This part of the Directive outlines the requirements for the safe operation of motor vehicles owned or leased by the employer to ensure the safety and health of employees and the public and to avoid property or equipment damage.
15.1 General Responsibility of Departments
15.1.1 Any policies and procedures that are specific to a department or agency and to any worksites will be developed in consultation with the policy and/or workplace committees.
15.1.2 Departments are responsible for:
- developing, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, rules and procedures for the safe operation of motor vehicles, in accordance with the general principles set out in this part of the Directive;
- identifying circumstances in which an air-conditioned vehicle is required to enhance the efficiency or protect the safety and health of the employee using the vehicle;
- ensuring that employees are fully informed of the correct procedures to be followed in the event of an accident;
- analyzing and evaluating motor vehicle accident reports and statistics, determining the causes of accidents and using that information to prevent future accidents from similar causes;
- ensuring that every departmentally owned or leased motor vehicle is maintained in a safe operating condition;
- informing employees of their rights and obligations and the department's responsibilities under the NJC Travel Directive when any authorized government travel involves the use of a private motor vehicle;
- ensuring that motor vehicle operators are qualified in all respects to operate the vehicles to which they are assigned;
- enforcing safe driving rules and traffic regulations on premises and in operations under their control;
- cooperating with civil and police authorities in enforcing traffic laws and observing safe practices; and
- developing, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, procedures to be followed when motor vehicles are used to transport persons under restraint.
15.2 Safe Operation of Motor Vehicles
15.2.1 The operation of an unsafe motor vehicle is prohibited. A motor vehicle is unsafe when any defect exists that, in the judgment of the responsible supervisor in consultation with a qualified licensed motor vehicle mechanic, could contribute to an accident. A motor vehicle operator shall not be required to operate a mechanically unsafe vehicle or a vehicle loaded in a hazardous manner.
15.2.2 All motor vehicles will be fitted with winter tires and other weather-related accessories and specialized equipment according to a schedule established by the appropriate health and safety committee and/or policy committee that will comply with any federal, provincial or territorial requirements, as well as ensuring availability when needed for safety reasons.
15.2.3 Subject to any federal, provincial or territorial requirements, all motor vehicles, used for or potentially used for law enforcement capacity, shall be equipped with appropriate emergency lighting, sirens, and public announcement (PA) system to ensure the safety of the driver as well as the general public.
15.2.4 When departments require employees to operate government-owned snowmobiles, motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles, departments shall provide operators with:
- personal protective equipment, a fire extinguisher and supplies for emergencies, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee; and
- instructions for operating and maintaining the vehicle.
15.3 Hazardous Movement
15.3.1 Before moving oversized or overweight motor vehicles or those carrying dangerous articles or equipment over public highways, notification of the route and the use of public bridges, tunnels and/or highways shall be provided to appropriate civil officials. The movement of dangerous substances by motor vehicle shall be subject to the requirements specified in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.
15.3.2 Motor vehicles that are regularly operated in remote or isolated areas shall be equipped with appropriate communication devices for emergency purposes.
15.4 Qualification of Motor Vehicle Operators
15.4.1 Every motor vehicle operator shall possess a valid licence to operate the motor vehicle to which the operator is assigned in accordance with the appropriate provincial or territorial law or as may otherwise be required by regulations or statutes applicable to the public service.
15.4.2 In addition, motor vehicle operators may be required to demonstrate their competence to operate assigned motor vehicles, and for that purpose, appropriate records shall be maintained.
15.5.1 Departments shall institute or participate in motor vehicle operator training programs designed to provide:
- refresher training to acquaint personnel with changes in equipment or operating conditions; and
- remedial training to offset specific weaknesses indicated by accident records, traffic rule violations or other instances of inadequate operating performance.
15.5.2 The employer shall provide training to employees who operate commercial vehicles on the daily commercial vehicle inspection requirements of the appropriate provincial or territorial motor vehicle or highway traffic act so they can identify both minor and major defects, record them on their inspection report and reports them to the employer.
15.5.3 The employer shall ensure that identified defects are repaired and that vehicles are adequately maintained to meet the required provincial or territorial vehicle safety standards and legal requirements.
15.5.4 Departments shall ensure that written records of the training required by section 15.5 are maintained for as long as the employee remains in the department’s employment.
15.6 Accident Investigation
15.6.1 Every motor vehicle accident is to be investigated, the cause or causes determined, and appropriate corrective action applied. Additionally, a Hazardous Occurrence Accident Report shall be completed in compliance with section 15.8 of the COHSR.
15.7 Servicing, Inspection and Repair
15.7.1 Departments shall ensure that the servicing, inspection and repair of its motor vehicles:
- meet normal preventive maintenance and safety requirements based on the use of motor vehicles;
- are performed by a qualified person; and
- as a minimum meet the requirements in the appropriate manufacturer's user manual.
15.7.2 Departments shall maintain records of the servicing, inspection and repair of each vehicle for as long as the vehicle is in operation.
