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The Role of a Lift Director in Safe Crane Operations


Lift-operator communicating with the team.

A lift director is a leader while on a construction site. They need to be someone the workers trust and whose instruction they’ll follow, someone who isn’t afraid to make informed decisions and stand by them. A lift director must also have the required skills, knowledge, and experience to fulfill this role.

Here’s more about lift operators who overlooks crane operations:


OSHA standards

If you work with cranes, you’re aware of OSHA 1926.1432 that covers multiple crane lifts. A lift director is essential to a crane job. They must meet the criteria for someone who is qualified to give direction to a crane operator when needed. The lift director also needs to review the construction plan in a meeting with all the necessary workers involved.


Lift directors used to be known as lead persons on the rigging team. OSHA then give them the title of lift director. This title gives them the authority to take corrective action when reviewing the lift plan for the construction project. The lift director generally has a greater responsibility than the crane operator and site supervisor. However, there are exceptions to this rule in certain situations when the lift director and site supervisor are the same person.


Allocating a lift director to a construction project saves lives. It’s an extra set of eyes and hands supervising the operations and providing direction. Any issues with the lift plan will be rectified by the lift director, reducing the chances for any accidents or mishaps. A lift director may be liable for accidents caused and, therefore, this role cannot be taken lightly.


Reviewing the lift plan.

Tasks performed by a lift director:

  • They are responsible for stopping crane operations when alerted of unsafe conditions.

  • They must ensure the area is prepared for crane operations to commence.

  • Before the crane operations begin, all traffic controls are ensured.

  • Delegate tasks to workers and communicate the associated hazards.

  • Appointing team members to signal while the crane operations are underway.

  • Overlooking all precautions when multiple crane lifts are being used in close proximity.

  • Making sure rigging has been performed correctly

  • Guaranteeing optimal load is carried and balanced. This also involves checking wind speed and direction.

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