OSHA Guide – Cranes and Derricks in Construction

Section 1428 – Signal Person Qualifications

Each signal person must meet the following qualification requirements:

  • Know and understand the type of signals used. If hand signals are used, the signal person must know and understand the Standard Method for hand signals
  • Be competent in the application of the type of signals used
  • Have a basic understanding of equipment operation and limitations, including the crane dynamics involved in swinging and stopping loads and boom deflection from hoisting loads
  • Know and understand the relevant requirements of the sections of the standard dealing with signals
  • Demonstrate that he/she meets these requirements through an oral or written test, and through a practical test

The employer of the signal person must ensure that the signal person meets these Qualification Requirements through one of the following qualification options:

  • Option (1) – Third party qualified evaluator. The signal person has documentation from a third party qualified evaluator (see section 1401 for definition of “Qualified Evaluator (third party)”) showing that the signal person meets the qualification requirements
  • Option (2) – Employer’s qualified evaluator. The employer’s qualified evaluator (see section 1401 for definition of “Qualified Evaluator (not a third party)”) and determines that the individual meets the qualification requirements

The employer must make the documentation for whichever option is used available at the site while the signal person is employed by the employer. Such documentation is considered “available” when it is physically present on the site or retrievable via an on-site computer. The documentation must specify each type of signaling (e.g., hand signals, radio signals, etc) for which the signal person meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section.

If subsequent actions by the signal person indicate that the individual does not meet the qualification requirements, the employer must not allow the individual to continue working as a signal person until retraining is provided and a reassessment is made under one of the two options that confirms that the individual meets the qualification requirements.