By properly using hand signals on construction job sites, you can prevent potential accidents and keep your workers and the work site safe. The person directing, also known as the signalman, acts as the crane operator’s eyes and ears throughout lifts as they have the best vantage point to accurately assess and direct how the load should be moved. Their communication with the operator is crucial in preventing crane accidents.
According to OSHA regulations, a signal person must be present on the job site when the load or area near the load is not in full view of the operator, when the equipment will need to move throughout the job and the direction of movement is obstructed, or when the operator or site manager believes a signal person should be present because of site safety conditions.
To safely direct a load, a qualified signal person must be able to:
- Know the types of signals used at the work site
- Competently communicate signals
- Know the specifics of the crane equipment they’re working with—its limitations and all
- dynamics involved in crane and boom movement and lifting
Successful communication between the signalman and the operator relies on both individuals fully understanding all hand signals used. Find examples below of standard hand signals used to control mobile crane operations, or click the button for a more comprehensive collection of hand signals.