A banksman, or a traffic marshal, is a trained competent person whose responsibility is to prevent accidents from the movement of vehicles. Being hit by moving vehicles is the second biggest safety associate killer within the construction sector. As the construction sector already involves high risk, there has to be careful consideration to tackle the activities on site. Hiring a vehicle banksman is highly recommended by the HSE.
A banksman will usually be positioned to receive an unhindered view of the vehicle operator and the load to provide careful instructions to the operators of heavy machinery and vehicles. Banksmen recognise dangerous areas on the site where mobility can be difficult. They responsibly manage traffic in and around the site, and assure the public’s safety if vehicles are to move across risky areas.
A banksman communicates with the driver through predetermined signals or radio, informing the driver of what is happening around the vehicle. The main duty of a banksman is to direct the movement of vehicles on and around sites. Statistics have shown that nearly 25% of the deaths involving large vehicles at work occur during reversing, which can be avoided by hiring a banksman. In addition to the loss of lives and injuries, there can also be significant and expensive damage on-site if vehicles move uncontrollably. A banksman ensures that these accidents do not occur. Banksmen are crucial in busy warehouses and construction sites.
Overall, the duties of banksmen include:
- Controlling the smooth flow of all vehicle traffic on site.
- Directing trucks into appropriate spaces for loading and unloading.
- Supervising the movements of cranes and keeping hazards out of the way.
- Avoiding queuing by managing traffic.
- Providing plant operators with concise and safe directions.
- Directing pedestrians away from traffic areas in case of accidents.
- Coordinating with team members for safe and smooth operations.
- Reducing risks to personnel and equipment.
Accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, and infrastructure are extremely common in the logistics industry. These risks cannot be overlooked.
We have banksmen with CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) accreditation.
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Banksmen manage the traffic of loading docks. They are responsible for overseeing and supervising the movement of vehicles on the site. Furthermore, banksmen provide crane drivers with assistance in reversing and unloading as these sites are generally crowded with vehicles and other related activities.
A banksman also oversees loading docks besides controlling the traffic. They keep a constant watch over the site and inspect the adjacent surroundings to ensure that the area is free of all obstructions.
Banksmen usually help in loading and unloading cranes or similar vehicles. They also assist in directing plant machines on the site.
A banksman’s duties also include preventing injuries and accidents on site. This is achieved by following strict guidelines while operating cranes. For example, it is crucial to stand in clear view of the crane operator, to ensure that there are no people or dangerous objects in the operating area, and to display one signal at a time to prevent confusion.
When a banksman assists a crane operator or vehicle driver, the following guidelines must be followed:
- A clear system of signalling must be followed.
- The banksman always be visible to the driver, and the driver must immediately stop when they are not able to see the banksman.
- The banksman must guide the vehicle from a safe position without being in its way.
- The banksman must wear suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) like hi-vis jacket, helmet, etc.
A banksman keeps pedestrians away from moving vehicles. While vehicles move around unsegregated pedestrian areas, the risks of accidents are heightened and additional precautions need to be taken, especially in poor lighting. A trained banksman can efficiently manage this situation, making them a significant safety asset on these sites.