Crane Hand Signals Guide


When you are at a considerable distance from the crane operator and want to communicate with him, it seems quite difficult.

Luckily there is a secret language, the crane hand signals language. Messages are delivered at light speed, which is 100% visual without electronic means involved. BSL Machinery will reveal the secrets of these signals.

These same signals are officially used all over the world, although in some regions of the world are adapted and interpreted differently.

Don’t be afraid of the long list of signals, you can very effectively direct your crane operator’s movements with just four, and those four are simple and intuitive. What will take more attention and practice is the perception you want to have as signalman to keep the job going smoothly:
The signalman becomes the eyes of the crane operator. Often, the operator can’t see the load, it is out over a flat roof or the other side of a wall, etc. Even when the load is right in front of him, he can’t see through it.

1. The signalman has to be aware of the path the load will follow for each signal he chooses. Crane signals are designed to tell the operator what function of the crane to activate and in what direction. A crane hand signal causes a load to move with respect to a crane, not a building or road.
2. The crane moves when and where the signalman directs. This also means: THE CRANE IS NOT TO MOVE WHEN THERE IS NO SIGNAL VISIBLE! Your job site will be more efficient and safer if your signalman continuously signals as long as he desires motion of the crane. In other words, if the crane operator ceases to see a signal, he should smoothly stop the crane and let go the controls.
3. Be sure your signals are visible to the operator. The perception is that if you can make eye contact with the crane operator, he can automatically see your signals. Wrong… and it is a false perception that a good signalman has to work hard to change.

Download visual illustration CRANE HAND SIGNALS GUIDE (PDF, 4MB)
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