The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a document last week containing a number of safety recommendations aimed at reducing deaths and injuries caused by backing construction vehicles and equipment.  This publication grew from efforts where ARTBA and other construction groups worked with NIOSH to identify hazards and preventative measures dealing with “struck-by” incidents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003 and 2010, 443 workers were killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment. Workers were fatally struck 143 times by a vehicle or mobile equip­ment that was backing up. In 84 of these cases, the worker was fatally struck by a dump truck that was backing up.

NIOSH offers safety tips for contractors, workers on foot, equipment manufacturers, drivers and operators, and others:

  • Use equipment designed to minimize blind areas.
  • Establish safe practices for night work and backing equipment, requiring high-visibility gear.
  • Design worksites to minimize backing vehicles and equip­ment
  • Ensure drivers back up under the direction of a spotter.
  • Ensure daily communication between the prime and sub-contractors to discuss any changes or revisions in con­struction traffic flow

ARTBA has developed an industry-specific training course that is directly aligned with these NIOSH recommendations.  For more information visit: www.artba.org/safety/training-programs/.