According to OSHA, accidents that occur while backing up represent approximately 25% of all injuries and accidents in the solid waste collection industry. Backing up a large vehicle is a difficult task and can be dangerous. Reducing the frequency of these accidents can help organizations save money and improve employee morale, and can also help reduce auto insurance costs.   

Backing Up Best Practices

According to OSHA, accidents that occur while backing up represent approximately 25% of all injuries and accidents in the solid waste collection industry. Backing up a large vehicle is a difficult task and can be dangerousReducing the frequency of these accidents can help organizations save money and improve employee morale, and can also help reduce auto insurance costs.   

Pre-Trip Inspection 

Before any vehicle is put in service, a thorough pre-trip inspection is recommended. Make sure all inspections are documented. For more information on pre-and post-trip inspections, review this article. (Link to our article)  

Vehicle’s Visibility 

Drivers should be trained on their vehicle’s visibility and blind spots. Drivers should know how to adjust their mirrors for maximum visibility, understand where the blind spots are, and take care that windows/mirrors are regularly cleaned.   

Plan Ahead 

All routes should be reviewed ahead of time to plan for backing up situations and avoid them where possible. When parking, ensure the parked vehicle is in the best possible position.  

Backing Up Safety Tips 

When backing up, the below procedures can help ensure safety. These tips are a starting point for developing backing-up procedures  

  • Before backing up, get out and walk around the vehicle  
  • Identify power lines and other obstructions  
  • Back up slowly and never rush  
  • Do not back up if you doubt what is behind you or if the space is too tight  
  • Use rear-view mirrors and rear windows  
  • Don’t open your door to look behind you  
  • Back up only as far as needed  
  • Do not back around corners or exit ramps on highways  
  • Never back-up with anyone riding on the rear step  
  • Utilize technology to help, such as back-up alarms, 4-way flashers, and cameras 
  • Periodically tap the horn while backing up  
  • Use a spotter for an extra set of eyes, use hand signals and ensure the spotter is within a safe distance  
  • Ensure extra caution in inclement weather  

 

RBN Can Help

RBN is an experienced provider of insurance and risk management programs for a broad range of waste and recycling companies. RBN develops customized plans to manage liabilities, promote a culture of safety, and protect your business. With 20+ years of advising waste and recycling companies, we have the knowledge, resources, and confidence to handle all classes of risk. We work with our clients to ensure they have the best coverage at the lowest possible costs. 

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