How a Lift Director Makes Crane Operations Safe

How a Lift Director Makes Crane Operations Safe
5/8/2019 9:19:34 AM

A reliable lift director is someone who is dependable, trustworthy, naturally a leader, and experienced in executing safe lifting operations. When preparing for your lift, it is critical that you hire a lift director with the aforementioned qualities. Taking your time when selecting the right person should be taken very seriously.

The Role of a Lift Director

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers protocol B30.5 describes the responsibilities of a lift director as follows:

  • Ceasing crane operations if the working conditions become unsafe

  • Assuring that everyone on the crew understands the associated hazard as well as what their responsibilities are

  • Designating signal people and assuring that they meet the needed requirements

  • Ensuring that the load is properly balanced and rigged

  • Assuring that competent personnel is performing the rigging

  • Checking to make sure that the area was properly prepped before beginning operations

  • Only permitting operations near power lines once those requirements have been met

  • Enforcing special lifting precautions (i.e., multiple crane lifts)

  • Verifying that all the needed traffic controls are in place

The OSHA Standard

OSHA requires that for every project, a lift director is assigned. Failure to follow this rule will result in serious penalties--even criminal charges. Specifically, OSHA 1926.1432 covers a variety of lifts and states that,

"The multiple-crane/derrick lift must be directed by a person who meets the criteria for both a competent person and a qualified person, or by a competent person who is assisted by one or more qualified persons (lift director). The lift director must review the plan in a meeting with all workers who will be involved with the operation.”

In the past, OSHA referred to lift directors as the "lead persons” on a rigging crew. This title allows them to make executive decisions and take disciplinary actions when evaluating the lift plan. Most of the time, the lift director actually carries more responsibility than the job’s crane operator and site supervisor. In other situations, however, one person can play the roles of both the lift director and site supervisor.

Ensuring that an experienced professional is directing your projects and has the proper authority to make necessary changes due to safety will protect the lives of everyone involved on your project. At LC Crane, we hire only the most professional, NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) certified crane operators. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote!

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