Vehicles & Heavy Equipment Checklist

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Labor Occupational Health Program

Summary Statement

A checklist including hazard identification, inspections and work practices. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

These tailgate/toolbox talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website ( The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact ACGIH, visit its web site (

Date Prepared:_________________________ By:_______________________
Project Name/No.______________________ Location:__________________

  • Check the box if the statement is true.

  • Fill in the blanks where the Pencil Iconappears.
  • Citations in brackets are from Title 8 of the California Administrative Code.


  • The company has a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) that meets all Cal/OSHA requirements. It includes identification of hazards on the site involving vehicles and heavy equipment, as well as regular inspections, accident investigation, and correction of hazardous conditions. [1509]
  • All drivers are properly licensed, and have been trained in the proper and safe operation of vehicles and equipment. [3664(a)(1) and 5006(a)]


  • All vehicles and heavy equipment are visually inspected at the beginning of each work day for any malfunctions that could affect safe operation. All defects are corrected before the equipment is placed in service.[1593(d), 1597(j), and 3664(a)(7)]
  • Every haulage vehicle and piece of heavy equipment has a working back-up alarm that can be heard 200 feet away. [1592(a) and (b)]
  • Seat belts in good working order are provided on all vehicles and heavy equipment. [1596(g) and 1597(g)]
  • Roll-over protection structures (ROPS) are provided on vehicles and heavy equipment (including scrapers, tractors, loaders, bulldozers, carryalls, trucks, etc.) [1596(a)]
  • Every vehicle and piece of heavy equipment with a cab has an intact windshield and powered windshield wipers. Where needed. there is operable defogging or defrosting equipment. [1591(a) and 1597(d)]
  • Equipment and accessories installed on haulage vehicles do not impair the driver’s vision to the front or sides. [1591(b)]
  • Every vehicle and piece of heavy equipment has two operating headlights and two operating taillights when visibility conditions warrant. [1591(g) and 1597(b)]
  • Every vehicle and piece of heavy equipment has working brake lights. [1591 and 1597(c)]
  • Dump trucks that tilt to release their load have a visible or audible warning when the elevating mechanism is activated. [1591(k)]
  • Loads on vehicles are secured against displacement. [1593(f)]
  • Drivers operating loaders have adequate visibility, and the equipment is stable. [1593(j)]
  • On piledrivers, safety chains on compression hose fittings are in place and in working order, to prevent thrashing if disconnected. [1600(b)]


  • The employer requires the use of seat belts when operating or riding in vehicles or heavy equipment. [1597(h)]
  • Operators do not exceed safe or posted speed limits. [1590(c)(2) and 1593(a)]
  • Haulage vehicles have a cab shield or canopy to protect the driver from falling materials [1591(e) and 5002]
  • Wherever feasible, a spotter is used to help operators back up vehicles and heavy equipment. The spotter stands well away from the operation, in clear view of the operator. Spotters are required in noisy or congested areas, whenever backward motion is hazardous, and whenever the operator's vision to the back is obstructed. [1592(a)]
  • Workers do not ride on equipment not designed for riders, including hoist platforms, buckets, or on loads. [1605.9, 1605.10, and 6308(g)]
  • Vehicles used to transport workers have seats firmly secured, and have enough seats for all passengers. [1597(f)]
  • Tools and material are secured to prevent movement when carried in the same compartment with workers. [1597(e)]
  • Haulage vehicles are always operated in gear. [1593(b)]
  • All unattended loaders and industrial trucks have the bucket or boxes lowered to the ground. [1593(k) and 3664(a)(17)]
  • Vehicles and pieces of heavy equipment are parked with the parking brake set. If on an incline the wheels are also choked. (Some exceptions apply.) [1593(h)]
  • All unattended loaders and industrial trucks have the bucket or boxes lowered to the ground. (Not required if precautions such as blocking are taken to prevent accidental lowering and controls are in neutral and brake is set.) [1593(k) and 3664(a)(17)]
  • Wherever vehicles are operated, temporary covers for conduits, trenches, and manholes are secured against displacement and can carry at least twice the maximum intended load. [1597(k)]
  • Forklifts, trucks, and other equipment are not loaded above their designated safe carrying capacity or weight. [3660(b)]
  • Loads are secured. [1593(f)]
  • When power equipment is being repaired, moving parts such as blades, beds, or gates are lowered to the ground, or securely blocked in an inoperative position. Controls are kept in a neutral position, with the engine stopped and brakes set (unless the repair work requires otherwise). [1595(a)]
  • Exhaust gases are directed away from operators. [1590(d)]
  • Engines are not operated in enclosed places (for example, closed garages) unless vents are provided to effectively remove exhaust gases. [1593(e)]


  • There are signs in plain view of the operator on all cranes, derricks, power shovels, pile drivers, and similar machinery, reading as shown below. [2947]


  • Heavy equipment is not operated in areas where there is danger of contact with energized underground or overhead high voltage lines. Electric lines are clearly marked, and precautions are taken to prevent accidental contact. [2946]


  • When working near vehicular traffic, warning signs, flags, traffic control devices, and/or barriers are in place. At night, warning lights are used. [8604]
  • Flaggers are used wherever barricades and warning signs cannot control the moving traffic. [1599(a)]
  • Flaggers wear bright orange oryellow-green warning garments. In rainy weather, they wear bright orange or yellow-green raingear. [1541(d), 1590(a)(5), 1598(c), and 1599(d)]
  • Workers exposed to vehicular traffic wear reflectorized warning garments during hours of darkness. The garments are visible at a minimum of 1000 feet. [1598(d)]
  • Placement of warning signs is in accordance with California State Department of Transportation regulations.
  • Workers directing traffic use “slow/stop” paddles and are properly positioned.
  • Workers directing traffic maintain direct line-of-sight with each other or, if not, remain in radio contact. [1599(b)]
  • Cones are placed street-side at the front and rear bumpers of vehicles when they are parked in or near the flow of traffic.
  • Cones are used to set off the work area.
  • Where cones are used to direct traffic around the work area, they are placed sufficiently upstream to adequately allow merging or other response by approaching vehicles.
  • If the street is blocked off for the operation, signs have been posted directing traffic to alternative routes.
  • The system of traffic control is in accordance with the Manual of Traffic Controls for Construction and Maintenance Work Zones—1991, published by the California State Department of Transportation. [1598(a) and (b)]


  • Single-lane private roads with two-way traffic have turnouts or a system to prevent vehicles or heavy equipment from meeting on the road. [1590(a)(1)]
  • Private roads are maintained free from holes and ruts that may affect the safe operation of vehicles and equipment. Emergency access ramps are provided to restrain and control runaway vehicles.[1590(a)(3)]
  • Dust levels are minimized to ensure adequate visibility for drivers. Vehicle and equipment operators use adequate respiratory protection in dusty operations. [1590(b)]
  • On private roads with two-way traffic, vehicles and equipment travel on the right side as much as possible. Signs clearly indicating variations are posted. [1590(a)(2)]
  • Where practical, separate haulage roads are provided and are wide enough for safe passage. [1590(a)(2)]
  • When push tractors are working in tandem, heat shields are provided to operators.[1590(e)]
  • Fueling of vehicles and heavy equipment is done with the engine off. [1594(a)]
  • No smoking is permitted at or near the fuel storage or refueling area. A sign is posted stating: NO SMOKING WITHIN 25 FEET. [1594(d)]
  • No sources of ignition are present near the fuel storage or refueling area. [1594(c)]
  • A dry chemical or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher (rated 6:BC or larger) is in a location accessible to the fueling area. [1594(h)]