10 steps to safe and efficient tower crane erection & How to promote a positive safety culture

The concept of safety culture has gained more attention in high-hazard industries as more safety practitioners see the influence that workers’ attitudes and behaviors have on the causes and effects of workplace incidents. These attitudes and behaviors are shaped largely by the company’s workplace safety culture and its safety systems. Here are the top two articles addressing safety around tower cranes:

Ten steps to safe and efficient tower crane erection

Manitowoc Crane Care’s Didier Forest is a 32-year veteran of the company. He has co-authored several technical manuals on tower crane erection and trains Crane Care technicians at Manitowoc’s Training Center in Saint Pierre de Chandieu, France. In early 2020 he developed a new program for top-slewing tower crane erection and here he lists his ten steps to getting it right on the job site.

1. Know your configuration. Before setting foot on the job site, erection teams must know the hook height and jib length of the tower crane to calculate the number of ballast blocks needed for the base and counter jib. Increasing the height or finding additional ballast mid-way through assembly will waste time and money and frustrate customers. Once the correct configuration is determined, the erection team can establish the task sequence and ensure each crew member is prepared, so things run smoother on site.

2. Secure the right assist crane. When teams understand the tower crane specifications, they can select the correct mobile crane. Too small or too large and the mobile crane will not be able to complete the job. Grove all-terrain cranes are ideal for tower crane assembly because they combine compact dimensions with a long boom and high capacity. Manitowoc also offers an online tool for quickly and easily selecting the right one.

3. Determine the optimum crane location. The tower crane must be located correctly from the start as it is difficult to move after assembly. Selecting the optimum location for the mobile crane will also save time and help prepare the site. With CRANIMAX CRANEbee Manitowoc offers a premium software solution which is perfect for this planning, as erection teams can simulate the cranes’ position in 3D, and factor in surroundings such as trees, buildings or other obstacles.

4. Prepare the site. The ground at the site must be level and able to support the weight of the tower crane so that once it has been correctly set-up it is stable. This is essential for all cranes but increases in importance for bigger cranes with heavier components. The customer must level the ground before erection and the Crane Care teams will verify it. There is a two-step verification to assess the gradient – first with a laser lens and then with a ruler. Understanding ground pressure is also vital. If the ground is soft or uneven, it must be compacted or excavated and filled with steel reinforced concrete. The site owner must also provide power, site access, and (in some cases) permission for street closure. All of this must be discussed before starting the job.

5. Coordinate the logistics. Many city centers have limits on when roads can be closed, or heavy vehicles can drive downtown. In addition, each truck might require its own permit with fees for diverting the road to traffic. Both the tower and mobile crane need to arrive on site at the right time in the smallest available convoy sizes to avoid waste and waiting. That’s why Potain tower cranes are designed for efficient transport in as few truckloads as possible, while Grove all-terrain cranes are easily roadable. The erection team and the customer must prepare the transport sequence and installation in advance.

6. Check the weather. Erection teams must keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan for a still day as tower cranes cannot be assembled in winds greater than 50 km/hr (31 mph). If teams begin assembly and the wind picks up, they must wait until it drops to acceptable levels (which might take hours, or in the worst cases, days). Grove mobile cranes are equipped with an anemometer to ensure the operator is constantly aware of the wind speed.

7. Respect the technical manual. With numerous heavy components, large hammers, moving pins and a secondary crane, tower crane erection requires vigilance and so procedure must always be strictly followed. In training sessions, erection teams are taught to follow every detail in the technical manuals. Potain tower cranes prioritize safe and efficient assembly, much of which can be completed at ground level, meaning fewer lifts to get the tower crane in the air. Having people harnessed in the air during assembly has inherent risks so we want to minimize this.

8. Maintain a safety perimeter. No ground crew should go within 6 m (19.7 ft) of the mast during erection, which erection teams also learn during their training. While every precaution should be taken on site, no tower crane assembly can ever be 100% risk-free – there is always a risk that objects may fall from height. As soon as ground crew see and hear the pin installation to signal the start of the process, they should keep their distance.

9. Make use of the slinging points. Every component that must be lifted on a Potain tower crane has slinging points for faster and more efficient assembly. These special loops are built into the tower crane structure so the mobile crane’s lifting chains can hook onto them. Using the correct slinging points is especially important for jib erection as the components are long and heavy and must be kept horizontal. Erection teams should calculate the right slinging points for jib erection beforehand.

10. Stay calm and professional. All crews involved in the erection must be properly trained and equipped with the right tools and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Even with the best training and equipment, it is not always easy to stay calm on big job sites where pressure is high and challenges arise. Nevertheless, staying calm is crucial for safety. If a crane erector feels stressed or under pressure, their risk assessment and decision-making may be compromised. This can put their safety, and that of others, in jeopardy. If crane erectors are not completely sure of themselves or have doubts about the ground level or wind, they must stop assembly and explain this to the customer. People’s safety remains the number one priority and should never be put at risk for the sake of getting the job done quickly.

AT NFT, Safety comes first!

