According to Burgess it commissioned and opened the new warehouse extension at Alnwick, Northumberland this week and it features a new test facility with a 75t vertical test bed to test hoists up to 50t at a proof factor of one-and-a-half times of the working load limit, which it claims is the only company in Europe to do that.  

William Hackett launched the SSL5, two years’ ago, to transform safety levels globally when lifting offshore and in subsea operations using lever hoists. The patented QP mechanism synchronizes a set of four pawls which constantly work together to minimize the time and distance travelled to the next point of engagement. 



“We’ve designed this hoist to provide the highest level of safety, with increased levels of redundancy and resilience to failure. Its QP offset load bearing mechanism is the best in the market, and it offers enhanced operating performance compared to twin pawl products,” said Burgess. 

“It overcomes jamming and unintended malfunctions that can be experienced when using other simpler first-generation products. This helps to minimize project downtime or costly delays to work scopes, providing total peace of mind for operators and marine contractors.” 

After seeing success with its Zinc-Tough technology for superior corrosion protection and offering resistance to Hydrogen Embrittlement/Stress Corrosion Cracking the company now plans to extend this to its other products in the next few weeks. 

Zinc Tough applies a zinc layer to a product which significantly reduces the speed at which corrosion occurs. It extends the product lifespan and reduces the risk of HE in comparison to other coating processes such as galvanising and electroplating. 

Thanks to William Hackett’s industry report, to help minimise the risk of Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE) and Stress Induced Corrosion Cracking (SICC) its advice is still gaining traction and feedback from clients.   

“The issue of embrittlement has gained such recognition. People assume lifting products are fit for purpose for offshore but they aren’t and we have seen a lot of failures, regarding public safety alerts on material hardness,” added Burgess.  

One example is the failure of G10 welded chain slings on a container fleet in Norway, to the USA where a global oil company had to withdraw a number of lifting appliances and promptly introduced an inspection regime before any future lift work was carried out. 

There is a real concern across industry regarding the impact of HE and SICC on chains and links used in lift and hoist projects across offshore environments,” added Burgess. 

While not directly involved in the report’s findings, Dr Emilio Martínez-Pañeda, Assistant Professor at Imperial College London, welcomed the report. emphasising the challenging nature of hydrogen embrittlement and its implications:"Hydrogen is famed for causing notorious structural integrity problems that are difficult to predict, and there is a need for new guidelines and solutions." 

Based on our own experiences of how our products perform offshore, combined with the manufacturing expertise of McKinnon Chain and outcomes of detailed technical analysis by industry partners, we have identified that as material hardness exceeds 39-40 HRC, the risk of HE and SICC increases as the hardness values rise, says Burgess.