Alert: Safety of load haul dump equipment operators
Learn about the rules and regulations and suggested precautions for operating load haul dump equipment.
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Workers who are operating Load Haul Dump (LHD) equipment may be ejected from the operator’s compartment while the equipment is in motion. This alert has been issued to raise awareness about the potential for serious injury or death to LHD operators if the equipment they are using is not properly inspected, operated and maintained in good working condition.
Operators run the risk of serious injury or death if the compartment doors of LHD equipment are not securely closed and latched when the LHD equipment is in motion. Operators should also be aware that if they are operating LHD equipment where the controls for steering are located on the door, in the event the door opens, the operator may lose the ability to control the equipment. This may put other workers or equipment operators in danger if they are working nearby.
Operators must also ensure they properly use restraining devices such as seat belts and that the restraining devices are maintained in good working order to ensure that, if an uncontrolled event occurs, the operator remains in the seat and in control of the LHD. Depending on the LHD design, this may also prevent an uncontrolled runaway of the equipment, which could put other workers at risk.
Recommended precautions and control measures
Workers operating LHDs should be performing daily assessments/inspections on their equipment. This includes:
- Inspection of door hinges and latch systems to ensure proper operation and check that doors remain closed under all operating conditions.
- Inspection of the seat belt mounting hardware for wear or damage.
- Replacing any mounting hardware that is worn or damaged.
- Making sure the mounting bolts are tight.
- Inspection of the buckle for wear or damage. If the buckle is worn or damaged, replace the seat belt.
- Inspection of the seat belt for webbing that is worn or frayed. Replace the seat belt if it is worn or frayed.
- Verifying that the integrated controls and safety devices are tested for proper function prior to use.
- Maintaining doors, latches and restraining devices according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Operators who find any defects should remove the equipment from service and report deficiencies to their supervisor.
Employers shall require a worker to wear or use such personal protective equipment as needed to protect the worker from the particular hazard to which the worker may be exposed.
The employer must ensure that equipment is maintained in good working order.
Workers must ensure that restraining devices are used at all times where provided, and equipment is in good working order.
Locations and sectors
Key legislative and regulatory provisions
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Clauses 25(2)(h), 25(1)(b), and 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) require that all Ontario employers, regardless of the type of work, take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, maintain all equipment provided in good condition, and provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the worker’s health and safety.
Clause 27(1)(b) of the OHSA requires that supervisors ensure that a worker uses or wears the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker’s employer requires to be used or worn. Clause 27(2)(c) requires that the supervisor take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
Clauses 28(1)(b) and (c) of the OHSA require that a worker use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker’s employer requires to be used or worn, and report to his or her employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which the worker is aware and which may endanger himself, herself or another worker. Clause 28(2)(b) requires that no worker use or operate any equipment, machine, device, or thing or work in a manner that may endanger himself, herself or any other worker.
Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants)
Personal protective equipment: An employer shall require a worker to wear or use such personal protective equipment, clothing and devices as are necessary to protect the worker from the particular hazard to which the worker may be exposed (subsection 12 (3) of Regulation 854).
Motor vehicles: When in use, a motor vehicle, other than a motor vehicle running on rails, shall be in safe working condition (subsection 105 (1) of Regulation 854).
Regulation 856 (Regulation for Roll-Over Protective Structures)
Vehicles that operate on surface: No person shall use or operate a machine that is equipped with a restraining device unless the person is wearing the restraining device (subsection 3 (2) of Regulation 856).
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) SAE J386-2012 Operator Restraint Systems for Off-road Work Machines
For more information
Mining (Ministry of Labour)
Contact the Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre at
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.