Imperative that crane operators are fully protected against extreme heat!
This article was first published in the Construction Enquirer and is republished here with prior written permission. © 2020 Construction Enquirer. All Rights Reserved.
Crane drivers face heat risk in “greenhouse” cabs
By Grant Prior
Unite officials have written to contractors urging them to protect tower crane drivers from “greenhouse” cab conditions as the heatwave hits.
The union wants to see extra breaks for crane drivers who often work ten-hour shifts with only a single break.
Unite said the vast majority of cranes are not fitted with air-conditioning meaning that in hot weather they become glorified “greenhouses”.
High temperatures put crane operators at of suffering heat stress, undermining their ability to concentrate on a job that demands total accuracy at all times.
Unite believes that all tower crane cabs should be fitted with air-conditioning but in the meantime, the union is calling for the following minimum standards:
- All break times must only start once the operator has reached the site canteen;
- No operator to work longer than 3 hours without a break;
- A mini-fridge/cooler to be placed in all tower crane cabs to ensure the operator has access to cold water;
- Bottled drinking water to be supplied free of charge.
Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “It is imperative that crane operators are fully protected against extreme heat while at work.
“Unite has written to the largest construction contractors seeking assurances that minimum standards are in place to ensure that the health of tower crane operators is being protected.
“If a tower crane operator suffers from heat stress, not only is their own health being put at risk but if they are involved in an accident the entire site could be in danger.
“The long-term solution is for all tower crane cabs to be air-conditioned. In the short term, drivers must receive additional breaks, which begin when they reach the canteen, a fridge or cooler is installed in the cab and sufficient quantities of bottled water are freely supplied.”
(Source: Prior, Grant. “Crane Drivers Face Heat Risk in ‘Greenhouse’ Cabs.” Construction Enquirer, Construction Enquirer, www.constructionenquirer.com/2020/08/07/crane-drivers-face-heat-risk-in-greenhouse-cabs/.)
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.
© 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, “Construction Command-and-Control™”, “Increase productivity. Enhance safety. Manage risk.™”, “Weather Risk-Adjusted Scheduling™”, “WeatherBuild API™”, “WeatherBuild Basic™”, “WeatherBuild Cloud™”, “WeatherBuild Pro™”, “WeatherBuild Solutions™”, “WeatherBuild Webhooks™” are trademarks of Weather Build, Inc.