Top 10 Crane Hand Signals

Hand signals are essential to better control crane operations. It demands a skilled person to communicate hand signals well with other workers in the area. This post explains different hand signals to finish crane projects safely.

1. Hoist

Lifting the load requires the signal person to extend their arm vertically while pointing upwards, with the index finger making a circular motion.

The main hoist has greater strength which crane operators use occasionally. The signaller then raises their arm and bends the elbow to tap their fist on their head. Then, perform regular hand signals for further actions.

To use an auxiliary hoist, bend an arm pointing upwards and then tap the elbow with the other hand.

2. Lower Load

Lowering the load is the opposite of the prior hand signal. An arm should extend horizontally pointing the index finger downwards, doing a circular motion.

3. Raise Boom

The signal person will help crane operators maneuver the boom. First is to raise the boom, he shall extend an arm parallel to his body. With a closed fist, then signal thumbs up.

4. Lower Boom

To lower the boom, the signal person will again extend its arm horizontally but signal thumbs down.

5. Lower the Boom and Raise the Load

This is a dual motion that requires repeating the lower boom and raise the load signal with different arms. The right arm with the thumb pointing downward and the other arm with the forefinger pointing upward in horizontal circles.

6. Raise the Boom and Lower the Load

This crane sign is totally doing the opposite of the previous hand signal. Raise the boom with an extended arm and thumb pointing upwards. To lower the load, point the forefinger down and rotate in circles.

7. Swing Boom

Horizontally extend an arm and use the index finger to point out where the boom shall swing. You can use either the right or left arm to point direction.

8. Extend Boom

To extend the boom signal is simply to lengthen the boom. The signal person will extend his hands in front of the waist with the thumbs pointing outwards. The other fingers remain in the fists.

9. Stop Signals

Stop signals are used in the construction site most of the time. It includes three hand signals to stop a particular crane activity.

First is the emergency stop where both arms extend horizontally with palms facing down. Then, the signal person will swing his arms back and forth.

To stop action, a single-arm is extended with the palm facing down then the arm swings back and forth.

Lastly, the stop everything signal which stops all the crane activities. It demands placing the hands together at waist level.

10. Move Slowly

Speed signal is as important as the other hand signals to control the movement of cranes. There are times for operations that need to slow down, for safety purposes. The signaller will warn the crane operator to move slowly by placing one hand above the other doing an action signal.

Final Thoughts

It is useful to have a copy of the crane hand signals around the workplace to ensure a safer operation. Better educate the workers with the basic crane signals, as mentioned earlier. Failing to do so can cause issues in the future. Another reason to learn more about hand signals is to prevent miscommunication in the workplace – regardless of the loud environment, a smooth operation is still possible.


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