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Spotter verses escort
  • jim_f
  • Ohio, United States
Any “defined” information (in writing) regarding the roll of an “escort” as opposed to a “spotter” in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks or other mobile industrial equipment?
  • Posted 23 Mar 2007 10:42 PM
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.
A 'spotter' is a person who guides an operator when the operator does not have full view of the intended path of travel, because a tall load is blocking their vision, and they must travel forwards.
A 'spotter' is an indivdual who has a clear view of your forklift, its load, and the truck's intended path of travel.
A 'spotter' must have been instructed in a code of signals for managing traffic in a workplace.

An [url removed] who you pay for a date, and other things? Sorry, its been a long tough day.

Hope the spotter helps you out.
  • Posted 27 Mar 2007 10:45 AM
BTW, the 'spotter' interpretation is from the OHSAct of Ontario, Canada. This is how the role of a 'spotter' is described.

As far as an 'ESCORT', that hasn't changed, yet!
  • Posted 28 Mar 2007 10:35 AM
  • • Modified 28 Mar 2007 10:36 AM by poster
  • Jplayer
  • North Carolina, United States
in either case i believe it would be safer than not having anyone at all looking out for the operator.
But i tend to go with dan_m's description on the escort :o)


John Player Jr
LiftOne, LLC
Charlotte, NC
  • Posted 12 Apr 2007 01:33 PM
Now who said Canadians didn't have a sense of humor. Especially since they haven't seen the Stanley Cup on their side of the border in a while.

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 13 Apr 2007 07:53 AM
jim f:

There are no universal material handling definitions for spotter or escort. The name used depends on the policy or regulation which defines the specific function(s) to be performed.

There are basically six types of functions that I’m aware of that could require operator assistance:

(1) Directing an operator’s path of travel when the driver’s vision is obscured. (forward vision for forklift operators, rear vision for backing vehicles such as trucks/trailers, etc.).

(2) Directing the positioning of a load (forklift, crane, etc.).

(3) Watching for proximity dangers (drop offs, overhead wires, hazardous material piping, etc.) during certain limited operations (forklift, crane, etc.).

(4) Escorting a forklift or other equipment to warn pedestrians and keep them clear of the hazard area. (furniture warehouse showrooms, home improvement centers, manufacturing shop floors, construction sites, etc.).

(5) Following a forklift or other piece of equipment on a public road to safeguard from other road vehicles and provide turn signals, brake lights, etc. for vehicle being protected.

(6) Accompanying a forklift or other vehicle to clear a path of travel where such travel could interfere with the travel of other vehicles. (travel requires movement in opposing lane, wide swing at intersection, etc.) (escorts for manufactured homes and other wide loads.).

Several other names are often used in such policies or regulations including : observer, designated person, signaler, signalman, flag person, guide, etc.
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 04:41 AM
jim f:

Here are some limited policy and regulatory examples:
[url removed] OSHA, Construction, Subpart O, 1926.601(b)(4): No employer shall use any motor vehicle equipment having an obstructed view to the rear unless: (i) The vehicle has a reverse signal alarm audible above the surrounding noise level or: (ii) The vehicle is backed up only when an observer signals that it is safe to do so.
Jefferson Lab ESH&Q Manual - Rev. 8.8 - 21 MAR 2007
Forklifts must not be operated on public highways unless the forklift is accompanied by an "escort vehicle" directly behind the forklift. The escort vehicle must have its emergency (yellow) flashers operating.
Ontario Health and Safety Regulation 851 (for Ontario Provincial regulated employer). 56. Where the operator of a vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment or its load, the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment shall only be operated as directed by a signaller who is a competent person and who is stationed, (a) in full view of the operator; (b) with a full view of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load; and (c) clear of the intended path of travel of the vehicle, mobile equipment, crane or similar material handling equipment and its load. [url removed] 1990, Reg. 851, s. 56.
[url removed] Department of Energy, DOE-RL-92-36, Hanford Site Hoisting and Rigging Manual
Spotter – An assigned person whose sole responsibility is to provide a warning or stop signal during vehicle or equipment operation prior to violation of proximity restrictions or pre-determined distance limitations to structures or hazards such as power and communication lines, overhead obstructions, buildings, telephone poles, ground penetrations and etc. (Some operations require the use of a qualified signalman/flagman as a spotter). Signal Person/Flagman – A qualified person who’s responsibility is to provide direction for equipment movements to the operator through use of voice signals or standardized hand signals.
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 05:03 AM
  • • Modified 16 Apr 2007 07:52 PM by poster
jim f:

Here is a more detailed regulatory example:

Canada OSHA (CANOSH), Part 14, Materials Handling (for federally regulated employer) Interpretation
14.1 In this Part, "signaller" means a person instructed by an employer to direct, by means of visual or auditory signals, the safe movement and operation of motorized materials handling equipment. (signaleur) Signals 14.25 No employer shall require an operator to operate motorized materials handling equipment unless the operator (a) is directed by a signaller; or (b) has an unobstructed view of the area in which the equipment is to be operated. 14.26 (1) Every employer who wishes to use signals to direct the movement of motorized materials handling equipment shall establish a single code of signals to be used by signallers in all of the employer's work places. (2) Subject to subsection (3), signals from the code referred to in subsection (1) shall be given by a signaller, who may use only those signals. (3) A signal to stop given in an emergency by any person granted access to the work place by the employer shall be obeyed by an operator. (4) No signaller shall perform duties other than signalling while the motorized materials handling equipment under the signaller's direction is in operation. (5) Where any movement of motorized materials handling equipment that is directed by a signaller poses a risk to the safety of any person, the signaller shall not give the signal to move until that person is warned of, or protected from, the risk. (6) Where the operator of any motorized materials handling equipment does not understand a signal, the operator shall consider that signal to be a stop signal. 14.27 (1) Subject to subsection (2), where the use by a signaller of visual signals will not be an effective means of communication, the employer shall provide the signaller and the operator with a telephone, radio or other audible signalling device. (2) No radio transmitting equipment shall be used in a work place for the transmission of signals where such use may activate electric blasting equipment in that place. (3) Where a signalling device referred to in subsection (1) functions unreliably or improperly and the operation of any motorized materials handling equipment cannot be safely directed by another means of signalling, use of the motorized materials handling equipment shall be discontinued until the signalling device is repaired or replaced. (4) Where an employee finds a defect in radio transmitting signalling equipment that may render it unsafe for use, the employee shall report the defect to the employer as soon as possible.
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 05:12 AM
  • jim_f
  • Ohio, United States
Your response is very detailed, just what I was looking for.
I have not found anything in US OSHA.
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 01:54 PM
  • jim_f
  • Ohio, United States
Thanks, I like the DOT discription and it is a US standard, which is something I needed.
Thanks to everyone responding including the Canadian "a?"
I'm involved in a situation wherein a person designated as an "escort" was struck by the truck he was escorting.
I am hearing the term "escort" more often and have been confused as to the differance between that and "spotter"
As a powered industrial truck instructor over the past 25 years I have had the oportunity to teach "spotter" responsibillities and signals. It would seem that an escort should require at least some of that same instruction.
Your thoughts are appreciated.
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 02:14 PM
OHSA 851,
Exactly what I said. LoL

As far as the Stanley Cup is concerned.. Go Sabres. Go Mighty Ducks. Go Red Wings. Go Stars.

Anything to draw interest in the USA!

Sorry to have hijacked the thread.
  • Posted 17 Apr 2007 11:19 AM
dan m,

I enjoyed the humor, it brought a smile on an otherwise serious day, thanks.
  • Posted 10 Aug 2007 12:26 AM
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.

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