Winds and construction cranes do not mix. Every crane operator must take into consideration the proposed wind velocity before starting work every workday. That means contacting an approved weather information provider to determine projected wind speeds, and not lifting the load if excessive wind speeds are expected. Failure to do so often proves fatal. According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 1,125 crane accidents occurred worldwide between 2000 and 2010, resulting in 780 deaths. Wind was a significant factor in nearly one-quarter of those accidents.
Wind Safety Elements
Besides constant check of weather conditions, crane operators should always know where their Beaufort wind charts – a scale estimating wind speeds – are located in the crane’s operations manual and loading charts. Of course, the operator must also ensure the crane is set up correctly, as the odds of an accident increase if a crane is not level during a wind event. When wind exceeds permissible levels, lifting must cease immediately. The downside is that weather forecasts do not reflect the situation on individual sites, and they cannot provide information regarding gusts.
Unfortunately, load charts often do not consider wind speeds, according to the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). If this is the case, it is critical that the construction company contact the crane manufacturer for this information. OSHA specifies that maximum permitted wind speeds and other warnings are posted in the crane cab.
Understanding Wind Gusts
Each time wind speed increases by a factor of two, the pressure it exerts increases by a factor of four. As ANSI points out, that means a crane working with a 12 mile-per-hour wind that suddenly increases to 24 mph has an instant load resistance increasing by four times.
Every crane operator should possess a wireless anemometer while on the job. These devices provide real-time data for wind speed monitoring. High quality wireless anemometers not only monitor winds in real time, but also include long distance data transmission, portable receivers and dependable wireless technology. When installed on various types of cranes – including lattice boom, tower and mobile cranes – wireless anemometers enhance safety on all types of construction sites. Easily accessible data is key to reducing wind-related crane accidents. Wireless anemometers have long proved their worth, as OSHA reports that operators using these devices have greatly reduced fatalities on their worksites.
Wind monitoring is not just used for crane operation. Each year, hundreds of construction workers die from falls, and many of these are wind-related. Wind monitoring can prevent many of these deaths.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Recover Compensation for Workers Injured in Crane Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured at work by a crane, you may be entitled to work injury benefits and more. A Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC will assess your case during a free consultation. Contact us online or call 302-888-1221. We have offices in Delaware to assist clients in Dover, Middletown, Newark, and Wilmington, as well as offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to assist those in the surrounding areas.