Earlier this month, a Georgia construction worker was killed when an asphalt truck that was backing up struck him. The 27-year-old man was painting a road that was under construction in Clarke County.
This kind of tragic accident happens far too often. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dump trucks are the number one cause of backover fatalities in the U.S.
Why do backovers occur?
Backover accidents on worksites typically involve a truck or large piece of equipment that strikes someone who is either standing, kneeling or walking behind it. These accidents are preventable, but it’s important to know why they occur. There are a number of causes, including the following:
- A worker is in the driver/operator’s blind spot
- The backup alarm on the truck or equipment isn’t working
- The worker doesn’t hear the alarm because of other noise
- There’s no spotter or the spotter doesn’t see the worker
- A worker falls from a truck and is then struck by it
Too often, drivers don’t take the extra time to turn and look behind them in addition to looking in their mirrors before backing up because an area is supposed to be kept clear. However, a worker may be there anyway.
Technology can help humans prevent backovers
Certainly, having spotters and not relying solely on mirrors can help prevent backovers. However, there’s a lot of technology that can help as well. Just as in many cars, trucks and equipment can have cameras that allow the driver to see what’s immediately behind them. They can also be equipped with detection devices that sound an alarm if they sense anything behind or approaching a vehicle. Workers can wear tags that signal their presence to drivers on the worksite.
Of course, training employees (both those behind the wheel and those who could be in their path) is also essential. For example, it helps to know where drivers’ blind spots are.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a backover accident, you need to know your rights to workers’ compensation. You need a local attorney like Steven Morgan who takes a personal interest in his clients and will work aggressively to seek the compensation they need. Call us today at 912-289-0640 or send us an email for more information and to discuss your claim.