4 Ways to Prevent Runovers and Backovers in Construction
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), backover and runover fatalities account for dozens of the fatalities that occur each year in the construction industry. These workers include both construction workers injured by motorists as well as road workers injured by construction vehicles due to blind spots. In fact, at least one worker each month is killed by being backed over by a construction vehicle, typically a dump truck.
Fortunately, the majority, if not all, of these construction-related fatalities are completely preventable with proper education, training, and prevention efforts. In this brief article, we’ll review four safety measures you can implement on your jobsite today to help keep your workers safe from backover and runover accidents. For a legal advocate who can perform a third-party site audit and help your jobsite remain in compliance with OSHA regulations, contact a Florida OSHA defense lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants today.
1. Develop an Internal Traffic Control Plan
The number one way to prevent backover and runover fatalities on your jobsite to develop and implement an internal traffic control plan. The purpose of this plan is to separate construction vehicles and equipment from workers on foot as much as possible, by coordinating construction traffic inside the activity area of a traffic control zone. Essentially, it informs everyone on the jobsite of the location of workers, construction vehicles, and other equipment, and works to set up paths and locations in which each group performs their own task. This is essential for keeping workers from operating in close proximity to construction vehicles and equipment, which may result in backover and runover accidents.
Related: Creating an Internal Traffic Control Plan
2. Know the Blind Spots
A blind spot is any area around the vehicle or construction equipment that is not visible to the operator. These areas are hazardous because any workers on foot that enter these areas are virtually invisible to the operator. A great way to prevent runover and backover accidents is to familiarize any operators with the unique blind spots associated with each type of equipment or vehicle he or she operates.
3. Designate a Spotter
At least one trained spotter should be designated in circumstances in which vehicles are operating in a confined area, there are obstacles that may not be readily visible to the operator, or there are numerous workers on foot within the area. These are individuals who are trained in safety procedures and continuous communication with the operator who can help the vehicle enter, exit, and travel through the jobsite safely.
4. Use Available Technology
Last but not least, it’s important to be aware of the wide variety of technological solutions available to alert operators to the presence of workers on foot within the area, such as cameras, back-up alarms, radar, ultrasonic sensors, sonar, and tag systems. Many large-scale companies now use back-up cameras or radar systems in particular as they provide operators with a direct view of what is behind them and a notification when they begin closing in on an obstacle. The most successful solution for your jobsite will most likely be a combination of multiple systems, such as radar and sonar or a back-up camera and a designated spotter. For more information on how your jobsite can remain in compliance with OSHA standards and regulations, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our OSHA lawyers today.
If you would like to speak with one of our OSHA lawyers, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.