FEM publishes wind safety guide

4 December 2012


A new document from the FEM will help crane users plan safe jobs on wind turbine sites. The guidance comes after some well-publicised and dramatic accidents during turbine installations.

The trade association for European lifting equipment manufacturers, FEM, released guidelines regarding wind turbines installation and transportation in mid-November. The full guidance can be downloaded from the FEM website as a PDF, here.

The technical recommendation seeks to inform crane operators, project planners and crane companies on safety issues during rigging of wind mills, especially regarding wind influences on a mobile crane on the job site.

The FEM said that the document has been drawn up to create more sensitivity for the work with heavy plants and offers the experience of manufacturers in the association. It aims to provide guidance in the assessment of risks.

The technical recommendations highlighted that it comes as a surprise when the weather report speaks of a wind of 33 km/h as the impression is that the wind is much stronger. FEM said that in reality the flurry of wind is more powerful and independent of the average speed of the wind. Therefore, a gust of wind can reach 60 km/h or more while the average value lies significantly below this.

The document highlighted that performing a lift without taking into account the expected wind forces and the actual surface area of the load exposed to wind can lead to a failure of components and tipping over of the crane. In addition, risk for life exists if the team does not take into account wind effects on the job site, FEM stated.

Advice on wind influence on the crane and the load has been detailed, as well as the influence of wind during rigging and de-rigging and parking of crane, advice on outrigger loadings and surface pressures, and risks for mobile cranes during repair work of wind mills.