Teamwork Helps Prevent Backover Accidents

Blind spots are a major contributing factor to backover accidents that claimed the lives of more than 70 workers in 2011.

Backover accidents occur when a backing vehicle strikes a worker who is behind the vehicle. These accidents happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from drivers not seeing workers in their mirrors to workers not hearing backup alarms.

Blind spots behind and around vehicles may not be obvious to workers on foot, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) suggests training scenarios that familiarize workers with avoiding those spots.

One option may include putting workers in the driver’s seat to help them see what drivers see at the worksite. The use of spotters during backing maneuvers and video cameras with in-vehicle display monitors provides additional safety advantages.

Tag-based systems also are available that inform drivers when tagged workers are behind the vehicle. Internal traffic patterns at worksites can minimize the need for backing, and separating operating equipment from foot-based workers reduces the chances of an accident.

For more information about how Saint Francis Medical Center can help with workplace safety, call Chad Clippard, referral services manager, at 573-331-3019.