Safety First! campaign in Dubai project

In November 2017, NFT and Potain launched the Safety First! campaign  going around client sites of NFT with a large volume of tower cranes to raise awareness on safety practices. Over a span of two years. NFT and Potain have visited 10 project sites spread across the UAE, KSA and Kuwait.

Because both NFT and Potain believe that a safety culutre is cascaded from top management down, the team was lead by NFT’s senior managers: NFT’s Branch Managers in each country, NFT’s QHSE Manager, NFT’s Operations Manager and NFT’s Deputy General Manager were all active throughout the campaign. From Potain’s side, Manitowoc’s Director of Dealer Development and Manitowoc’s Crane Care manager and Potain’s Sales Coordinator were all present during the campaign.

The Safety First! training includes a 20 minute induction on how to work safely on Potain Tower Cranes, addressed to all personnel working on and around these cranes, including riggers, operators and supervisors. After the induction, everyone received a gift bag with many safety essentials, followed by lunch courtesy of NFT and Potain.

 

NFT’s QHSE manager explaining the content and importance of the Tower Crane booklet

Because effective communication is crucial to creating a positive safety culture, each person was handed Potain’s Tower Crane safety booklet that was translated into five languages: Urdu, Hindi, Arabia, Turkish and English. In addition, each participate received a gift bag containing CE certified safety gloves, CE certified safety glasses, first aid kit, cooling water bottle, torch, and face bandana to protect against the dust.

Seven Characteristics of a positive safety culture at work

According to David Lauriski, there are four types of safety cultures in an organization.

Negative: Negative and reactive safety systems are unable to prevent workplace safety incidents.

In a negative safety culture, it is not uncommon for workers to feel pressured to bend or break safety rules or safe work procedures to meet deadlines or production goals.

Reactive: A negative safety culture paired with a reactive safety system ensures that sooner or later the system will fail the workers it is supposed to protect, and safety professionals have begun to see this.

Positive: A major indicator of a positive safety culture is the quality and effectiveness of its communication.

Good communication in the workplace plays a critical role in achieving safety goals and preventing incidents. When communication throughout all levels of an organization is strong, open, and meaningful, a positive safety culture follows.

Proactive:  Positive safety cultures and proactive safety systems work hand-in-hand, just as negative safety cultures are cause and consequence of reactive safety systems.

So what are the characteristics of a positive safety culture?

1. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, NOTHING TAKES PRECEDENT OVER SAFE WORK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. 

The workforce never feels as if safe work procedures are an obstacle to getting their tasks done correctly, on time, and without reprimand. The keyword here is “feels.”

How do you get your workforce to feel the same safety priorities that you do?

Through effective communication !

If your employees are continuing to take safety risks despite your focus on making safety a priority, you may need to evaluate how effective the communication is between your company’s management and its workforce. Because sometimes, the most innocent comment of urgency may influence workers to speed up, take short-cuts, and neglect existing safety practices.

If employees are under the impression, for any reason, that safety rules must be broken to achieve the results or budgets that management wants, any existing safety system, no matter how great, cannot protect them.

Rosa Antonia Carillo said it best in her article “breaking the cycle of mistrust to build a positive safety culture”. She said:

“Most of the time, the pressure to put production over safety is implied, not stated. Often employees assumed that it was more acceptable to take a safety shortcut than it was to meet a deadline” – or Budget.

 

2. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, ALL PERSONNEL, FROM THE FRONT LINE TO THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP, SHARE THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFE WORK.

Accountability is everything!

Complacency and ineffective safety-related communication can lead to lapses in accountability if your company has a negative safety culture.  A positive safety culture shows compassion to spark positive change and does not blame or reprimand others. At a high-hazard operation with a negative safety culture, workers often feel that supervisors and company managers have little concern for their well-being. So not only do managers need to have good communication but they should be accountable.  An example of management style that does not value accountability:

People were not disciplined for failing to use proper personal protective equipment (PPE), but they were punished for accidents. 

Managers were seen walking through the plant without proper protection. Management wanted employees to remind each other to wear their PPE, but employees felt that constituted ‘enforcing the rules’, which is a management responsibility. 

3. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, THE SAFETY SYSTEM IS INFORMED BY THE WORKFORCE, NOT DESIGNED AND ENFORCED ONLY BY MANAGEMENT.

Even if you think you have a great, positive safety culture, your workers’ input is critical to ensure it actually works to reduce incidents. Because it needs to be in their language and suited to their needs and the pressures of their jobs.

Workers will disregard official safe work procedures if they are difficult to understand, use technical vocabulary or jargon, or are in an entirely different language than what your workforce speaks!

Your procedures also need to reflect the experience of your workers on the job.  Operating manuals, which are supposed to direct the crew’s every task, are most of the time inadequate, and hard to understand so the workers end up developing their own alternatives.

4. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, EXISTING SAFETY SYSTEMS ARE CONSTANTLY DEVELOPED AND IMPROVED

It is as important to have a proactive safety culture as it is to have a positive safety culture. Just because a few months went by without any safety incidents does not mean that contractors are exempted for any risk.  More and more companies are integrating impairment tests into their workplaces to proactively assess and manage safety risks due to fatigue, illness, emotional distress, substance abuse, and more.  Impairment testing is the proactive practice that remedies any issues. In the USA, the drug testing is one way to go about it. In the UAE, the annual fit to work check ups and the occasion site requirements force contractors to react. However, if contractors did these quick proactive practices such as impairment tests then they would help ensure that a safety system is in a consistent state of improvement, and risk is minimized.

5. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, COMMUNICATION OCCURS OPENLY BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS, MEMBERS OF THE WORKFORCE, AND MANAGEMENT. COMMUNICATION IS NOT JUST ONE-WAY AND IS ALWAYS OPEN AND ENCOURAGED.

Yes, more communication. But it’s so important.

A great way to prevent miscommunication, whether it’s due to a misunderstanding of tone/language/vocabulary or a perceived double standard is to make sure that communication is open and encouraged.

Take, for example, a workforce with two managers: One says wear your helmets all the time while the other walks around the site with his head clear. The workforce is left questioning how serious and necessary these safety practices really are.

What do you do?

The first manager meets with the other manager face-to-face and  makes certain that you’re on the same page about your safety practices. Then, both share the responsibility for enforcing these practices.  The same applies between managers and supervisors: when a workforce’s supervisors supervise differently, the workforce does not have clear understanding about what exactly is expected of them and this creates miscommunication.

Many of the miscommunication issues are related to over-reliance on memos, bulletin boards, and e-mails in place of face-to-face contact. People felt they didn’t have time to have conversations, but the results of miscommunication sometimes ended up costing a lot more. Companies should never assume that letters, memos or reports have communicated important information: One of the Challenger accident investigators coined the phrase: 

“Information is not communication!”

 

6. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, MANAGEMENT/LEADERSHIP PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE SAFETY OF THE WORKFORCE IS THE TOP PRIORITY.

Culture starts from the top and cascades down. Management needs to demonstrate and represent a positive safety culture for all procedures, policies to be implemented.  Rose Antonia Carillo says in her article: “Employees said they cannot trust decision made by managers who have never been to the job site, have not demonstrated visible concern, competence or interest in learning about the real challenges workers face”.

7. IN A POSITIVE SAFETY CULTURE, INCIDENTS, SAFETY ISSUES, OR STOPPING WORK FOR SAFETY CONCERNS ARE NOT MET WITH NEGATIVITY.

Responding to a safety issue with punitive measures sends a pretty ridiculous message: “Don’t hurt yourself or you’ll get in trouble.”  Workers don’t need to be punished for getting hurt, getting hurt is punishment enough.

What workers need is for management to create an environment where everyone is encouraged to be accountable and responsible.

At the heart of the 7 characteristics discussed here, however, lay three key factors: communication, responsibility, and proactiveness.

Without mastering these three, it is hard to have a positive safety culture.

Safety experts, academia, and modern workplaces are exploring the role of technology in strengthening these 3 factors, and thus building a more positive safety culture and at the forefront of this technology is impairment testing.

End.

Sources:

https://www.manitowoc-lookingup.com/post/10-steps-to-safe-and-efficient-tower-crane-erection

https://www.predictivesafety.com/blog/seven-characteristics-of-a-positive-safety-culture

https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/article/21914643/breaking-the-cycle-of-mistrust-to-build-a-positive-safety-culture

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 by OSHA & the CDC

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has spread from China to many other countries around the world. To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.

How COVID-19 Spreads

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person- to-person, including:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people  show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Classifying Worker Exposure to SARS-CoV-2

Worker risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the  virus that causes COVID-19, during an outbreak may vary from very high to high, medium, or lower (caution) risk. The level of risk depends in part on the industry type, need for contact within 6 feet of people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2, or requirement for repeated or extended contact with persons known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2. To help employers determine appropriate precautions, OSHA has divided job tasks into four risk exposure levels: very high, high, medium, and lower risk. The Occupational Risk Pyramid shows the four exposure risk levels in the shape of a pyramid to represent probable distribution of risk:

Considering the nature of work and taking a conservative approach, we took the liberty in considering the construction industry as a Medium Exposure Risk level.  Medium exposure risk jobs include those that require frequent and/or close contact with (i.e., within 6 feet of) people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who are not known or suspected COVID-19 patients. In areas without ongoing community transmission, workers in this risk group may have frequent contact with travelers who may return from international locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission. In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, workers in this category may have contact with the general public (e.g., schools, high-population-density work environments, some high-volume retail settings).

What to Do to Protect Workers – Pre-requisite

The CDC has developed a Resuming Business Toolkit to assist employers in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and lowering the impact in their workplace when reintegrating employees into non-healthcare business settings. One of the resources in this toolkit is the Restart Readiness Checklist

1) Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan

If one does not already exist, develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can help guide protective actions against COVID-19.

