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Hand Signals and Sayings Every Rigger Should Know

Hand Signals and Sayings Every Rigger Should Know

Communication is critical to the lift and rigging industry. But considering all the obstructions on a job site — loud machinery, high winds, and height requirements — riggers often rely on hand signals and industry sayings to clearly communicate specific movements, emergency situations, and general reminders.

Regular Hand Signals

When communicating from a distance, riggers use hand signals to express movement, speed, and direction. The rigger assigned to perform the hand signals will typically pick one hand as their dominant, or active, signal hand. Some of the signals most commonly used across the lift and rigging industry include:

  • Move slowly — To slow the speed of a movement, the signalperson will place their other hand atop of the active hand.
  • Stop — To bring a specific movement to a stop, the signalperson will reach outward with their signal arm and swing it up and down, keeping their palm facing the ground.
  • Emergency stop — To incite an emergency stop, the signalperson will execute the same movements as a regular stop. However, they will use both arms instead of just one.
  • Dog everything — To pause all movement, the signalperson will bring both hands together at the waist.

Common Industry Sayings

There’s jargon, colloquialisms, and common sayings in every industry. In heavy lifting industries, they not only serve as reminders, but also as essential safety tips. Phrases commonly used by those who work in lift and rigging include:

  • “Never stand in the bight of line.” This phrase instructs workers to never stand between the inside angle during the use of winches and blocks.
  • “Keep away from pinch points.” This phrase reminds workers to inspect their workspace for pinch points before taking on a task.
  • “Never saddle a dead horse.” This phrase informs workers about the correct application of a wire rope clip, reminding them to never apply the clip saddle on a rope’s dead end.

Could your crewmembers use a crash course in the hand signals and saying in the lift and rigging industry? If so, partner with the team at Florida Wire & Rigging. From product training seminars to corrective action analysis, we can train your crew and equip each member with the tools, tips, and information to stay safe. To learn more, contact us today at 800-432-2269.