Motor Vehicle Safety in Residential Construction

If proper safety precautions are not taken, operating motor vehicles has proven to be dangerous in the construction industry. As longtime estate home builders in San Diego County, CA, the team at SUMAC Construction takes it upon itself to adhere to all regulations when traveling to and from residential work sites, but sometimes accidents cannot be avoided. This is precisely why all SUMAC vehicles are licensed and insured with all necessary documents present in the glove box. Our vehicles undergo routine maintenance and are always kept clean. Below are some of the key OSHA standards with which SUMAC Construction regularly complies:

  • 601(b)(1) All vehicles shall have a service brake system, an emergency brake system, and a parking brake system. These systems may use common components and shall be maintained in operable condition.
  • 601(b)(4) No employer shall use any motor vehicle equipment having an obstructed view to the rear unless:
  • 601(b)(4)(i) The vehicle has a reverse signal alarm audible above the surrounding noise level or:
  • 601(b)(4)(ii) The vehicle is backed up only when an observer signals that it is safe to do so.
  • 601(b)(7) Tools and material shall be secured to prevent movement when transported in the same compartment with employees.
  • 601(b)(8) Vehicles used to transport employees shall have seats firmly secured and adequate for the number of employees to be carried.
  • 601(b)(9) Seat belts and anchorages meeting the requirements of 49 CFR Part 571 (Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) shall be installed in all motor vehicles.
  • 601(b)(14) All vehicles in use shall be checked at the beginning of each shift to assure that the following parts, equipment, and accessories are in safe operating condition and free of apparent damage that could cause failure while in use: service brakes, including trailer brake connections; parking system (hand brake); emergency stopping system (brakes); tires; horn; steering mechanism; coupling devices; seat belts; operating controls; and safety devices. All defects shall be corrected before the vehicle is placed in service. These requirements also apply to equipment such as lights, reflectors, windshield wipers, defrosters, fire extinguishers, etc., where such equipment is necessary.


Unfortunately, there were 142 fatalities reported in back-over incidents between 2005 and 2010. Every SUMAC Construction employee is trained to not back up a vehicle or trailer without an audible alarm and/or a backup “spotter” who has an unobstructed view, which is in direct compliance with 1926.601(b).

When transporting materials or solid waste, we ensure our drivers always:

  • Stay in the right-hand lane.
  • Attach red flags to material that sticks out longer than the truck bed.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Remain vigilant through defensive driving.

SUMAC Construction not only cares about our clients, but the citizens of San Diego. Therefore, we go above in beyond when it comes to any aspect of motor vehicle or roadway safety. We are proud to say our attentiveness to motor vehicle safety allows us to transport employees, material and solid waste with the utmost efficiency, while maintaining SUMAC Construction’s high standards.

To learn more about the standards we put into practice when constructing custom-built homes in San Diego County, CA, reach out to SUMAC Construction today.

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