Stay abreast of guidance from federal, state, local, tribal, and/or territorial health agencies, and consider how to incorporate those recommendations and resources into workplace-specific plans.

Plans should consider and address the level(s) of risk associated with various worksites and job tasks workers perform at those sites. Such considerations may include:

  • Where, how, and to what sources of SARS-CoV-2 might workers be exposed, including: The general public, customers, and coworkers; and  Sick individuals or those at particularly high risk of infection (e.g., international travelers who have visited locations with widespread sustained (ongoing) COVID-19 transmission, healthcare workers who have had unprotected exposures to people known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19).
  • Non-occupational risk factors at home and in community settings.
  • Workers’ individual risk factors (e.g., older age; presence of chronic medical conditions, including immuno-compromising conditions; pregnancy).
  • The need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, delivering services remotely, and other exposure-reducing
  • Options for conducting essential operations with a reduced workforce, including cross-training workers across different jobs in order to continue operations or deliver surge

2) Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures

For most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:

  • Improving the building ventilation system
  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60%
  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and
  • Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
  • Employers should explore whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing
  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when
  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment. When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on your local Environmental Agency -approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses. F

3) Develop Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick People, if Appropriate

  • Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting workers, customers, visitors, and others at a
  • Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.
  • Employers should develop policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Where appropriate, employers should develop policies and procedures for immediately isolating people who have signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19, and train workers to implement them. Move potentially infectious people to a location away from workers, customers, and other visitors. Although most worksites do not have specific isolation rooms, designated areas with closable doors may serve as isolation rooms until potentially sick people can be removed from the worksite.
  • Take steps to limit spread of the respiratory secretions of a person who may have COVID-19. Provide a face mask, if feasible and available, and ask the person to wear it, if tolerated. Note: A face mask (also called a surgical mask, procedure mask, or other similar terms) on a patient or other sick person should not be confused with PPE for a worker; the mask acts to contain potentially infectious respiratory secretions at the source (i.e., the person’s nose and mouth).
  • If possible, isolate people suspected of having COVID-19 separately from those with confirmed cases of the virus to prevent further transmission—particularly in worksites where medical screening, triage, or healthcare activities occur, using either permanent (e.g., wall/different room) or temporary barrier (e.g., plastic sheeting).
  • Restrict the number of personnel entering isolation
  • Protect workers in close contact with (i.e., within 6 feet of) a sick person or who have prolonged/repeated contact with such persons by using additional engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE. Workers whose activities involve close or prolonged/ repeated contact with sick people are addressed further in later sections covering workplaces classified at medium and very high or high exposure risk.

4) Develop, Implement, and Communicate about Workplace Flexibilities and Protections

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay in isolation
  • Ensure that sick leave policies are  consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely
  • Provide adequate, usable, and appropriate training, education, and informational material about business-essential job functions and worker health and safety, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any workplace controls (including PPE).

“Informed workers who feel safe at work are less likely to be unnecessarily absent.”

Implement Workplace Controls 

During a COVID-19 outbreak, when it may not be possible to eliminate the hazard, the most effective protection measures are (listed from most effective to least effective): engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices (a type of administrative control), and PPE. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of control measure when considering the ease of implementation, effectiveness, and cost. In most cases, a combination of control measures will be necessary to protect workers from exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

In addition to the types of workplace controls discussed below, CDC guidance for businesses provides employers and workers with recommended SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention strategies to implement in workplaces: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html.

1) Engineering Controls

Engineering controls involve isolating employees from work- related hazards. In workplaces where they are appropriate, these types of controls reduce exposure to hazards without relying on worker behavior and can be the most cost-effective solution to implement. Engineering controls for SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Installing high-efficiency air
  • Increasing ventilation rates in the work
  • Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze
  • Specialized negative pressure ventilation in some settings, such as for aerosol generating procedures (e.g., airborne infection isolation rooms in healthcare settings and specialized autopsy suites in mortuary settings).
  • Alter the workspace to maintain social distancing.  Examples include: arrange partitions as a barrier shield, move electronic payment reader away from cashier, use verbal announcements, signs, and visual cues to promote social distancing. remove/rearrange furniture, provide remote delivery alternatives.

