Achieve compliance on construction sites: equipment and vehicles, cranes, hoisting and rigging
Learn about the requirements in the construction regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for equipment and vehicles, cranes, and hoisting and rigging.
On this page Skip this page navigation
This section includes information about possible means to achieve compliance for the listed situations. It does not represent the exhaustive measures and procedures required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations related to equipment, vehicles, drill rigs, cranes, hoisting and rigging.
This resource does not replace the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations and should not be used as or considered legal advice. Health and safety inspectors apply and enforce these laws based on the facts they find in the workplace.
Program positions herein discussed relate to sections 93 to 124, and 150 to 180 of the regulation for construction projects: O. Reg. 213/91.
General requirements for equipment and vehicles
Riding on vehicles while performing work
Can a worker perform work (e.g. installation or removal of traffic control devices for a work zone) while riding on the back of a truck that is moving?
No, workers may not ride on the back of any vehicle in motion while performing work. Workers may ride as a passenger in a vehicle, provided there is a dedicated seat and they are sitting in it. Subsection 97(2) of O. Reg. 213/91 applies. Other sections that may also apply depending on the scenario are subsections 67(6) and 67(5).
Workers installing or removing cones or barriers must have received adequate written or oral instructions (subsection 67 (6)). The employer must have a traffic protection plan in place (subsection 67(5)) and must have “taken every precaution reasonable in the circumstances” to protect the worker from the hazard of traffic (section 25(2)(h) of OHSA).
The general acceptable practice is for workers to remove the cones from the back of the truck while it is not moving and install while walking in front of a crash truck to protect them whether doing long-term or short-term work. On secondary side streets, one-ton trucks are used. Workers should not be placing cones or lane restriction devices unprotected.
Mobile equipment operator’s cab
Is an open cab on mobile equipment permissible?
It would depend on the manufacturer recommendations in the operation manual. Some manufacturers allow doors to be removed while others prohibit the removal of an access panel or doors.
Unless a closed cab (doors and windows or a cab) is a requirement stemming from Reg. 856: Roll-Over Protective Structures, section 99 of O. Reg. 213/91, or a requirement in the manufacturer’s instructions [subsection 93(3)], there is no blanket requirement for a closed cab.
However, where there is a hazard to a worker in an open cab, the employer is required to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect the worker from the identified hazard, when loading material to the equipment or unloading it, or where the equipment is operated in an environment where debris may fall on it. For example, in proximity to a multiple storeys building being repaired, altered or demolished, or in an excavation especially in proximity to its walls or to stored material.
Operator’s qualifications for hoisting equipment other than cranes or similar hoisting devices
Are operators of hoisting devices such as high capacity fork-lift trucks, front-end loaders and excavators to be certified as a hoisting engineer under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 (BOSTA) as required by section 150 of O. Reg. 213/91?
No. These pieces of equipment are not considered cranes or similar hoisting devices. The requirement to have a certificate of qualification from Skilled Trades Ontario does not apply. However, the employer and operator are responsible for complying with the applicable sections of the regulation, namely the requirements of sections 93-96, 102, 103, 150(2) and 150(3), 156, 168-172, 175, and 179.
Radial boom derrick or digger derrick lifting worker and material
Can a worker be in the work platform while the radial boom derrick (RBD) or digger derrick hoists material?
Digger derricks, also known as RBD, are designed to ANSI A 10.31. The equipment is designed to dig holes, set poles, lift material and provide access to an elevated work location by means of a man basket attached to the boom.
A digger derrick equipped with a man basket may be used to position a worker as it is intended to be used in conjunction with ANSI A92.2 Vehicle Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices, which is comparable to CSA C225. The machine allows for material handling of a limited capacity while a worker is in the platform. A transformer can be hoisted into place by the winch, while a worker remains in the work platform.
Digger derricks are types of mobile cranes, and the operators must have the certificates or proof of training required by section 150. The RBD must be used in compliance with section 93 and the other applicable provisions of O. Reg. 213/91 The Ministry takes the program position that section 153 does not apply to an RBD as it is designed to lift a worker and material at the same time according to the ANSI standard, and is therefore considered conventional access equipment.
Remote control devices for equipment operation
What are the requirements for operating remote control equipment?
Equipment must be used following the manufacturers’ instructions. An operator must always have the remote controls and not perform any other work while using the equipment.
