According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries.
Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries; and farming is one of the few industries in which family members (who often share the work and live on the premises) are also at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.
Farmworkers are tasked with backing up farm equipment on a daily basis, making backover incidents a serious safety concern. Providing proper training for vehicle operators and enforcing proper backing up techniques are the responsibility of the employer.
The following tips are designed to help you train your employees. and may be communicated orally. Nevertheless, it is always a good practice to have a written EAP. The best EAPs are customized for your specific farm operations and require time, thought and planning.
To Prevent Backover Accidents, Employers Should:
- Regularly assess each work location to determine if a traffic control plan is needed.
- Establish drive-through or circular turnaround areas. Or provide adequate space for operators to perform a three-point turn.
- Ensure that all turnaround areas are level, firm and well drained to prevent vehicles from tipping over.
- Determine if a backup camera or system is needed.
- Never allow workers to eat lunch or rest near active working vehicles and equipment.
- Determine if a spotter is required.
- Instruct workers and operators not to use personal mobile phones, headphones or any items that could create a distraction.
- Provide night work illumination and reflective vests for working in the night schedules.
- Stand where they can see the vehicle’s mirrors whenever possible.
- Never go between a moving vehicle and any equipment that is hitched or being towed.
- Never stand or linger in a vehicle’s path.
- Never rest or sleep next to or under a work vehicle or equipment.
- Inform other workers when vehicles are approaching.
- Listen for the vehicle’s backup alarm and watch the vehicle’s movement.
- Never assume that the vehicle’s operator can see you.
- Never wear earbuds or headphones when working near farm vehicles and equipment.
Alliant note and disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance. Please note that prior to implementation your legal counsel should review all details or policy information. Alliant Insurance Services does not provide legal advice or legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please seek the services of your own legal advisor or ask Alliant Insurance Services for a referral. This document is provided on an “as is” basis without any warranty of any kind. Alliant Insurance Services disclaims any liability for any loss or damage from reliance on this document.
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