No doubt there's a really good reason workers are on top of the Great Dome at MIT today

Oculus workers

A roving UHub photographer couldn't believe it when she saw workers at the top of the Great Dome, working on the tarp covering the oculus being installed there:

Seems that they've decided at the 11th hour to remove the tarp. Scaffold contractor is up there trying to remove it. I'm praying for these guys. Not good conditions to put it mildly.

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Agreed

SwirlyGrrl - I know these guys (and their company) and I believe they're both tied off. This is a very reputable subcontractor and I know they'll be as safe as they can. It just the conditions are so severe and it's a shame this couldn't have happened earlier. We all knew it was coming.

I suppose it's tempting fate even more to damage the dome by letting it stay up there.

Um...

Will leave their name out of it for now in case you work for OSHA or something good like that. Not a fly by night - very reputable sub and general contractor.

assuming the wind exerts a

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assuming the wind exerts a force of about 1 pound on each square foot of surface when the wind is blowing about 16 mph, then that side of the scaffold the men are on will have about 5000 pounds of force on it when the wind is blowing about 50 mph. The long side of the scaffold will have about triple that force on it.

Looks like even more than that.....

Something I learned from my windsurfing days.....maybe you already figured this in.

I wasn't exactly sure how to verbalize this correctly, so I searched and found this: "the force exerted by the wind on a plane surface varies directly with the area of the surface and the square of the velocity of the wind."

Simply said, if the wind speed doubles, the force on the object is 4 times greater. According to this table, at 50 mph, the force is ~12.3 lbs/sq. ft.

Anybody know how big each square of the scaffolding is so we can figure out how much surface area there is?

Sorry for geeking out.

Scaffolding

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The frames are 6'-4" high with a standard 7' crossbrace from the side. If you are looking at the end, the frames are 5' wide x 6'=4" high. You can do the math.