Do I Have To Wear A Seat Belt While Operating Heavy Machinery?

Posted Jan 23rd, 2017 in Tips & News

Do I Have To Wear A Seat Belt While Operating Heavy Machinery? By law, every employer must require the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in all jobs where there is an exposure to dangerous conditions, or where the nature of the work indicates the need for using PPE to reduce the hazards to employees

Make sure your drivers/operators wear their seat belts.


Do you drive a pick-up truck, or any type of vehicle for your company? Do you operate any type of off-the-road equipment for your company?

Next question. And this is HUGE! Do you always wear your seat belts? If not, why not?

“It wrinkles my pants. It squeezes my chest too tight. I can’t reach my car radio dials with my seat belt on. It rubs my shoulder”. Excuses are a dime a dozen but are these really good excuses not to wear your seatbelt? What if you read in your local paper, that your co-worker fell out of his excavator and was crushed to death, and it was reported that he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. Can you feel the pain, not only his but that of his family? Most heavy equipment used in construction comes equipped with the following protective devices:

·      Roll-Over Protective Bars
·      Steel Plate Roofs
·      Seat Belts

The ROPS (roll-over Protection) and FOPS (fall-on Protection) are structurally built into the equipment; thereby, providing both, constant and primary protection to the equipment operator.


Here are some questions every operator should ask himself:

1.     Do you wear your seat belt at all times while operating both, over-the-road equipment, and off-the-road equipment? If not, why not?

2.     Do you report defective seat belt mechanisms to your foreman, shop foreman, or proper company representative?

3.     When you prepare “Defective Equipment Reports,” do you include the condition of your seat belt mechanism?

4.     If your seat belt won’t work, do you refuse to operate the equipment until it is repaired? If not, why not?

5.     When you do an equipment “walk-around” do you include the seat belt in your inspection?

6.     Do you realize that if you are not using your seat belt, and your equipment goes over, you can be killed? Does this concern you?


Do you use the seat belts in your personal vehicle and in a company on-road or off-road vehicle? If you answered NO to either, you could be considered a menace to both your co-workers, your family, and yourself.

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