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Equipment Safety: Backing Up

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on January 7, 2013

A large majority of accidents that happen on construction sites happen because one of the workers engages in careless actions that lead to the injury of another person or a group of people who are also working on the site. That’s why it is so important for all construction companies, construction foremen, and construction workers to take safety seriously, especially when it comes to large pieces of construction equipment.

The most important thing that construction workers at all levels can remember is that once a large piece of equipment starts to malfunction or something goes awry with your equipment, there’s very little time to correct the error, if any, before a disaster occurs. While it’s important to learn how to recognize a pending tragedy and how to get out of the way fast enough to avoid being caught up in it, it’s equally as important to learn how to avoid disaster.

Most large equipment accidents happen when the operator is backing up. Here are some tips every construction worker should know in order to avoid accidents and injury when “backing it up” becomes a part of the workday equation.

  • Never back up a large piece of equipment without engaging the backup alarm. If your equipment has automatic backup alarms, make sure they are working properly before you move too far.
  • Never work a piece of large equipment on your own, if you can help it. Every construction worker should have a spotter who helps them back up their equipment safely, especially when there are multiple blind spots or vision blockers, like pieces of a building or other large equipment.
  • Make sure all construction workers who are working around large equipment wear high visibility gear that makes them impossible to miss.
  • Try to ensure that all people on the ground are out of the area before you back up a piece of large equipment.
  • Avoid backing up large equipment around excavations, even if you’re backing up excavation equipment. You should plan your construction and excavation sites in a manner that allows you to avoid backing up equipment as much as possible.

Being aware of these safety measures, both as an employers and employee, can help prevent many types of construction site accidents and keep sites as safe as possible.

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