The wind is one of the biggest factors in the success of utilizing cranes during the construction or demolition of any buildings. There’s nothing worse for project managers or crane operators than having to stop work for the day due to the wind.
This can occur at any time, regardless of what weather reports have indicated, so being ready is a must. If you’ve ever had to stop working because of a sudden increase in wind speeds, you know that it can be expensive as you may still have to pay crane operators. Having been in the Bay Area crane rental business for some time now, we’ve been able to come up with solutions for those windy days.
Here is how you can make a windy day productive for your crane operators and their respective staff.
How Windy is Too Windy?
Before deciding not to continue work due to an increase in wind speeds, it’s important to be absolutely sure that it is too windy. Often the safeness of wind levels is directly related to the crane specifications, as well as the type of work being carried out. Generally speaking, there are 5 categories which are used to determine wind speed and safety of operation, they are:
- Very Calm / Still – Wind Speeds of 4.47mph or lower (< 1.99m/s)
- Calm – Wind Speeds between 4.48mph and 11.16mph (2m/s – 4.99m/s)
- Low – Wind Speeds between 11.17mph and 22.35mph (5m/s – 9.99m/s)
- Medium / Caution – Wind Speeds between 22.36mph and 33.53mph (10m/s – 14.99m/s)
- High / Risk – Wind Speeds above 33.54mph (> 15m/s)
Understanding these categories and how they relate to the specific task desired to be undertaken is the job of the crane operator. Be sure to confer with them to ensure that you’re not being overly cautious, or overly risky. Either of these situations can be expensive mistakes, particularly in certain places such as the Bay Area. Crane rental insurance can be a lifesaver in these situations, as well as well-trained and experienced crane operators.
Taking the Crane Out of Service
Whether the risk to the load is too high, or forecasts are indicating a rapid increase in wind speeds, there will be times you’ll be forced to take the crane out of service. This doesn’t have to be as disastrous as it sounds, and gives you and the crane operator time to organize and plan ahead.
Do Maintenance Checks
To keep your crane operator busy, especially while they’re on the clock, it can be helpful to task them some other jobs which can in turn still make the day productive. Ask them to perform any normal and alternative maintenance checks on the crane and all related equipment. This can help to ensure that any potential problems are identified in advance. These can be as simple as visual checks, looking for signs of wear and tear. Otherwise operational checks can be done to ensure all parts are functioning as they should.
Revise Lift Plan
With a sudden change in wind or weather conditions, your crane operator may need to rehaul their lift plan to accommodate for any changes in load size to suit increased wind speeds. The Lift plan will usually include:
- Details about the load such as weight and size
- The path of travel and any potential strike hazards
- Who will be operating/involved in the lift and their responsibilities
- The methods of communication during the lift
Revise Safety Procedures with Other Staff
One thing you can never do too much of is preparing for the variety of potentially dangerous scenarios that can occur around cranes. The potential problems are usually the same, such as:
- The crane could fall over
- The structure of the crane could fall
- During the lift the boom of the crane could hit people, structures, or other things in its path
- The crane operator or other workers could be electrocuted
- Objects may fall from the load being lifted and hit people, structures, or other things
- The load could be dropped
While you don’t want to scare your staff by bringing up such situations, it is important to remind them of what to do if any of them occurs. If you’ve been forced to take the crane out of service for a day then that may be a good time to revise and practice any safety procedures.
Whatever you’re building, we hope that the wind and weather is kind to your project. If you’re looking for a Bay Area crane rental company with experience, then look no further than Sheedy Cranes. We have the experience required to ensure that your projects go swimmingly.