While spotting for moving trucks and equipment, it may not seem like a dangerous task, but it certainly is. Every year in Canada and the U.S., back-over incidents between equipment and spotters result in fatalities.
Spotting for equipment has been proven to be an effective safeguard for preventing incidents between pedestrians and the equipment as well as preventing property damage incidents, but safe work practices need to be established to protect spotters as well.
Basic safe work practices for spotting
- Never walk behind the equipment and spot at the same time.
- Agree on hand signals prior to any spotting activities with equipment operators.
- As the operator, stop anytime you lose sight of the spotter.
- Review the work area for any additional hazards such as trip hazards or fixed objects that the equipment can strike. Remove any people, objects, or equipment prior to needing to back into an area to eliminate the possibility of a strike.
- When planning work, look at the task and determine if there is a way to eliminate backing up or minimize it.
- Often times, personnel who are spotting for equipment may not have ever operated that specific piece or model of equipment. Work with operators to discuss and review the blind spots of the equipment onsite.