Every year construction workers are killed and injured by backing vehicles and machinery. Blind spots are a serious problem. If you’re in a blind spot and the operator doesn’t know you’re there, you could be backed over.
The hazards increase in congested areas where vehicles and heavy equipment are backing up all the time. Noise distracts people and dust makes it difficult to see and be seen.
Drive-through sites can be planned to limit the need for backing up. But on most projects trucks and equipment have to operate in reverse at some point. That’s when a signaler is necessary.
The signaler is another pair of eyes for the driver. If you’re asked to work as a signaler,
- use these hand signals.
- wear high-visibility clothing as required.
- know driver and operator blind spots.
- Stand where the operator can see you at all times, and where you have a full view of the intended path of travel. You must, however, stay out of the vehicle’s path.
- Make eye contact with driver or operator before you signal or change position.
- Signaling requires your full concentration.
You must not perform any other duties. All workers on site must know where blind spots are. And above all, you must remember this:
Make eye contact with the operator before approaching equipment.