Big equipment, inclement weather and unaware pedestrians and drivers contribute to the hazards involved in snow and ice management. Spotters designated to observe site conditions and direct equipment operators and drivers who may not have a full view of the working area can help keep your team and the general public safe during operations. Following are safety tips for spotters in the field:
1. Devise traffic control plans for your jobsites and equipment yards. Coordinating the flow of moving equipment, workers, and vehicles can reduce the need for backing up and reduce or eliminate instances in which equipment and people cross paths.
2. Make sure your spotters are protected. They should have reflective vests and appropriate PPE, including ear and eye protection.
3. Spotters must be on heightened alert for tripping and slip/fall hazards.
4. Establish hand signals and reinforce them as part of your company training. Make eye contact with the driver/operator before communicating signals.
5. Spotters should be trained to stay in sight of the driver at all times. If the driver loses sight of the spotter, they should be instructed to stop immediately.
6. If you need to pass behind the vehicle/equipment, communicate your plan to the driver/operator.
7. Refrain from using cell phones, earphones, or other distracting devices.
8. Don’t rely solely on backup alarms and/or rearview cameras. Spotters can be helpful to identify obstacles in blind spots.
9. Follow all federal and any state regulations related to backing vehicles/equipment and spotter use.
Disclaimer: Your safety team should research and implement a safety plan in accordance with federal, state and company regulations. This list should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Source: SIMA, NALP, OSHA
Quick Tips are quick, easy tips on highly specific topics in snow management. Read all Quick Tips at www.sima.org/quicktips.