Approach Management

Video: Working Around Heavy Equipment

The goal today is to identify work zone vehicle traffic hazards. We want to give you practical recommendations you can use to control injury exposure.



During the early part of 2000, there was a series of fatal injuries that happen when employees were working around heavy equipment. The common element of these fatalities, the equipment operator had an obstructed view to the rear of the vehicle. Though each vehicle had backup alarms working, there was no spotter or device such as a backup camera to eliminate the blind spot.

Another common element of workers dying on the job had to do with equipment operators being ejected from their equipment. The machine has all the necessary safety equipment, but the common element that caused these fatalities was simple, "the seatbelt was not being used".

Now we are going to talk about the rules, hazards, and how to fix it, and keep yourself safe.

The rules;

  • All vehicles on a construction site need an operational and audible warning device such as a horn.
  • Any large motorized vehicle that will be backing up on a construction site should have an automatic backup alarm that can be heard from at least 15 feet away.

What about vehicles with obstructed views?

  • A dump truck must have either a spotter, or an adequate backup camera in the backing zone.
  • The spotter must have a line of sight to the operator and can see the backing zone.
  • The spotter must provide direction to the operator when backing up. 

There are many blind spots for various types equipment found on a construction site: dump trucks, loaders and scrapers to name a few. Each have their own blind spots. Remember in most of these vehicles the operator cannot see the ground or person crouching with the many blind spots with each piece of equipment. The blind spots are important to know, because they are located both above, below, and side to side of the equipment.

So, the question is WWYD (What would you do?) or what should you do?

  1. Let's get back to the basics
  2. Use hi visibility garments always on the construction site
  3. Don’t become distracted. Cell phone use can distract you, and reduce your awareness on the site
  4. Beware of your surroundings, especially when there are multiple vehicles in operation
  5. Get the attention of the operator (eye contact), the operator needs to know where you are at all times to prevent accidental contact
  6. Never take a short-cut, because at the end of the day going home safely to your family is the most important part of your job
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