Introduction to the Role of a Banksman

A banksman plays a vital role in the safe manoeuvring of vehicles, particularly large commercial ones such as lorries, by providing precise guidance and directions to drivers. This is especially critical during reversing operations where visibility and space constraints pose significant risks.

Key Responsibilities and Safety Protocols

Ensuring the safety of the surroundings during vehicle manoeuvres is a primary responsibility of the banksman. They must maintain clear, continuous communication with the driver, using established hand signals. The banksman should always be in the driver’s line of sight, and the driver must stop immediately if this visual contact is lost.

Before any manoeuvre, the banksman should assess the area for hazards, ensuring it’s free from obstacles and appropriately cordoned off. They need to be strategically positioned to have a full view of the vehicle’s path and remain visible to the driver.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Both the banksman and driver must wear appropriate PPE to enhance safety. The banksman should don high-visibility clothing and sturdy footwear, while the driver might require additional protective gear like a hard hat, depending on the environment.

Training and Competence

Effective training is crucial for a banksman. They must be well-versed in safe vehicle handling, familiar with standard signalling protocols, and aware of potential hazards. Regular training updates are necessary to ensure continued compliance with HSE guidelines and industry best practices.

Supplementary Safety MeasuresBeyond direct human guidance, other tools and technologies play a significant role in ensuring safety. The use of CCTV, mirrors, and clear signage enhances visibility and situational awareness. Planning and communication are integral to the process, and a cautious approach is always advised. If there’s any doubt during a manoeuvre, the protocol is to stop immediately and reassess the situation.


The banksman’s role is critical in managing vehicle movements in UK workplaces. Adhering to HSE guidelines, ensuring proper training, and using additional safety tools are essential for minimising risks associated with vehicle manoeuvres, particularly in reversing large commercial vehicles like lorries. A proactive approach to safety and continuous training are key to maintaining a safe working environment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.