Watch Your Back | Preventing Vehicle BackOver Accidents

Working near and around vehicles such as dump trucks, semi/tractor trailers, trucks, and forklifts, can be highly dangerous. Dozens of workers are killed each year as a result of being struck by a backing vehicle. Fortunately, there are a variety of work safety tips that can be taken to help prevent back-over accidents.

  • Training workers about vehicle blind spots can help both drivers and those working around vehicles to know where the most dangerous zones are located.
  • Video cameras with monitors can be installed in vehicles to give drivers a view of what’s behind them.

  • Proximity detection devices, such as sonar or radar, can be used to alert drivers
    to objects in their paths.
  • Tag-based systems can be used to alert the driver and/or worker when a “tagged”
    employee is close to a vehicle or in a dangerous zone.
  • Spotters can also be used to check for hazards when a driver is backing up.
  • Where possible, internal traffic control plans can be developed to keep operating
    equipment and those working on the ground in separate spaces. Traffic control
    plans can also be used to map out driving paths which reduce the need for backing

NIOSH has developed Blind Area Diagrams for a number of construction vehicles. These diagrams can be used to visualize the size and shape of the blind spots for the different vehicles and may be useful when considering new equipment purchases.

OSHA has regulations related to backing vehicles for General Industry and Construction. For more information on Vehicle Back-Overs, see OSHA’s Preventing Backovers page.

Date Posted: 10-08-2015
Tags: backover accidents, osha safety topics, osha safety training, osha workplace safety, vehicle safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,