Provincial inspectors are visiting all crane construction sites in Halifax to ensure they are all ready to handle the strong winds expected to come with Hurricane Fiona.
Department of Labor personnel have been at workplaces across the county this week to ensure that all safety measures are being followed.
A 73-foot crane collapsed on South Park Street three years ago during post-rainy storm Dorian. A crane came and sat on top of a 13-story building that was under construction.
No one was injured in that incident, but it led to the evacuation of many residences and businesses.
About 32 cranes operate in Halifax
There are about 32 cranes operating in Halifax as Fiona approaches.
Environment Canada has identified construction sites as particularly vulnerable due to strong winds on the way.
“Our inspectors have been out on site this week to make sure the cranes will be kept safe and that any debris or equipment that might blow up during the storm is secured or removed,” said Jeff Dolan, senior director of technical safety. the door.
The department met with all crane operators following the crane collapse in Halifax. There has been ongoing communication since then, Dolan said.
Dolan said testing has increased significantly with this week’s forecast.
“When bad weather comes, we want to make sure that those extra measures are taken in the workplaces and that employers act accordingly,” he said.
The Construction Association of Nova Scotia said preparations for the storm are underway in areas across the province this week.
It issued a notice to members on its website urging them to be careful.
Designed for air travel
One of the directives emphasizes the message that unattended cranes must be able to turn freely in the wind. It’s called “weathervaning” in the industry.
“When the general public sees a crane moving in the air, it’s designed to do that, it’s designed without obstacles to be able to move with the weather,” said Duncan Williams, president and chief executive officer of the construction organization.
Williams said people can expect to see cranes moving through the air when a storm hits.
“Actually if we try to force it, that could cause problems, so the cranes are designed to move freely in the wind and that’s what some of these cranes will be doing this weekend.”
Because large construction sites need more work to repair, state inspectors will return to some on Friday to make sure things are on track.
Dolan said so far there has been strong enforcement across the region.
They all watched the forecast closely until they closed their jobs.
“We would expect them to work as long as it is safe to do so and if it is no longer safe to stop working and their employees leave the area,” said Dolan.
The 2019 crane crash report noted that tower cranes are typically designed to withstand winds of 150-160 km/h.
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