Banksman Instructors Help Staff to Put a Stop to Reversing Vehicle Incidents

Despite the use of cameras, sensors and alarms, reversing goods vehicles (lorries and vans) pose a significant risk to pedestrians, which is why reversing vehicle operations still need well-trained Banksmen, or Reversing Assistants. To make training easier, more companies are choosing to train their own in-house Banksman Instructors and here’s why.

Reversing vehicles are a risk for any business using trucks and vans  -  accidents are statistically far more common than you’d think.

Reversing vehicles accidents statistics

In October 2018, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published new statistics showing that 10% of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace are caused by moving vehicles. This for thousands of injuries every year, many of which are due to reversing lorries and are often easily preventable. What’s more, an alarming 18% of all workplace deaths are caused by moving vehicles.

Large fines awarded against negligent companies

The damage caused from lack of training and awareness around moving trucks is not only limited to people, vehicles, equipment and premises, it could also incur extremely heavy fines for businesses.

For example, investigations by the HSE have recently resulted in one business being fined £1m and ordered to pay costs of £130,000, after a worker was killed by a reversing vehicle. They were found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The man, a refuse ‘loader’ suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by his own driver colleague reversing the refuse collection vehicle (RCV), whilst he was walking across the depot yard. An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found that multiple vehicles including RCV’s and articulated lorries, were manoeuvring around the yard with no specific controls. The business had also failed to adequately assess the risks associated with moving vehicles within the yard and had not applied any industry recognised control measures in order to protect pedestrians.

In summing up, the judge highlighted several measures that would have “significantly reduced” the chances of the accident happening, one of which included recruiting a designated yard marshal.

Trained Banksman and Reversing Assistants help reduce the risk of reversing incidents

Banksmen support truck drivers when manoeuvring lorries around a site and play a huge part in preventing reversing LGV/HGV accidents and heightening overall site safety. Banksman is the job title that is often given as an additional responsibility to an employee’s main role, which could be loading and unloading stock for example.

The Banksman gives drivers clear instructions, using a system of agreed hand signals, and radios are often used. There must be a level of understanding and trust on both sides, so that they are able to work together to keep the operation running safely and efficiently. A Banksman will generally work in tandem with other safety measures, such as reversing alarms and lights fitted to the trucks, fixed mirrors, supervision and designated pedestrian and LGV areas.

Because the Banksman has a big responsibility working in close proximity to vehicles, professional training is vital for equipping them with important skills.

In-house Banksman Instructors – the benefits

Banksman training is often better received when delivered by a trusted, already known colleague and in a familiar environment. Furthermore, by carrying out your Banksman training in-house, you’re able to benefit from reduced costs as all training is carried out by your staff, on your premises. This also helps to enhance business efficiency.

With Banksman Instructor Training from the RTITB Instructor Academy, you can carry out training at your own site, and ensure that the training provided to all your Banksman is of a consistently high standard.

The RTITB Banksman Instructor training course takes between one to three days (depending on experience) and provides candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver vehicle banksman training courses in a safe, effective and efficient manner. 

To successfully qualify, the candidates must pass an objective examination consisting of a theory test covering yard shunting best practice and regulations plus instructional techniques,practical lesson delivery, and classroom lesson delivery, carried out by an RTITB examiner.

Delivering Banksman Training

On completion of the course candidates will be capable of planning and delivering safe and effective banksman training (typically a half to full-day course), as well as recalling and discussing the role and responsibilities of an instructor.

The RTITB Banksman Instructor training course topics include Reversing, Communication, Banksman Signals, Potential Hazards, Driver’s Field of View, and much more.

Qualifying as a Banksman instructor will be a real achievement for your employees, and successful candidates are eligible to register on the RTITB Register of Professional Instructors, which offers a variety of benefits to both the individual, as well as to your business. For example, proof that you hold a highly sought after, professional training qualification and comply with guidance set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  Once qualified as an instructor, the materials required to deliver future Banksman/Reversing Assistant training are included freewith the course. See a sample of our training material for Commercial Vehicle Banksman here.

Book a place now on the RTITB Banksman Instructor Training Course, or for more information please contact us.

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