Safety Tip of the Week – Preventing Backovers

Backover incidents are not infrequent. They occur when a vehicle is in the action of backing up and strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind the vehicle.

How Do Backover Incidents Occur?

Backover accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Drivers don’t see a worker in their blind spot;
  • Workers don’t hear backup alarms;
  • A spotter assisting one truck doesn’t see another truck behind him;
  • Workers fall off vehicles and are backed over; and
  • Drivers assume areas are clear and don’t look to confirm.

Sometimes, it is just unclear why a worker was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the path of a backing vehicle. Could be a combination of issues that result in this tragedy!

What Can Be Done?

  • USE A SPOTTER to help the driver when they are backing up their vehicles;
  • USE TECHNOLOGY – use video cameras with in-vehicle display monitors for a better behind view. Proximity detection devices, such as radar and sonar, can alert drivers to objects that are behind them;
  • USE A TAG-BASED SYSTEM to alert the driver when someone is behind the vehicle, and they can communicate with the employee wearing the tag;
  • CREATE A TRAFFIC CONTROL PLAN telling drivers where to drive and reduce the need to back up;
  • SEPARATE employees on foot from operating equipment; and
  • TRAIN WORKERS on the prevention of backover incidents, helping them to avoid being in those areas. Let them sit in the driver’s seat and then they will know where the “BLIND SPOT” is.
Download flyer:  STOTW_1113_PreventingBackOvers

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_1113_PreventingBackOvers_esp

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