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

  1. 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.
  2. From the information provided by the crane manufacturer or supplier verify that the crane has been left in the correct out of service condition.
  3. 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.
  4. With a saddle jib crane, park the trolley at the manufacturers recommended position along the jib.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Check the integrity of fixings of any wind sail or advertising boards.
  8. Secure any intruder prevention barriers.
  9. Hand all keys to designated project management representative and inform the crane owners service department of the key holder’s contact details.
  10. Put in place procedures to ensure that the base of cranes is keep free from surface water that may accumulate.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Download the Tower Crane Safety Alert – Coronavirus.

Reference Documents

© 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,–coronavirus/.)


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread

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:

About WeatherBuild®

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA between Harvard and MIT, WeatherBuild® offers a suite of decision support solutions that empower contractors, owners and operators to improve situational awareness and make better-informed decisions about weather events, schedule impacts, safety risks and probable outcomes.

Refer a colleague and enter to win Amazon Gift Cards!

Download WeatherBuild Mobile on the App Store and rate us 5 stars!

Follow WeatherBuild on Twitter at!

Increase productivity. Enhance safety. Manage risk.™

© 2020 Weather Build, Inc. All rights reserved.

“WeatherBuild®”, “Weather Controls®”, and “Decision Support Solutions for the Construction Industry and Built Environment®” are registered trademarks of Weather Build, Inc.

The WeatherBuild “W” logo and app icon, “WeatherBuild Solutions™”, “WeatherBuild Basic™”, “WeatherBuild Pro™”, “WeatherBuild API™”, “WeatherBuild Webhooks™”, “Increase productivity. Enhance safety. Manage risk.™”, “Weather Risk-Adjusted Scheduling™”, and “Construction Command-and-Control™” are trademarks of Weather Build, Inc.


Join the leading contractors, owners and operators that leverage the WeatherBuild Solutions™ to increase productivity, enhance safety, and manage risk of weather events and schedule impacts.