Drivers are not able to see all people or objects when moving backwards. A person or object in a blind spot (where the driver cannot see you) can easily be hit by a moving vehicle. The best way to avoid incidents is to plan the work so the driver does not have to back up at all. Controlling where and when there is traffic on a site is critical to safety. If backing up is necessary, other controls may be needed such as identifying the work area clearly, creating barriers, using a backup alarm to warn others, using a signaller, and wearing high-visibility clothing. Education and training are essential for all workers.
Reversing vehicles and equipment on construction projects pose a serious problem for personnel on foot. Fatal accidents resulting from workers being backed over by dump trucks and other equipment occur all too frequently.
The main issue when vehicles and equipment are reversing (or “backing up”) is that the driver or operator's view is restricted. On construction projects, vehicles, machines, and equipment should only be used in reverse as little as possible. Such equipment includes shovels, backhoes, other excavating machines, and cranes as well as similar hoisting devices. When there will be vehicles and equipment working reverse, clear and visible signs must be posted warning workers. Dump trucks must have automatic audible alarms that signal backing up.
Signallers must be competent workers and must not have any other duties while acting as a signaller. Before a worker can act as a signaller, the employer must ensure that the worker has been given adequate oral and written instructions in a language that he or she understands. The employer must keep on site a copy of the written instructions.
Personal Protective Equipment Required by Signaller
Vests must be adjustable in fit. Nylon vests must have a side and front tear-away feature. Signallers working at night must wear retro-reflective silver stripes encircling each arm and leg, or equivalent side visibility-enhancing stripes with a minimum area of 50 square centimetres per side.
O. Reg. 213/91
Part II GENERAL CONSTRUCTION
104. (1) Every project shall be planned and organized so that vehicles, machines and equipment are not operated in reverse or are operated in reverse as little as possible.
(2) Vehicles, machines and equipment at a project shall not be operated in reverse unless there is no practical alternative to doing so.
(3) Operators of vehicles, machines and equipment shall be assisted by signallers if either of the following applies:
1. The operator's view of the intended path of travel is obstructed.
2. A person could be endangered by the vehicle, machine or equipment or by its load.
(4) Subsection (3) also applies to shovels, backhoes and similar excavating machines and to cranes and similar hoisting devices.
(5) The operator and the signaller shall,
(a) jointly establish the procedures by which the signaller assists the operator; and
(b) follow those procedures.
(6) If subsection (3) applies to the project and it is not possible to carry out the project without some operation of vehicles and equipment in reverse, signs shall be posted at the project in conspicuous places warning workers of the danger.
[O. Reg. 145/00, s. 27]
105. A dump truck shall be equipped with an automatic audible alarm that signals when the truck is being operated in reverse.
[O. Reg. 145/00, s. 27]
106. (1) A signaller shall be a competent worker and shall not perform other work while acting as a signaller.
(1.1) The signaller shall wear a garment that covers at least his or her upper body and has the following features:
1. The garment shall be fluorescent blaze or international orange in colour.
2. On the front and the back, there shall be two yellow stripes that are 5 centimetres wide. The yellow area shall total at least 500 square centimetres on the front and at least 570 square centimetres on the back.
3. On the front, the stripes shall be arranged vertically and centred and shall be approximately 225 millimetres apart, measured from the centre of each stripe. On the back, they shall be arranged in a diagonal "X" pattern.
4. The stripes shall be retro-reflective and fluorescent.
(1.2) If the garment is a vest, it shall have adjustable fit.
(1.3) A nylon vest to which this section applies shall also have a side and front tear-away feature.
(1.4) In addition, a signaller who may be endangered during nighttime hours shall wear retro-reflective silver stripes encircling each arm and leg, or equivalent side visibility-enhancing stripes with a minimum area of 50 square centimetres per side.
(1.5) The employer shall,
(a) ensure that the signaller has received adequate oral training in his or her duties and has received adequate oral and written instructions in a language that he or she understands; and
(b) keep the written instructions at the project.
(2) A signaller,
(a) shall be clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, machine or equipment, crane or similar hoisting device, shovel, backhoe or similar excavating machine or its load;
(b) shall be in full view of the operator of the vehicle, machine or equipment, crane or similar hoisting device, shovel, backhoe or similar excavating machine;
(c) shall have a clear view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, machine or equipment, crane or similar hoisting device, shovel, backhoe or similar excavating machine or its load; and
(d) shall watch the part of the vehicle, machine or equipment or crane or similar hoisting device, shovel, backhoe or similar excavating machine or its load whose path of travel the operator cannot see.
(3) The signaller shall communicate with the operator by means of a telecommunication system or, where visual signals are clearly visible to the operator, by means of prearranged visual signals.
[O. Reg. 145/00, s. 28; 345/15, s. 16]