According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70 workers died from backover incidents in 2011. These kinds of incidents can occur in many different ways. There are many solutions that can be implemented to prevent these types of incidents:
Spotters: Spotters are proven to protect workers on foot behind vehicles with an obstructed view. However spotters are also at risk of injury or death. Implement the below controls to keep spotters safe and assist in preventing backovers:
- Ensure that spotters and drivers agree on hand signals before backing up.
- Instruct spotters to always maintain visual contact with the driver while the vehicle is backing.
- Instruct drivers to stop backing immediately if they lose sight of the spotter.
- Not give spotters additional duties while they are acting as spotters.
- Instruct spotters not to use personal mobile phones, personal headphones, or other items which could pose a distraction during spotting activities.
- Provide spotters with high-visibility clothing, especially during night operations.