2) Administrative Controls

Administrative controls require action by the worker or employer. Typically,  administrative controls are changes in work policy  or procedures to reduce or minimize exposure to a hazard. Examples of administrative controls for SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Encouraging sick workers to stay at home
  • Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks  (e.g., symptom and/or temperature screening) before employees enter the facility.
  • Minimizing contact among workers, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework
  • Establishing alternating days or extra shifts that reduce the total number of employees in a facility at a given time, allowing them to maintain distance from one another while maintaining a full onsite work week.
  • Restrict access to reduce the number of workers in enclosed and confined areas at one time. Confined and enclosed areas (e.g., trailers, small rooms in buildings under construction) should be identified and access should be restricted to essential personnel only. Enclosed spaces (e.g., toilets, break areas) are potential transmission areas and should be treated accordingly. Time spent in these areas should be minimized.
  • Remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break areas to support social distancing practices between workers. Identify alternative areas to accommodate overflow volume.
  • Discontinuing nonessential travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 Regularly check CDC travel warning levels
  • Replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items.
  • Developing emergency communications plans, including a forum for answering workers’ concerns and internet-based communications
  • Providing workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette and care of PPE).
  • Training workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, including in the context of their current and potential duties. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.
  • Consider offering face masks and event of a shortage of masks, a reusable face shield that can be decontaminated may be an acceptable method of protecting against droplet transmission.
  • Where appropriate, limit customers’ and the public’s access to the worksite, or restrict access to only certain workplace
  • Consider strategies to minimize face-to-face contact (e.g., drive- through windows, phone-based communication, telework).
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, printer/copiers, drinking fountains, and doorknobs.
  • Provide adequate PPE: Workers with medium exposure risk may need to wear some combination of gloves, a gown, a face mask, and/or a face shield
    or goggles. Read 4) below.

3) Safe Work Practices

Safe work practices are types of administrative controls that include procedures for safe and proper work used to reduce the duration, frequency, or intensity of exposure to a hazard. Examples of safe work practices for SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Designate a safety and health officer to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns at every jobsite. Workers should know who this person is and how to contact them.
  • Providing resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene. For example, provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work
  • Requiring regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs. Workers should always wash hands when they are visibly soiled and after removing any
  • Post handwashing signs in bathrooms and pantries, cafeterias.
  • Limit tool sharing if possible.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene. This is an important infection control measure. With appropriate hand hygiene, you do not need gloves to protect you from COVID-19. When possible, wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Key times to clean hands include:
    • Before and after work shifts and breaks
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After using the restroom
    • Before eating and before and after preparing food
    • After touching objects which have been handled by coworkers, such as tools and equipment
    • Before putting on and after taking off work gloves
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
    • Before donning or doffing eye or face protection (safety glasses, goggles, etc.)
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Use tissues when you cough, sneeze, or touch your face. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol if a sink to wash your hands is not available.
    • Provide a large (5+ gallon) bucket with a lid and tap that can be used to provide water for handwashing. If this method is used, the water tap should be regularly cleaned and disinfected, and the contaminated wastewater must be collected and treated in accordance with local laws and environmental regulations. Provide fresh clean water daily.
    • Depending on the size or configuration of the job site, there may need to be multiple handwashing stations available to accommodate the workforce while maintaining social distancing, and stations may need to be restocked during the course of the day to maintain adequate handwashing supplies.

4) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

While engineering and administrative controls are considered more effective in minimizing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, employers are obligated to provide their workers with PPE. While correctly using PPE can help prevent some exposures, it should not take the place of other prevention strategies.

Examples of PPE include: gloves, goggles, face shields, face masks, and respiratory protection, when appropriate. During an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, recommendations for PPE specific to occupations or job tasks may change depending on geographic location, updated risk assessments for workers, and information on PPE effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the worker.
  • Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable (e.g., respirators).
  • Consistently and properly worn when required.
  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced, as necessary.
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov 

 

End.

Sources:

www.osha.gov/covid-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ 

The Rise in the Construction of Power Plants in the GCC

The economic and the population growth in the GCC in the past few years have increased the demand for more power and consequently an increase in the construction of power plants in the GCC. In this report we will look into the value of the construction of power plants in the GCC and the biggest projects that are underway in the region.

According to a report by Arabian Business, GCC power construction deals is set to exceed $23bn in 2018. New report says Saudi Arabia will lead the way on contract, accounting for more than half of total.

The value of power construction contracts awarded throughout the GCC in 2018 is forecast to reach $23.6 billion, according to a report by Middle East Electricity, the region’s annual international trade event for the power industry. The figure represents a substantial 41 percent increase on 2017. The report highlights that Saudi Arabia will lead the awards ranking, accounting for 59 percent of contract value, followed by the UAE and Kuwait.

“This upsurge in the value of contracts reflects the vibrancy of the region’s power sector where governments are looking to meet spiraling demand – between 7-8 percent a year,” said Anita Mathews, group director – Industrial Portfolio at Informa Exhibitions, which organizes the event.

The report said the GCC will require a spend of approximately $81 billion for generating capacity, transmission and distribution over the next five years with that investment likely to be prioritized despite any prevailing economic headwinds.

GCC Power construction contracts to soar by 41 percent

According to a report by Saudi Gazette, Energy Storage & Management Solutions joins four other specialized sectors at the show including the Transmission & Distribution, Power Generation and Lighting stalwarts, as well as Solar, which joins the MEE (Middle East Electricity) line-up as a dedicated sector after six years as a co-located event.

As the GCC power contract investment pipeline readies for 2018 growth, the MEE report forecasts the renewables sector is on the rise as the region pursues economic diversification policies.

“GCC countries are shifting towards renewable resources for energy generation to preserve their oil wealth. Currently, renewables form the fastest growing energy source for electricity generation. GCC countries are investing heavily in renewable energy to achieve significant targets by 2030-2040,” states the report.

