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Do I Have to Wear a Seat belt While Operating Heavy Machinery?

Art Maat
Profile Picture of Art Maat In his founding role as President & CEO of Nektar Data Systems Art is responsible for supervising the products and services that the company offers. His area of expertise centers around the evangelism of industry best practices for data and asset management initiatives. He actively consults executive and operations level management of customer and partner companies.  Full Bio
Q:Do I have to wear a seat belt while operating heavy machinery?

OSHA Title 29 CFR 1926.28(a) (Personal Protective Equipment) states that every employer must require the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous conditions, or where the nature of work indicates the need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to the employees.

Title 29 CFR 1926.602 notes that the above requirement includes such heavy equipment as: scrapers, loaders, crawler or wheel tractors, bulldozers, off-highway trucks, graders, agricultural and industrial tractors.

Seat belts must be provided on all equipment covered by “heavy equipment”. Moreover, these seat belts must meet specific requirements for that equipment.

If the machinery is designed for operation while standing up, seat belts need not be provided. The OSHA rules do not mandate that seat belts must be used. However, failure to do so can result in the employer’s receiving a citation from OSHA because the employee is in contravention of OSHA 29 C.F.R. 1926.602.

29 CFR 1926.28(a) creates a requirement to use personal protective equipment where there is exposure to hazardous conditions and/or an indicated need for using personal protective equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Review Commission contends that §1926.602(a)(1) indicates the need for seat belts as a provision of employee safety under recognized hazardous worker environment when using heavy equipment.

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