Failure to comply with manufacturers’ instructions and to inspect cranes out-of-service can result in very high wind loads on the crane and subsequent collapse!
Given the unprecedented challenges that the construction industry is currently confronting amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA) Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) published “Tower Crane Safety Alert: Advice to Tower Crane Users – Taking Tower Cranes from Service for Extended Periods” to warn of weather and wind risks to cranes out-of-service.
Advice by the Construction Plant-Hire Association to tower crane owners and operators warns of the risks of tower cranes out-of-service for lengthy periods of time, during the current shutdown. Failure to comply with manufacturers’ instructions and to inspect cranes out-of-service can result in very high wind loads on the crane and subsequent collapse of the jib and collapse of the entire crane.
Recommendations for Tower Cranes Out-of-Service
Ensure that the most up to date information for taking the crane out of service is obtained from the manufacturer or supplier of the tower crane for the specific make, model and configuration of crane. This should be checked against the information recorded in the project lift plan.
From the information provided by the crane manufacturer or supplier verify that the crane has been left in the correct out of service condition.
With luffing cranes, it is strongly advised that the jib is parked at the maximum radius possible allowing for surrounding obstacles rather than at the minimum out of service radius specified by the manufacturer.
With a saddle jib crane, park the trolley at the manufacturers recommended position along the jib.
Check the function of the free slew mechanism and report any fault to the owners’ or suppliers’ service department immediately. Leave the crane in free slew.
Make note of the direction of the tower crane jib in relation to the wind direction. When the jib is in free slew it should follow any change in wind direction. If the jib remains in the same position when the wind direction changes, contact the crane supplier service department immediately.
Check the integrity of fixings of any wind sail or advertising boards.
Secure any intruder prevention barriers.
Hand all keys to designated project management representative and inform the crane owners service department of the key holder’s contact details.
Put in place procedures to ensure that the base of cranes is keep free from surface water that may accumulate.
Put in place arrangements for the crane to be periodically inspected by a competent person. If the crane driver is not available, then arrangements should be made with the crane supplier to undertake the inspections.
It is recommended that the thorough examination regime for the crane is maintained whilst remains out of service. Prior to the crane re-entering service, the crane should be inspected by the crane supplier.
- BS7121-5:2019 – Code of practice for safe use of cranes – Part 5: Tower cranes
- CPA-TCIG-0701 – Safe Use of Top Slewing Tower Cranes
- CPA-TCIG-0801- Maintenance, Inspection and Thorough Examination of Tower Cranes
- CPA- TCIG – TIN021 – Maintenance principles for Tower Cranes CPA-TCIG-TIN027 – Tower Crane Out-of-Service Wind Speeds CPA-TCIG-TIN038 – Leaving Tower Cranes Out-of-Service
- CPA-TCIG-TIN044 – User Responsibilities for the Maintenance, Inspection and Thorough Examination of Tower Cranes
© Construction Plant-hire Association. Issue Date: 20.03.2020 – Revision Date: 00.00.2020 – Issue A.
(Source: Rainbird, Mark. “Tower Crane Safety Alert: Advice to Tower Crane Users – Taking Tower Cranes from Service for Extended Periods.” Construction Plant-Hire Association: News & Events, Construction Plant-Hire Association, 20 Mar. 2020, www.cpa.uk.net/news-events/tower-crane-safety-alert–coronavirus/.)
SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Preventing Stigma Related to COVID-19
- Share Facts about COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web page
- Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention, Symptoms and FAQ
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