Moving large, heavy loads is crucial to our work. There are significant safety issues to be considered, both for the operators of the diverse “lifting” devices, and for workers in proximity to them. Workers have been crushed between the hoisting machine and loads or the load and another stationary object.
This Safety Topic is a refresher on safe signaling so no one will be hurt during the movement of loads. Please conduct this session near a digger derrick or another piece of hoisting equipment. Have the standard hand signals available for review.
When is a signal person required?
A signal person is required when:
- The point of operation is not in full view of the operator, and or
- The operator’s view is obstructed in the direction the equipment is traveling.
- Either the operator or the person handling the load determines that a signal person is needed because of site-specific safety concerns.
What does a signal person need to know?
The signal person is considered qualified if he or she:
- Knows and understands the type of signals used at the worksite.
- Is competent in using these signals.
- Understands the operations and limitations of the equipment, including the hoist(crane/Digger/etc.) dynamics involved in swinging, raising, lowering and stopping loads and in boom deflection from hoisting loads.
- Knows and understands the relevant signal person qualification requirements specified inthe standards and our safety program
- Passes an oral or written test and a practical test.
Signal Person’s Written/Oral and Practical Test
- Where are the standard hand signals required to be located?
- Posted on the lifting device or in the immediate work area.
- In the company rule book
- What action does a signal person intend the operator to perform if he extends his arm at shoulder height, makes a fist with his hand, and sticks his thumb up?
- Boom down,
- Boom up
- Telescope out
- An operator should respond from a “stop” signal from:
- The oiler
- The site supervisor
- The shop foreman
- When should a signal person be briefed on the hoists controls?
- After Shift
- Before Shift
- Only if it is a new operator at the control
- It is okay to modify the signals because you remember an old way of doing it.
- Which of the following statements is incorrect in regards to signaling an operator?
- Start forward slowly and gradually increase speed
- Start and stop the machine as fast as possible
- Decrease speed to match signaling conditions
- Never place yourself between the load and another object that could be a pinch-point
- Are others allowed to ride on the power operated equipment, loads, or the headache ball?
- When may you stand under a suspended ball?
- When directed by the operator
- When directed by your supervisors
- When directed by Safety Personnel
- Which of the following statements is correct when signaling an operator?
- Standard Hand Signals are always optional
- Standard Hand Signals do not need to be posted
- Signal Persons may hang from the cab to give signals
- If the standard hand signals cannot be used, the signal person, operator, and lift director (where there is one) must contact each other prior to the operation and agree on the non-standard hand signals that will be used.
- Demonstrate the Standard Hand Signals commonly used to the trainer and have the trainer verify your proficient and understanding in all training provided