Requirements for chainsaw operation on a project
What are the requirements for operating a chainsaw on a project?
A chainsaw must be in good working condition to prevent injury to a worker and must be used according to the manufacturer’s operating manual. A worker using a chainsaw must wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Section 112 of the construction regulation covers chainsaw use on a project.
Platform on a lift truck
Can a platform on a lift truck be used as an elevating work platform on a project?
No, a platform on a lift truck may not be used as an elevating work platform on a project. This is prohibited by section 107 of O. Reg. 213.91 which states:
No worker shall use as a work place a platform, bucket, basket, load, hook or sling that is capable of moving and that is supported by a fork-lift truck, front-end loader or similar machine.
A lift truck or fork-lift is not designed to lift personnel unless it complies with sections 143 to 149 of the regulation setting out the requirements for elevating work platforms.
Equipment and machine guarding
What is adequate guarding or fencing for equipment and machinery?
Machine guarding is meant to protect workers from falling into or inadvertently encountering a hazard.
The current wording of section 109, requires a guard or a fence so that a worker is not endangered by the mechanically operated part of the “machine”, but it does not require preventing intentional access to the moving parts by the worker.
The following are the requirements related to guarding that should be considered.
Guarding of equipment’s moving parts to which a worker has direct access: section 109 deals with this and requires guarding of the moving part or fencing around that part, in order to protect workers. A guard meeting the CSA-Z432-16 standard (safeguarding and machinery) meets the requirement of this section but other types of guarding are not prohibited. Fencing must be designed to prevent access.
Rotary foundation drill rigs: section 156.2 requires employers to develop measures and procedures for the protection of the workers involved in the operation including set up and dismantling of the drill and soil removal.
Unguarded rock drills: section 109 applies in those instances where the drilling exposes moving parts of the rock drill that may present a hazard to a worker.
Portable mortar mixer guarding
What is adequate guarding or fencing for a portable mortar mixer?
The current wording of section 109 requires a guard or a fence so that a worker is not endangered by the mechanically operated part of the “machine”, but it does not require preventing any intentional access to the moving parts by the worker. A guard or a fence that will prevent the accidental falling of a worker or a limb into the moving parts of the machine meets the requirement to protect the worker.
An additional preventive measure here is having adequate distance between the guard and the turning part of the mixer so that contact with a worker’s limb cannot take place if a worker puts their hand into the mixer.
Powder or fuel operated fastening tools
Are fastening tools actuated by fuel or powder the same thing?
No. The term “explosive actuated” fastening tool means “powder actuated” (or operated) fastening tool and this does not include “fuel actuated” fastening tool or “gas operated fastening tool”. Section 93 of O. Reg. 213/91 applies to fuel actuated and operated fastening tools used on construction projects.
Adequate personal protection equipment for explosive actuated fastening tools
What’s considered adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) when using an explosive actuated fastening tool?
The employer should perform a risk assessment to evaluate what equipment would adequately protect the worker from the hazards (section 117 of O. Reg. 213/91). The manufacturer's operation manual is a good starting point to determine the type of PPE required when using the tool.
Backhoes, excavators, and other equipment used for hoisting
May a backhoe, an excavator, or equipment other than cranes be used for hoisting?
Yes. But an employer must ensure an operator follows the safety requirements of O. Reg. 213/91 sections 93-96, 102,103, 150(2) and 150(3), 156, 168-172, 175, and 179 when using equipment other than a crane as a hoisting device to move material. Note that these pieces of equipment are not “cranes or similar hoisting devices” but identified as “other hoisting device” in the regulation.
The components of a rigging assembly must comply with the regulatory requirements and must be connected in accordance with sound rigging practices. All material or equipment being moved must not endanger other workers or pass over them. In addition, employers must establish and implement written measures and procedures to ensure that no part of the equipment or its load gets closer than the minimum distance permitted to an energized overhead conductor.
Tree removal and land clearing in anticipation of construction
Is the removal of trees as part of land clearing in anticipation of a project governed by the logging requirements of the industrial regulation or by the regulation for construction projects?
