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Vehicle and Equipment Spotters: The Unsung Heroes of Construction Sites

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Have you ever wondered who those workers are standing around on a construction site or loading area, staring intently at moving trucks and heavy equipment?

Well wonder no more! Discover vehicle and equipment spotters, the unsung heroes of many job sites around the world who ensure safety. In this position, they are responsible for ensuring that every vehicle, truck, or piece of equipment moves into place without hitting anything or, worse yet, anyone. It's as if they have superpowers - only instead of flying, or shooting lasers out of their eyes, they have the ability to detect spatial hazards which many drivers and operators cannot see, due to blind spots.

A vehicle Spotter uses hand signals to safely guide driver to a loading area.

Using verbal face-to-face communication, hand signals and two-way radios, these brave souls direct the drivers and operators of vehicles and equipment by anticipating travel paths and safe distances and then acting as a second pair of eyes and ears feeding information to the drivers and operators (in constant line-of-sight) who may not be able to see or hear the imminent dangers lurking nearby.

These fearless unsung heroes have mastered the art of proper communication. As they stand in strategic locations; they unleash a flurry of hand signals that would make even the most skilled synchronized swimmer jealous. In order to avoid metal-to-metal and metal-to-human collisions, these spotters have elevated their signaling game through exaggerated jazz hands and an interpretive dance routine worthy of Broadway.

An untrained Spotter carelessly turns his back on a backing water truck to tie a loose boot lace.

The job of Spotters is important and can be extremely dangerous when not done correctly. To ensure the safety of workers and protect infrastructure from backing vehicles and equipment, it doesn’t have to be like playing a game of Roulette based on Russian rules. To escape the chaos of busy trucks, bulldozers, excavators, loaders, cranes, and forklifts, it is necessary to first identify the basic job steps, potential hazards, and mitigation measures in advance.

In the U.S. employers are required by OSHA to train workers adequately in the hazards of their jobs. Developing an Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA) as a training tool is a great first step however they can be tedious to create. So, to get it for free, simply skip step one and go directly to step two. Fess up; you do not have time to create your own anyway, nor do you want to. Certainly not a problem, and we are here to help!

Take advantage of this limited time offer and download your FREE Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA) for “Spotting Vehicles, Trucks and Equipment”


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