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Construction Equipment Visibility

Studies show that highway and street construction workers are at a significant risk of fatal and serious nonfatal injuries while working in and around a street/highway construction jobsite. In addition to the risk of injury from passing motor vehicle traffic outside the work zone, there is an equally hazardous risk of injury from movement of construction vehicles and equipment within the work zone. In analyzing the data collected on fatalities and serious nonfatal injuries occurring from 1992-1998, NIOSH researchers concluded that “safety efforts must also protect construction workers within work zones who are working on foot around moving vehicles and equipment…” [Pratt et al., 2001]. Collision incidents are attributed in part to limited visibility around the equipment.

Use the diagram lookup to find a detailed construction vehicle list that assists in visualizing the areas around various construction vehicles and equipment that are unable to be seen from the operator’s position. These areas are commonly referred to as Blind Areas. For each construction vehicle, three different Blind Area Diagrams are available to represent the ability of the operator to see an object at three different elevations: ground level, 900 mm (3′), and 1500 mm (4′ 11″). The 900 mm plane represents the average height of a channelizing device (e.g. construction barrels that are commonly used in road construction). The 1500 mm plane corresponds to the height of a 4′ 11″ person.

Safety personnel and instructors can use this resource as a training aid to increase awareness about limited-visibility areas around construction vehicles and equipment. Select the Test Procedures button below to access the procedure for developing Blind Area Diagrams.

Disclaimer: The blind area diagrams are reproduced as received from the contractor, Caterpillar Inc., under NIOSH contract number 200-2002-00563. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Furthermore, mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.