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Guideline No. 20: Camera Cranes | Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario

  • ISBN: 978-1-4249-9952-1
  • Issued: November 1990
  • Revised: January 2009
  • Content last reviewed: August 2010

Camera Cranes

  1. The Director of Photography and Key Grip should be consulted as to the adequacy of any specific equipment to be used for a particular sequence or shot given the prevailing conditions.
  2. No fewer than two people should be separately designated as crew for any crane.
  3. Equipment and support surfaces should only be prepared for use under the control of a Grip experienced in its use, and who has been designated by the Key Grip. Only this person should give movement orders thereafter.
    1. Under no circumstances should any person or equipment be added to, or removed from, a crane without the permission of the Grip in charge.
    2. A crane should not be left unattended while being prepared for use or while in use.
  4. The following precautions should always be taken when using a crane:
    1. When receiving a crane on set, check the crane's log (when it was last inspected or x-rayed, etc.).
    2. Incomplete or damaged equipment should never be used.
    3. No crane shall be used closer than the following distances from power lines as per section 188 of O. Reg. 213/91:
      • 750–150,000 volts - 3 metres (10 feet)
      • 150,000–250,000 volts – 4.5 metres (15 feet)
      • over 250,000 volts – 6 metres (20 feet)
    4. When using a crane close to overhead obstructions or mounted on moving vehicles, ensure that adequate clearance is maintained at all times taking special care with personnel involved in its use.
    5. When using a crane on unstable surfaces, such as sand, a crane should be blocked in a way to prevent collapse if the surface shifts. This also applies to the laying of any supports or track over changing surfaces, such as sand to rock, or over grades (changes in height of the surface).
    6. The crane base and pedestal should always be level and plumb before it is used.
    7. Any riser used to raise a crane should be capable of supporting the weight of the crane and the personnel using it. It should also be adequately braced against collapse, taking the surface conditions into account.
    8. Tracking surfaces should be properly laid and constructed in accordance with supplier's/manufacturer's recommendations.
    9. The crane arm should never be left unbalanced.
    10. If uncoated lead ingots are being used as weights, gloves should be worn by workers before handling them.
  5. Clear announcements and warnings of the intended moves and times should be given to all persons likely to be in the vicinity of a moving crane.
    1. No one should pass under either arm of a crane without permission of the Grip in charge.
    2. The Grip in charge should ensure that persons riding the crane use seats and safety belts.
  6. The use of a crane should be noted in the safety section of the call sheet. An example is as follows:

    "A camera crane will be used while filming scene # "×". Please keep its working radius clear of people and equipment, and respond to the requests of the Grip in charge".

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