Spotting is an essential activity that we as a construction company perform on a frequent basis. It can also be one of the most dangerous if not properly planned out. Spotters can be used for various activities, including spotting trucks when dumping loads, spotting excavators or backhoes during trenching or excavation activities, or something as simple as spotting a water truck backing up to the filling area. On this site we utilize spotters almost daily so we came up with a basic guideline for spotters, and the equipment operators or truck drivers who are involved with that specific task.
• At any time the operator or truck driver loses sight of the spotter they are to immediately stop the equipment or truck until the spotter is in sight again.
• Only use one spotter at a time as more than one will cause confusion.
• Ensure that spotting is discussed in the JSAP and that there is a clear communication between the spotter and operator/drivers as to what hand signals will be used and what they mean.
• Unless it is not possible have the spotter in a fixed location where the truck is to dump so that the spotter does not have to move around or walk backwards.
• Use a piece of equipment to spot if possible to reduce the risk of having an employee on the ground around heavy equipment or trucks that are dumping.
• If conditions change or a new spotter is going to be utilized stop the work and make sure that everyone is on the same page and clear on the activities being performed.
• Finally, remember that as a spotter if you cannot see the operator/driver in their mirrors, they cannot see you.