Planing Industry Best Practises

Core Manning levels

Core manning levels are the minimum number of people required to operate the machine in ideal conditions. Consideration must be given to the working environment which may increase the number of operatives required.

A risk assessment should be undertaken for each site and include but not limited to:

Access and egress arrangements, vehicle movements, Pedestrian management, overhead and underground services. Ironwork, material to be planed, water course, volume of material to be removed, location of welfare facilities.

2m Machines (older type eg W2100, 2200) - 3+1  

2m Machines (new type eg W200, 210,220,250) – 2+1

W150 – 1+1              

For all other machines between 1.2m and 0.5m both tracked and wheeled - 1+1


Note – For all machines, Communication Headsets should be worn by all operatives 

NB:  The ( +1 ) indicates a Banksman



  • High Viz jackets and Trousers complying to BS EN 471 Class 3
  • Safety Helmets at all times
  • Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Safety boots with metatarsal protection (Wagon / Sweeper drivers may have ankle laced)
  • Banksman should use specialist torch in Hours of darkness
  • Adequate respiratory protection based on material to be planed


Fire Protection

Appropriate “in date” extinguishers should be available for all Planers.


First Aid

Fully stocked First Aid Kits should be available with each Planer crew.

Trained First Aider should be available in each Planer crew.

Appropriate Welfare facilities should be provided for site operatives.



CSCS card with Appropriate Planing category on the reverse. With this card they should have achieved or be working towards an NVQ level 2

Sweeper Drivers – minimum CSCS with Gully sucking endorsement on reverse

MPQC (EPIC) competency card ( most main contractors now want this)

Wagon Drivers – apart from their legal requirement should now hold a CSCS card that will entitle them to be on site. (check CSCS website)


Site Induction

All members should ask for Site Induction from the Main Contractor with special reference to Overhead and Underground services.

Inductions should be given to all your sub contractors/hauliers

Risk Assessment

The simple approach to Site Specific Risk assessments is highlighted on the HSE website there are five basic steps.

1.Identify the hazards

2.Decide who might be harmed and how

3.Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

4.Record your findings and implement. This can be done, dependant on the severity of the findings, on the time sheet, F’man or supervisors diary, but should always be communicated to the MC even if it is only “for the record”. Obviously if it’s deemed serious eg GS6 situation without the paperwork, don’t start.

5.Review your assessment and update if necessary


Train your F/Men and Supervisors to carry out this process along side your generic RA’s and you should be able to conform with “Best Practice” and give more protection to your operatives.

It is always best to ask the basic question “WHAT IF”?



  • Fitted with working reversing colour camera to the rear of the vehicle, including two high level mounted working lights and or night vision in cab.    
  • Fitted with working audible reverse white noise alarm (which operates when vehicle road lights are on) to provde audible warning to pedestrians when reversing.
  • Fitted with working reversing lights
  • Fitted with 360 degree visibility flashing beacons to assist safe access/ egress and manoeuvring on site and conspicuous in colour
  • Fitted with good peripheral vision mirrors to enable all round visibility, particularly across the front of the cab and along each side
  • Fitted with proximity reversing sensors (Brigade type or equivalent) which are capable of detecting an object a minimum of  5m away within its line of travel, and sounding an audible alarm in the cab of the vehicle
  • Fitted with dual sweep unit – to enable access and reduce need for turning.
  • The rear of the vehicle must be fitted with clean reflective chevrons which shall cover as much of the rear as practicable and have “Highways Maintenance” sign prominently displayed


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