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Banksmen/Signaller act as the ears and eyes of vehicle drivers and plant operators. A banksman is responsible for directing the movement of vehicles on or around a site. The role is critical to on-site health and safety and the provision of safe systems of work.

Average salaries are in the region of £22,000.00 to £25,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Banksmen/Signallers are the ears and eyes of vehicle drivers and plant operators on site.

What they do

A banksman is responsible for directing the movement of vehicles on or around a site. They provide assistance and direction to plant operations, which is critical for on-site health and safety.

The constant movement of heavy plant and vehicles means that a construction site is a potentially dangerous working environment. Any accident is one too many and it's the job of the banksman to make sure that everyday operations are carried out safely.

Ideally, traffic movement and operations involving plant will be arranged in such a way as to minimise the possible risk to personnel and other equipment.

Where this isn’t possible, the banksman/signaller will act as the eyes and ears of the driver and plant operators, communicating and instructing verbally or when required by means of radio and/or pre-arranged hand signals.

Many operations – such as vehicles reversing, manoeuvring in confined spaces or plant operations including excavations, road construction, filling areas and piling– have to be carried out in conditions where the view of the driver or operator is partially or entirely obstructed. It is therefore essential that the banksman is competent and can remain alert at all times.

As a Banksman/Signaller, you would be: 

  • Directing movement of vehicles on a work site
  • Recommending and laying out safe on-site traffic systems
  • Keeping people and vehicles apart
  • Providing clear, correct and safe directions to plant operators
  • Communicating with drivers and plant operators verbally and by radio and/or industry standard hand signals
  • Understanding risks (e.g. blind spots) and how to manage these effectively
  • Managing traffic to avoid excessive queuing

Hours & Salary

  • Newly trained banksmen/signaller can earn in the region of £20,000-£22,000
  • Trained with experience banksmen/signaller can earn in the region of £22,000-£50,000

Salaries, allowances, hourly rates and bonuses typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. 

This role typically invloves working standard site hours (usually around 40 hours per week). But you may have to also work in the evening and at the weekend, depending on the project and the workload. 

Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Mythbusters

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Qualifications & Training

What qualifications or subjects do I need for this role?

There are no formal academic qualifications necessary to become a banksman/signaller. Good communication skills are generally considered as valuable as academic qualifications.

Can I get training for this job?

Initial training for these positions is generally on the job under supervision, but most employers will look for evidence of formal training such as the following courses run by the CITB:

  • Safe Working Practices Around Construction Plant Equipment
  • NVQ level 2 in Plant operations Direct, Guide and Control the movement of Plant

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Total Jobs


The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

2460 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 2460 Plant Operatives (which includes banksmen) between 2017 - 2021. The highest demand for these construction jobs will be in Yorkshire & Humber and Northern Ireland, followed by Greater London, Wales and Scotland.

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