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Why Crane Operators Should Pay Close Attention to the Weather

24 October

Operating a crane in perfect weather can be hazardous when the proper precautions are not taken, but when poor weather is factored in, crane operation can become deadly. Every crane operator should know before climbing into the cab of crane what the weather is doing and what it is expected to do. Keeping an eye on the skies can help you avoid serious mishaps during lifts. Learn more about weather conditions that can cause trouble during crane operations.

Wind Can Create Conditions Severe Enough to Halt Operations

In some cases, depending on how high you must lift a load, even the slightest wind gust can cause trouble. Wind can move the load during a lift, causing it to sway back and forth. Not only can swaying cause danger for people and structures on the ground, it can also negatively impact the operation of the crane. A swaying load could cause the crane to become off-balance, creating conditions for it to turn over if winds are strong enough. Wind gusts of 20–25 mph can cause problems with safe lifting, so halting operations until wings have subsided is the best way to go to avoid accidents and possible loss of life.

Cold Can Be Too Cold

Cold weather can impact crane operation in more than one way. If the temperature is too cold, it can cause problems with hydraulic fluids. When hydraulic fluids thicken under the influence of cold temperatures, the hydraulic operation on a crane can be compromised and freeze up. If hydraulic features on a crane stop working during a lift, the results could be deadly. For the safest cold-weather crane operations, avoiding operation in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and stopping operations until temperatures are warmer is advised.

Rain, Fog, and Snow Can Distort Clear Views

While there may be no winds or extremely cold temperatures during rain, snow, or fog, your clear view of ground operations from the cab of a crane may be severely distorted. For example, if you cannot see the person on the ground signaling your safe operation, you could end up placing a load off-kilter or too close to workers. If you are unable to see the ground clearly, stopping crane operation until you can is best for the safest results.

Crane operators have a huge responsibility to maintaining safety for themselves and for co-workers on the ground. Learning more about how weather can impact your safe crane operation is a good idea. Talk to a crane service such as Winslow Crane Service Co for more information.