Updated Guidance on Radio Communications for Lifting Operations

In partnership with the Construction Industry’s Lifting Lead AP Group, the CPA’s Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) has updated and launched a revised version of the Technical Information Note (TIN) 017 on Radio Communication for Lifting Operations. This is to recognise the increasing importance of clear and reliable communication between the crane operator and the lifting team as signallers are sometimes out of sight of the operator and standard hand signals may be ineffective.

Therefore, to enable effective communication between the signaller and the crane operator, radios are used. However the incorrect choice and use of radios can lead to problems which could interfere with clear communication, vital for safe lifting operations such as loss of signal and thus communication, interference from radios on adjacent sites and misunderstanding between the crane operator and the signaller, leading to a host of issues. This means clear guidance is needed to ensure better and consistent communication.

With the level of new information, TIN 017 has increased from three to six pages, with new sections added including one on Radio Frequencies, Channels and Coverage - containing both new and enhanced information from the previous version with a focus on the new technologies of cellular and WiFi-type radios, along with and the advantages of using digital-type radios over analogue versions. The section also provides information on both licence-free and licenced radios systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Another new section is one on Recording of Voice Communications, with a recommendation that voice recordings should be taken and electronically stored which will help with both monitoring of radio usage, the training of users and if needed, in the investigation of incidents. A section of the Training and Monitoring of Users has also been added with a list of training items that should be included within a training course. This section also notes that not all slinger/signaller training course offered by card schemes and others may include comprehensive training on radio usage and the protocols.

As with all CPA publications, TIN 017 can be downloaded free of charge from https://www.cpa.uk.net/safety-and-technical-publications/tower-crane-guidance/tcig-technical-information-notes