As the result of a fatality involving a worker on a crane truck, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development was alerted to a potential hazard involving exposed crane controls on crane trucks. Crane trucks may be equipped with one or more crane control stations behind the driver’s compartment of the truck on which the crane is mounted. If the crane controls are not shielded or other precautions are not otherwise taken to prevent unintended contact with the controls, there is a possibility that the crane will be put into inadvertent operation and pose a hazard to the worker or to other workers in the vicinity.

The unshielded controls station on the driver's side.

The unshielded controls station on the driver's side.

Hazard Summary

Workers may unintentionally contact unshielded crane controls, causing a crane or some of its parts to move. This can create a hazardous situation where the worker making the unintentional contact, or other workers in the area, can be hit by the movement of the crane or pinned by its moving parts.

Hazard Locations

This hazard may exist on any make and model of cranes and trucks. For cranes with multiple operating control panels, the hazard may exist on one or all panels.

Legal Requirements

The Occupational Health and Safety Act places a responsibility on employers to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers, as per section 25(2)(h) of the Act.


Reasonable precautions to protect the safety of workers may include such things as shielding the controls or some other measure that prevents inadvertent operation of the crane. Whatever precautions are taken they must be adequate to provide the necessary protection and not introduce a new hazard.

For further information or assistance, please contact the Ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008 or Health and Safety Ontario which includes the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) 1-800-263-5024Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) 1-877-250-7444Workplace Safety North (WSN), 1-888-730-7821 and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) 1-877-494-9777.

Remember that while complying with occupational health and safety laws, you are also required to comply with applicable environmental laws.

Please photocopy Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Alerts, distribute them widely

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.