A busy construction site in Pennsylvania could have trucks moving near workers on foot. Whenever people and heavy equipment mix, the risk of a backover accident could be high. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 70 people died on the job when they were hit or crushed by moving vehicles. Employers have several strategies to draw upon to reduce these workplace hazards.
Often, these accidents occur because drivers cannot see workers. Additionally, warning signals on vehicles might malfunction, or a worker will not hear the backup alarms because of other noises. Technology can help people avoid mistakes. Outfitting trucks with cameras or sensors that warn drivers about objects behind them could mitigate the dangers of driver blind spots. Tag systems that equip vehicles and workers with sensors that warn them of each other’s proximity and movements present a safety solution in some situations.
Training techniques also enhance safety. Workers might not realize how constrained a driver’s visibility could be. Asking workers to sit in a vehicle cab will give them firsthand knowledge of the view from the truck, which could prevent people from assuming a driver can see them. Some work sites could also benefit from the development of an internal traffic control plan that limits or eliminates interactions between vehicles and workers on foot.
Employers have a responsibility to identify hazards and train workers about safety. Failure to do so could represent negligence, but a person hurt on the job does not have to prove any wrongdoing to collect workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney familiar with construction work accidents could litigate an insurance claim for an injured worker.