Safety Focus of the Week: Hand Signals for Lifting
Any Rigger/Signalman must be properly trained in hand signals.
Hand signals are the most common way to communicate with a crane operator and are particularly important when the operator can not see the lift. Especially in these cases, it is very important for the operator and the signalman to both understand and communicate effectively with the hand signals.
Standard crane signals are provided by OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-21009-10/Hand_Signals_Cranes.pdf
Lifting by excavator (or other type of non-hoisting equipment) does not require such an extensive array of hand signals. This makes sense since an excavator operator, rather than the signalman, has a better understanding of and feel for lift control with the combined boom and dipper stick articulation. Specifically, signalling for an excavator doesn’t typically involve boom-in and boom-out direction from the signalman. Instead, the signalman would typically just signal up, down, left, right commands and allow the operator to work the controls to achieve the movements. However, in these cases, both the operator and the signalman must coordinate their signalling system prior to the lift to assure that they both understand the signals..