The logging requirements (s. 103 to 119) of the industrial regulation (O. Reg. 851) are applicable in addition to the requirements of O. Reg. 213/91 as the operation is related to a construction project. When there are two legislative provisions that both apply to the same fact scenario, the ministry would apply the provision that would be more protective of worker health and safety. Sections 103 to 119 of O. Reg. 851 apply, including section 105, requiring every employer to establish and maintain the applicable training program approved by the ministry for cutters and skidder operators, and for mechanical harvesting equipment operators. Should the land clearing operation be carried out with equipment whose safe operation is better covered in either one of the regulations (O. Reg. 213/91 or O. Reg. 851), the legislative requirements that would be more protective to the workers’ health and safety are applicable.
Cranes or similar hoisting devices
What devices are covered by the phrase “crane or similar hoisting device”?
The device in question must be like a crane in its lifting, hauling up and raising capabilities. It cannot be just any device that hoists.
In general, a crane is designed to a crane standard and a crane’s primary purpose is to move material by hoisting objects with pulleys, ropes or cables. Therefore, a “crane or similar hoisting device” would include:
- a mobile crane (e.g. commercial truck-mounted crane, boom truck, crawler-mounted crane, wheel-mounted crane, carrier-mounted crane, articulating boom crane, radial boom derrick)
- a tower crane, a self-erecting tower crane and
- a derrick or stiff-leg derrick
Equipment not designed as a crane used to hoist material would be identified in the regulation as “other hoisting devices”. Some examples are:
- a fork-lift
- a fork-lift truck
- an excavator
- earth moving equipment
- a front-end loader
- a tractor or
- a backhoe
They are designed differently from a crane in their method of hoisting. Furthermore, hoisting tasks performed by those devices would be supplementary to their primary design function, unlike cranes.
Can cranes be de-rated?
Yes, it may under the conditions identified in the document entitled “De-rating of mobile cranes capable of raising, lowering, or moving materials that weigh more than 16,000 lbs.” contained on the MLITSD web site.
MLITSD will not accept de-rating of cranes for the purposes of using a less qualified operator. Proper reclassification of a crane involves physical alteration of the equipment or which involves changes that cannot be easily reversed when determining the weight that a crane is “capable of raising, lowering or moving” under section 150 of the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91).
The physical load-carrying capacity of the crane must be determined in accordance with the relevant CSA standard (s.151).
If a crane has been physically altered so that it cannot be reconfigured to hoist its original loading, the de-rated crane can be permitted, pending compliance with the below:
Employers have a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), clause 25(1) (c) to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace. This includes compliance with the training and certification of crane operators as required by section 150 of O. Reg. 213/91.
Section 150 of O. Reg. 213/91 prohibits the operation of a mobile crane capable of raising, lowering or moving material that weighs more than 16,000 pounds, unless the operator holds a certificate of qualification or a provisional certificate of qualification issued under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 (BOSTA), that is not suspended, or the worker is an apprentice and is working pursuant to a training agreement registered under that act, that is not suspended, in one of the listed trades of this section.
De-rating a mobile crane to a capacity less than 16,000 pounds would allow its operation by an operator who does not hold a certificate of qualification, or a provisional certificate of qualification issued under BOSTA. Under subsection 150(2) of the Construction Projects Regulation, the operator would only need written proof of training indicating that he or she is trained in the safe operation of the crane with a capacity of less than 16,000 pounds or be instructed and accompanied by a person who has that written proof of training.
Crane operator’s qualification (0–8–ton mobile cranes)
What is Program 930030 (P930030) and is it required to operate a mobile crane 0–8–ton?
No, operators of 0–8–ton (16,000 lbs. capacity or less) mobile cranes are not required to have P930030 training. Employers are to ensure that operators of 0–8–ton mobile cranes comply with the requirements of subsection 150(2). There are many different training programs that would meet compliance with subsection 150(2), P930030 being one of them.
P930030 is a voluntary modular training program administered by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. The Mobile Crane Operator (0–8–ton) Construction program is intended for workers operating cranes with a lifting capacity of 8 tons (16,000 lbs.) or less in a construction environment.
Operator training for cranes at a rated capacity less than 8 tons and other hoisting equipment
What operator training is required for cranes at a rated capacity less than 8 tons (16,000 lbs.) and for operators of other hoisting equipment?
