A banksman or signaller is a person who oversees the operations of cranes at a particular site. Since the cranes and large vehicles may not be visible from the loading dock, the banksmen are employed to manage the related activities. In most civil engineering departments, banksmen are called reversing assistants.
Banksmen carry out various tasks, including supervising the loading areas, assisting in loading and unloading activities, and managing site traffic. Therefore, signaller needs to be thorough, pay attention to detail, accept criticism, work well under pressure, know transport methods, costs, and benefits.
Banksman needs to have patience and remain calm in stressful situations and work well with others.
This position demands a flexible and open person to change and physical skills like movement, coordination, agility, grace, and public safety and security knowledge.
Managing Traffic at Loading Docks
Banksmen are responsible for the traffic management of loading areas. They look after and direct the flow of traffic and movement of vehicles at the site. Moreover, as the sites are usually crowded with vehicles and related activities, the banksmen greatly assist crane drivers in unloading and reversing. Hence, banksman plays an important role in the efficient execution of site operations.
In the video below, you can watch 17 minutes of Banksman training:
Supervision of Loading Areas
Besides maintaining traffic control, a banksman is required to supervise the loading docks. They keep a constant check on the bucket and inspect the adjacent area for any underground utilities. In addition, the banksmen ensure that the area is free from every sort of obstruction.
Here, they may run the risk of an unnoticeable reversing vehicle. So, it is necessary to put a safety system for banksman’s safety, specifically if they oversee the loading sites and bucket work.
Assisting Loading/Unloading Activities
Banksmen generally help in unloading and loading cranes and similar vehicles. However, there are times when the goods are surplus and can’t be tackled well without extra help. Likewise, banksmen also assist in directing the movement of plant machines at the site.
How to Become a Banksman?
To become a banksman in the US, you need any authorized training certification and signaller training. In the UK, you need additionally 5 GSCE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). In the next step, you need to look for job offers in the construction market.
Difference between banksman and rigger
A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist, or move in general and a banksman or signaller is a person who oversees the operations of cranes at a particular site.