Powered Mobile Equipment
Operating and working near powered mobile equipment can potentially be very dangerous. As a result, it must only be operated by competent employees. Operators must understand the safety requirements when operating powered mobile equipment, for both their own safety and that of others working around the equipment.
What is powered mobile equipment?
Powered mobile equipment is self-propelled off-highway equipment used for construction, mining, agriculture, forestry and other purposes. It includes front-end loaders, dozers, backhoes, excavators, skidders, forwarders, tree-harvesters, scrapers, compactors, rollers, graders, agricultural tractors and industrial tractors, but does not include industrial lift trucks or mobile cranes.
When operating powered mobile equipment, the best measure an operator can take to avoid injury or death in the event of a rollover or collision is to wear the seatbelt. In the event of a rollover, the rollover protective structures (ROPS) will act as a protective box around you and the seatbelt keeps you inside the box.
As an employer, you must:
- Ensure that the powered mobile equipment has the necessary equipment to protect employees from flying, intruding or falling objects
- Ensure powered mobile equipment is equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS), and that all ROPS equipment meets the required criteria.
- Ensure they are fitted with seat belts, or other restraining devices where seat belts are impracticable
- Ensure that operators use the seat belts or restraining devices
- Ensure that powered mobile equipment is
- Used only for the purposed it is designed and equipped.
- Operated by a competent employee.
- Equipped with adequate brakes, a manually operated horn, rear-view mirror (or other means to ensure safe backing up), automatic audible back-up alarm, guarded gears and moving parts, and three point contact to access the operator's cab.
- Equipped with adequate headlights and tail lights when used in dimly lit areas or after dark.
- Equipped with controls that cannot be operated from the outside of the cab (unless designed in that way).
- Ensure that any load on the equipment is adequately secured.
- Designate an employee to signal to an operator who is backing up and is unable to see clearly.
- Ensure that all aspects of the powered mobile equipment are maintained in safe working condition, defective parts are replaced or repaired, wire ropes (and drums and sheaves) are inspected visually every day by the operator, and physically by a competent person weekly.
- Ensure any raised parts are adequately blocked and no employee works under or goes under the equipment unless the parts are adequately blocked.
- Ensure that any safety device is not altered in any way that makes it ineffective.
- Ensure the operator checks the effectiveness of all safety devices before operating the equipment.
- Ensure adequate actions are taken when working on a slope or bank, pushing materials into a body of water, pit, excavation or other cavity or frozen body of water.
While the employer is ultimately responsible for all the provisions mentioned above, the supervisor has a vital role to play in the safety of their teams. As a supervisor, you must:
- Acquaint your employees with the hazards and control measures associated with their work
- Provide the information and instruction necessary to ensure their health and safety
- Enforce company safety rules, programs, codes of practice and procedures, including ensuring employees comply with the requirements below.
As an operator of powered mobile equipment, you must:
- Ensure that nobody rides on any part of the equipment not designed to carry passengers.
- Use the seatbelts or restraining devices while the equipment is moving.
- Follow safe operating procedures, including air and hydraulic operation, and refuelling.
- When leaving equipment unattended, place it in a safe state by doing the following:
- Not store flammable substances in the cab or carry loose articles.
- Keep equipment in gear when going downhill.
- Not work under or go under raised parts or perform repairs or maintenance unless the parts are adequately blocked.
- Not alter any safety device in any way that makes it ineffective.
- Check the effectiveness of all safety devices before operating the equipment
- (a) qualified, because of such factors as knowledge, training and experience, to do assigned work in a manner that will ensure the health and safety of persons,
- (b) knowledgeable about the provisions of the Act and the regulations that apply to the assigned work, and
- (c) knowledgeable about potential or actual danger to health or safety connected with the assigned work
General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191
Part XV MATERIALS HANDLING EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL CARRYING EQUIPMENT
219. (1) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment has a cab, screen, shield, grill, deflector, guard or other adequate protection for the operator if the operator may be exposed to the hazard of flying or intruding objects.
(2) Where a hazard exists to the operator of powered mobile equipment from falling objects, an employer shall ensure that the powered mobile equipment is equipped with a falling objects protective structure adequate for the conditions in which the equipment is being used and that meets the requirements of the appropriate SAE standard listed below or that is certified by an engineer to provide equivalent or better protection:
(a) SAE J167 DEC86, "Overhead Protection for Agricultural Tractors - Test Procedures and Performance";
(b) SAE J231 JAN81, "Minimum Performance Criteria for Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)";
(c) SAE J397 APR88, "Deflection Limiting Volume-ROPS/FOPS Laboratory Evaluation";
(d) SAE J1042 JUN93, "Operator Protection for General Purpose Industrial Machines";
(e) SAE J1043 APR85, "Performance Criteria for FOPS on General Purpose Industrial Machines"; or
(f) SAE J1084 APR80, "Operator Protective Structure Performance Criteria for Certain Forestry Equipment".
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 73]
220. (1) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment manufactured on or after January 1, 1974 is equipped with a rollover protective structure that meets the minimum safety requirements of CSA standard B352-M1980, "Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) for Agricultural, Construction, Earthmoving, Forestry, Industrial, and Mining Machines".
(2) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment manufactured before January 1, 1974 is equipped with a rollover protective structure that meets the requirements of subsection (1) or the following criteria:
(a) the rollover protective structure and supporting attachments are designed, fabricated and installed in such a manner to support not less than twice the weight of the equipment, based on the ultimate strength of the metal and integrated loading of supporting members with the resultant load applied at the point of impact;
(b) there is a vertical clearance of 1320 mm between the deck and the rollover protective structure at the access openings; and
(c) the rollover protective structure and supporting attachments referred to in paragraph (a) are certified as meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) by the manufacturer of the rollover protective structure, the installing agency or an engineer.
