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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

December 15, 2015

sound waves

Construction Q&A: Can I disconnect backup alarms on heavy equipment?

Q: Residents near our construction site have complained about the early-morning noise from back-up alarms on our dump trucks and other heavy equipment. If a vehicle is equipped with a back-up alarm, is it acceptable to disable it when a spotter is present?

A: Yes. It is also acceptable to disable the alarm if the operator can verify that no one is behind the vehicle when it backs up or if no one is allowed to enter the "danger area" without the operator’s knowledge.

You will find the construction-industry requirement for back up alarms in 437-003-3225(9), Warning Devices, which says that vehicles with an obstructed view to the rear must have a backup alarm that can be heard over the surrounding noise. However, 437-003-3225(9)(a) notes that back up alarms are not required when the vehicle backs up and an observer (or the operator) verifies that there is no one behind the vehicle and that no one will enter the "danger area" without the operator's knowledge.



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