When I first started as a safety professional, I always heard the safety tip that when working around large mobile equipment like front end loaders, to make eye contact with the operator. The thinking was that by making eye contact with the operator you would be seen and not be run over.

Well, now I know better.  When discussing this topic now when I do safety training I ask the class to tell me what I’m thinking when I make eye contact with them?  No one ever guesses that I’m thinking of a thin crust pepperoni, Italian sausage, and ham pizza.  The point being, just because someone makes eye contact with the operator doesn’t mean they register you as being in their travel path or in their area of operation.

Wave.  I tell the class to wave at the operator.  Most people when waved to will wave back.  If there is no wave back then there is no recognition that you are in the equipment operators’ mind.  Make sure the operator acknowledges (the return wave) your presence.  The alternative, of course, you may find yourself in the path of a large piece of heavy equipment moving directly toward you.