Posted by Ashley Bechtel in #YHSafetyTips, Jun 14, 2017
Any time that you are operating large equipment to move large loads around a job site, you should have a hand signaller on site. This hand signaller will help the operator to direct the equipment to the correct place, avoid collisions, and even avoid damage to the job site and/or load being moved.
What does a hand signaller do?A hand signaller, also called a signal person, is responsible for providing hand signals to all persons on the job site. They will help avoid collisions between equipment and structures on the job site. You can find a small sample of hand signals below. To view more, visit OSHA's guide here.
What qualifications does a hand signaller need?
Being the signal person for a job site is a big responsibility, and you can't just walk in off the street and think you can do the job. You must know and understand the relevant signals used in 1926 regulations. You must also understand the equipment that you are directing. You must also understand the dynamics of the equipment that you are directing. This means that you must know the dynamics of the swinging, lowering loads, stopping loads, and boom deflection just to name a few.
Why use hand signals when we have technology?
Technology is a great thing to including on your job site. However, you must be aware of any shortcomings that technology has. For example, electronic communications (phones, walkie talkies) are a great tool when you need to speak with someone that is a good distance away, but what happens when the job site is so loud that you can't hear what your coworker is saying?
Other benefits of hand signals include:
Is a signaller required?
Yes, there are times when a signal person is required on the job site. These situations include:
What does a signaller need to know?
A signal person must learn the different types of hand signals, specifically the ones that will be used on the job site. You must also learn about the equipment that is being used, including the limitations (including capacity limits) and the dynamics of crane and boom movement and lifting.
The following guidelines should be followed to ensure success in all operations:
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