(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), the Chief Compliance Officer may give permission in writing for a deviation, under such terms and conditions as he considers advisable, for powered mobile equipment to be used without a rollover protective structure if there is no significant chance of upset and
(a) the equipment has a frame that is not capable of supporting the stresses introduced by a rollover protective structure during upset,
(b) the equipment has a low centre of gravity that makes upset unlikely, or
(c) the installation of a rollover protective structure constitutes an operating hazard in the circumstances in which the equipment is operating.
(4) An employer shall ensure that all modifications or repairs to a rollover protective structure meet the requirements of this section and are certified as meeting such requirements by the modification design agency, the installing agency or an engineer and that such certification is made available to an officer on request.
[N.B. Reg. 96-106, s. 8; 2001-33, s. 74]
221. (1) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment that has been fitted with a rollover protective structure is provided with
(a) seat belts for the operator and passengers that comply with or exceed whichever of the following Society of Automotive Engineers' Recommended Practices is appropriate:
(i) SAE J386 NOV97, "Operator Restraint Systems for Off- Road Work Machines";
(ii) SAE J117 JAN 1970, "Dynamic Test Procedure -Type 1 and Type 2 Seat Belt Assemblies"; or
(iii) SAE J800 APR 86, "Motor Vehicle Seat Belt Assembly Installations"; or
(b) where the wearing of seat belts is impracticable, restraining devices such as shoulder belts, bars, gates, screens or other similar devices designed to prevent the operator and passengers from being thrown outside the rollover protective structure.
(2) An operator of and passengers on powered mobile equipment shall use the seat belts or restraining devices referred to in subsection (1) while the equipment is in motion.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 75]
224. An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment
(a) is used only for the purposes for which it is designed and equipped,
(b) is operated by a competent employee,
(c) is equipped with adequate brakes,
(d) is equipped with a manually operated horn,
(e) has a rear view mirror or other means of ensuring that the equipment can be safely backed up,
(f) is equipped with an audible back-up alarm that operates automatically when the equipment is in reverse and that is clearly audible above the background noise,
(g) is equipped with adequate headlights and tail lights when used after dark or in dimly lit areas,
(h) has gears and moving parts adequately guarded,
(i) has controls that cannot be operated from outside the cab unless the controls are designed to be operated from outside the cab,
(j) has any load on it adequately secured, and
(k) is provided with a three point contact to access the operator's cab.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 78]
226. An employer shall designate an employee to give signals to an operator of powered mobile equipment who is backing up the equipment and who is not able to see clearly behind the equipment and the operator shall back up the equipment only on signals from the designated employee.
228. An operator of powered mobile equipment shall
(a) ensure that a person does not ride on any part of the equipment not designed to carry passengers,
(b) not set equipment in motion until all air and hydraulic pressures are fully built up to specified operating pressures,
(c) when leaving the equipment unattended,
(i) park it on level ground,
(ii) set the brake,
(iii) lower the blades and bucket or safely block them,
(iv) disengage the master clutch,
(v) stop the engine, and
(vi) remove the key,
(d) follow a safe re-fueling procedure,
(e) not store containers of gasoline, diesel oil or other flammable substances in the cab,
(f) not carry loose articles in the cab, and
(g) keep the equipment in gear when going downhill.
Section 229 Precautions when Precautions when jacked or hoisted
229. (1) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment
(a) is maintained in safe working condition,
(b) has defective parts repaired or replaced before being set in motion,
(c) has air and hydraulic lines, hoses and components maintained in safe operating condition,
(d) has wire ropes, drums and sheaves inspected visually on a daily basis by the operator of the equipment and inspected visually and physically by a competent person on a weekly basis, and
(e) is lubricated only when at rest or as the manufacturer directs.
(f) Repealed. [N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 81]
(1.1) An employer shall ensure that when a tire for powered mobile equipment is installed and inflated on a rim, a safety cage or other restraining device is used for the tire and the rim, and that other appropriate precautionary measures are followed to protect employees from the hazard of the tire exploding.
(2) An employer shall ensure that powered mobile equipment and detachments for powered mobile equipment that are raised from the ground by means of a hoisting apparatus are adequately blocked.
(3) An employer shall ensure that an employee does not work under or go under the raised parts of any powered mobile equipment unless the parts are adequately blocked and no employee shall work under or go under such raised parts unless the parts are adequately blocked.
(4) Where repair or maintenance work is carried out at the point of articulation on front end loaders or similar powered mobile equipment, an employer shall ensure that lock bars are used to prevent movement of either end of the loader or similar equipment.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 81; 2022-79, ss. 39-41]
229.1 (1) No person shall alter any powered mobile equipment in such a way as to render ineffective a safety device installed on the equipment.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person may alter powered mobile equipment so as to render ineffective a safety device installed on the equipment if the alteration is certified in writing by the manufacturer of the safety device or an engineer as affording protection equal to or greater than the protection afforded by the safety device.
(3) An operator shall not use, and an employer shall not permit to be used, any powered mobile equipment if the equipment has been altered so as to render ineffective a safety device installed on the equipment.
(4) Subsection (3) does not apply where the alteration has been certified in writing by the manufacturer of the safety device or an engineer as affording protection equal to or greater than the protection provided by the safety device.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 82]
229.2 (1) An operator of powered mobile equipment shall check for the effectiveness of all safety devices daily before operating the equipment.
(2) If more than one operator uses powered mobile equipment in the course of a day or if the powered mobile equipment is used on more than one shift, each operator shall check for the effectiveness of all safety devices before operating the equipment.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 82]
230. Where powered mobile equipment is used on a slope or bank which may give way, an employer shall ensure that adequate precautions are taken to stabilize the bank and to distribute the load of the equipment.