Number one cause of accidents in the waste industry is backing accidents!
Backing accidents continue to be the most
frequent type of accident in the waste industry. Typically, the end
result of most of these backing accidents is minor to moderate damage to
a parked car or fixed object. However, when pedestrians or bicyclists
are involved, there is always the potential that a backing accident can
result in serious injury or even death.
Because most of them seem
to result in only minor property damage claims, there are some waste
companies that see backing accidents as a cost of doing business. Thus,
some of these firms may not spend a great deal of time or expend much
energy toward their prevention. The old adage is that “frequency breeds
severity,” and the more backing mishaps a waste company has, the more
likely they are to endure a serious or catastrophic accident.
following deadly backing accidents occurred around the country within
the past couple of years and should remind everyone that these accidents
can result, first and foremost, in loss of life, but also large
liability claims, negative publicity for a company and even criminal
Arizona: A 79-year-old man was killed after being backed
over by a waste collection vehicle. The helpers were further up the
street at the time of the accident and the driver was using his mirrors
to back the truck. The truck had a working backing alarm.
Iowa: A 45-year-old woman was fatally injured when she was backed over by a waste collection vehicle in an alley.
Pennsylvania: A helper on a collection truck was killed when he was pinned between a telephone pole and the backing truck.
A 54-year-old man died after being backed over by a refuse collection
vehicle. The man was crossing the street when the truck backed over him.
Florida: A collection driver was cited for improper backing after he backed over his helper. The helper died from his injuries.
The driver of a waste collection vehicle faces charges after backing
over and killing an 85-year-old man in a parking lot.
nine-year-old boy was killed when he was backed over by a waste
collection truck. The boy had followed a ball into the street, and the
driver of the truck never saw him.
Ohio: A man who was legally
blind was struck and killed by a backing waste collection truck. Charges
were filed against the driver after it was discovered that the backing
alarm (beeper) was not in working order at the time of the accident.
Bruce Hooker works for R.F. Mattei & Associates of CA Insurance Services, Sacramento, Calif.