A banksman, often called a “banksperson” or “signalman,” plays a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of vehicles and machinery in workplaces where heavy equipment is utilised.
A bankman’s role is vital in maintaining a secure working environment and avoiding potential hazards associated with heavy machinery. Their primarily responsible for directing and guiding the movement of vehicles and equipment, helping to prevent accidents and maintain a smooth workflow, which ultimately contributes to overall work site safety.
In this blog, we will discuss the purpose and importance of banksmen at worksites and their key responsibilities.
What Does a Banksman Do?
A banksman is responsible for overseeing the safe movement of vehicles, particularly in construction or industrial settings. Their role involves directing the manoeuvring and operation of vehicles such as cranes, trucks, or heavy machinery, ensuring that they are positioned safely and effectively. This includes using hand signals or radio communication to guide drivers to ensure the smooth flow of operations on site and prevent accidents.
A banksman’s expertise is vital for enhancing workplace safety and operational efficiency, making them an integral part of any work environment where mobile machinery and vehicles are in use.
What are the Primary Responsibilities of A Banksman?
The primary responsibilities of a banksman typically include:
- Vehicle Guidance: Providing clear and precise signals to guide the movement of vehicles and mobile plants, especially during manoeuvres like reversing, turning, or parking. This guidance is crucial for preventing collisions and accidents.
- Communication: Effectively communicating with vehicle operators, either through hand signals, two-way radios, or other means, to ensure they understand and follow the directions for safe movement.
- Safety Oversight: Continuously monitoring the work area for potential safety hazards, and guaranteeing that safety procedures and protocols are strictly followed. They may take action to suspend operations if they identify any safety threats.
- Obstacle Clearance: Assisting in removing obstacles from the path of vehicles and machinery to maintain a clear and safe work area.
- Traffic Management: Managing traffic flow, especially in congested areas on construction sites, to ensure orderly movement of machinery and vehicles.
- Pedestrian Safety: Safeguarding the safety of pedestrians and workers by ensuring they remain a safe distance from moving vehicles and equipment.
- Emergency Response: Being prepared to respond in emergencies or accidents, including alerting emergency services and providing immediate assistance or first aid when necessary.
- Record-Keeping: Documenting the movement of vehicles and equipment, maintaining records of operations, and reporting any incidents or issues.
- Equipment Maintenance: Inspecting signalling equipment, such as flags, cones, or radios, to ensure they are in working order and maintaining the tools necessary to perform their duties effectively.
- Training and Education: Training new employees and equipment operators on safe work practices, hand signals, and communication protocols to promote a safety culture within the organisation.
How Does a Banksman Communicate?
Banksmen use various communication methods to convey instructions and information to vehicle operators and other personnel on the work site. The top five communication methods employed by banksmen include:
- Hand Signals: Hand signals are a fundamental and widely used communication method. Banksmen use a set of standardised hand signals to guide vehicle operators in various manoeuvres, such as stopping, reversing, turning, and approaching.
- Two-Way Radios: Two-way radios or walkie-talkies allow banksmen to maintain direct and real-time communication with vehicle operators. This method is beneficial when verbal communication is necessary or when distances between the bankman and the operator are significant.
- High-Visibility Clothing and Flags: Banksmen often wear high-visibility clothing and use flags, such as red and green flags, to signal instructions to vehicle operators. These flags are easily visible, especially in low-light conditions.
- Light Signals: In situations where hand signals are insufficient, banksmen may use high-intensity spotlights or light wands to direct vehicle operators, especially in low-light conditions or when working with large equipment.
- Verbal Commands: Banksmen may use verbal commands and instructions to guide vehicle operators. Clear and concise spoken communication can be essential, especially when immediate action is required.
Why is Banksman Training Important?
Banksman training equips individuals with the necessary skills to effectively and safely guide workplace vehicle operators. It helps ensure safe operations and minimises the risks associated with manoeuvring large vehicles.
Training educates banksmen on their duties and responsibilities, up-to-date regulations, sources of risk, potential causes of accidents, and safety measures. Participants also learn correct procedures for guiding vehicles and ways to communicate instructions effectively to drivers.
A banksman plays an important role in promoting safety within various work settings. Their primary responsibility involves guiding and directing the movement of vehicles and machinery.Their contribution is essential in enhancing workplace safety and efficiency wherever mobile equipment and vehicles are in operation.