Safety Topic - Vehicle Safety: Backing Up
9/15/2016 2:04:53 PM

Vehicle safety is important to all parts of life including your personal and work experiences. Backing up vehicles can be a major concern on job sites and around town since it is often hard to see people who are in the area. Moreover, school is back in session so it is even more important to watch for children in the pick-up and drop-off areas.

According to OSHA, from 2005 to 2010, dump trucks, semi-trailers, trucks, forklifts, garbage trucks and pickup trucks were involved in nearly 200 workplace backover deaths. The Safety and Health Magazine offers this description for a backover incident: "occurs when a backing vehicle hits a worker who is standing, walking or kneeling behind the vehicle.”

OSHA offers the following examples for back-over prevention methods:

Spotters: Using a spotter has been proven to keep workers safe. However, spotters also are in danger of being hit by a backing vehicle. Several steps can be taken to help keep workers safe.

· Before work begins, drivers and spotters should agree on hand signals.

· Ensure spotters always have visual contact with the driver when a vehicle is in motion.

· Ensure drivers know to stop immediately if they lose sight of a spotter.

· Do not give additional duties to spotters.

· Do not allow spotters to use mobile devices or personal headphones when working.

· Provide high-visibility clothing for spotters, especially when working at night.

Cameras: OSHA states that most vehicles can accommodate a camera to provide drivers with a view to the rear and other blind spots. When equipping vehicles with cameras, it is important to consider the environment operators work in. Some construction sites and mines may require more rugged cameras, and vehicles such as dump trucks may need two or more cameras to monitor blind spots.

Proximity detection systems: These systems use radar and ultrasonic technology to bounce a signal off an object. The system then alerts the vehicle operator with a visual or audio warning that an object is in the way.

Internal traffic control plan: Create a plan to coordinate the flow of moving equipment, workers and vehicles to help minimize the number of times workers and vehicles cross paths. According to OSHA, these plans can significantly reduce and even eliminate the need for vehicles to back up on a jobsite.

These tips can also be used for personal driving around schools. Schools usually have a traffic control plan for dropping off and picking up students. When you are in doubt, stop and ask for assistance in watching for who is around your vehicle.

Make it a safe day!

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