Protect workers from backover accidents

Missouri residents who work on construction sites may feel comfortable working around large vehicles. However, if people are not careful around construction vehicles, they may be at risk of a backover accident.

Most construction workers may worry about getting hit by the front of a moving vehicle. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, people may get hit by a vehicle if they walk or stand behind it as the driver backs up. This kind of incident is called a backover accident. There are many reasons these incidents occur. Construction vehicles might run someone over if one of the passengers falls off or if a worker stands in a blind spot. Some drivers may also fail to look behind the vehicle before backing up. Additionally, the noise of the construction site may keep a person from hearing the backup alarm.   

Some people may think that only large construction vehicles back over workers. However, trucks of all sizes might cause these accidents. The most recent statistics indicate that most backover incidents involve pick-up trucks, dump trucks and forklifts. Garbage trucks and tractor trailers are also associated with backover accidents. 

It is important for people to make sure backover accidents do not happen on their construction sites. Safety and Health magazine says people may want to make sure all of their construction vehicles have rearview cameras. This may help drivers see a worker if he or she suddenly steps behind the vehicle. It is also a good idea to make sure construction workers and vehicles are not in the same area. If a crew knows that vehicles will need to back up frequently, they may want to have a designated walkway. Additionally, people may want to assign a spotter for each vehicle. The drivers and the spotters should generally communicate through hand signals. Sometimes a driver may realize he or she cannot see the spotter. If this happens, the driver should usually stop the vehicle to make sure no one gets hurt.


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