Hand Signals Guide During A Crane Operation

Operating cranes is more of a combined effort between the crane operator and the workers working on the ground, so, they should work in sync to ensure the safety of everyone on site. Over the years, these workers have come up with ingenious ways of communicating with each other when on the field. Forget the walkie talkies; it's hand signals that save the day. The crane operator and his fellow workers’ lives are in danger if proper communication is not conducted when on site.

The slightest mishap could result in massive damages and deaths. Different workers can use different signals, and it’s accepted as long as they all understand each other. But there are known hand signals that they should all know about including;

Operating Cranes

Stop Signals

Failure to stop a crane when loading can result in two possible outcomes; There may be damage to the building or other construction workers may be hurt. Look out for these signs;

  • Emergency halt – Extend your arms horizontal to your body, and the back of your palm facing the ground and swing your arms back and forth.
  • Halt – Extend your arms horizontal to your body, and the back of your palm facing the ground and turn it back and forth.
  • Halt all activities – Clasp your hands at waist level.

Boom Signals

Various boom signals explained below:

  • Raise – In this, you extend your arm horizontal to the body and raise only your thumb.
  • Lower – In this, you extend your arm horizontal to the body and signal a thumbs down the action.
  • Swing boom – Raise your arm horizontal to the body and use your index finger to indicate the swing direction of the boom.
  • Extend – Place your hands on your waist and raise both your thumbs.

Swing Boom Crane

Load Signals

One shouldn’t only know how to lift load; operators should also understand instructions such as:

  • Lowering load – Extend your arm horizontal to the body, and your index finger should move in a circular motion while facing the ground.
  • Raising load – Extend your arm horizontal to the body, and your index finger should move in a circular motion while facing the sky.

Speed Signals

Speed and cranes do not complement each other. So, if the instructor feels like you are moving way too fast, they will indicate it by placing a hand above the hand that’s handing out either of the three signals. All in all, these signals are meant to make work easier for you. A reputable crane supplier in UAE will always ensure their crane operators know the hand signals before starting work on the field.