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Reducing backover accidents at work sites

North Carolina employees who work in construction or other industries that requires them to be around large trucks may be aware of the dangers. For example, workers are often at risk for being struck by heavy vehicles that are backing up. In many cases, these often fatal accidents can happen when the driver of the vehicle is unaware that there is a worker in harm's way.

In mid-2008, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry was working on a regulation that would help prevent workplace fatalities caused by these types of accidents from occurring. The regulation was prompted by the fact that, between 1992 and April 2008, 30 deaths caused by reversing vehicles had been recorded. Nine of these deaths occurred between 2005 and 2007. After the regulation went into effect in late 2009, the state was able to reduce the number of these types of accidents by half.

Although the numbers have remained steady elsewhere in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was forced to abandon a regulation proposal that would have made working around heavy vehicles safer. As of January 2018, the standard on motor vehicles from OSHA required backup alarms on vehicles to be louder than the surrounding noise level if the driver had an obstructed view.

Some industries are more dangerous to work in than others. If an on-the-job accident results in a serious injury, the victim may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These could include the payment of medical expenses and, in some cases, a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period. Many injured workers obtain the assistance of an attorney when preparing the required claim documentation.

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