Stay Safe by Using the Correct Tower Crane Hand Signals
Tower cranes are some of the most common pieces of equipment to be found on a job site. Thanks to their modular nature as well as to the ability to reach truly dizzying heights, these cranes can accomplish numerous tasks. From lifting extremely heavy loads to constructing a high-rise building from the ground up, many projects would be impossible to complete without their presence. Of course, there are also numerous safety concerns when operating this machinery. One critical element involves standard hand signals for controlling crane operations. When should crane safety hand signals be used? What practices need to be followed at all times? What are the most important tower crane hand signals which should be immediately recognised? Each of these questions warrants a closer look.
When is it Necessary to Employ Hand Signals for Tower Crane Operations?
Standard hand signals for crane operation should be employed by those who are adequately trained in signalling as well as the safety aspects associated with the project in question. Also, these type of crane communications may be deemed necessary by law if the intended path of the operator is obstructed (such as when a load is being placed behind a structure).
Who is Qualified to Give Hand Signals on Construction Sites?
It is first important that the individual in question should be well-versed in regards to the standard hand signals for controlling crane operations. This may involve obtaining the appropriate qualifications through courses such as the CSCA Mobile Crane Training Course offered by the CSCS. Furthermore, anyone who is giving signals should wear the appropriate clothing (such as a badge) to signify that he or she is the one in authority. In order to avoid potential confusion, only one signaller should be present at any given time. In the event that directions are being shared between two or more individuals, it is important that the operator knows which one is currently responsible for providing directions.
What are the Obligations of the Signaller?
There are several ways in which potentially serious mistakes can be avoided and the majority of these are the responsibilities of the signaller in question. Some obligations include:
- The signaller must remain in eye contact with the crane operator.
- Both the load and the crane must be in view of the signaller at all times.
- The signaller should prevent any other personnel from entering the immediate area.
- Attention must be paid to the operator as opposed to the load being manipulated.
It is now clear to see that standard hand signals for controlling crane operations should only be given by authorised personnel.
What is the Role of the Crane Operator?
We can think of a ground-based hand signaller as the veritable eyes and ears of the crane operator. Therefore, he or she must adhere to the commands given; regardless of who may be giving the signals. This is once again why it is important for the signaller to be clearly identified at all times. If the operator is directed to immediately cease operations, he or she should do so without any hesitation whatsoever.
A Quick Look at the Standard Hand Signals for Controlling Crane Operations
While there are numerous signals which may be used on a regular basis, some are crucial in order to avoid damages, accidents or personal injuries. Three examples include:
- Emergency stop
- Dog everything
The “stop” signal is associated with a single extended arm with the palm facing down. This arm will then be swung back and forth. The other arm will remain at the side of the signaller.
“Emergency stop” equates to both arms being extended vertically from the sides of the body. These arms are then swung vigorously back and forth in order to grab the attention of the operator.
The “dog everything” signal is defined as hands being clasped in front of the body while remaining held at the waistline. This signal essentially instructs the operator to immediately stop any tasks that he or she is performing.
While appreciating the importance of standard hand signals for controlling crane operations is prudent, it is just as crucial to choose the right equipment for the task at hand. This is why a growing number of construction professionals are leveraging the wealth of options provided by Emerson Cranes. As we are capable of supplying the entire London metropolitan area, you can rest assured that challenging projects will be completed within a timely fashion. Those who would like to learn more about our range of cranes or are rental packages are encouraged to contact one of our customer service representatives at their earliest possible convenience.
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