Friday, March 17, 2017

Foul Weather Rigging

Adverse weather conditions can make or break a rigging operation. Wind, rain, snow, cold weather, fog, and lightning can all have a detrimental effect on crane and rigging operations and should be taken into thorough consideration on every lift. 
All cranes have a maximum wind speed at which rigging operations can take place, and most manufacturers provide guidelines for their equipment. If this information is not available, rigging should not place if winds are near or above 20 mph. Load dimensions and wind direction are important to take into consideration as well. 
Rigging in cold weather has limitations, as low temperatures can affect crane components such as hydraulics and rigging equipment, and can even reduce tensile strength of the crane if temperatures are extremely cold. Load weights should be reduced depending on temperatures, and rigging should suspended altogether in extreme subzero conditions. Cranes regularly operated in cold climates can be outfitted with special parts, finishes and systems to guard against failure.  
A crane boom can become a lightning rod in extreme weather conditions, so rigging activities should be suspended if lightning develops. Booms should be lowered and/or retracted to a safe position and rigging personnel should vacate the area. Cranes that are struck by lightning must be thoroughly inspected before returning to service. 
Water can infiltrate crane components including brakes clutches during heavy rain, particularly when it is wind-driven, so rigging activities should be suspended under these conditions. Heavy rains can undermine foundations, as well. 
R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services