Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Program Summary

16 VAC 25-97

§ 10 Coverage
This regulation applies to all general industry and construction industry vehicles, machinery or equipment capable of operating in reverse and with an obstructed view to the rear (referred to as "covered vehicles").

§20  Definitions 
"Obstructed view to the rear" is anything that interferes with the driver’s view to the rear of the vehicle at ground level & includes structural members of the vehicle; its load (e.g., gravel, dirt, machinery parts); its height relative to ground level viewing; damage to windows or side mirrors, etc., used for rearview movement; restricted visibility due to weather conditions (e.g., heavy fog, heavy snow); or work being done after dark without proper lighting.

§30  Covered Vehicle Requirements

  • Do not back-up any covered vehicle unless it has a back-up alarm audible above the surrounding noise level, and it is backed-up only when a ground guide signals that it is safe to do so; or before backing-up, the driver looks to see that no employee is in the path of the vehicle.
  • If the back-up alarm stops working properly & an immediate fix is not possible that day, the vehicle shall be backed-up using ground guide signals; or taken out of service until the alarm is repaired.

§30 Exemptions

  • Covered vehicles with operable video or similar technological capability providing the driver with a full view behind the vehicle are exempt from the requirement to use a ground guide.
  • To the extent that any federal Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation applying to covered vehicles conflicts with this chapter, the DOT regulation shall take precedence.
  • Covered vehicles that did not have back-up alarm when manufactured or were not later retrofitted with an alarm are exempt from the requirement to have a back-up alarm.  If the manufacturer offered the employer a back-up alarm retrofit package at a reasonable and economically feasible cost and the employer did not have the retrofit package installed, this exemption does not apply.

§40 Ground Guides SHALL NOT:

  • Do any activities other than those related to the vehicle being signaled;
  • Use personal cell phones/head phones, etc., that could cause a distraction;
  • Walk close behind a vehicle that is backing-up.

 §40 Ground Guides SHALL: 

  • Be trained in the safety rules in this regulation;
  • Always stay where the vehicle driver can see you while he is backing-up;
  • Stay a safe working distance from the vehicle;
  • Be provided with & wear during the day a safety vest/jacket in orange, yellow, strong yellow green or fluorescent versions of these colors;
  • Be provided with & wear at nighttime a safety vest/jacket with retro-reflective material in orange, yellow, white, silver, strong yellow green or a fluorescent version of these colors (visible at a minimum distance of 1,000 feet).

§40  Drivers/Operators SHALL:

  • Be trained in the safety rules of this regulation; and
  • NOT back-up a vehicle unless they keep constant line of sight of the ground guide.  If the driver loses sight of the ground guide, they shall immediately stop the vehicle until sight of the ground guide is regained and a signal is received from the ground guide to restart back-up operations.

§40  All Employees SHALL NOT:

  • Walk close behind a vehicle that is backing-up.

§50  Training

  • Refresher training shall be provided for any driver or ground guide when they have violated the regulation, been involved in a reverse signal accident or near miss, or received an evaluation indicating they have not been operating under this regulation in a safe manner.