OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 19 Powered Mobile Equipment

Section 267 Warning signal

Subsection 267(1)

The large size of some powered mobile equipment makes it impossible for the operator to have a clear view around the equipment. This view can be directly with the eyes or indirectly with a mirror, closed circuit television, or other effective means. A serious hazard can result if the equipment is moved in a direction that the operator cannot see clearly.

If the operator cannot see what is in the direction of travel, the powered mobile equipment must be equipped with one or more of three acceptable alternatives:

(a) an automatic audible warning device – the audible warning must be loud enough to be heard above other noise in the immediate area. For most equipment this is the familiar “back-up alarm”;
(b) an alternate warning device or method appropriate to the hazards of the work site – this may include flashing/rotating lights, strobe lights, or other effective means; or
(c) an automatic stopping system – this system may use motion, thermal or other detectors to sense the presence of a worker or obstruction in the path of travel and automatically stop the equipment.

This subsection is not intended to have employers install warning devices or automatic systems on all powered mobile equipment. The requirement applies only if an equipment operator’s view of the equipment’s path of travel is obstructed or cannot be seen directly or indirectly in a direction. Putting audible warning devices on all powered mobile equipment at a work site, for example, could create a greater hazard due to confusion resulting from multiple alarms going off simultaneously.

Subsection 267(2)

Where it is impracticable to install a warning device or automatic stopping system (perhaps due to noise by-laws that restrict the operation of audible warning devices), the operator is not allowed to move the equipment until precautions are taken to prevent operator and worker injury. Examples of acceptable precautions include

(a) a detailed inspection of the travel path by the equipment operator,
(b) direction by a designated signaller or other worker who is in continuous view of the operator and has a complete view of the area into which the equipment will move,
(c) direction by a traffic control or warning system, or
(d) ensuring that all other workers are removed from the area into which the equipment will move.

In all cases the control must be appropriate for the conditions at the work site.