The drive towards renewables is just one emerging trend in a region where the power sector is, according to Mathews – group director of industrial portfolio at Informa Exhibitions, witnessing tectonic transformation.

“Change is the name of the game with the region being driven by a new economic impetus and proving more responsive to changing fundamentals, including falls in the price of solar, storage and wind power,” said Mathews. “This transformation is impacting all, at every level. Technology advances now see buildings serving as thermal batteries. This seismic shift is seeing new businesses and astounding innovation enter the industry as it moves from a highly-regulated sector into a fiercely competitive one.

“Consequently, there are a host of amazing opportunities in new technology and systems optimization, and the global industry has acknowledged the regional prospects. They have chosen to make their market and advanced product entries at Middle East Electricity, which itself is morphing into a beacon of change, signaling what we can expect in the short, medium and even long-term from the power sector and how it will impact all our lives,” added Mathews.

The rise of waste-to-energy in the GCC

According to a report by Gulf Business, the oil price drop of 2014 has left a lasting legacy, with diversification plans across the GCC reshaping not just energy industries, but entire economies, societies, and business landscapes.

Yet it is the energy industry that has perhaps felt the tremors of these seismic changes in the most profound way, as governments try to break what Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman describes as an “addiction to oil”.

As a result, a wider range of energy sources than ever before have come to prominence, with solar, wind, hydro and other types of energy emerging across the region. One of the most promising avenues is waste-to-energy (WTE) – a process that not only generates significant levels of energy, but also tackles a major problem for the region.

“Across the GCC, governments are actively pursuing strategies to achieve zero waste,” says Khaled Al Huraimel, group CEO of Sharjah-based environmental and waste management company Bee’ah.

“Average levels of waste per capita per day in the region stand at 1.65kg, and with the rapid urbanisation of the Middle East, waste production in the region is only expected to increase.

“Waste-to-energy projects will enable us to tackle this insurmountable problem of waste, in addition to meeting our energy needs and creating value out of discarded materials.

The rise of several new waste-to-energy projects in the region exhibits the responsiveness of the GCC market to waste-to-energy initiatives.”

One of these projects was confirmed earlier this year when Bee’ah formalised a partnership with clean and renewable energy player Masdar to create the Emirates Waste to Energy Company (EWEC) and build a WTE facility that will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste per hour – adding an extra 39MW of green energy to the Sharjah electricity grid and providing power to thousands of homes.

It was a big step in the company’s WTE ambitions, and is set to complement the firms existing projects and initiatives, which include the region’s first – and the world’s largest – gasification plant.

The facility has the capacity to process around 160,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste annually – generating a gross output of 35MW of energy that can be used to power around 50,000 homes.

“This facility will enable Sharjah to become the first city in the region to achieve ‘zero waste-to-landfill’ status, in addition to achieving the UAE’s 2021 goal of diverting 75 per cent of solid waste away from landfills,” says Al Huraimel.

According to another report by The National, The UAE is aiming to generate 75 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2050, while Saudi Arabia,the world’s biggest oil exporter, has ambitions of adding 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy to the grid by 2023, which approximates to ten per cent of its energy mix.

“I fully expect the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to announce their energy mix for 2030 and in that mix, I fully expect to see a significant amount of renewables – 40 to 50 per cent levels,” said Paddy Padmanathan, chief executive at Riyadh-based power and water developer Acwa Power.

“Saudi Arabia is the sort of later entrant to this reality but it’s a big volume and this will be the most exciting.”

The analysis below by the International Renewable Energy Agency, can give a clear picture of the renewable energy market in the GCC:

Top 5 GCC power and water projects

To conclude the report, we are looking into the largest power and water projects in the GCC and we have listed them here  – BNC Network estimates 48 power plant projects under construction as of October 2018 in the GCC. Here are some of these projects:

Saudi Arabia: Jizan Economic City (JEC) – Power Plant (Actual value: US$3.4 billion)

CPI Power Engineering was awarded the main construction contract in November 2008. Construction of the 2 400 MW captive power plant started early this year and is expected to be completed in 2013. It is intended to power an aluminium smelter in Jizan Economic City. The city itself is 725 km south of Jeddah and will include residential, commercial and industrial zones. The economic city will be built in phases and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) signed an agreement with Malaysia’s MMC Corporation and the local Saudi Binladen Group to develop a 1 million ton per year aluminum smelter in November 2007.

Saudi Arabia: Jubail IWPP (Actual value: US$2.5 billion)

The independent water and power plant in Jubail Industrial City will be made up of four blocks and based on combined cycle generation gas turbines. The extraction steam will supply the desalination plant, which will have 27 units employing multiple effect distillation technology. When operational, the plant will produce 2 745 MW of power and 800 000 m3 per day of desalinated water.

These resources are destined for Jubail Industrial City and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The project is being developed with on a build, own, operate and transfer basis. The Seuz consortium was awarded the construction contract in December 2006. The consortium is a joint venture between Suez Energy International and Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power Projects.

