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Autumn Safety Tips: Working in Bad Weather Condition

Riwal scissor lift in windy condition
Season’s a changin’ and so is how we work. The safety we knew in the summer season is different in autumn. Wind and rain and of course, the ground that is now or will be covered with fallen leaves. Don’t let the colorful surroundings distract you and keep in mind these safety tips from Ingeborg Gabriëls, the Safety Coordinator of Riwal Netherlands, in working at heights during the autumn season.

Wind Speed Hazard

The highest permissible wind speed for working with aerial work platforms is 12.5 m/s (45 km/h). That roughly corresponds to wind force six. The details of the permissible wind speed can be read in the operating manual for each aerial work platform. When the maximum permissible wind force is reached, working with a platform must be terminated or interrupted.


Safety Tips on windy days

  • It is very important to know that wind speed increases with height and may be 50% greater at a height of 20 meters above ground level.
  • Do not hang signboards, banners, and the like even temporarily to the platform. They can act as “sails” and seriously affect the stability of the machine.
  • Use a reliable anemometer - Gabriels advised that if the wind speed is at a limit value, or if violent wind tunnels occur briefly, operators should always take the side of caution and avoid risks.
  • No anemometer? No worries. Use the Beaufort scale - A table stating how the wind force is experienced in order to estimate the correct wind force (for example with wind force 6, large branches in motion. Whistling heard in overhead wires. Umbrella use becomes difficult. Empty plastic bins tip over).


Wet Ground Hazard

Regardless of a short or long period of rain, the moisture it brings can cause the ground to become soaked, with the risk of the wheels or supports moving or sinking. In the worst case, this may cause the aerial work platform to tip over, with unforeseeable consequences for all people on and under the aerial work platform.

Safety Tips on rainy days

  • Always use large ramps - Gabriels said that in an unfavorable position, a maximum of 80% of the total weight can be placed on a single wheel or support. Depending on the size of the platform, this can be several tons. Using large ramps that distribute the weight of the platform over the largest possible surface is advisable.

Extra Safety Tip


  • Annual refresher instructions to employees - Even though the IPAF certificate is valid for years, the learned details of safety knowledge will be forgotten in the long term, especially if no problems have occurred for a long time, these refresher courses are important to maintaining the safest work environment possible. It is advisable that an employer regularly gives annual refresher instructions to employees.

Book an annual instruction refresher course for your employees now!