A back over incident occurs when a backing vehicle or equipment strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind the vehicle or equipment. These incidents can be prevented. According to the Bureau of Labor and statics over 70 workers died backing incidents in 2011. These kinds of incidents can occur in different ways. For example:
- On June 18, 2009, an employee was working inside an active work zone wearing his reflective vest. A dump truck operating in the work zone backed up and struck the employee with the rear passenger side wheels. The employee was killed. The dump truck driver had a audible back up alarm and operating lights.
- On June 10, 2010, an employee was standing on the ground in front of a loading dock facing into the building while a tractor trailer was backing into the same dock. The trailer crushed the employee between the trailer and the dock.
Back over accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Drivers may not be able to see a worker in their blind spot. Drivers may not take the time to look in the direction of travel before moving. Workers may not hear backup alarms because of other workplace noise, or possible the alarm is not functioning. A spotter should be used when alarms are not working. Spotters SHALL NOT put themselves in blind spot and shall watch for other equipment/Truck traffic when spotting.
Internal traffic control patterns, back up alarms, spotters, and in-equipment reverse display cameras are all solutions to prevent back over incidents. Proper training is vital. Foot traffic does not always know where the blind spots on a piece of equipment area. Put those working on the ground –ie QC in the equipment so he can see the blind spots and better position himself around the equipment.
This diagram shows the blind spot for a dump truck- we receive 1000’s of deliveries and walk up to these trucks to sign stone tickets on a regular basis- if you cannot see his mirrors he can’t see you!