In December, 2008, the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse website launched a new section dedicated to backover prevention.

“This is one of the biggest problems in work zone safety. Every time we hear about another backover fatality, we get frustrated and wonder why it was not prevented,” says Scott Schneider, LHSFNA’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health. “This site provides ideas and resources to keep construction workers from being backed over in work zones.”

Backovers and runovers are the leading cause of worker deaths in work zones. Every month, at least one worker is killed this way, usually by a dump truck. The large size of most construction vehicles makes them vulnerable to blind spots in which operators cannot see workers on the ground. The site is designed to provide information and tools that might help prevent those deaths. It includes the following:

  • An article by Schneider written for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)’s Transportation Builder magazine titled An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing Backovers of Road Construction Workers
  • Fatality reports from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • A list of vendors that supply backover prevention equipment
  • Links and information on safer internal traffic control plans, blind spots and research on backovers/runovers by NIOSH and other organizations

The Transportation Development Foundation of the ARTBA created the Clearinghouse website under a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The website educates the transportation construction industry and the general public on roadway safety. For more information, visit The LHSFNA’s website also has a special section on Work Zone Safety.

[Jennifer E. Jones]