Construction sites are often a storm of equipment, materials and people. With moving equipment considered the second most common cause of injury and fatalities on-site, it's important to know what prevention strategies are being successfully used across the industry.
To help you minimise the risk of a reversing incident on-site, here are a few tips you can follow.
- Design or modify your site layout to increase the visibility of workers and civilians moving around the site. You can do this by installing visibility mirrors in smaller spaces or by widening the areas where equipment tend to drive in reverse.
- Reduce blind-spots by making sure that mirrors on vehicles are kept clean and damage-free. A CCTV system or rear-view camera mounted to the vehicle are also being utilised to help the driver see what’s going on behind them.
- When operators cannot see what’s behind the equipment, they should go out of their cab and manually check what’s behind them before reversing.
- Fit your equipment or vehicles with reversing alarms. These alarms should be loud and audible amidst the noise around the job site. Flashing warning lights are used in cases where alarm noises are not audible enough.
- Barriers or buffers should be used on loading bays. These barriers should be highly visible to operators or drivers.
- Plan out and clearly mark areas for reversing such as loading bays.
- Make sure to keep people away from reversing areas if they are not needed.
- Utilise trained signallers on-site to help equipment operators manoeuvre in reverse. Signallers should always stand in a safe position where drivers can see them at all times – wearing high visibility vests are a must. In cases where signallers are not visible, operators should immediately stop the vehicle.
- Use two-way radios or other communication systems to help guide operators when they are driving in reverse.
By completing a risk assessment before breaking ground, you’ll be able to check whether your site is safe and ready to work on. We have created the free downloadable checklist below to help you jump-start your risk assessment.
Author's note: Points on this post were sourced from Health and Safety Executive UK