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Hot and Cold Weather Impact on Crane Safety

Most construction sites are outdoors, which weather and temperature conditions have a direct impact to. Operating heavy lifting equipment such as a crane already requires a tight safety procedure on a good day, when working in difficult weather conditions, there are even more things to pay attention to ensure crane safety.Extreme weather can slow down or even delay the pace of any project, so it is important to know how to deal with extreme weather and temperatures.Cold rainy weather can be difficult to your work schedule, while dry and hot weather conditions can also cause problems.

Extreme Hot & Dry Weather

Extreme high temperatures can cause cranes to overheat. Hot weather can reduce the effectiveness of the crane’s seals and higher the risk of them being broken. Seals and O-rings are particularly prone to damage in extreme heat which can lead to other broken parts causing further issues down the line. That is why it is important to not expose seals to direct sunlight especially in super hot weather conditions.Working outdoors in the heat not only can cause problems with the crane, but also make workers more susceptible to dehydration and heat-related illness. 

Read more about what is heat-stress and heat-related illness here

Cold Weather

The cold weather can reduce cranes’ precision and strength, making them prone to failing. When exposed to low temperatures, rigging devices, hydraulics and hoists may not be able to perform to their maximum capability.

Generally, it is recommended to reduce the crane’s maximum rated load by 25% when temperature is below 0°C to ensure optimal safety during operation (depending on crane type and actual condition). It is also important to run the crane for a few minutes before operation to remove any possible ice and prevent buildup.

crane in winter

Construction workers are also vulnerable to frostbite, hypothermia, and pneumonia when the temperatures are too cold. It is essential that extra safety precautions are taken during colder weather to ensure crane safety and the general well-being of the workers.

Ultimately, whether the weather is cold or hot, preparation is key. We need to make our best effort to strive for a safe work environment and protect ourselves from possible injuries and accidents.

Learn More | Crane Safety Equipment

Scarlet Tech is a leading occupational health and safety technology company. Scarlet specialized in wireless and IoT instruments, most well-known for the wireless crane anemometer series and the award-winning wireless crane camera. Scarlet also offers other flagship instrumentations including heat stress meter and sound level meters.