Be Safe Tuesday: Compounding the Dangers of Backing


Compounding the Dangers of Backing

According to the National Safety Council, backing maneuvers are responsible for at least 25% of all vehicle accidents.  Waste & Recycling workers are exposed to backing vehicles on a regular basis on the collection route, in landfills and on tipping floors of MRF’s and Transfer Stations.  What are some factors that can make the dangers of backing even worse?

  • Problem:  Darkness – Low light conditions reduce visibility and shadows can increase the size of blind spots.
  • Solution:  Improve Lighting, wear high visibility clothing, check vehicle lights on pre & post-trip inspections.


  • Problem:  Weather – Snow, rain and wind can reduce visibility and obscure mirrors and camera lenses.
  • Solution:  Keep cameras and mirrors clean.  When in doubt…don’t back up.


  • Problem:  Non-routine tasks – Hitching a trailer for a container delivery truck, misjudging a turn at an intersection or a new commercial account with incorrect container placement.
  • Solution:  Have a plan for non-routine tasks, GOAL (Get Out And Look), communicate with your team and customer about safe container placement.

Be deliberate – working safety doesn’t happen by accident!