Users adopt Crane Operator’s Manual

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The spec is available in hard copy or downloadable pdf format, English or Spanish language versions, from

Industry professionals running overhead cranes for material handling are continuing to use the Crane Operator’s Manual to support lifting operations. The manual is Specification No. 79 from the leading authority on overhead lifting equipment, Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA).

Specification No. 79 is a booklet of recommendations prepared by CMAA’s Engineering Committee as a supplement to the original Crane Manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual with the intent to provide additional information for the operation of overhead and gantry cranes. The Crane Operator’s Manual is now available in either English or Spanish versions. Originally published in 2003 and revised four years ago, the manual is the chosen resource by overhead crane operators throughout North America. CMAA is an independent incorporated trade association affiliated with the Material Handling Industry (MHI). Its specifications are available on its dedicated section of the MHI website,

“The operator must consider and anticipate the motions and actions that will occur as a result of operating the controls. Overhead cranes generally handle materials in proximity to working areas where there are personnel,” a CMAA spokesperson notes. “Therefore, it is important for the crane operator to be instructed in the use of the crane and to understand the severe consequences from careless operation.

“Because the manufacturer of the crane has no direct involvement or control over the crane’s operation and application, conforming to good safety practices is the responsibility of the owner, the user and its operating personnel. The Crane Operator’s Manual is a go-to resource for personnel responsible for crane operation in the variety of end user sectors that employ overhead lifting technologies.”

The specification is divided into user-friendly sections, including Crane Operators, Crane Motions, Inspections and Handling the Load. An easy-to-navigate contents gives users the ability to find information provided by the industry’s leading crane engineers. The Crane Operators section includes illustrations and explanations of nine hand signals that might be given by a rigger, for example, to an operator in the cab or at the controls of an overhead crane. In the next section, called Crane Motions, a variety of subject matter is covered including custom cranes, controlling the load, crane brakes, and hoist limit devices.