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What’s the difference between a banksman and a slinger?

Construction vehicle

In construction, the banksman and the slinger signaller both play an important part in minimising risk and making the building site a safer place to work.

In this article, we will look at the key differences and similarities between a banksman and a slinger on a construction site.

What is a banksman?

Building sites use many different types of heavy machinery and vehicles to transport people and building materials around the site and help with construction jobs.

Just a few of the different types of construction vehicle that you may find on a building site include cranes, excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks.

The role of a banksman is to provide safe directions to these vehicles as they move around the construction site.

A banksman works alongside vehicle drivers and plant operators on a building site to layout safe traffic systems, communicate clearly to direct the movement of vehicles and manage traffic on the site. It is the banksman’s responsibility to understand the hazards and risks involved with on-site vehicles and carry out their duties to minimise risk to equipment and people working on the site.

What is a slinger signaller?

A slinger signaller is very similar to a banksman, but their role is involved specifically with the lifting team and crane operators.

The main responsibility of a slinger signaller is to provide clear directions to crane operators during lifting operations.

When sitting in a crane’s cab, the operator only has a restricted view of what is going on down on the ground. The slinger signaller acts as their eyes and ears down on the ground, communicating clear directions to them, usually using standardised hand signals, to help them to safely lift, move, and set down the crane’s load.

Just like the banksman, the slinger must have an excellent understanding of the hazards and risks involved when carrying out lifting operations. It is their responsibility to identify potential hazards with lifting operations and minimise risk to look after the safety of the people and equipment on the building site.

Is a slinger signaller a banksman?

You will find that there is generally a lot of overlap between the two job titles with slinger signallers sometimes referred to by both terms.

If you look up the definition of a banksman in the dictionary it says ‘a worker at a building site who supervises the use of vehicles and heavy machinery.’ Both roles meet this requirement, so you could say that a slinger signaller is in fact a type of banksman.

However, when you look at the duties that each role is responsible for carrying out, you will usually find that a banksman is involved in directing more general traffic on the building site whereas the sling signaller is a more specialist role that works with the lifting team.

If you are looking for novice training on slinger signaller, browse our course calendar for upcoming CPCS A40a Slinger/Signaller or NPORS N402 Slinger/Signaller Novice courses.

For further help or advice understanding the differences between a banksman and a slinger, get in touch with our team here at SB Skills by giving us a call on 01695 558 420.

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