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Hand Signals

Signaling is communicating with the hands. People have been using their hands to communicate since the beginning of time. The existence of sign language has been recorded back as far as the fifth century BC. Modern day rigging hand signals evolved through necessity.

What Are The Advantages? 
Hand signals require no fancy or expensive communication equipment. Because they are visual they are virtually unmistakable. Because they are universal, there exists no language barrier.

Does OSHA Have Required Hand Signals? 
OSHA does not prescribe specific hand signals but states that,“Hand signals to crane and derrick operators shall be those prescribed by the applicable ANSI standard for the type of crane in use. An illustration of the signals shall be posted at the job site.” (Reference 29 CFR 1926.550)

The Standard 
The American National Standards Institute, ANSI for short, publishes non-mandatory standards that are almost always universally adopted. Standard ANSI/ASME B30.5 states that an individual titled the Lift Director shall directly oversee the work performed by a crane and the associated rigging crew. The Lift Director is responsible for appointing the signalperson and for insuring that the signalperson is qualified. (The Lift Director is also responsible for insuring that the load is properly rigged). The standard shows eighteen distinct signals showing the position of the signaler’s hands, fingers, arms, and body. The standard hand signals can be viewed at,

What Are The Major Hand Signals?

What Are Some Guidelines Regarding Hand Signaling?