In recent years, the construction industry has been thriving in the greater Boston area. Construction in Boston, Quincy, and Cambridge came in at a whopping $14.3 billion in 2018, up 20% from the previous year, according to a recent report.
As new construction sites pop up in the area, new hazards emerge, posing threats to workers and pedestrians passing by. Backover accidents are, particularly on the rise. Backover accidents are crashes that occur when a driver reverses into and injures or kills a pedestrian. The pedestrian may be another construction worker or a nearby civilian.
Worksites utilizing heavy equipment increase the risks of back up maneuver accidents. Heavy equipment operators often cannot see what is happening behind them when they back up and drive in reverse. These workers sit high above the ground, impairing their ability to see what’s happening at ground level. They rely on spotters and other devices to ensure the vehicle’s enormous blind spots are accounted for.
In fact, statistics indicate that approximately 30% of construction accidents occur when vehicles and heavy machinery are backing up. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates approximately 210 workers were struck by and killed from backing vehicles between 2011 and 2013, another 15,000 were injured.
In 2014, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reviewed reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found 443 construction accidents from 2003 to 2010 due to backover accidents on construction worksites. Continue reading