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Preventing Backover Fatalities and Injuries

F Marie Athey OHST

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F Marie Athey OHST | June 3, 2015 | Comments Off on Preventing Backover Fatalities and Injuries

Preventing Backover Fatalities and Injuries

Backovers are part of the most serious threats to workplace safety. This type of accident, as noted by OSHA, takes place when a person is hit by a vehicle that is backing up. A worker might be walking or standing behind the vehicle when it happens. Worse yet, they may be kneeling on the ground, unseen by the person backing up. Backover fatalities and injuries can be prevented with professional training for employees in the construction industry. Preventing backover accidents is a priority, given that 70 workers died due to backovers in 2011 alone.

Causes for Backovers

A variety of occupational situations create the perfect storm for a backover. For example, a driver may have a blind spot that prevents him or her from seeing someone behind the vehicle. Spotters who are attempting to help drivers are often unaware of other drivers who can’t see them, putting spotters in a risky situation. Workers face the greatest risk:

  • They cannot hear alarms, either because backup alarms are not working or because the worksite is too loud
  • They fall out of the vehicles they are riding on, causing them to get backed over

These accidents happen in the blink of an eye, leaving the work crew at a loss due to serious injuries or fatalities.

Preventing Backovers

Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that backovers are not a problem in your workplace. Here are some ways to prevent backovers:

  • Install backup video cameras in vehicles
  • Set up tag-based systems (where employees wear tags that can trigger an audio alarm when they are near a backing vehicle)
  • Use spotters who are trained and capable of avoiding backovers from multiple directions
  • Utilize safety programs and workshops that teach new backover mitigation methods

Working for Backover Safety

If you are interested in preventing backover accidents, you aren’t the only one. Workplaces ranging from manufacturing plants, loading facilities, construction crews, and mining operations regularly seek professional guidance for the reduction of backover fatalities and injuries. After all, a workplace that is riddled with backover accidents is alarming for insurance providers, future employees, existing clients, and the general public.

Safety Training Programs

Increase your workers’ ability to prevent these types of accidents from occurring in the first place. For example, professional training for employees in the construction industry includes a variety of factors:

  • Onsite OSHA-regulated training courses
  • Videos highlighting safety methods
  • Read-and-sign notifications that remind workers of the importance of backover prevention

Increase the effectiveness of your workers by including backover prevention in the regularly offered worksite training programs. You can find training programs that address the different learning styles of your workers, such as video or audio learners. Additionally, multilingual programs are also available, so you can ensure the safety of everyone in your working crew. The goal here is to make sure everyone is safe, which improves the bottom line and business operations. A workplace that is safe from backover accidents is a workplace where productivity is not hampered. Ensure that your workplace is the best it can be with regularly managed workplace training about the prevention of backovers.

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