If you are hiring a crane, you have to be aware of a number of safety provisions, including how to use the crane in the wind. Wondering what you need to know? Check out these tips:
1. Talk with the hire company rep about recommended wind limits
When you hire a crane, talk with the hire company's rep about which wind speeds it can safely operate under. All manufacturers include this information in their safety manuals. There may be one recommendation for working under constant wind speeds and a second one for gusts.
2. Adjust speed limits for loads with large surface areas
In some cases, the wind recommendations on the crane can change depending on what sort of load you are lifting with the crane. In particular, if you are lifting a load with a wide surface area, that can virtually act like a sail, allowing the wind to hit a large area of the surface, creating an impact that carries to the rest of the crane.
To illustrate, imagine a crane lifting the blade of a large windmill. As it's designed to catch the wind and has a wide surface area, it's going to be more impacted by wind than a small, dense load of the same weight. To that end, if you are lifting loads with large surface areas, you may need to lower the top wind speed at which you use the crane. Talk with the hire company about your load so that you can adjust the wind recommendations accordingly.
3. Watch the weather
In many cases, the wind can increase quickly. So that you don't end up working in a storm, keep an eye on the weather. You don't want the wind speeds to increase precipitously when you are lifting a load and have the wind cause damage or put you in danger.
4. Be aware of the Beaufort chart
Watching an app on your phone can help track the weather, but you should also be able to read the wind speeds by looking at the signs around you. The Beaufort scale consists of a number of natural signs and the wind speeds to which they correlate.
For example, when smoke is gently drawn to the side, the wind is about one to five kilometres per hour—that's not going to have an effect on your crane. However, when you feel a resistance to walking in the wind and whole trees are waving, that correlates with 50 to 61 kilometers per hour, and that is going to swing the cables on most cranes.