UAE: Hassayan power and desalination plant (Actual value: US$2 billion)

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Hasssyan power and desalination complex is planned to be a huge plant made up of six stations (P1, P2, Q1, Q2, R1, R2) each with a gross capacity of around 1 500 MW and between 100 – 120 million gallons per day of desalinated water. Configurations on the drawing board include gas turbines with associated heat recovery steam generators, auxiliary boilers, backpressure steam turbines and MSF desalination units. The project will also include infrastructure for water storage and distribution.

UAE: Nuclear Power Plant : Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

The project involves construction of a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 5,600 MW in Baraka in the Western region of the capital city. It will include four nuclear reactor plants each with capacity of 1,400 MW. Unit 1 is slated for completion in five years, with commercial operations commencing in 2017, pending regulatory approval. The project upon completion will enable UAE to meet a quarter of its electricity needs from safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy, and save up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions each year. The project is estimated at 40 billion US$ and NFT has had 60 tower cranes installed throughout the multiple phases of the project.

Bahrain: Al Dur IWPP (Estimated value: US$2 billion)

The Al Dur power and desalination plant in Bahrain is being developed on a build, own, operate basis by a consortium composed of GDF SUEZ and Gulf Investment. The project has seen lucrative contracts awarded to large international players and will be located at Al Dur. The plant will consist of a combined cycle gas turbine power plant and a reverse osmosis desalination plant, together with all support facilities such as seawater intake and discharge structures and gas connection.

Oman: Al Duqm IWPP (Estimated value: US$2 billion)

The Al Duqm IWPP is currently on the books as the first coal-fired power plant in the GCC. If it goes ahead the proposed plant is expected to have an electricity capacity of 1 000 MW.

Kuwait: Az Zour South 3 Power Plant Expansion

The project involves the expansion of Az Zour South 3 power plant from open cycle to combined-cycle mode. The plant is located in Kuwait and is operated by the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW). The expansion will increase the total installed capacity of the plant by 263 megawatts (MW) without using any additional gas.

Az Zour South 3 began operating as an open cycle power plant with two SGT5-4000F gas turbines in 2015. After the steam turbine expansion, the hot waste gases of the gas turbines will be used to produce steam which will feed the turbo set. This will increase the plant’s total capacity without any additional gas consumption and will boost its efficiency significantly.

Dar Al-Handasah to build first commercial Hyperloop system in Abu Dhabi

Design and engineering firm, Dar Al-Handasah has been appointed to head construction of Abu Dhabi’s first commercial Hyperloop system.

Dar Al-Handasah will act as design lead on the project heading at team including fellow Dar Group members: Perkins+Will (architects, USA), T.Y. Lin International (engineers, USA), GPO Group (engineers, Spain) and Currie & Brown (cost management consultants, UK), said Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in a statement. Construction of the Hyperloop commercial track as well as HyperloopTT’s XO Square Innovation Center and Hyperloop Experience Center is targeted to begin in Q3 2019.,

“We are extremely honoured to be part of this global movement in mobility and rapid transportation and are looking forward to collaborating with HyperloopTT to deliver a truly iconic project in Abu Dhabi,” said Talal Shair, chairman, Dar Group.

HyperloopTT confirmed it had signed an MoU with Aldar Properties earlier this year for the construction of a new HyperloopTT centre including; a full scale commercial Hyperloop system, an XO Square Innovation Center and Hyperloop Experience Center. The proposed site within Aldar’s Seih Al Sderieh landbank is also conveniently located on the border of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, close to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport, according to HyperloopTT.

Dubai Creek Harbour construction site uses anti-collision crane tech

Details have been revealed of the anti-crane collision technology being used on the construction site of Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbour project. AMCS Technologies is providing its systems for the 59 cranes working on Dubai Creek Harbour’s Island District.  AMCS’s DCS 60 anti-collision and zoning systems are managing the equipment, which is helping nine contractors avoid interference with their cranes.  Among the project challenges AMCS is helping to mitigate is the proximity of different luffing and topless cranes on site. Due to the interference caused by this number, the construction process may be hindered by collisions between jibs and counter-jibs and jibs and cables.

Explaining the technology’s functions, Radoine Bouajaj, sales director at AMCS Technologies, said: “Anti-collision and zoning systems are essential for this spectacular project. The DCS 60 guarantees site safety by managing prohibited areas and interferences between cranes. It makes the work even easier by displaying useful settings for operating the crane.”

End.

http://gulfbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Kstation-Dubai-power-plant.jpghttps://www.arabianbusiness.com/energy/387238-gcc-power-construction-deals-set-to-exceed-23bn-in-2018http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/525809http://www.creedla.com/waste-energy-power-generation/http://www.irena.org/documentdownloads/publications/irena_market_gcc_2016.pdfhttps://www.arabianbusiness.com/top-10-gcc-power-water-projects-14880.htmlhttp://meconstructionnews.com/31967/dar-al-handasah-to-build-first-commercial-hyperloop-system-in-abu-dhabihttp://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-50467-dubai-creek-harbour-construction-site-uses-anti-collision-crane-tech/

New Potain Tower Crane Works As Topless, Stores As Luffer

Earlier in May, we spoke about hydraulic tower cranes and the MCH 125. Today, we will touch upon the MRH 125 which was launched at Bauma in April earlier this year.

