The hazard of ground giving way due to insufficient bearing capacity is a known engineering problem and one that crane company owners face regularly. Making calculations prior to setting up a crane, are problematic, due to both the complexity of the calculation as well as inexperience in the workforce, as was highlighted through the SWA Regulatory review on crane high risk work licenses completed in December 2018.
Management of the bearing capacity risk can be mitigated through calculation, but the calculations need to be completed by employees who do not have an engineering degree and it is not feasible to have a qualified engineer assess every platform.
CICA QLD branch have married technology with an age old rigger’s rule to provide a solution that assists in assessing ground conditions before crane set up. The development of the free ‘Outrigger app’ for use on smart phones and tablets assists crane operators, riggers, and doggers. With the app. users can estimate the required bog mat or timber area for a given crane and load combination.
The digitisation of ground pressure calculations is in alignment with the current and revised Queensland Mobile Crane Code of Practice. The app. also provides a means of data retention as the results from the calculator can be emailed or SMSed to site or back to the office for record keeping, a step critical to Safety Management Systems.
Residential, industrial, commercial, and infrastructure projects will all benefit from this calculation tool. CICA Queensland funded the development of this tool and have now made it available to anyone who wants to access it, to encourage and maximise its use. This tool is available to everyone in the crane industry, not only in Queensland or Australia, but also internationally. Find it in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, just type in ‘CICA Calc’.