Saudi clarifies crane rules
The Saudi Arabian Civil Defence Department has issued a statement highlighting new and existing rules for tower cranes and crawler cranes rigged with tower type /boom and luffing jib configurations.
The statement published in the Saudi Gazette says that Construction companies that use tower cranes must have the ground tested by a specialised laboratory before operating the cranes. Companies must produce a certificate ground and subsoil testing from an authorised agency confirming that it can support the loadings that are likely to be applied.
The test should cover the effect of the crane movements on the ground, including as a result of the dynamic effect during periods of strong winds.
The department also urged contractors to take a number of protective measures before operating such cranes to avoid a repeat of the crawler crane overturn in Mecca on September 11th. The measures include: checking that the electricity supply to the crane is not damaged during operation. The crane operating area should be visible, keeping enough space for the movement of the crane while loading and unloading heavy material. Operators must check the crane’s brake system to ensure smooth operation and weather vane capability.
End stops must be provided on all crane movements, such as hoist trolleys, rail tracks etc…Contractors are also asked to ensure that mobile cranes are properly erected and that no obstacles can obstruct their movement.
Contractors should also check wind speeds to ensure that they are always within the safe levels as laid down by the manufacturer and that construction sites should stop operating cranes when wind speeds exceed safe
operational levels and wait until they drop to safe levels. Crane operators must have adequate training and certification, they should also wear all relevant protective equipment and have ready access to copies of operation and maintenance manuals.
The statement is goes on to say: “If inspectors find anything wrong during tests, they should stop the crane’s operation completely for maintenance work. Operators should inform maintenance engineers if they hear any unusual or strange sound from the equipment”.