A version of these diagrams might help explain blind-spots in motor vehicle accidents.
What Is a Blind-Area Diagram?
- A blind-area diagram is best described as a drawing that depicts the area around a vehicle or piece of equipment that cannot be seen from the operator's position. The blind-area diagrams utilized the procedure outlined in [ISO 5006:2006], "Earth-moving machinery - Operator's field of view - Test method and performance criteria." This procedure uses light sources to represent the operator's eyes and the shadow created by blockages associated with the vehicle, such as door posts and mufflers, to represent the blind area.
- Road construction workers face many hazards on the job. In addition to many of the hazards present on a "traditional" construction site, road workers also need to contend with moving vehicles both in and around the job site. Road construction workers risk injury from construction equipment operating within work zones. From 1995 through 2002, 844 fatal occupational injuries occurred at road construction sites. The majority of these fatalities, 693 (82%) cases, were reported to be transportation incidents. Fatalities involving a ground worker being struck by a vehicle or equipment accounted for 509 (73%) of the transportation incidents. Victims were as likely to be struck by construction equipment (32%) as by highway vehicles (28%). Backing up accounted for at least 50 percent of fatalities from being run over by construction equipment [Pegula 2004].
In 2001, NIOSH began developing and evaluating interventions to reduce the number of ground workers being struck by road construction equipment. While developing evaluation methods, researchers created equipment blind-area diagrams. Although originally developed for use by NIOSH researchers, industry stakeholders suggested that blind-area diagrams can be a valuable training resource for road construction companies and labor unions. This information can be useful to companies when purchasing new vehicles. Additionally, educating drivers and road crew about vehicles' blind areas can help to reduce related injuries and fatalities.