Spotter Duties – Having Courage To Speak Up

A spotter is necessary for heavy equipment and vehicles OSHA’s View on Spotters

OSHA 1926.1408 states a spotter must:

  • Dedicated to the task, who is in continuous contact with the operator.
  • Be trained and equipped to identify the minimum clearance distance from objects & hazards.
  • Be positioned to see hazards & effectively gauge the clearance distance.
  • Able to communicate directly with the operator.
  • Provide timely information to the operator so that the required clearance distance or avoidance can be maintained.

When do we need a spotter?

When it comes to safety, a spotter is necessary for heavy equipment and vehicles to move safely when the operator cannot see the pending hazard.

  • Spotters should be used when lifting or moving materials with heavy equipment.
  • Maneuvering near, into, or inside buildings or other structures.
  • Passing under or near overhead power lines.
  • When in congested areas or physical hazards pose a risk of damage to our equipment and public or clients assets.

Spotters keep utilities, equipment and personnel safe while excavatingExcavation Spotter

Having the courage and experience to keep utilities, equipment and personnel safe while excavating.

  • Experienced, focused, knows, and understands his authority and responsibility.
  • Is willing to STOP work. Has courage to do so.
  • Maintain visual and verbal contact with the operator.
  • Have hand signals & communication worked out with operator.
  • Understands the color code of 811CO locate flags & marks.
  • Is aware of below ground indications of utilities such as warning tape, sand & bedding, previously compacted soils, trash and debris.
  • If the spotter has to leave the area then he has to notify operator and the task stops.
  • Knows the emergency response plan and who to contact if the operator/foreman is unable to or cannot respond.

Backing Spotter

Ask another to help you back in vehicles and trailers in congested areas and around public & client facilities.

  • Make sure the spotter and driver clearly understand each other’s hand signals and voice commands
  • If unsure of an instruction or direction the driver is the STOP.
  • Spotter to stay in view of the driver’s mirror and do not stand directly behind vehicle.
  • Spotter is not to walk backwards behind vehicle.
  • If driver loses sight of spotter stop immediately.
Being a spotter is a responsibility. Spotters are authorized to STOP Work to avoid strikes & mishaps.

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