Banksmen and Slingers

All banksmen or slingers should be trained and authorised.  Use only slings and lifting gear provided by your employer or crane operator’s lifting equipment verified by your employer.

Loads should be landed onto suitable bearers to avoid damage to lifting gear and to facilitate its removal.  Make sure the right pin is used in all shackles and that the pin is properly screwed home.

All hooks must either be an approved ‘C’ type or fitted with an effect safety catch to prevent displacement of the lifting gear.  Always see that the crane hook is centrally placed over the load to prevent swinging when the load is being raised.

When signalling, stand where you can see the load clearly and where the crane operator can see you.  Wherever possible face the operator.  Ensure that the load is lifted off the ground to see that it is free from obstructions and correctly slung before hoisting.

When the crane is travelling, ensure that you signal to the operator to warn him of obstructions on the route or awkward corners.  When not in use store your gear tidily off the ground.  This will prevent it being run over by others and damaged.


  • Check lifting gear daily and examine all wire ropes at frequent intervals for kinks, frays and projecting needles
  • Protect wire ropes and slings from the sharp edges of the load with soft wood or other suitable packaging
  • Take your hands away from chains and ropes before the crane takes the load and stand well clear
  • Back sling hooks when no load is carried
  • Keep all persons not involved in the lifting operation away from the immediate vicinity by the use of signs and barriers
  • Make your signals clearly and distinctly and always use the approved Code Signals
  • Wear a safety helmet and where necessary high visibility clothing


  • Do not allow lifting gear to be used for other purposes, eg towing
  • Riding on loads is strictly prohibited
  • Never tie knots in chains to shorten them – get shorter slings
  • No lifting gear must be used unless its safe working load is marked. The combined weight of load to be lifted and lifting gear must never exceed the safe working load of the crane
  • When the crane is operating, do not leave the area unless you have been relieved by a trained deputy

Never use improvised slings or a single leg of a multiple leg sling

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