Hazard summary

When workers use load haul dump (LHD) buckets as elevated work platforms, they may be exposed to hazards that can cause serious injury or death, including falling or being crushed.

An LHD bucket is not an acceptable elevated work platform to work from. The LHD bucket does not incorporate designed and engineered safety features of an elevated work platform, such as:

  • dump stops
  • edge protection
  • design features for a safe means of access to a workplace
  • original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) approved use for equipment
  • control limits to prevent dynamic movement
  • emergency stop features
  • guarding of accessible pinch points
  • check valves in the hydraulic system to prevent inadvertent movement

Working from an LHD bucket presents an unacceptable level of risk. Workers should only be transported or lifted on an elevated work platform that is designed and fit for that purpose.

Recommended precautions and control measures

A LHD bucket should not be used as an elevated work platform as it is not designed for that purpose. Rather, equipment that is designed and engineered for that type of task should be used. Employers should review all tasks which have involved using an LHD bucket as an elevated work platform and determine safe suitable alternatives.

Key legal requirements

There are general legal requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) that apply to this hazard.

General duties under the OHSA

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have general duties, including taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to hazards in the workplace. The employer must also provide information, instruction and supervision to protect the health and safety of the worker.

Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants)

Employers covered by Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) under the OHSA are also subject to the following requirements related to this hazard.

Assessing risk

Employers must conduct a risk assessment of the workplace to identify, assess and manage hazards and potential hazards that may expose a worker to injury or illness (section 5.1).

Employers must develop and maintain measures to eliminate, where practicable, or control, where elimination is impracticable, the hazards and potential hazards identified in the risk assessment. The joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative must be consulted on these measures (section 5.2).

Employers must review the risk assessment at least annually to ensure that new hazards or new potential hazards are assessed, existing hazards or potential hazards that have changed are re-assessed, and the measures required by subsection 5.2 continue to effectively protect the health and safety of workers (section 5.3).

Fall arrest systems

Section 14 of Regulation 854 provides that where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres, a fall arrest system is used to protect the worker. The fall arrest system must consist of a suitable combination of:

  • a belt
  • a full body harness
  • a lanyard
  • an anchor
  • a rope-grabbing device or lifeline

The belt, full body harness, lanyard and lifeline must:

  • be made of material with elastic properties capable of absorbing and minimizing the arrest force in case of a fall
  • be designed to distribute a fall arrest force in such a manner that the possibility of injury to the worker is minimized
  • be of sufficient strength to absorb twice the energy that may be transmitted to the fall arrest system
  • not be knotted or allowed to become knotted, when used or worn

When being used and worn against the hazard of falling, the lifeline of the fall arrest system must be both:

  • anchored so that a worker will fall free of arrest not more than one metre
  • connected to an object that can resist the arrest force in case of a fall and free of sharp edges

The requirement to use a fall arrest system to protect the worker — where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling more than three metres — does not apply to a worker employed in shaft sinking where measures and procedures are adopted and put into effect that will provide equal or greater protection to the worker.

Safe means of access to the workplace

Section 46 of Regulation 854 requires that a safe means of access to a workplace be provided by a walkway, stairway or ladderway. This includes where workers are required to work, operate, maintain or service equipment.

Contact us

If you need more information about safety requirements for mining, please contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Health & Safety Contact Centre:

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 upon the facts they find in a workplace.