Blind Spot Awareness for Equipment Operators
Heavy equipment operators inside a cab often have restricted visibility or blind spots. A blind spot means there is an area the operator cannot see by direct line of site or by using mirrors. Every machine has unique blind spots to contend with on top of any jobsite features that also obstruct vision.
When an operator cannot see a person, vehicle, structure or other object on the jobsite the risk of an accident increases dramatically. Blind spots present a danger for new and experienced operators alike. “Struck by” accidents cause many avoidable injuries and costly damage to jobsites every year. This means that workers on the ground are especially vulnerable to being hit when equipment is operational. But just like when driving your car or truck, there are steps to take that reduce the risk.
To start, follow these safety practices:
- Learn your machine’s blind spots.
- Know what is on the ground, below ground and overhead at a jobsite.
- Name a spotter to help when moving the machine. Make eye contact when possible. Watch for hand signals or use two-way radio communication.
- Stop and walk around the machine before backing up.
- Follow, or set up, a jobsite specific traffic pattern.
- Back up the machine safely.
- Wear high visibility safety vests and proper PPE (all worksite personnel).
- Get proper training before operating heavy equipment.
With proper training and safety procedures in place it is possible to dramatically reduce “struck by” accidents on your jobsite. Contact Caterpillar Safety Services for advice on implementing a jobsite safety protocol or see your dedicated Fabick Cat representative about products that can help your operators work safer. You can also check out helpful training resources online.