Heavy equipment operators inside a cab often have restricted visibility or blind spots. A blind spot means the operator cannot see by direct line of site or by using mirrors.
“Struck by” accidents cause many injuries and accidents every year. Heavy equipment operators must learn and be aware of the blind spots in every machine they operate. Each machine has unique blind spots. Any operator that cannot see a person, vehicle or another object, runs the risk of an accident.
Workers on the ground are especially vulnerable to being hit. Follow some key safety practices when operating:
- Know where the machine’s blind spots are.
- Know what is on the ground, below ground and overhead.
- Designate a spotter to help when moving the machine. Watch for hand signals or use two-way radio communication.
- Stop and walk around the machine before backing up.
- Follow the work site’s specific traffic pattern. Use the designated routes when moving the machine.
- Back up the machine safely.
- Work site personnel should wear high visibility safety vests and proper PPE.
- Ensure operators are safely trained before getting behind the controls.