What does OSHA say about backover incidents on job sites?
The manufacturers of passenger vehicles recognize the dangers of driving in reverse, and many vehicles now include cameras. However, on the construction site in Minnesota, you may be working around heavy equipment that not only does not have cameras, but also has large blind spots and many obstacles to avoid. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration points out the risks of backover accidents and provides safety tips to prevent workers from becoming statistics.
In addition to blind spots, you are in danger if your work site is noisy, as that may prevent you from hearing backup warning alerts from large vehicles. The backup alerts could malfunction and fail to provide the warnings. You are also at risk if you often ride on the outside of a vehicle, as many fatalities happen because workers fall off and are run over. A spotter should be directing any vehicle that is backing up, but this is no help if the spotter does not see you.
Dump trucks, tractor trailers and other large trucks tend to be the most dangerous when it comes to backover deaths. Smaller vehicles such as forklifts and pickup trucks also cause fatalities, though. Whether you are an operator or a worker on the ground, you should receive training in exactly where the blind spots are on each type of vehicle that will be used. OSHA recommends having every worker sit behind the wheel in order to see for themselves where blind spots are.
OSHA also recommends that when vehicles do not come equipped with cameras, radar and sonar, companies should add them in order to help operators see the locations of people and objects near the vehicle. Your employer may also have everyone on the site wear tags that can be identified by a system that alerts the operator to those around the vehicle.
This general information about backover accidents is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.