Firefighters may work from elevated surfaces on fire apparatus.


Falls from fire apparatus can result in firefighters sustaining serious injuries.

Actions for employers

Employers must:

  • equip apparatus with sufficient anti-slip handle-holds to allow firefighters to use the position known as the three-point contact method when entering or exiting the cab

Employers should:

  • conduct a risk assessment of fire apparatus in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
  • develop procedures specific to each fire apparatus to prevent falls while performing normal job functions

Preventing falls from fire apparatus

Consider the following, to prevent falls:

  • refer to the standards listed below for guidance with respect to walking/stepping/standing/ climbing surfaces, guards, and handrails/handholds for the particular classification of fire apparatus that are/were in effect at the time that the apparatus is/was specified, purchased, modified and/or refurbished
  • do not use apparatus as observation platforms unless specifically designed for that purpose
  • use ground level hose loading
  • engineered design features that provide retractable railings or folding hose bed covers that fold to the outside edge to provide a barrier

Consider the following, when work is done on top of fire apparatus:

  • minimize the number of personnel required on top of the apparatus to accomplish the task assigned
  • when loading a hose, work from the centre of the apparatus facing the outside
  • use caution where the top of the apparatus is slippery due to snow or ice, as it could result in a loss of footing
  • use the three point contact method of mounting/dismounting
  • be aware of fans, heaters and other potential overhead hazards when working on hose beds in the fire station

Note: When in fire stations, reference the requirements of section 85 of Regulation 851 - Industrial Establishments where workers are exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres.

Applicable regulations and acts


Applicable standards

For standards on new automotive fire apparatus and trailers, read NFPA 1901 Standard for automotive fire apparatus or CAN/ULC S515 Standard for automobile fire fighting apparatus

For standards on the refurbishing of automotive fire apparatus utilized for fire fighting and rescue operations, read NFPA 1912 Standard for fire apparatus refurbishing