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Banksman Training
M Kamarajan
ETA Consultancy



• To explain the roles and responsibilities of banksmen

• To reduce the risk of dangerous reversing maneuvers.
• To avoid accidents resulting from reversing vehicles.
• To give an overview of the signs and signals


Who Should Attend

• Any person responsible for assisting in the

maneuvering and loading / unloading of vehicles.


• Slinger’s and banksmen play a vital part in ensuring

safe crane operations and safe vehicle movements.
• Their role is to assist the crane operator, giving
signals to help guide the load to its intended
• A flagman, banksman or signalman shall be assigned
to control safe movement of heavy equipment
especially when traveling on narrow or congested
areas, near structures, excavations etc.

Competence of Banksmen

• Slingers and signallers shall be at least 18 years old.

• They shall be medically fit for the profession. The
following factors should be considered:
– a) physical requirements
• adequate sight and hearing to carry out the work correctly;
• no dizziness when slinging and signalling at height;
• no disqualifying ailment or infirmity;
• no drug or alcohol-related problem.
– b) mental aptitude
• behaviour under stress;
• mental balance;
• sense of responsibility.


Did You Know?

• Nearly a quarter of all deaths involving vehicles at

work occur while vehicles are reversing.
• Other incidents may not result in injury but can
cause damage to vehicles & equipment.


Rigger (Slinger), Signaller (Flag men),

• The duties of Signaller, Slinger and Banksman are
often combined in to one person’s responsibility and
it is usual for this person to be competent and
certified in all three functions.
• However, on larger or more complex lifts these
duties may be performed by separate individuals and
the duties are described separately below;

Rigger (Slinger), Signaller (Flag men),

• Slinger: The Slinger is responsible for attaching and
detaching the load and for using the correct lifting
equipment in accordance with the Method Statement.
• The Slinger directs the Crane Operator to take the weight
of the lift load and ensures the load is safely slung before
it is lifted to any height.
• The Slinger is also responsible for checking there are no
overhead obstacles and for the attachment of a tag line
for controlling the load once suspended, if required by
the Method Statement or site conditions.


Rigger (Slinger), Signaller (Flag men),

• Signaller: Once the load is suspended, the Signaller
relays directions to the Crane Operator for the
movement of the load to its destination using either
specified hand signals or via radio communications.
• If more than one Signaller is being used only one
Signaller must give instructions at any one time and a
safe system of transfer should be in place as
responsibility moves between Signallers.

Rigger (Slinger), Signaller (Flag men),

• Banksman: The Banksman is responsible for guiding
the crane safely on and off site, especially when the
crane is reversing or performing tight manoeuvres.
• He is also responsible for directing the Crane
Operator to the correct location shown on the
Method Statement and for ensuring there is hazard-
free access and egress and movement around site if
lifts take place in different locations on site.

What precautions do I
need to take when
vehicles have to reverse
on the site?


Dealing with Risk

• The best way to deal with the risks from reversing

vehicles is to remove the need to reverse altogether.

• You need to take a critical look at how people may be

put at risk and consider how reversing can be done
• You then need to take any reasonable measures to
reduce the risk of injury.

Dealing with Risk

• All possible means of avoiding reversing

should be considered before such activities
are allowed.

Dealing with Risk

• However, on some sites, this may not be possible and

you should therefore consider the following as part
of your overall risk assessment and safe working


Visiting Drivers

• Ensure all visiting drivers report their arrival and

receive instructions about the site layout and rules.
• If visiting drivers are unfamiliar with English, provide
basic safety information in languages they use, or as

Using a Banksman

• A properly trained banksman can both keep the

reversing area free of pedestrians as well as guiding
drivers through safe maneuvers.

Restricting Reversing

• Where it cannot be avoided altogether, you should

consider places where reversing can be carried out
• You should also ensure that the distance over which
vehicles have to reverse is minimized.


Exclude People from the Area Where

Vehicles will Reverse
• You need to make clear areas where reversing is
permitted, and that your system of work prevents
the need for pedestrians to enter these ‘danger
areas’ unnecessarily.

Demarcation Lines

• Should be clearly seen by both driver and


• Consideration should be given to creating vehicle

only areas and preventing workers or the public
entering these zones through physical barriers and
warning signs.

High Visibility Clothing

• Should be considered for any pedestrian needing to

be in the zones so they can be more clearly seen.


Giving Adequate Training

• Identify all staff who are involved with the reversing

of vehicles and allocated training commensurate
with the role they are involved in.

Signalling System

• There needs to be a clear and agreed system of

signaling and will need to be visible to drivers at all
• The position where the banksman stands is crucial,
and should be in a safe position where there is no
chance of accidental impact.

Most Important Rule

1. If the driver loses sight of the signaller, they should

stop immediately.

2. Where particularly large vehicles are involved, the

use of a banksman may not be appropriate because
of the difficulty in seeing them during reversing.


What physical measures

can I take to reduce the
risks of reversing

Physical Measures

• A number of physical measures can be introduced to

your site and these should also be considered as a
part of the overall assessment process.

Increasing Visibility

• Mirrors mounted on vehicles should be kept clean,


• You should consider the need for additional mirrors

or reflective surfaces around the reversing area.

• Fitting refractive lenses to vehicle rear windows, or

rear-view CCTV, to help drivers to see behind the
• General Lighting in vehicle maneuvering areas


Fitting Reversing Alarms

• To alert, or with a detection device to warn the driver

of an obstruction or apply the brakes automatically.

Other Safety Devices

• Such as barriers to stop vehicles over-running edges.

• Trip devices which stop a vehicle when something is


• Sensing devices that warn the driver of hazards they

have not seen are all options which should be
considered in combination with other precautions
(not on their own).

General Rules & Signaling Requirements
1. Whenever a work is being performed can interrupt the
normal flow of traffic or the traffic on both directions.
A flag man is needed.
2. It is necessary that on heavy equipment one flag man
need to be assigned with red and green color flags.
3. Whenever it is necessary for equipment cross public
roads, railroads, or heavily traveled roads as in existing
plants, at least one flag man should be used during
4. If hoisting equipment must cross under overhead
electrical lines then a flagman should be used to
eliminate the potential for contact of any part of the
equipment with the electrical lines.


“FLAG MAN” Continued

5. Each flagman shall be provided with a whistle as added

signaling device to be sounded to alert operators or
6. A flagman shall be assigned to safely control movement
when towing trailer-mounted equipment in congested
areas or near plant equipment.
7. A flagman, banksman or signalman shall be assigned to
control safe movement of heavy equipment especially
when traveling on narrow or congested areas, near
structures, excavations etc.
8. Hand signaling by flagmen shall be done by the use of red
flags and green flags at least 18 square inches or sign
paddles. in the periods of darkness, red lights and green
lights should be used.

What should I do about

people who do not
routinely work on the site?

What Needs to be Considered?

• You need to consider how you are going make drivers

who are not your employees familiar with the layout
of the workplace and the rules for reversing.

• When putting control measures into place, you

should also make consideration for people with
impaired vision or hearing, either who work directly
for you or who may visit the site.