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Signals when working with cranes

Construction workers can be seriously injured when lifting heavy loads with a crane. They risk being crushed if the load swings or is dropped. Therefore, it is important that hooking is carried out so that neither the ground assistant nor people nearby are endangered.

The ground assistant and the crane driver must always maintain safe and clear
communication with one another during the work. They must have full control of the movements of the load, and they must make sure that no loads are carried over people. Communication may be via hand signals or radio. For hand signals, the ground assistant must use the signals illustrated in this folder.


  • If there is any doubt as to whether lifting can be carried out safely, the crane driver must always stop the lift.
  • Neither the crane nor the hooking equipment may be overloaded or damaged.
  • Sufficient and suitable hooking equipment must be available.
Hoist up
Hoist down
Hoist up slowly
Hoist down slowly
Hoist down at short distances1
Boom up
Boom down
Swing left
Swing right
Telescope out
Telescope in
Use main hoist
Use auxiliary hoist
Emergency stop
This direction
Signal not understood
Open equipment (grab)
Close equipment (grab)


For short distances between hooker and crane driver
Use at long distances

Any questions?

Contact Arbejdstilsynet
The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA)

Phone hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 - 15
Friday: 8 - 14

+45 70 12 12 88

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