Basic Safety:

Always evaluate the requirements of the shot = height, weight limits, reach, space limitations, hazards, load requirements, etc! Cranes should never be assembled, operated, or disassembled without the supervision of a trained dolly/key grip! Cranes are inherently dangerous pieces of equipment. Use common sense and good judgement. Take the time to properly evaluate each situation in which you use it! It is the grips’ responsibility to inspect the crane and all its components prior to and during assembly. We at Cranium pride ourselves with our attention to safety and detail, but always appreciate the watchful assistance of our fellow grips!

Unless the extra height or reach is needed for the shot, cranes will be more stable, inherently safer and more manueverable in their shorter lengths. Never exceed the recommended weight limits posted for each mode of the crane! Dolly/crane grips must also be aware of the possibility of low power lines and considerable wind forces with high camera positions. Precautions must be taken to prevent strong gusts from blowing the elevated crane over.

The Giraffe and Phoenix cranes are lightweight, high tech structure and like any aircraft can, with time, show signs of metal fatigue or weld zone cracking. Preflight checks are a vital part of flight safety. Regular inspection of any crane, particlarly after shock loading, is good operating policy.



  • Local 80 Grips
  • Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild
  • Esta: Cranium is helping to set standards and guidelines for safe crane operation.


  • Each and every key grip that uses our cranes is contacted and informed of safe operating procedures specifically for our cranes.


  • Insurance West with Hartford Policy.


  • After every job we inspect, clean and lubricate every piece of the crane, keeping an accurate record of it.
  • We periodically x-ray or dye-test the entire crane to check for stress cracks or other deformities.
  • Bearings and parts are exchanged regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s numerous safety bulletins and recommendations.