Guidance Reference Information Construction Injury prevention

NIOSH issues recommendations on preventing backover injuries in construction

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Washington – NIOSH has released a document outlining dozens of safety recommendations aimed at reducing deaths and injuries caused by backing construction vehicles and equipment.

More than 900 workers were killed at road construction sites from 2003 to 2010, with 143 of those fatalities caused by a vehicle or mobile equipment that was in reverse, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NIOSH offers tips for employers, contractors, drivers, workers on foot and equipment manufacturers, among others:

  • Implement and enforce standard operating procedures that address worker safety and minimize work that takes place near vehicles and equipment.
  • Inspect all vehicles, equipment and safety devices (brakes, lights, horns and reverse alarms) at the start of every work shift.
  • Use equipment designed to minimize blind areas.
  • Establish safe practices for night work and backing equipment, requiring high-visibility gear.
  • Ensure drivers always back up under the direction of a spotter.
  • Prohibit the use of personal cell phones and headphones, which could cause distractions.