Crane Operation Responsibilities


Crane user

  • using supervisors for crane activities that meet the requirements for a qualified person


  • ensuring that the crane is in proper operating condition prior to initial use at the worksite


  • Verifying that the crane has the necessary lifting capacity to perform the proposed lifting operations in the planned configuration.


  • Ensuring the assigned operator(s) has been notified of adjustments or repairs that have not yet been completed, prior to commencing crane operations.


  • Informing the crane owner if any rope on the crane is replaced or shortened.


In some situations, the site supervisor and the lift director may be the same person


Site supervisor


  • Ensuring that the crane meets the requirements of Chapter 5-2 inspections prior to initial site usage


  • Determining if additional regulations are applicable to crane operations.


  • Ensuring that a qualified person is designated as the lift director.


  • Ensuring that crane operations are coordinated with other jobsite activities that will be affected by or will affect lift operations.


  • Ensuring that the area for the crane is adequately prepared. The preparation includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • access roads for the crane and associated equipment
    • sufficient room to assemble and disassemble the crane
    • an operating area that is suitable for the crane with respect to levelness, surface conditions, support capability, proximity to power lines, excavations, slopes, underground utilities, subsurface construction, and obstructions to crane operation


  • traffic control as necessary to restrict unauthorized access to the crane’s working area


  • Ensuring that conditions that may adversely affect crane operations are addressed. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • poor soil conditions
    • wind velocity or gusting winds
    • heavy rain
    • fog
    • extreme cold
    • artificial lighting


  • ensuring that work performed by the rigging crew is supervised by a qualified person


The lift director’s responsibilities shall include the following:


  • Being present at the jobsite during lifting operations.


  • Ensuring necessary traffic controls are in place to restrict unauthorized access to the crane’s work area.


  • Ensuring that personnel involved in crane operations understand their responsibilities, assigned duties, and the associated hazards.


  • Addressing safety concerns raised by the operator or other personnel and being responsible if he decides to overrule those concerns and directs crane operations to continue.


  • Appointing the signalperson(s) and conveying that information to the crane operator.


  • Informing the crane operator of the weight of loads to be lifted, as well as the lifting, moving, and placing locations for these loads.


  • Obtaining the crane operator’s verification that this weight does not exceed the cranes rated capacity.


  • ensuring that a crane’s load rigging is performed by personnel that meet the competence requirements


  • Ensuring that the load is properly rigged and balanced before it is lifted more than a few inches.


Responsibilities of Crane Operators


  • The operator shall not be responsible for hazards or conditions that are not under his direct control and that adversely affect the lift operations


  • Whenever the operator has doubt as to the safety of crane operations, the operator shall stop the crane’s functions in a controlled manner.


  • Lift operations shall resume only after safety concerns have been addressed or the continuation of crane operations is directed by the lift director.


  • Reviewing the requirements for the crane with the lift director before operations.


  • Knowing what types of site conditions could adversely affect the operation of the crane and consulting with the lift director concerning the possible presence of those conditions.
  • Understanding and applying the information contained in the crane manufacturer’s operating manual.
  • Understanding the crane’s functions and limitations as well as its particular operating characteristics.
  • Using the crane’s load rating chart(s) and diagrams and applying all notes and warnings related to the charts
  • To confirm the correct crane configuration to suit the load, site, and lift conditions.


  • Load rating chart(s) may be temporarily removed from the crane for lift planning or other purposes provided the charts are replaced in the manufacturer’s designated location before operating the crane.
  • Refusing to operate the crane when any portion of the load or crane would enter the prohibited zone of energized power lines except as defined


  • performing a daily inspection as specified


  • Promptly reporting the need for any adjustments or repairs to a designated person.


  • Following applicable lock out/tag out procedures.


  • Not operating the crane when physically or mentally unfit.


  • Ensuring that all controls are in the off or neutral position and that all personnel are in the clear before energizing the crane or starting the engine.


  • Not engaging in any practice that will divert his attention while actually operating the crane controls


  • Testing the crane function controls that will be used and operating the crane only if those function controls respond properly.


  • Operating the crane’s functions, under normal operating conditions, in a smooth and controlled manner.


  • Knowing and following the procedures specified by the manufacturer or approved by a qualified person, for assembly, disassembly, setting up, and reeving the crane.


  • Knowing how to travel the crane.


  • observing each outrigger during extension, setting, and retraction or using a signal person to observe each outrigger during extension, setting, or retraction


  • Ensuring that the load and rigging weight(s) have been provided.


  • Calculating or determining the net capacity for all configurations that will be used and verifying, using the load rating chart(s), that the crane has sufficient net capacity for the proposed lift.


  • Considering all factors known that might affect the crane capacity and informing the lift director of the need to make appropriate adjustments.


  • Knowing the standard and special signals as specified in Section 5-3.3 and responding to such signals from the person who is directing the lift or an appointed signalperson.


  • When a signalperson is not required as part of the lift operation, the operator is then responsible for the movement of the crane. However, the operator shall obey a stop signal at all times, no matter who gives it.


  • Understanding basic load rigging procedures. Ensuring that the load is rigged properly