The Role of a Lift Director in a Safe and Successful Crane Operation

July 2, 2019

What’s a lift director’s job? For one thing, this oversight expert takes charge of crane movements. From guiding the rigging team to supervising the signal person, the lift director presides over all crane-related activities. Yet this role goes beyond oversight. On top of the boom movements and rigging requirements, there’s a whole bunch of prep work to take care of if a tough lift is to go off without a hitch.

Lift Directors Establish Safe Hoisting Conditions

In more ways than one, this competent person has been tasked with a weighty responsibility. To get the job done safely and efficiently, there’s work to be done. Talks with the rigging crew and the signal person are conducted. If they’re certain of their duties, the lift director moves onto the crane operator. Load charts are checked to make sure a crane is capable of safely lifting its assigned burden. Stepping back and taking on the role of master coordinator, the person who has taken on this job checks out the site one last time. Are the ground conditions stable? Are the crane outriggers locked? What about the boom swing zone? Are there any electrical cables or at-height obstructions nearby? We’ll say it again; lift directors have a heavy role to play, for successful crane operations can be impacted by all kinds of unforeseen site issues.

Taking Care of Business

It should be noted that physical stamina is a desirable job quality, but that quality isn’t really mandatory. Remember, like a conductor leading his musicians, a lift director coordinates teams of hardworking labourers. With one direction, a crane operator is asked to adjust his vehicle’s wheels until the crane chassis is level. With another, rigging is altered until it complies with a particular guideline. Again, this is a supervisory task, so the commands are addressed to the rigging master, and then they’re filtered down to his team. Rather than getting down and dirty, that lead team member steps back so that the whole picture can be seen, and so that all crane operations can be safely coordinated and efficiently planned out.

It seems like crane accidents are occurring with greater frequency. They sure make it into the news headlines often enough. That’s because they’re such large and unwieldy machines. If something does go wrong with a crane, the repercussions could be dire. At the end of the day, lift directors know all about responsibilities. This experienced and mindful individual coordinates every detail and every crew associate. Better still, for hassle-free payload movements, lift directors involve themselves with every stage of the job. From the initial placement of a mobile crane to the deployment and rigging of the boom, plus all of the prep work, that job coordinator supervises a crane’s operations.