We won’t know for some time what happened at Boston’s Logan International Airport that resulted in a ramp worker being killed by a lavatory waste truck he was guiding to an aircraft. According to media reports, the truck was backing up when the man was struck.
But even without knowing what specifically occurred – although it is important to investigate and determine the factors that contributed to the tragic accident so others can be prevented – it’s still an opportune time to review vehicle back-up procedures in your manuals and in your training programs.
One of the things that I insist on being in manuals and training programs that I review is that a driver backing up with a guide man proceed to drive in reverse only as long as he can see the person in his mirrors. If at any time, he or she is unable to see the guide man, the driver must stop immediately.
I also insist that the procedures require the person doing the guiding to remain visible in the driver’s mirrors. If you can’t see the driver in the mirror, the driver can’t see you.