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Subchapter 20. Tunnel Safety Orders
Article 19. Shafts and Hoisting Systems
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§8498. Hoisting Signals.

(a) Every shaft or incline shall be provided with two efficient means of interchanging distinct and definite signals between the top of the shaft and the lowest level and any intermediate level from which hoisting is being done, and from the conveyance at any point in the shaft. One system shall be a closed-circuit voice communication system to each landing station, with speaker microphones so located that the hoisting engineer can communicate with the individual landing stations during hoist use.

(b) Special care shall be taken to keep the signal apparatus in good order and to prevent electric signal and telephone wires from making contact with other electric conductors. The primary and secondary signal systems shall be tested at the beginning of each shift and as often as necessary at other times to ensure they are in working order.

(c) Signals to the hoist engineer shall be given only by persons authorized to do so.

(d) Hoisting signals shall be posted at the hoist and at each level.

(e) Where mobile cranes are used at shafts, there shall be a qualified signal person in direct voice communication with the hoisting engineer safely stationed where they can observe the load in the shaft and relay signals to the hoisting engineer, except where the load is in full view of the hoisting engineer or the load is provided with guides.

(f) Any signal not readily understood by the hoisting engineer shall be interpreted as a "stop" signal, and no movement of the shaft conveyance shall be undertaken until a clear and understandable signal is received.

(g) Where it is necessary to use bells or similar equipment for hoisting or lowering signals, the following system or code shall be used:

Signals from tunnel to hoist engineer: 
         2--1  bells, to hoist rock. 
            1  bell, to stop if in motion. 
      1--2--1  bells, to release skip. 
            2  bells, to lower. 
         3--1  bells, employee on; run slowly; employees to be hoisted. 
         3--2  bells, employee on; run slowly; employees to be lowered. 
            7  bells and repeat, accident. 
      3--3--1  bells, hoist cautiously. 
      3--3--2  bells, lower cautiously. 
      3--2--1  bells, ready to blast. 

The signals 3--3--1 and 3--3--2 may be used to move cage, skip, bucket or other conveyance, whenever there is a need to hoist or lower cautiously whether or not men are aboard.

The signal "ready to blast" shall be followed by the signal "ready to hoist" coming from the hoisting engineer.

Engineer's signal that he/she is ready to hoist, is to raise the bucket, cage, or skip about 2 feet and lower it again.

Legible copies of the signals shall be posted in a convenient location at the collar of the shaft, at each station and at the operator's station. This signal code must include proper signal for each level or station.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code.


1. Amendment of section and new Note filed 3-5-96; operative 4-4-96 (Register 96, No. 10).

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