Ocky Strap Danger!

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 16:29
ThreadID: 132192 Views:3265 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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Gday all, have seen a few threads on here over the last few days, about how to tie/fix various things to roof racks..
Can't stop thinking about a story a good mate of mine told me, about another couple they traveled with for a while... It's a bit of a shocker!
This couple were camped out the back of beyond, on their own, started packing up camp one morning, and the fella was fixing and item to the roof rack, with ocky straps, as he pulled on one, it let go, striking him in the eye... She finished packing up camp as quick as she could, and drove the several hours, to the nearest help.. All this time, poor mate, was holding his eye ball in his hand, still attached, to the eye socket.. They did put it back in, but it is not aligned, bit wonky.. Makes me shudder, just the thought of it... Personally, hate using them, but always am aware of keeping out of the way, when doing up, or undoing.. Hopefully this will help make a few others aware of the dangers, when using these things... Cheers to Dom n Cass if your out there. Cheers all. Odog
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 16:45

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 16:45
Odog - I can recall quite a few years ago, almost the exact same thing happening to a W.A. senior court judge, who was using an ocky strap to fasten down a load.

It didn't take his eye out, but it did give him a moderate eye injury that he recovered from.

He got onto the media and made his opinion known about the hidden dangers of the things.
There's a lot of power hiding in a tight ocky strap - and when they let go, it's the equivalent of a slingshot ball-bearing to the eyeball.

Anything you pull on that is held fast, and which then lets go with hidden recoil power, is extremely dangerous to the sensitive parts of your face.

Had a farmer friend who nearly lost an eye to a piece of fencing wire caught on something in his shed, when he pulled on it.
He gave it a good yank to free it, it sprang free, and the end of the wire got him right in the eye. He lost some vision, but kept the eye.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Hoyks - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:16

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:16
My Mum copped one between the eyes that put her on her ass, luckily we were in the driveway at the time. The quality of the straps has also gone down since then.

I used them on the motorbike and got smacked in the head once, lucky I had the helmet on still though. I gave them up after that, I only use cam lock or ratchet straps now.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:18

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:18
There are places where an elastic strap is fine, in which case I think these are better than the common ocky strap. Treat them with care and caution, discard if damaged. They seem firmer than the conventional type. They come in a range of lengths from Bunnings.

Cheers

FrankP

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Follow Up By: DesF - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:31

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 17:31
On Lighter note, my mate always had one on his motor bike carrier, and he was coming home from work and stopped at the gate to speak to the kids, one hooked his strap from his carrier to the gate ,
when he rode into the yard it stretched it out until the hook straightened out and let go at the gate ,
The big bruise on his buttock was there for months,
One should not laugh. He He.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:12

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:12
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Hi Frank,

I find those rather better than the usual occy straps and use several.
However they have the most lethal hooks with quite sharp points, so I make up replacement hooks from 3mm galv wire, doubled back to form a rounded blunt nose with the cut ends looped through the rubber. Somewhat safer.
I find the rubber of these straps has a life of only one camping season due to sunlight causing cracks. Probably no different from regular occy straps.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:29

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:29
Hello Allan & Frank

As posted in another thread I use these

ROK Straps

Much better than occy straps, though as with everything some caution required, but they have rounded hooks (no sharp points) and seem to be lasting well (i.e. good as new after several years)..and I still have both my eyes (though need glasses to read)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:41

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:41
Thanks Greg and Allan. I'm always wary of the hooks on t he black straps, but its not always easy to keep your face out of the line of fire should a strap fail.

Greg, the ROK straps seem to be best of type. Thanks for the info.

Cheers Frank
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:44

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:44
Also keep in mind in some instances its not the hook that does the damage - a flick in the eye with the end of the cord (hook detached) can also result in severe damage

Stay safe.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:36

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:36
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Yes Greg, I too like the ROK straps and use them as a preference.
I only use the solid black ones for a particular purpose which requires a bit more tension than the ROK's provide. I dodge naming the particular purpose for fear of being pilloried.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 20:27

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 20:27
Pilloried - does that mean getting hit in the eye with an occy strap or a pillow?