The training for crane operators or similar hoisting devices capable of raising, lowering or moving material that weighs between 0–8 tons, is employer based, i.e. is the employer’s responsibility. The employer must train the operator either directly through a qualified trainer/operator or through enrolling the new operator in one of the available training programs offered by a trade school or a union hall. Operators of other hoisting equipment also must have employer-based training (subsection 150(2)). Operators must carry their written proof of training while operating a crane or other hoisting device (subsection 150).
Gantry crane operator requirements
Is a gantry crane operator required to hold a certificate of qualification or be an apprentice?
No, gantry crane operators do not need to hold a certificate of qualification. A gantry crane operator is not a prescribed trade, including a compulsory trade, under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 (BOSTA). Therefore, the operator is not required to be a holder of a certificate of qualification. Likewise, BOSTA does not mandate apprentices for gantry crane operators. Subsection 150(1) does not apply to a gantry crane operator. However, subsection 150(2) applies. As such, written proof of training in the safe operation of the gantry crane is enough (subsection 150). The employer of the gantry crane operator is responsible to ensure the operator has been adequately trained.
Operator’s qualifications and training for mobile self-erecting tower cranes
What are the operator’s qualifications and training requirements for mobile self-erecting tower cranes?
A self-erecting tower crane is a tower crane that is capable of being erected without the use of ancillary equipment.
Mobile self-erecting tower cranes are typically designed and built to meet a tower crane standard. Some larger mobile self-erecting tower cranes are designed and built to meet a mobile crane standard.
Operator’s qualifications will depend on the standard to which the mobile self-erecting tower crane was built:
- A typical mobile self-erecting tower crane that is built to meet a tower crane standard must be operated by a worker who holds a certificate of qualification to operate a tower crane.
- A mobile self-erecting tower crane built to meet a mobile crane standard must be operated by an operator who holds a certificate of qualification to operate a mobile crane of similar capacity.
In addition to the certificate of qualification that the operator must have, the operator must also be trained in the safe operation of the mobile self-erecting tower crane they are operating. This is an employer-based training.
Instructor's supervision for crane apprentices
Does the instructor have to be on the project while the apprentice is operating the crane?
It all depends on the tasks that the apprentice is performing during the operation of the crane. If these tasks have been signed off by the instructor, then the instructor does not need to be on the project. However, the apprentice may not perform tasks that have not been signed off by the instructor unless the instructor is on the project, in full view of the operation, and in direct communication with the operator.
Acceptance of Quebec crane operators’ certificate of qualifications
What are the conditions for accepting the Quebec certificate of qualification for tower crane operators?
Tower crane operators from Quebec that want to work in Ontario are to apply to Skilled Trades Ontario (STO). Documentation will be issued by STO to the Quebec operator once approved.
Unattended crane suspended load
May a load (toolboxes or hoisting chains) be left unattended when suspended from a crane?
With an exception, clause 102(d) of O. Reg. 213/91 prohibits the practice of leaving any load, including hoisting chains, suspended from an unattended crane or similar hoisting device. The only exception is if the crane manufacturer specifies, or an engineer approves, that a weight needs to be secured to a load block of an unattended tower crane to balance the crane that cannot slew freely.
Variation to section 153 of O. Reg. 213/91 related to a work platform supported by a cable attached to a crane or a work platform suspended from or supported by a direct attachment to the boom of a crane
Under what conditions would it be acceptable to vary from the prescribed design requirements outlined under section 153 for a platform attached to a crane used to raise, support or lower workers?
Section 153 outlines the pre-condition (conventional access equipment cannot be used), and design requirements that must be met if a platform attached to a crane is used to raise, support or lower a worker.
The employer may vary from the design requirements of section 153 if engineering documentation states that the safety factors for the equipment and worker’s safety will not be diminished by the variance. The variance made under section 3 of O. Reg. 213/91 would be considered on a case-by-case basis and must meet the criteria indicated: at least equal (or greater) protection of the worker.
Cables, slings and rigging
Single beam clamps (lever action)
Are single beam clamps allowed to be used for overhead handling of steel beams?
Single beam clamps (lever action) are not to be used for overhead handling of steel beams. A positive (secured) attachment must be in place as a secondary means of support to keep the load in position in situations where the cable is slackened, or the load can be jarred, bumped, hit or suddenly shaken.
Note: there are situations where they could be allowed without the positive attachment, such as when placing pipes in a trench when no worker is in the vicinity of the single beam clamp during the operation.