OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 263 Unattended equipment

Subsection 263(1)

Powered mobile equipment can pose a serious risk of injury to workers and damage to property if it is not properly secured against unexpected movement. Unexpected movement could be caused by any number of factors such as sloping ground, changes in air or hydraulic pressure, slippery ground conditions, equipment parked incorrectly, etc.

The operator must ensure that powered mobile equipment is prevented from moving unintentionally. Examples of how to do this include engaging any movement safety device and placing the transmission in the manufacturer’s “park” position. Where necessary, the wheels of the equipment should be blocked with wheel chocks. On equipment like graders and dozers, ground-engaging implements provide additional braking and help to prevent unexpected movement.

Subsection 263(2)

Air and hydraulic pressures can bleed off over time. Suspended machinery or ground engaging implements such as rippers, blades, buckets, etc. must therefore be lowered to the ground or otherwise secured in a safe position before the equipment controls are left unattended.

Elevated manlift booms are often seen at worksites and especially rental yards stored in an elevated position. A recent (June 2009) review by Workplace Health and Safety of written instructions from all of the major manlift manufacturers has confirmed that this is an acceptable practice from the manufacturer’s perspective. Manufacturers regard booms in this position as having been “secured in a safe position”, thereby complying with this subsection. Manufacturers further agree that the equipment is safest when the boom is in its retracted position. An employer is considered to be in compliance with this subsection if

(a) a manlift boom stored in an elevated position is fully retracted, and
(b) the employer meets all of the manufacturer’s other conditions for storage.