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.