Strong winds can spell trouble when attempting to lift glass using compact cranes or vacuum lifters. Follow our guidelines for working in windy weather to make sure that you stay safe on site this winter.

We all know that British weather can be frustratingly unpredictable and how quickly a storm can start up, so it is essential to always keep an eye on conditions when working outdoors. When wind speed increases it can turn a simple glass installation job into a risky operation.

It is not safe to operate glass vacuum lifters in wind speeds above 29 kilometres per hour (18 miles per hour / 8 metres per second).

If a strong gust of wind catches the load it can cause it to sway or to drop. It is important to remember that wind speeds are faster when working at height, so you should be extra vigilant when carrying out high level glazing work. To add stability to glass loads when working in wind speeds under 29 km/h you can use draw lines to help guide the load, attaching them with hand cups.

GGR advises that you should not use compact cranes in wind speeds higher than 35 kilometres per hour (22 miles per hour, 9.8 metres per second).

It can become difficult to maintain control of mini spider cranes and pick and carry cranes in high wind speeds, increasing the risk of a crane tipping over or a boom swinging into somewhere it shouldn’t. If you are using a vacuum lifter with a crane remember that the maximum safe wind speed is still 29 km/h.

The easiest way to accurately check wind speed is by using an anemometer. Available to buy online through GGR Glass, this pocket-sized and practical gadget can measure both wind speed and temperature. Remember that wind speed measurements can vary depending on where you are on site. Readings taken around tall buildings can be lower than usual because the friction caused by air rushing past the building slows it down. Ask the health and safety officer on site for assistance if you are unsure.

You can also judge wind speed by taking a look at your surroundings and using The Beaufort Scale.

Our technical support team are always on hand to answer any health and safety queries about GGR’s lifting equipment. Contact us today for further information about lifting in winter weather conditions.

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