American Recycler News, Inc.


OSHA holds meetings on vehicle backover prevention

Representatives from the solid waste and recycling industry are participating in stakeholder meetings organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to solicit comments on preventing fatalities and injuries from vehicle backovers. These stakeholder meetings will provide employers, workers, safety professionals and equipment makers with an opportunity to inform OSHA about ways to address backover risks. The purpose of the meetings is to gather information, determine whether or how backovers may be prevented by new technology or other methods, and discuss the effectiveness of those measures.

Seventy-nine workers were killed in 2011 when backing vehicles or mobile equipment crushed them against an object or rolled over them, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An initial meeting was held at the U.S. Department of Labor in January, 2013, in Washington, D.C. An additional meeting was held in February 5, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. At the initial meeting, attendees discussed ways to eliminate blind spots using technology, as well as backing-specific training for drivers.

National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) safety director David Biderman was one of the participants at one of these meetings. About the effort, Biderman stated, “I was pleased by the solid waste and recycling industries’ strong participation at this meeting, including NSWMA and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) members. We emphasized that the industry currently devotes serious attention to backing, as it is the leading cause of vehicular accidents involving collection vehicles. NSWMA intends to highlight backing in future issues of Safety Monday, the association’s weekly safety newsletter, and its 2013 safety seminars.”

NSWMA and WASTEC members will also participated in the OSHA meetings scheduled to be held in Texas.