A worker was driving a utility vehicle, delivering supplies at a plant nursery. He turned off the main roadway onto a muddy track that circled around two parked semi-trailers. As the worker drove around this circuit, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into one of the trailers. He died in hospital of his injuries.
Most utility vehicles have a maximum speed of only about 25 km/h. Low speeds, however, do not ensure safety. Nursery workers, farmers, and other employers who use utility vehicles must follow all the applicable sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, including Part 16, which sets out the requirements for mobile equipment.
Safe work practices:
- Ensure that all utility vehicle operators are adequately trained and tested for competency. Ensure that they are also familiar with the operator's manual.
- Ensure that all operators wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Discuss the PPE required for your particular utility vehicle and worksite with your WorkSafeBC officer.
- Establish and enforce written safe work procedures for the operation of utility vehicles, and train operators in these procedures. The procedures should include the following:
- Do not joyride.
- Conduct a start-of-shift safety inspection.
- Do not speed.
- Reduce speed on curves.
- Stay on designated routes and do not enter restricted areas.
- Ensure that operators are properly supervised, and assess each operator's performance on a regular basis.
- Maintain utility vehicles as specified by the manufacturer or a professional engineer. Keep maintenance and repair records.
- Remove from service any vehicle with a defect that affects safe operation. Repairs must be done by—or under the direct supervision of—a qualified person.
- Before buying any model of utility vehicle, ensure that it meets the requirements set out in the relevant sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
WorkSafeBC has a wide range of health and safety information. For assistance and information on workplace health and safety, call toll-free within BC 1-888-621-SAFE (7233) or visit our web site at WorkSafeBC.com.