from the working side, slide the second
shoring board into place using the shoring
plank to guide it into the working side toe.
After doing this the shoring plank can be
handed back to the working side.
Rapid safe area creat ion
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Rapid safe area creat ion
While the shoring planks and boards
are being positioned, the first shores
can be configured, based on the width
of the trench.
Using ropes lower the first shore to the bottom
of the trench no more than 0.6 m / 2 ft. from
the floor. Then extend the shore enough to hold it
in place using the required system.
The advantage of an Auto-lock type strut is that
it will lock in place without a rescuer having
to move into the trench.
Now check for the need to backfill with soil
or lifting bags in any spaces left between
the shoring boards and the walls of the
trench. After doing this the shore can be
extended.
Locking is achieved automatically when using
an Auto-lock type strut.
Never ent er a t rench t hat i s not compl et el y shored wi t h
a mechani cal l y l ocked syst em.
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Rapid safe area creat ion
The same procedure should be followed for the top
shore. The top shore should not be positioned more
than 0.6m / 2 ft. below the edge of the trench.
There should not
bemore than 1.2 m /
4 ft. between shores.
If necessary, more
than two levels of
shoring may need to
be used.
Shores that do not
lock automatically
should be locked starting with the top shore as rescuers
move into the safe area created. Hoses of locked shores
can be removed.
At the same
time, nailing
the shores in
place can
begin.
Until the shores are nailed in place, all ropes
used to lower the shores should be secured
above.
In some cases it may be necessary to
replace your emergency shoring with other
secondary shores such as wood or simple
industrial type shores. This is normally seen in long trenches where multiple safe areas need
to be created.
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This book would not have been possible without the assistance and valuable input
of the following persons and organizations.
For their roles in formulation and discussion of the many techniques and strategies
described in this book:
Rod Campbell - Central University of Technology, South Africa
Rob Owen Fishbone Research Limited, United Kingdom
Road Accident Rescue Committee Queensland Fire and Rescue Service,
Australia
Peter Fiset Holmatro Rescue Equipment, United States
Dave Dalrymple Roadway Rescue, United States
For their assistance in proof reading and content consultation:
Ad Rombouts, Fran Dunigan, Giff Swayne, Malcolm Stirk, Tony Barboza
For technical assistance and photographs:
Holmatro Rescue Equipment
Piba, Antwerp Provincial Institute of Fire and Ambulance Service Training,
Belgium
Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy, United States
Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Sweden
Wennergren Maskin, Sweden
Durban University of Technology Dept. Emergency Medical Care & Rescue,
South Africa
Finally a special word of thanks to all the operational rescuers from around the world,
who have shared their personal rescue experiences with me. Your valuable input is greatly
appreciated.
Acknowledgment s
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Not es
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Not es
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This publication is brought to you by:
ISBN: 978-90-812796-1-1
www.holmatro.com
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ISBN 978-90-812796-1-1
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