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Crane Signalperson

Crane Signalperson


Safety is crucial on any site, and this is especially true where there are cranes in operation. When we think of cranes, it is the crane operator that is the job that comes to mind, but there are several other positions that are crucial to safe crane operation, and one of those is the crane signalperson. The crane signalperson is not new, it has been part of construction since industrial cranes became common, and were sometimes called spotters, but what is it they do?

It is the crane signalperson’s job to ensure the safe operation of a crane, working in tandem with the crane operator, to move large loads safely around a site. There are two aspects of the job, the first is the physical inspection of the load and equipment, and the second is guiding the operator during a lift. Beginning with the load itself, the crane signal person should be able to spot issues with the load itself, such as incorrect weight distribution, the load hook is correctly positioned, the rigging chain is set correctly without twists, and so on, and that load weight, position relating to the boom and other factors are all correct.

They also play an important part in the lift itself, firstly, before the load is moved, assessing the hoisting path, including whether it means being too close to any hazards or traveling over the heads of site workers causing a safety issue that must be highlighted and measures are taken to avoid. Once the lift is in progress, the crane signal person directs the crane operator, using a series of special hand signals or a hands-free radio system. In this way, the operator is always kept aware of the precise position of the load, its movement including direction and speed, when to stop, if there are any dangers, and so on. It is a partnership that allows cranes to operate safely.

CCO Signalperson Certification

Accomplishing that needs a good understanding of the cranes themselves, and in many ways, a crane signalperson needs to have as good an understanding of crane operation as the operator themselves, and of course, that means training. Becoming an NCCCO certified crane signalperson is a requirement for employment, and the approved courses that get you certified provide the skills and understanding of both crane operation and the safety aspects of moving large loads on site that are needed to perform the tasks required properly. To be a qualified crane signalperson, there are a few requirements. Passing both the written and practical examinations are essential, without proof of those qualifications you cannot be employed as a crane signal person, you must also be over eighteen years of age and drug-free.

Those qualifications and the skills needed to get them can be learned through a variety of training approaches, however, the best training includes both classroom training and a chance to put those newly learned skills into practice on-site, not only giving the technical understanding needed but the confidence gained from real-world experience to get out there and launch a lucrative career as a crane signalperson.

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