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Section 5 - Vehicle movements

Check that the need for REVERSING is kept to a minimum, and where reversing is necessary that it is undertaken safely and in safe areas

Have drive-through, one-way systems been used, wherever possible to reduce the need for reversing?
Where reversing areas are needed, are they marked to be clear to both drivers and pedestrians?

Are non-essential personnel excluded from areas where reversing occurs?

Reversing areas should be planned out and clearly marked, and should be very clear to drivers and other people.  Areas can be marked out on the ground, and with clear signs to stop pedestrians.

The site layout should make sure that pedestrians keep well clear of reversing vehicles.

Reversing should only take place where there is enough light for drivers and pedestrians to see clearly what is happening.

Segregating pedestrians and vehicles, and improving the ability of the driver to see around the vehicle from the driving position, are more effective ways of improving pedestrian safety during reversing.

Where vehicles reverse up to structures or edges (for example, loading, delivery or parking areas), barriers, buffers, bollards and wheel stops can be used to warn drivers that they need to stop.  Even if a collision does happen, these measures can help prevent more serious injury or structural damage.  They should be highly visible, and sensibly positioned. Need to ensure that pedestrians are kept out of the area to avoid crushing. Flexible barriers may be an option and can prevent damage to vehicles.
If risk assessment shows site controls cannot be improved further and you need a banksman to direct reversing vehicles, are they adequately trained and visible?

You should only consider employing a banksman or signaller where there is no other way to control reversing risks.

The employer whose premises are being used may need to consider providing a competent and authorised banksman and must make sure that the correct signals are used.  Whatever signals are going to be used, banksmen and drivers should clearly agree before guided manoeuvring begins.

  • To do their job, banksmen have to stand close (but in a safe position) to where a vehicle is reversing, which can put them at risk.  All employees involved in guiding vehicles should be trained as appropriate, especially new employees, who may have used a different system before.

Banksmen need to be visible to drivers at all times

In some circumstances, employers do not allow banksmen to be used due to the size of vehicles involved and the difficulty that drivers have in seeing them.   If drivers are not able to see clearly (or lose sight of a banksman) behind the vehicle for any reason, they should apply the brakes and stop the engine immediately, leave the cab and check behind the vehicle before reversing.  In a busy place this precaution may not be enough, because people can move behind a vehicle after the driver has returned to the cab.  Segregating pedestrians and vehicles, and improving the ability of the driver to see around the vehicle from the driving position, are more effective ways of improving pedestrian safety during reversing.

Precautions for visibility should include the following:

  • High-visibility equipment (vests, arm or cuff bands, gloves, bats, batons or flags).  Banksmen are sometimes given a high-visibility vest of a different colour to other site workers, to help distinguish them;
  • Vehicle and site-fixed visibility aids (such as mirrors).
  • Portable radios or similar communication systems can be helpful,
  • In low-light conditions adequate lighting should be provided.

For more information see -

Updated 2013-12-23