My word new for the day, thanks :)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:41

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 18:41
Eye Warning as Occy Straps Lash Out

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:19

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:19
Small ratchet straps.....will do almost anything an occy strap will do....and you can adjust the tightness.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:27

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:27
Agreed, but if a load shifts, eg firewood settling with vibration, ratchet straps can go loose, whereas elastic straps can maintain some tension.

I think there's room for both, perhaps in combination depending on the load.
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:39

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 19:39
Thing is, they are so handy... But, if your careful, and I always expect it to let go, and make sure your out of the way, and I guess, don't over do it.. Use with caution, and buyer/user beware.. Odog
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Reply By: Blown4by - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 21:20

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 21:20
Odog raises a very good point. Sadly some years ago in Karratha a supermarket trolley collector was hit in the throat when an occy strap failed and he died from his injuries. There are many cases on record where eyesight has been lost or permanently damaged by these lethal weapons. The use of occy straps is illegal in work places in WA. This raises the question: If they are considered unsafe in the workplace why would you use them at all? There are other alternatives that do the job just as well and are far safer. It is one thing to take a risk using them yourself but how would you feel if a traveling companion, partner or grandchild was seriously injured? They do not even have to fail to inflict and injury. Just losing your grip while they are under tension can r5esult in a recoil. I agree the quality of them is rubbish, like most products where the majority of our imported products come from, and there is no warning signs before they fail.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 21:50

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 at 21:50
As I was reading these posts, I was thinking about that young bloke in Karratha.

Not only did they ban them on worksites, they were banned altogether.

Yes I know you can still get something called an occy strap from The Church of the Red Shirt, but they are not the original. They have been modified to stop accidents - I don't think they have though.

Personnaly I use a combination of cam lock straps and ratchet straps depending on the load. Much safer.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:35

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:35
Yes I remember this, so sad, poor bloke... It's terrible to loose a life, especially over something so menial, as a ocky strap.. Odog
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Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:15

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:15
I had a spectacular failure with ockies when a heavy plastic canoe came off the top of the wagon when doing 110 kmh down a busy freeway. I saw it bouncing end on end among the cars behind me. Luckily no harm was done.

They were overloaded and stretched too tight so there was little give left in them.

All load fixing methods have to pass the Sigmund Law of Sufficiency. Ockies can work fine within their limits. There needs to be a bit of give in them and not too much stretch used in hooking up. I like the Masters brand that have stiff cord and steel (not wire) hooks. Some used to be available with a repositionable hook at one end so you could manage the give/stretch balance.

Some ocky straps came with a length of vinyl tube around some of the cord length to restrict the amount of uncontrolled contraction. Are they still around?

For tie downs I find best the cam lock types with hook ends. Loop ends mean too much doubling back of the strap. Ratchets are good for heavy loads but over the top for most of my needs.

ROK straps are great - webbing loop ends so no steel is involved. I use the pack straps for light loads on the motorbike.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:40

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:40
Fair dinkum! Did you use ocky straps to tie a canoe on the roof?
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:53

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:53
Yep. Lots of them! Lol.
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:40

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:40
Hey Ziggy trust you are well

Sigmund Law of Sufficiency - too funny

my theory of Sufficiency is that I now use 3 straps just in case one breaks or becomes loose

cheers
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:50

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:50
Yes, thanks cookie, fighting fit. Fighting each day to keep fit!

Just about to head off for the Kimberley and NT for 3 months. First time up that way. Stoked.

Will have a bag of straps of all sorts. They'll probably never get used but it's always fun to untangle them and find that particular one I wanted last time is hiding in the middle.
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:58

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:58
We were there a couple of years ago and it was fantastic, we were like fish swimming every day in the various Gorges. Be sure to book at Cape Leveque in advance as they get quite full, Oh & try their pizzas - the best I reckon I've ever had, their big breakfast was nice but not that big

cheers
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