The MRH 125 can lift up to 8.8 U.S. tons, be equipped with up to 164′ of jib, and lift 2.2 U.S. tons at the tip of the longest jib. Its maximum freestanding height is 190′, and maximum line speed is 387 fpm with 50LVF20 hoist winch. The Topless design with several elements making up the slewing crane part reduce the standard size and weight to make transport, handling, and fitting easier.

As with all of its products Manitowoc has placed a strong emphasis on return on investment for Potain MRH 125 owners. The crane’s adaptable design suits it for congested urban job sites while also optimizing transport and assembly times. “The MRH 125 has an optimized transport cost for a luffing jib crane in its capacity class,” said Thiebault Le Besnerais, Manitowoc‘s global product director for tower cranes. “It can also be mounted on our standard 1.6 m (5’6″) or 2 m (6’6″) K-masts for better optimization for fleet owners, and it offers lower power consumption than traditional luffing jib cranes.”

The MRH 125 also uses the latest luffing technology of the VVH hydraulic luffing mechanism which allows complete hoisting of the jib in two minutes. VVH hydraulic luffing eliminates the need to install luffing rope during crane setup. The hoisting winch, maintenance derrick, and jib wind side plate also come pre-installed to save setup time. Plus, there is no need to adapt the wind-sail plate on site, regardless of jib length. Also, the cab can be attached to either side of the mast to suit project conditions.

The jib can be raised from horizontal to near vertical (88°) in just two minutes, and the compact counter jib measures just 23’ and connects easily during assembly.

The main features of the MRH 125 are as follows:

It’s the perfect crane for confined areas

  • Almost vertical luffing jib for minimum space requirement when working
  • Weathervaning radius optimized for each jib length, just 10 m for the 50 m jib, ideal for congested jobsites
  • Option to fit the cab on the left-or right-hand side of the jib according to jobsite needs and especially to allow installation of the crane as close to the building as possible.

It’s the fastest fitting of a luffing jib crane

  • One single counter-jib/jib foot package bringing together all of the connected hydraulic functions. No inter-jobsite dismantling/fitting, compact and transportable in one package
  • No installation of luffing rope thanks to an innovative hydraulic system: save fitting time compared to traditional luffing system and increased safety

Transport is Optimized

  • Only 4 containers or 4 trucks for transportation of the whole slewing crane part with a 50 m jib

Optimized return on investment

  • Luffing jib crane adapted to very tight urban jobsites
  • Economical transport, easy and adapted to the fitting sequences
  • Fitting/dismantling time reduced through a design combining the Topless concept with hydraulic luffing technology
  • Improved fitting safety

In conclusion,  the MRH 125 has all the advantages of traditional luffing jib cranes with the capacities of the topless cranes. This combination of the best of both worlds ensures outstanding operating performance and guarantees a positive return on investment. To view the datasheet or request a quote, visit:

https://www.nftcrane.com/en/content/hydraulic-cranes

First quarter improvement for Manitowoc

Manitowoc Crane, which also includes Grove mobile cranes and Potain tower cranes has posted first quarter revenues 8.3 percent higher at $418 million.
The increase was attributable to higher crane shipments in the Americas and European regions, coupled with pricing improvements, partly offset by unfavourable changes in exchange rates. The pre-tax loss increased from 6.1 million in the same quarter last year to $23.4 million this year, entirely due to a $25 million charge for early extinguishment of its debt, when it refinanced on more favourable terms in March. Without this the company would have been back in the black with a profit of $1.6 million. At the operating profit level it made $16.2 million compared to just $1.7 million last year. Full year revenues are now forecast to be three to seven percent higher at $1.9 to $1.97 billion.

Chief executive Barry Pennypacker said: “Manitowoc once again delivered a strong start to the year, delivering our eighth straight quarter of year over year adjusted EBITDA margin increase. The operating principles of The Manitowoc Way continue to produce improving financial results as we execute our strategy for profitable growth by delivering innovation and velocity in everything we do.”

“In March, we successfully refinanced our capital structure to further strengthen our balance sheet. This action increases liquidity, reduces interest expense and allows us more flexibility to deploy our capital in order to increase shareholder value.”

“Market conditions remain very competitive. We continue to focus on providing innovative products and services for customers as evidenced by positive customer reception to our six new cranes introduced at the bauma trade show in April. As a result of our first-quarter performance and our proven ability to execute on our strategy, we are raising our full-year guidance.”

Sources:

https://www.cranesy.com/new-potain-tower-crane-works-topless-stores-luffer/ 

https://www.manitowoccranes.com

https://www.vertikal.net/en/news/story/32996/first-quarter-improvement-for-manitowoc

Manitowoc showcases new Potain MRH 125 at Vertikal Days