Workers can be at risk of hazards when working around vehicles and mobile construction equipment at construction projects. These hazards can result in serious injuries, and even death, to workers.
Incidents can be prevented by ensuring:
- trained signallers and competent equipment operators are in place, as required
- construction projects are planned and organized to eliminate or reduce the reverse operation of vehicles and construction equipment
- personal protective equipment (PPE), including high visibility clothing, is worn by workers, as required
Employers are responsible for protecting workers from hazards arising from the operation of vehicles and mobile construction equipment at construction projects.
Some of the hazards workers could be exposed to include:
- being struck by or run over by vehicles and mobile construction equipment
- being crushed between equipment and other objects
- being struck by material moved by construction equipment
In 2014, six workers died at Ontario construction projects after being struck by a vehicle or mobile construction equipment. Of those, two workers were killed by vehicles they were directing.
Some general duties of workplace parties
Employers have a number of duties and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Regulations for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91).
Below are some examples of employers’ duties:
- provide information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety, including on safe work policies and procedures specific to the workplace and type of work the workers will perform [OHSA s.25(2)(a)]
- ensure equipment operators and signallers are competent workers [Construction Reg. s.96 and 106]
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers [OHSA s.25(2)(h)]
- ensure prescribed measures and procedures are carried out in the workplace [OHSA s.25(1)(c)]
- ensure equipment, materials and protective devices required by the regulations are provided and maintained in good condition [OHSA s.25(1)(a) and (b)]
- provide assistance to, and co-operate with, the workplace’s Joint Health and Safety Committee and/or a health and safety representative [OHSA s.9(29) and 8(9)]
- prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy for the workplace, and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [OHSA s.25(2)(j)]
- post a copy of the OHSA in the workplace [OHSA s.25(2)(k)]
Below are some examples of supervisors’ duties:
- ensure workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations
- ensure any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer is used and/or worn by workers [OHSA s.27(1)(a)]
- advise workers of any potential or actual health or safety dangers known by the supervisor [OHSA s.27(2)(a)]
- where prescribed, provide workers with written instructions about measures and procedures to be taken for workers’ protection [OHSA s.27(2)(b)]
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers [OHSA s.27(2)(c)]
Below are some examples of workers’ duties:
- wear appropriate personal protective equipment [OHSA s.28(1)(b)]
- use or operate equipment in a safe manner [OHSA s.28(2)(b)]
- report any defects in equipment to your supervisor or employer [OHSA s.28(1)(c)]
- work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations [OHSA s.28(1)(a)]
- report any known workplace hazards or OHSA violations to your supervisor or employer [OHSA s.28(1)(d)]
- know your OHSA rights, including the right to refuse unsafe work [OHSA s.43(3)(a) to (c)]
Employers, supervisors and trainers should encourage workers to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about vehicle and mobile equipment hazards. Supervisors or others involved in training workers should be familiar with any health and safety concerns faced by the workers.
Call 1-877-202-0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.
Always call 911 in an emergency.