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Everything You Need To Know About Signalman Responsibilities

Everything You Need To Know About Signalman Responsibilities

May 28 2021 at 17:44

Regardless of its necessity in a construction site, crane operations are arguably the biggest threat to workplace safety because not only is it heavy, but it also deals with transporting hefty loads from one place to another in high altitudes.

Crane operators cannot just manoeuvre the crane themselves because they are dependent on signalmen who use various hand or voice signals to direct their trajectory. Without them, lifting operations would be a very dangerous endeavour because signalmen serve as the eyes of the crane operator. 

Signalmen contribute greatly towards promoting safe lifting operations. But beyond helping crane operators transport a load from point a to b, the responsibilities of a signalman is much wider than what you would expect. Read on to find out more.

Signalmen have to be equipped with proper knowledge and skills

In order to qualify for a signalman role, a person has to possess the right set of knowledge and skills so that lifting operations are executed with safety in mind – which is why construction training is extremely important. During a lifting operation, a lot has to be taken into consideration - the load's weight, the crane's capacity, the direction of the wind, the altitude that the lift should be executed, and so much more.

All of these make lifting operations quite a complicated process, that's why a qualified signalman must be aware of the crane's limitations and understand all of the things that have to be taken into consideration so that the job can go off without a hitch.

Signalmen must know the various signals very well

During a lifting operation, signalmen communicate with crane operators using a variety of hand or voice signals (sometimes both). That's why apart from being familiar with everything that goes into a lifting operation, a signalman should also memorise the different signals used in a construction site and is able to apply that knowledge with confidence. 

Through the use of various signals, signalmen tell crane operators to either raise the load from the ground or surface, lower it down, swing it to a certain direction, or bring it to a higher altitude. During these moments, it is crucial to avoid any mistakes in signalling because it can lead to serious consequences - the load colliding with a certain structure, the load can land on a surface that cannot bear such weight, and more. 

The role of a signalman is quite comprehensive. They don't only serve as the eyes of crane operators, but they should also have an in-depth understanding of everything that goes into lifting operations so that they can help crane operators transport a load from one place in the construction site to another.

So, it always to be aware of the basics from the very start – such as strengthening the fundamental knowledge and skills of your signalmen through various safety courses. Our “Performing Rigger and Signalman” course is tailored to help signalmen get a better grasp at their duties, responsibilities, and their skillsets so that your crane and lifting operations will be done as safely as possible.