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Safety Comes First—A Brief Guide to Crane Signals


A crane operation expert

Adequate knowledge of crane signals enhances workers’ safety, resistance to on-site mishaps, and hardware issues in the cranes. These signals are particularly vital to make sure that long terrain cranes and heavy load lifters are moved, hoisted, and mounted without any challenges.

Cranes are undeniably one of the most integral parts of the services industry that involve heavyweight loading, movement, and transportation tasks. This mandates proper usage and understanding of crane signals to ensure optimum operational safety.


Crane signals are a bunch of hand and mechanized indicators that help crane operators stay in-line with the directives of the site managers. This translates into robust crane performance, higher productivity, and less risk of on-site crane inefficiencies and accidents.


The basic crane signals are used to direct a crane operator to safely move, escalate, deescalate, and hoist the crane. It also helps in emergency stoppages in case of a potential mishap. The OSHA guidelines stipulate that the crane signal person should meet certain qualification criteria that are required to optimize crane operation safety.


Let’s delve deeper and understand different types of crane signals and their purpose.


Stop Signals

Stop signals are the most important types of crane signals as they enable the operator to immediately cease crane movement in case of an emergency. Some common stop signals include:

  • Extending one arm, palm down, and swinging back and forth while touching the chest. This sends a stopping directive to the crane operator.

  • The emergency stop signal is the same as the stop signal; however, the signal giver extends both hands instead of one.

  • The next stop signal is known as a dog signal that tells the operator to pause the crane operation. This is commonly used when it starts to rain, or a bystander gets too close to the crane.


A crane deployed at a construction site

Boom and Load Signals

Boom and load signals are used to direct the crane operator to lift the boom and lower the crane load. The boom is the arm of a crane that lifts a load and can be moved closer or away from the machine.


Different types of boom and load signals are known as raise boom, lower boom, swing booms, hoist load, and lower load. Additionally, raise the boom and lower load and lower boom and raise load are the two more complex crane signals used when moving weights from one point to another.


In addition to the two major crane signal types discussed above, travel signals and telescope signals are also used to ensure steady and safe crane performance.


Take Your Crane Performance Up a Notch!

It’s not easy for crane operators to keep up with the latest safety guidelines while managing long hours at work. Cranes run vertically across the length of a building and involve high-risk capacities.


Crane Warning Systems Atlanta ensures the safety of your cranes by providing top-quality links, shackles, and bolts. We also offer crane load monitor, crane indicators, ATB systems, crane wind speed to help you save time and money in your business.


You can download the manuals here or get in touch for a free quote.


Find out more about load indicators here.



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