Safety in Reverse

Safety in ReverseBeing struck by a vehicle or another object is one of the highest causes of fatal accidents in the construction industry. Accidents caused by equipment backup up occur far too often on the jobsite. Every time a machine is put into reverse, the potential for danger exists. OSHA reports that approximately 30 percent of all accidents in construction are the result of equipment and vehicles backing up. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that over 90 percent of vehicle-backing accidents can be attributed to either: The driver being unaware of the obstacle or the driver using improper backing techniques.

Individuals who operate equipment have to be alert at all times in order to operate safely and efficiently. This challenge becomes greater when operating equipment in reverse. Below are some tips that can help making backing up a safe operation.

Toolbox Tips

  • When preparing to back up, set up designated area and utilize clearly-audible signals.
  • Avoid backing up equipment and vehicles whenever possible.
  • If possible, pull forward in an arc so that you can visually sweep the area you will be backing into, and identify any people or obstructions you must watch for.
  • Drivers and operators must know their blind spots and check them before backing up.
  • Chock tires or tracks so that you have to physically walk around your equipment or vehicle, and stow the chocks before backing up.
  • Make sure your back-up alarm is working.
  • Sound your horn before backing up.
  • Use all mirrors when backing up.
  • Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment such as high-visibility apparel and head protection.
  • Limit pedestrian and vehicle crossings in areas where backing up occurs.
  • Utilize spotters to control and direct traffic in high-congestion, high-activity areas of the jobsite.

Safety in Reverse

Accidents caused by backing equipment are preventable. Work to eliminate these types of accidents. Operators and pedestrians alike must recognize these hazards and know what to do to avoid accidents on the job.

Safety in Reverse

Safety is Knowing and Doing