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The Crucial Role of Banksman in UK Councils: Ensuring Safety and Efficiency

Blogs | 20th Jul 2023

In the UK, local councils play a critical role in managing and maintaining public spaces, roads, and infrastructure. Councils rely on fleets made up of a number of different vehicle types.  To carry out these operations safely and efficiently, reversing assistants are crucial. In this blog, we explain why.

Keeping Public Spaces Safe

Councils are responsible for the safety of public spaces. These include parks, pedestrian zones, and event venues. When it comes to activities such as transportation of equipment and materials in these areas, vehicles will be needed. Here, a reversing assistant – also known as a banksman – plays a vital role in supporting safety.

A reversing assistant acts as a signaller. They are trained to manage and direct vehicle movements on sites and other busy areas. They communicate with LGV/HGV drivers using hand signals or radio communication to guide them safely. This helps prevent accidents and collisions.

Reversing assistants use their expertise to assess potential hazards. As well as provide clear instructions to drivers. Plus ensuring pedestrians and other workers are kept safe in public spaces. Councils will also use reversing assistants for waste collection activities for the same reasons.

Safe and Efficient Traffic Management

Council operations also include traffic management. This includes road maintenance and event management. Here a reversing assistant (banksman’s) role is facilitating efficient traffic management. This helps minimise disruptions and maintain smooth traffic flow.

The reversing assistant is essential for guiding traffic safely around the work area. A reversing assistant also helps manage road closures, diversions, and parking arrangements. This ensures smooth traffic operations.

Enhancing Safety for Council Workers

Council workers who are involved in manual or machinery-intensive tasks, such as waste collection, road repairs, or infrastructure maintenance, face potential risks in their work environment.  A reversing assistant helps support workplace safety for these council workers. The reversing assistant helps in manoeuvring vehicles and equipment safely. Ensuring that workers are not at risk of being struck. They provide clear instructions to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries. Banksmen also help to identify hazards and implement necessary safety measures. Such as wearing PPE, to create a safer working environment.

Meeting Health and Safety Regulations

Councils in the UK are required to comply with strict health and safety regulations to ensure the wellbeing of their employees and the public. A reversing assistant’s role is crucial in meeting these regulations and maintaining a safe working environment.

Reversing assistant training typically includes health and safety regulations and practices. This includes the proper use of signals, equipment, and PPE. This helps council operations to comply with relevant guidelines and standards. This minimises the risk of accidents, injuries, and potential legal liabilities. And shows their commitment to keeping their people, and the public, safe.

What training does a Reversing Assistant need?

Sometimes people see the role of a Reversing Assistant as “waving a driver in the right direction”. They assume that anyone can do it. However, it is a high risk role that comes with big responsibility. The correct Banksman training is vital for safety and efficiency when large vehicles are reversing.

A fully trained Banksman will be competent and responsible to safely guide vehicles where they need to go. To do the role, they need a varied range of skills and knowledge. For example Reversing, Communication, Banksman Signals, Potential Hazards, Driver’s Field of View, and much more.

Who can provide Banksman or Reversing Assistant training?

For many councils, carrying out their own Reversing Assistant training in-house will be time and cost efficient.  Banksman Instructor Training from the RTITB Instructor Academy enables you to bring expertise in house, rather than relying on outsourced training. This means you can conduct Reversing Assistant training at your own sites. And be confident that the training provided is of a consistently high standard. All those attending our Banksman Instructor course are supplied RTITB course content and training materials that they can use.

To find out more about how Reversing Assistant training and Banksman Instructor training can help reduce your council’s risk of reversing LGV/HGV accidents, find out more here or contact us.