Employers can take steps to reduce the risk of back over on worksites

Concerns are growing about the high number of deaths due to vehicles or equipment backing over workers. An OSHA standard for regulating backing operations does not exist, but employers can take proactive steps to reduce the hazard.
“There is some fatigue associated with [backing alarms] in that you hear the same sound over and over again, and it starts to lose its meaning,” said Steve Hawkins, assistant administrator at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Back-up alarms are not necessarily directional – workers on the ground may have no idea where the alarm is coming from. On a worksite with several other types of noises and distractions, the alarm may not be heard or acknowledged at all. In seven back-over fatality cases that occurred between 2005 and 2010, an alarm was working but not heard by the struck worker, according to OSHA data. Sites that set up rules for locating Workers on foot and followed those rules were safer than sites that either did not establish rules or failed to follow them.
Source: Kyle W. Morrison. Reducing back over incidents. Safety+Health | June 2012. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/fd02d42b#/fd02d42b/56

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