How to Become a Slinger Signaller

How to Become a Slinger Signaller

Slinger Signallers provide safe direction to the crane operators

The slinger signaller has a vital role to play on a construction site, providing essential safety directions and supervising lifts. The slinger signaller works closely with and alongside lifting teams.

This is a highly responsible job since the slinger signaller is acting as the eyes and ears of the crane operator. To become a slinger signaller, you need to take the necessary slinger signaller training course.

Site managers, contractors, and other employers will require you to meet stringent health and safety standards. Although a slinger signaller course is not compulsory, for all practical purposes, you will need to show proof of training for someone to employ you in this role on a site.

What Does a Slinger Signaller Do?

The slinger signaller plays an important part in helping the construction site to run safely and efficiently.

The slinger signaller works very closely with crane operators to help them to operate their equipment and carry out their role safely.

The role of the slinger signaller is to communicate with crane operators from on the ground, using hand signals, batons, or radio equipment, depending on which mode of communication is most appropriate at the time.

When a crane operator is seated in the crane, they do not have a clear view of what is going on down on the ground. The slinger signaller’s role is to act as their eyes and their ears on the ground and provide them with clear directions when they are lifting and moving heavy loads.

It is also the slinger signaller’s responsibility to decide whether conditions are too hazardous to safely continue crane operations and to halt them if so.

The main responsibilities of a slinger signaller include:

· Directing crane operators from ground level using hand signals.

· Halting crane operations if they deem conditions to be too hazardous.

· Attaching and detaching the load from the lifting equipment.

· Understanding lifting risks and how to manage them effectively.

· Minimising risk to equipment and people working on the site.

· Ensure load balance and security.

· Undertake all pre-use lifting equipment checks.

· Select appropriate lifting equipment and accessories for the job.

Slinger signallers are required to have excellent observation and communication skills to help them to carry out their role effectively and ensure the safety of construction staff and site visitors working with and alongside lifting equipment.

How Do You Become a Slinger Signaller?

If you wish to pursue a career working in construction as a slinger signaller then you will need to first complete an accredited training course.

The two most widely recognised awarding bodies for slinger signaller training are the CPCS and NPORS.

Although it is not compulsory by law to hold a qualification to work as a slinger signaller, you will struggle to find employment in the role without a relevant qualification.

This is because construction sites are required to ensure that the people they employ can safely operate equipment according to the relevant regulations and meet health and safety standards.

Slinger signaller training is offered by professional construction training providers like our team here at SB Skills or occasionally offered in-house by some organisations.

Once you have completed a relevant qualification, you will be able to apply for an industry Red Trained Operator Card which acts as proof of your competence in the role. Armed with this card you can begin to apply for jobs as a slinger signaller.

How Much Does a Slinger Signaller Earn?

The average salary for a slinger signaller is a little over £31,000 a year, according to current statistics. But salaries will vary, with the nationally advertised average above this figure.

Most slinger signaller jobs are in trade and construction, logistics, and warehousing.

What Qualifications Does a Slinger Signaller Need?

There are several accredited training options for someone wanting to become a Slinger/Signaller. The most popular ones are the CPCS Slinger Signaller course and the NPORS Slinger Signaller course.

By taking an accredited course, you will be able to demonstrate to prospective employers that you have the necessary skills for the job.

Construction sites must make sure that their workers follow HSE guidelines for handling and operating equipment safely, and this applies to the slinger signaller role too.

Therefore, the basic qualification you will require to work as a slinger signaller is the Red trained Operator Card or in-house Certification.

You may also wish to consider obtaining a relevant NVQ, which is the Level 2 NVQ in Controlling Lifting Operations – Slinger Signaller.

It also means you can qualify for a Blue Competent Operator card.

Before you take either a CPCS or NPORS accredited slinger signaller course, you will need to have passed the HS&E (Health, Safety and Environment) test for Operatives within the past two years.

This course ensures that you meet a minimum level of health, safety, and environmental awareness before you work on a live construction site.

What Will You Learn on a Slinger Signaller Course?

The slinger signaller must be able to direct a crane operator, who is likely to have an obstructed view of their surroundings, so they need a slinger signaller to communicate via a series of hand signals to assist with manoeuvres.

The Level 2 NVQ in Controlling Lifting Operations – Slinger/Signaller covers the following topics:

  • How to attach and prepare suspended loads for movement
  • Guiding, positioning and placing these loads
  • How to conform to general workplace health, safety and welfare
  • Following productive workplace practices.

The slinger signaller uses special, precise hand signals, which the crane operator can understand easily and clearly. The standard hand signals follow the BS 7121 code of practice for the safe use of cranes.

On a CPCS Slinger/Signaller A40 course or NPORS Slinger/Signaller N402 course, you will learn what these safety signs and signals are. You can book a Slinger/Signaller course on our training calendar.

A slinger signaller may also need to use other methods of communication, depending on site conditions and circumstances. Where poor weather conditions affect visibility, they can use high-visibility gloves or batons when making signals.

They will also be using two-way radios frequently to communicate with crane operators and other people on the construction site.

Slinger signallers must check various types of lifting equipment, such as slings and hooks. It is vital that they inspect this equipment for any damage before operations can commence.

Without these essential checks, injuries, or even fatalities, could occur if an operation goes wrong due to faulty or damaged lifting accessories.

A course will give you a thorough grounding and understanding in all aspects of the slinger signaller role, including:

  • The correct hand signals for communication, that have been approved and pre-arranged
  • Relevant regulations affecting the slinger signaller job role
  • The legal responsibilities of a slinger signaller
  • Operational requirements of lifting tasks
  • Equipment features and how to use the equipment safely
  • Checking lifting equipment
  • Correct manoeuvring procedures
  • What the main causes of accidents are
  • How to prevent these accidents.

The course objectives are to deliver a level of training to candidates that will give them the accreditation they need to then get a job in this role.

How Long Does a Slinger Signaller Qualification Last?

The length of time that a slinger signaller qualification is valid for depends on whether or not the operator also holds a relevant NVQ.

Those who pass a slinger signaller training course but don’t yet hold a relevant NVQ will receive a Trained Operator Card which is valid for two years. Before the two years is up, they will be required to pass a relevant NVQ.

Once the relevant NVQ has also been achieved, the operator will be able to apply for their Competent Operator Card which is valid for five years.

Why is Slinger Signaller Training Important?

Even though slinger signallers do not operate the equipment, they require the right training to ensure that they can perform their role to high professional standards, because they have a responsible role supporting the lifting equipment operator.

Slinger/signallers must have excellent observation skills and concentration, and they need to have a proper understanding of all health, safety and environmental issues connected with their role and their place of work.

Without the support and guidance of the slinger signaller, the crane operator cannot perform their role safely, because they will not have a full view of everything around them.

When the crane operator has obstructed views, this has the potential to compromise general site safety, and increases the risks involved in loading and lifting.

The safety of others, therefore, rests on the actions of the slinger signaller.

Employers and co-workers value this role highly, because of high levels of risk it involves, and its central importance in ensuring site safety.

For more information about slinger/signaller training courses, please check out our FAQs. If you are looking for accredited slinger signaller training, please contact the team at SB Skills Solutions Ltd on 01695 558420 or complete our online contact form, and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible

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