Although highly effective and practical for construction purposes, tower cranes are vulnerable in harsh weather and in the face of severe winds. You need to check the manual to determine what the maximum wind speed a lift can be operated in; however, if a maximum wind speed is not specified, you should always avoid operating a tower crane lift when wind speeds reach or top 20 miles per hour. If severe winds are prevalent, you should opt for safety inspection services that will catch any potential issues that may become hazardous. Here are 3 checkpoint that most safety inspection services will focus on.
Operator's Ability to Weathervane the Crane
The operator's ability to safely operate the tower cranes in poor weather is key to making sure that no accidents happen. Not only will the safety inspection services verify the operator's certification, but these services will also usually have the operator undergo additional training to refresh their memory. With that said, the safety inspection services will want to determine whether the operator can successfully weathervane the crane on a day without wind. Once the operator has set the weathervane, the crane should continue to swing freely even when the power is off.
It's important that the operator knows how to properly weathervane the crane, as this can ensure that the crane can resist high winds without toppling over. The pressure and speed exerted by high winds can be difficult to tolerate. If the weathervane is not properly set, the wind can overcome the strength of the mast and the foundation of the tower cranes easily.
Inspections of the Security of Add-On Structures and Accessories
To prepare for poor weather conditions, the safety inspection services will also want to take a look at the overall structure of the tower cranes. In particular, they'll want to ensure that all of the screws and fasteners are secure, and that all of the add-on structures and accessories are properly fastened onto the mast or the foundation of the tower cranes. It's not unusual for severe wind to blow even some of the larger accessories and add-ons off of the tower crane. This can easily lead to major accidents.
Unsecured items should either be secured on or should be removed permanently. The safety inspection services will also consider the amount of load that the tower cranes can handle and compare that to the weight and load of the add-on structures and accessories. Different add-on structures and accessories may be recommended if the safety inspection services determine that current add-ons put on too much weight onto the tower cranes.
Measurements of Soil Condition to Determine Stability
The mast and foundation of the tower cranes are secured by the soil, so a thorough inspection and examination of the quality of the soil will also be needed. The safety inspection services will collect several samples of soil from different worksites or different areas to determine whether the composition of the soil is secure enough to stabilize the tower cranes. The inspection services will also recommend different drainage techniques to prevent water from eroding the surrounding bearing soil.
Keep in mind that the quality of the soil will deteriorate and change with time. When working on long-term construction projects, consider getting the soil quality examined periodically, so that there are no surprises.
Tower cranes can get a lot done; however, the incredible heights make them susceptible to severe winds. They can be easily blown over if they are not properly secured and stabilized. Regular safety inspection services at the work-site can help you catch potential hazards early on to prevent major accidents from happening. You can click here for more info on this topic.