Become a hooker 

To best understand what a hook slinger does, it is worth noting beforehand that a person working on a crane equipped with a hook sling should perform their duties assisted by no less than two people who are in the positions of crane operator and signalman. 

Sling at the crane

What is a sling? 

A sling is an auxiliary accessory for hook cranes. It is used to sling, lift or support a load. 

Slings are divided according to their purpose. Among these are: 

  • general purpose slings, 
  • special purpose slings, 
  • rope slings, 
  • chain slings, 
  • slings made of synthetic and natural fibre webbing. 

Slings are also divided by type. Among these are: 

  • chain slings, 
  • rope slings, 
  • belt slings. 

The most significant components of the slings as they appear in or work with them. These include: 

  • steel chain, 
  • rope, 
  • The linkage (which is the basic element of the sling, there may be one two or more) - which is the chain or rope that connects the collective link to the hook. 

Three important positions when working with a crane 

There are three jobs when operating cranes. These are: 

  • whistleblower, 
  • operator, 
  • hook. 

Who is the operator, the hook rigger and the hook 

The crane operator is involved in activities that fall under the scope of crane operation.  

The signaller relays signals and messages between the crane operator and the hook rigger.  


hook worker

The hookman, on the other hand, deals with the activities involved in unhooking and suspending loads that are moved by means of a crane. He or she is responsible for selecting the correct chains, ropes, slings, as well as sleepers and brackets, which have the correct approvals and are in a condition that allows them to work. Another responsibility of the hookman is to determine how the load will be suspended, to plan the route of the load, and to assess whether the hook is too loaded in relation to the permissible load for the slings used in the crane.  


The signals mentioned are sound and light. The signaller collects information from the rigger and then passes it on to the operator. He is in charge of determining the path of the load while it is being transported and warns of any possible danger to health, life or damage to the goods. He also has the authority to stop the transport work.  

Entitlement to work 

The crane operator is required to have competences verified by the technical supervision, which is why he needs a licence from the Office of Technical Inspection (UDT) to perform his activities. On the other hand, for both the hook and the signalman, the provisions related to labour law and health and safety regulations apply. Therefore, it is up to the employer to assess the occupational risks for such a position, determining the minimum requirements and responsibilities of the person acting as a hook rigger. For this purpose, he can use: 

  • Decree of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of 22 October 2018 on occupational health and safety when operating tower and high-speed cranes, 
  • Standard PN-ISO 12480-1 Cranes. Safe operation. Part 1 - General provisions. 

Employers who want to consider a course for their employees abroad, on the other hand, can turn to training based on ISO 23853:2018 Cranes - Training of slingers and signallers. 

crane operator wearing a helmet

According to Article 237 § 2 of the Act of 26 June 1974 of the Labour Code, it is stated that one person cannot simultaneously perform the duties of crane operator, signalman and hookman. In order to achieve the greatest possible safety on the construction site, the provision presupposes the interaction of workers in these three positions. 

The work of a hookman is considered to be one of the more dangerous jobs. The reason for the danger is the possibility of falling from the height of the goods being transported, which can result in damage to the health or death of workers. 

At a glance:

  • Construction and goods handling crane operator course
  • Internal auditor course 
  • UTB retrofitter course
  • Hookmaker course
  • Deck crane maintenance licence course