Working in construction can often strike up many complications when it comes to the weather. The winter brings the bitter cold, the rain and snow that can be problematic and time-consuming to your work schedule, whilst the summer can bring dry and hot conditions that can also cause major issues. Using heavy lifting equipment can be dangerous on a good day, but when you’re working in difficult weather conditions, crane safety becomes so much more important. This blog will explain how temperatures can affect your crane safety and the impact this can have on you as a worker. We will explain what you need to do to stay safe and how to keep your equipment in good condition.
Hot and Dry Weather
Operating cranes in hot temperatures can cause major issues in delaying and causing damage to your work. Hot weather conditions can cause issues such as rapid evaporation and absorption of water from mortar when there is a lack of moisture within construction materials; this can have a dangerous and negative effect when handling and lifting them with cranes. Ultimately, you need to be examining the materials before handling, lifting and moving them to protect yourself from accidents occurring.
When practising crane safety within hot conditions, it’s important to remember that heat can reduce the effectiveness of your crane seals. When these seals are damaged, this can lead to other broken parts causing further issues down the line. It is very important that you do not expose your seals to direct sunlight to prevent damaging your equipment (especially in hot conditions).
Operating cranes in hot weather can often form dust and dirt if cranes are not cleaned, maintained and looked after efficiently, the accumulation of dirt can cause problems with equipment. Make sure you are cleaning and lubricating your equipment to avoid damage and practise thorough crane safety to keep yourself and others from causing a potential accident.
Working outdoors in the heat can not only cause problems with the machinery, but it can also cause stress and discomfort for workers. As an employer, it’s your job to make sure your workers are safe and follow the correct guidelines that have been set out. We would suggest:
-Workers are made aware of the symptoms related to heatstroke/ stress.
-Workers are taking frequent, short breaks to ensure they can take a rest in the shade and keep hydrated.
-Workers should be wearing weather-appropriate clothing and protection in the heat.
-Ensure workers wear SPF/ sun cream or have this available for them to use.
Cold Weather Conditions
Working with cranes and other heavy lifting equipment in cold temperatures can have a really negative effect on crane operations. The cold weather can reduce cranes precision and strength, causing them to fail. Every area of the crane can be negatively affected by cold temperatures. So extra precautions need to be taken, especially when the temperature drops below 0 degrees.
Not only can the cold temperatures be dangerous and have a negative effect on the crane machinery and practising crane safety, it can also become a big danger to those who are having to work in the conditions. Physical effects from working in the harsh conditions can lead to frostbite, hypothermia and pneumonia. In order to combat crane safety and general well-being of construction workers, it is important that your company has a plan for coping with the cold temperature.
Things you can do to prevent danger can consist of:
Covering all skin exposed
Maintaining dry hands and feet using a moisturiser
Taking frequent breaks into the warmth/ regular hot drinks
Plenty of layers and extra pairs of socks
Keeping hydrated to regulate body temperature
If you would like any more information on crane safety, or you would be interested in learning more about the services NMT Crane Hire provides, please get in touch with one of our friendly team members by calling us on 0800 026 6985, or fill out one of our online enquiry forms.