Operating Cranes in Windy Conditions: What You Need to Know


Operating a crane is a high-risk activity that requires specialized skills and training. When working in a busy construction area, there are several factors that a crane operator must consider, including load weight and height, nearby structures, passersby, and terrain, among others.


It’s also important to consider weather conditions, as they have a huge impact on crane operation. High winds present a safety risk, particularly for higher lifts and loads. Here are some safety considerations that you should know about operating a crane in windy conditions:


Check the manufacturer’s limit

Every crane comes with product manuals that define its limits for wind speeds and other factors. It’s important to follow these guidelines to avoid unfortunate accidents from taking place. Typical wind speed limits are 45 mph for tower cranes, 31 mph for crawler cranes, and 22 mph for mobile cranes.


Check the wind speed

Don’t proceed with operating a crane before ascertaining the wind speed at the construction site. Smartphone apps don’t cut it; use a wind speed indicator to get real-time and accurate results. This will help you to understand whether wind speeds are at safe levels, so crane operations can go smoothly.

How To Ensure Safe Crane Operations in Windy Conditions

According to OSHA guidelines, crane-related activities should be scheduled based on weather forecasts for maximum safety. However, there are two problems: individual site conditions can’t be predicted using weather forecasts, and they also don’t take wind gust into consideration. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to take average wind speed and double it to estimate gusts.


Another important thing to note is that even if wind conditions are within a safe range when work commences, they can change suddenly and ramp-up. In such cases, it’s better to reschedule the work rather than risking the safety of the people at or near the construction site.

Even if winds are at safe levels at the start of the day or the beginning of a lifting job, you also need to make sure that there’s no immediate risk of them picking up. If there’s a sudden change or a storm on the horizon, consider rescheduling your lift for a calmer day.


Wind speeds also increase with height, so it’s also important to factor that in when determining whether to conduct crane operations or not. Furthermore, the size and shape of the load will also influence the decision.


Again, having an accurate wind speed indicator is extremely important to calculate precise wind speed. At Crane Warning Systems Atlanta, we offer high-quality wireless RaycoWylie R180 Crane Wind Speed Indicator system, which is cost-effective, easy to install, and extremely simple to use.


It comes with several advanced features, including audible and visual alarms, clear LCD display, output relay, low battery warning and the ability to display speed in various units of measurement. 


Protect your workers and equipment and comply with OSHA regulations by using our

crane wind speed indicator system. To learn more, give us a call at 1-877-672-2951.

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