This change would also help to address situations like a driver pulling into a large shipping terminal and having to back-up to a loading dock – the change would allow the driver as he pulls in to determine that no employees are in the back-up area and then continue with back-up without having to get out of the vehicle. Finally, the Department also considered concerns expressed by construction contractors that significant costs could be incurred by the delays on large road building projects where a constant flow of dump trucks could result in each driver having to stop his vehicle, exit the cab to check for employees in the back-up zone, re-enter the cab and proceed with reverse operations for hundreds of yards.
For those employers that send delivery/trade trucks out with only one person, as noted above, those employers/drivers can take advantage of the exemption. If the single employee drives onto a worksite with other employers working in the area and chooses to request, as many do currently, assistance from an employee of another contractor on site to act as the designated observer/ground guide" there is nothing in the regulation to prohibit that practice. The employer of the driver would not be required to hire or train a designated observer/ground guide just to accompany their single driver, nor would it be that employer's responsibility to train the other contractor's "designated observer/ground guide.
What the Department wants to accomplish with the regulation is to change current behaviors that cause these deaths and debilitating accidents. Without exception, every reverse signal operation fatality involves the driver either not knowing anyone is in the back-up zone or losing site of someone he knows is in the back-up zone and proceeding anyway. Under the current federal OSHA regulations, as long as a covered vehicle has a functioning back-up alarm, the burden of avoiding an accident is placed squarely on the shoulders of the pedestrians in the traffic area. No real safety responsibility is placed on the driver while operating the vehicle other than to make sure the back-up alarm is working. A driver can back-up without even checking his side mirrors under the current regulations.
The regulation will place a positive responsibility on the driver to either keep the designated observer/ground guide in sight at all times during reverse operations, or in the absence of a designated observer/ground guide, to visually determine that no one is in the back-up zone prior to beginning reverse operations of the vehicle.
9.We are concerned about vehicle owner-operators making deliveries to jobsites. First, we are not certain if these individuals are even subject to VOSH regulations since they are sole proprietors with no employees. Regardless, you could have an instance where an independent operator who has not been trained makes a delivery to the jobsite and is cited for non-compliance. The controlling contractor would likely be cited, too under the multi-employer policy. Considering how the industry operates for the delivery of crushed stone from a quarry, for instance, this could be a problem. Or, for that matter, a UPS truck making a delivery at the jobsite could be subject to this requirement. The end result could conceivably be to require the addition of employees at all possible entrances to the jobsite to turn away