New tower crane safety advice issued

THE Construction Plant-hire Association’s (CPA) Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) has issued guidance to tower crane users in relation to how the equipment should be left out of service for potentially lengthy periods of time.

With many construction sites closed around the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak, some pieces of kit are likely to be out of service for the forseeable future.

The new safety alert states that failure to take the crane out of service in line with manufacturer instructions and to periodically inspect the crane whilst out of service could result in very high wind loadings being placed on the crane with consequential collapse of the jib or the whole crane.

The TCIG is recommending that users ensure 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.

With luffing cranes, it is 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, users are urged to park the trolley at the manufacturer’s recommended position along the jib.

Users are also being encouraged to check the function of the free slew mechanism and report any fault immediately, as well as 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.

Further recommended measures include to check the integrity of fixings of any wind sail or advertising boards; secure intruder prevention barriers; hand all keys to designated project management representatives and inform the crane owners service department of the key holder’s contact details; put in place procedures to ensure the base of cranes is free from surface water that may accumulate; and put in place arrangements for the crane to be periodically inspected by a competent person.

The new tower crane safety alert can be downloaded from the CPA website at–coronavirus/.