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Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 15. Cranes and Derricks in Construction
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§1617.1. Signals - General Requirements.

(a) A signal person shall be provided in each of the following situations:

(1) The point of operation, meaning the load travel or the area near or at load placement, is not in full and direct view of the operator.

(2) When the equipment is traveling, the view in the direction of travel is obstructed.

(3) Due to site-specific safety concerns, either the operator or the person handling the load determines that it is necessary.

(b) Only qualified persons shall be permitted to give signals, and the operator shall respond to signals only from a designated signal person.

Exception: The operator shall obey a stop or emergency stop signal from any person.

(c) Types of signals. Signals to operators shall be by hand, voice, or audible.

(d) Hand Signals.

(1) A uniform signal system shall be used on all operations and if hand signals are used, they shall be clearly understood by the operator. (NOTE: For recommended hand signals, see General Industry Safety Orders, Section 5001, Plate I.)

Exception: Where an operation or use of an attachment is not covered in the recommended hand signals, Plate I, nonstandard hand signals may be used in accordance with subsection (d)(2).

(2) Non-standard hand signals. When using non-standard hand signals, the signal person, operator, and lift director (where there is one) shall contact each other prior to the operation and agree on the non-standard hand signals that will be used.

(3) There shall be conspicuously posted in the vicinity of the hoisting operations, a legible chart depicting and explaining the system of signals used.

(4) Hand signal charts shall be either posted on the equipment or conspicuously posted in the vicinity of the hoisting operations.

(e) Suitability. The signals used (hand, voice, or audible), and means of transmitting the signals to the operator (such as direct line of sight, video, radio, etc.), shall be appropriate for the site conditions.

(f) During operations requiring signals, the ability to transmit signals between the operator and signal person shall be maintained. If that ability is interrupted at any time, the operator shall safely stop operations requiring signals until it is reestablished and a proper signal is given and understood.

(1) Signal systems other than manual shall be protected against unauthorized use, breakage, weather or obstruction which will interfere with safe operation. In the event of any known malfunction, an alternate signal system shall be used or all motion shall be stopped.

(g) If the operator becomes aware of a safety problem and needs to communicate with the signal person, the operator shall safely stop operations. Operations shall not resume until the operator and signal person agree that the problem has been resolved.

(h) Only one person shall give signals to a crane/derrick at a time, except in circumstances covered by subsection (i).

(i) [Reserved]

(j) All directions given to the operator by the signal person shall be given from the operator's direction perspective.

(k) Communication with multiple cranes/derricks. Where a signal person(s) is in communication with more than one crane/derrick, a system shall be used for identifying the crane/derrick each signal is for, as follows:

(1) for each signal, prior to giving the function/direction, the signal person shall identify the crane/derrick the signal is for, or

(2) shall use an equally effective method of identifying which crane/derrick the signal is for.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New section filed 7-7-2011; operative 7-7-2011. Exempt from OAL review pursuant to Labor Code section 142.3(a)(3) (Register 2011, No. 27).

2. Amendment of subsections (a)(1) and (b) and repealer of subsection (i) (reserved) filed 10-2-2012; operative 11-1-2012 (Register 2012, No. 40).

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