Environmental Conditions that Affect Safe Lifting


craneLifting activities are considered high-risk operations and require intensive planning and precise execution. This is why it is important to implement a systematic approach towards all lifting activities. Risks need to be managed to prevent accidents from occurring. Unsafe lifting operations can result in serious outcomes, which can involve injuries and fatalities.

Many factors have the potential to affect a lifting operation. Environmental conditions such as strong winds, rain and thunderstorms are significant examples of elements that can greatly impact lifting activity. Wong Fong discusses how the environment can disturb such operations:

Heavy Rain

Rain is responsible for slippery ground surfaces, loose soil, and promotes landslides. Depending on the intensity of rainfall, you or the operator can decide whether to continue with the operation or not. Soil that is wet and loose can compromise crane stability. Lifting operations must be stopped if such is the case in a worksite to avoid accidents and injuries.

Strong Winds

It is still possible to have a safe lifting operation through proper planning and careful preparation. It is advisable to decrease the weight of a workload, though, to improve safety. If the wind intensifies, however, the work must be stopped. Strong winds can negatively impact the balance of the working load, which can also cause injuries and accidents.


Thunderstorms pose greater risks than rain and winds, because of the lightning involved. Moreover, you will also have to deal with gustiness, heavy rain, and the possibility of hail. In case of approaching thunderstorms, lifting operations need to be stopped immediately.

Soil and Ground Instability

If working on ground with loose soil, you can use a stable or larger wooden plank to distribute the load and decrease weight on the soil. If you’re on a slope, however, you can adjust the outriggers to keep the crane horizontal.

Other than these environmental conditions, it is also best to stay away from overhead power lines to avoid electrocution and electric shock. Follow the distance recommended by electricity suppliers to promote safety. An instruction form a signalman is needed for establishing a safety operation.