Backing Up

Sweeping Operation
February 22, 2017

Job Description

This guideline describes backing up of vehicles and equipment.

Hazard Identification

Personal Injury
• Crushing, muscle pull/strain, pinch points, slip, trip and fall.

• Equipment accidents/incidents, struck-by.

• Visibility, weather.

Blind Spots
• Know the Blind Spots: (Blind Spots indicated in Shaded Areas)


1. Pre-Job Planning
1.1 Ensure that workers are properly trained, certified (where applicable) and competently supervised.
1.2 Ensure that Traffic Accommodation and Traffic Control Plans are readily available and on site.
1.3 Identify any special hazards and controls.
1.4 Review emergency plan.
2. Toolbox Meeting
2.1 A pre-job toolbox meeting and documentation is required to ensure that workers understand work assignments, traffic control plans, traffic accommodation plans and hazards.
2.2  Additional toolbox meetings and documentation will be necessary when hazards, conditions or activities change.
3.  Circle Check
3.1  Complete circle check and documentation.
3.2  Each operator conducts a circle check on equipment being operated to detect equipment deficiencies and ensure that all horns, lights and back up alarms and other safety devices are in good working condition and turned on. Advise the supervisor/foreman of any repairs or deficiencies that need to be fixed or that the equipment needs to be removed from operation until repairs can be made.
3.3  The operator should only perform repairs or adjustments that they can perform competently and have other repairs performed by a qualified/competent person.
4. Know Your Surroundings
4.1 Avoid backing up where possible. Try to arrange for drive-through operations to reduce the need for vehicles to back up.
4.2  When you must back up do a walk around of your vehicle to ensure there are no hidden hazards in your blind spots. Be sure the area is clear before you begin backing up.
4.3  If at all possible you should do your backing operation while you are still familiar with the surroundings and before anything can come in behind you.
4.4 Always look when backing up using both mirrors to maintain constant visual awareness of your surroundings.
4.5  At the same time remember that you must also check to the front and both sides. Although what is behind you is important, where the front of your vehicle is moving when you back is also important.
4.6  If sight is restricted or obstructed while backing up use a signaler/guide. The signaler/guide must be clearly visible to the driver at all times. If the signaler/guide is not visible, stop immediately.
4.7 As a habit, back in and drive out whenever possible. This allows the driver to examine the area to be backed into as the vehicle approaches it.

5.  Back Slowly
5.1 Never back up at a speed faster than a brisk walk.  This allows you to stop almost immediately if something enters your path of travel.
6.  Keep Backing Distance To A Minimum
6.1  If backing up is necessary keep the backing distance to a minimum.
7.  Keep Work Area Clear
7.1  Eliminate backing up by the use of turn arounds and other traffic patterns to reduce congestion.
7.2  Remain in the cab if possible in areas where other equipment is likely to be backing up.
8.  Ensure Communication Is Clear
8.1  Whenever possible, use a signaler/guide.
8.2  Ensure signaler/guide and operator understand voice and hand signals.
8.3  If a collision occurs the operator is responsible.
9. Ground Workers / Foot Traffic
9.1  Reduce foot traffic in backing up areas as much as possible.  Consider the posting of restricted areas.
9.2  Where feasible a barricade or roped off area may be used to help protect the workers on foot.
9.3  Make eye contact with the driver or operator before approaching equipment.
9.4  Avoid standing and talking near vehicle paths, grading operations, and other activities where heavy equipment is moving back and forth.
10.  Backing Equipment with Attachments
10.1  Ensure attachments (i.e. brooms, mouldboards, packers, blowers, spray bars) are safely positioned and path of travel is clear while backing and turning.
10.2  Know and understand turning radius of equipment with attachments on.
11.  Backing up a Trailer
11.1  Line the trailer up with the area you wish to back into while moving ahead.
11.2 Ensure back up path is clear; do walk around if you are uncertain.
11.3  Backup as slowly as possible, constantly checking both mirrors.
11.4  When looking in the mirror, sight down the side of the truck and the trailer to keep them lined up.
11.5  Steer accordingly for direction of travel of the trailer.  Do not over-steer. Pull ahead if the trailer drifts too far and start again.
12.  Signaler/Guide Responsibilities
12.1  Signaler/guide should be used in areas of heavy traffic and must be positioned in a secure area with a clear view of the intended path of travel for vehicles or equipment.
12.2  Ensure signaler/guide and operator understand all necessary voice and hand signals.
12.3  Ensure that proper Personal Protective Equipment and other required equipment are used.
12.4  Establish position so that operator and signaler/guide maintain eye-to-eye contact throughout the backing operation.
12.5  Keep a safe distance from equipment and other objects while guiding.
12.6  Understand the maneuvering limitations of vehicles and equipment.