The signaler must always:
• Be in clear view of the crane operator
• Have a clear view of the load and the equipment at all time
• Keep people outside the load travel path
• Keep the crane away from power lines
• Watch for other overhead hazards that could endanger the load or people nearby
Duties of the signalman
• Only one person shall be designated as a signalman
• The signalman AND operator must be familiar with the Hand Signals being used
• The signalman must always be able to observe the load and other workmen at all times
• The signalman must always be in plain view of the crane operator.
• There should be only one designated signaler at a time – more than one will only confuse the operator
• If signalers are changing frequently, the one in charge should be clearly visible as the person with signal authority.
• Wearing a bright vest or different colored hard hat will help with crane operator quickly identify who is currently signaling
Radios in place of hand signals
• The use of radios is gaining popularity into todays workplace
• Reliable voice activated headsets are preferred because they keep hands free for both the crane operator and signaler.
Cautions regarding radio use may include the following
Awareness of any explosive devices in general area ( radio transmissions have been known to cause premature detonation of explosive that use electric detonators)
Other electronics ( potential for interference)
Other radios nearby operating on the same frequency .
Some basics when using radio commands:
Discuss lift plan with operator.
Use a secure frequency free of distracting chatter
Use first names not titles ie “Jim” as opposed to “crane operator”.
Commands names should be same as the hand signal names:
Use whipline. Boom down, holdload. Boom up Etc.
Once a lift has begun the signaler should never break communication with the operator, this is referred to as “constant communication”.
Never unkey the mic, while the load is moving. The signaler should repeat the command to let the operator know everything is alright – slowly down; slow, slow…
If the signaler breaks communications ( unkeys mic) the operator should stop immediately.
The crane operator should only continue when regular communications with the signaler is re-established. If the operator need to talk to the signaler he should stop and give 1 blast of the horn to alert the signaler. The signaler can then unkey the mic so the crane operator can talk with them.