OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
Bookmark this page

Part 19 Powered Mobile Equipment

Section 272 Falling objects protective structures

Subsection 272(1)

Operators of powered mobile equipment may be exposed to falling objects under some working situations. Examples include warehouse operations where items are stacked on high shelves, where a shaft or tunnel is being excavated, and where building demolition is taking place. Where a falling object hazard is present, the powered mobile equipment must be equipped with a falling object protective structure (FOPS).

Subsection 272(2) and 272(3)

To comply with this section, the FOPS must meet the requirements of the appropriate referenced standard or be certified by a professional engineer as providing equivalent or better protection.

SAE Standard J167 (2002), Overhead Protection for Agricultural Tractors – Test Procedures and Performance Requirements, establishes test and performance requirements for overhead protection to minimize the frequency and severity of operator injury due to falling objects encountered during normal operation of a wheeled agricultural tractor. The cover mounted over the operator’s seat may be solid, or a grid or mesh meeting the criteria for openings listed in the Standard. The overhead cover is expected to provide reasonable protection from such objects as bricks, concrete blocks, and small hand tools that may fall from heights of up to 9 metres (30 feet).

SAE Standard J/ISO 3449 (2005), Earthmoving Machinery – Falling-Object Protective Structures – Laboratory Tests and Performance Requirements, provides performance criteria for falling object protective structures (FOPS) installed on the types of earthmoving machinery specified in the Standard. A FOPS meeting the requirements of the Standard will have a label attached to it indicating the standard number and the performance level that the structure meets.

The Standard recognizes two levels of FOPS protection. Level I is intended to provide protection from falling bricks, small concrete blocks and hand tools encountered in operations such as highway maintenance, landscaping, and other construction site services. Level II is intended to provide protection from falling trees or rocks for machines involved in site clearing, overhead demolition, or forestry.

SAE Standard J1042 (2003), Operator Protection for General-Purpose Industrial Machines, establishes performance requirements for protective systems that provide operator protection from hazards of machine rollover and/or falling objects. The Standard does so by referencing other SAE Standards that present specific construction and performance requirements for falling object protective structures. The required overhead protective structures are expected to provide reasonable protection from such objects as bricks, concrete blocks, and small hand tools that may fall from heights of up to 9 metres (30 feet).