15.8 Safe Transportation of Persons
15.8.1 With the exception of subsection 15.8.2, this section does not apply to the use and operation of emergency vehicles.
15.8.2 At the start of each shift, each operator shall be responsible for carrying out a safety inspection of the assigned motor vehicle. Unsafe conditions and defects shall be reported promptly to the responsible supervisor.
15.8.3 To the extent possible, persons shall be transported in passenger-type motor vehicles or buses. The following safety rules shall apply:
- only authorized persons shall be permitted to ride in motor vehicles;
- the number of persons permitted to ride in a passenger motor vehicle must not exceed the seating capacity of that motor vehicle except for short distances on buses provided with handholds;
- persons shall not be permitted to ride with any part of their person extended outside the motor vehicle, or on a running board, fender, cab, side or tailgate of a motor vehicle;
- persons shall not enter or exit a motor vehicle while it is in motion;
- tools, tool boxes, equipment and cargo shall be safely and securely stowed and secured to prevent shifting while in transit; and
- if it is likely that materials, goods or objects will shift and endanger employees in any motor vehicle having an empty vehicle weight of less than 4500 kg, departments shall ensure that a bulkhead or other effective means to protect the employees are installed.
15.8.4 When it is not possible or practicable to use passenger motor vehicles to transport persons, truck-type motor vehicles may be used. In those cases, the safety measures outlined in subsection 15.8.3 shall apply, and the following additional safety measures shall also apply:
- fixed seating shall be provided and sideboards or stakes and tailgates fitted with sufficient number of seatbelts for each passenger, as reasonably practicable;
- the number of persons transported may not exceed that for which fixed seating is provided;
- a suitable cover shall be provided for protection from the elements; and
- a motor vehicle operator shall operate the motor vehicle, taking the appropriate precautionary measures to protect passengers transported in the exceptional circumstances.
15.8.5 Under exceptional conditions, trucks without fixed seating may be used for transporting small groups of people (less than 10) for short distances on departmental property. Passengers shall be in a secure position within the body of the truck, and the vehicle shall be driven with extreme caution at a speed of not more than 10 km/h.
15.9 Fire Prevention
15.9.1 No motor vehicle shall be operated unless it is entirely free of fuel leaks.
15.9.2 Buses and motor vehicles used for transporting flammable substances shall be equipped with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
15.9.3 The fire extinguisher referred to in subsection 15.9.2 shall:
- have not less than a 5BC rating as defined in the National Fire Code of Canada;
- meet the standards set out in section 6.2 of the National Fire Code of Canada; and
- be located such that it is readily accessible by the operator.
15.10 Motor Vehicle Fuelling and Operations
15.10.1 Departments shall develop, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, written procedures for fuelling motor vehicles.
15.10.2 Tank trucks shall be loaded and unloaded in authorized areas by qualified personnel and under controlled procedures, in accordance with the National Fire Code of Canada.
15.11 Propane and Natural-gas-fuelled Vehicles
15.11.1 The installation, operation and maintenance of propane-fuelled motor vehicles and motorized materials-handling equipment shall be performed in accordance with the appropriate standard.
15.11.2 The conversion of vehicles to propane and natural-gas fuel systems after manufacture shall comply with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and/or provincial and territorial requirements.
15.11.3 Departments shall ensure that vehicles converted to propane and natural gas fuel systems meet the appropriate Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
15.11.4 Each employee required to fuel a propane vehicle shall be tested and licensed by those provinces in which that licensing is required under provincial or territorial statute.
15.11.5 In provinces or territories where licenses are not required, departments shall certify employees for propane fuelling through internal departmental training and licensing. The training and licensing shall be equal to or better than the training provided in a province or territory that requires licensing.
15.11.6 Each employee certified under subsection 15.11.5 shall:
- be familiar with the specific safety precautions and operating procedures applicable to vehicle fuelling;
- be able to identify and understand the functions and components of vehicle fuel supply systems;
- be able to identify all components of a fuel dispenser and demonstrate capability in safely fuelling a vehicle; and
- pass a written examination on the fuelling procedures applicable to the fuel to be handled.
15.12 Safety Measures Against Asphyxiation
15.12.1 The concentration of toxic exhaust fumes to which the operator and other persons are exposed when working on or near motor vehicles shall meet the requirements and not exceed the levels prescribed in Part X - Hazardous Substances.
15.12.2 Diesel engine exhaust should be kept as low as reasonably achievable.
15.13 Motor Vehicle Safety Belts
15.13.1 Operators and passengers of motor vehicles that are required to be equipped with safety belts shall be required to fasten the safety belts at all times when the vehicle is in motion.
15.14 Highway Warning Devices
15.14.1 Motor vehicles operated at a rate of speed of more than 30 km/h below the posted speed for a road or area shall be equipped with a slow-moving-vehicle warning device as prescribed by the laws of the province or territory in which the equipment is operated.
15.14.2 When the laws of the province or territory in which the motor vehicle is operated do not prescribe a slow-moving-vehicle warning device, the mobile equipment shall be equipped with a warning device in accordance with the requirements of the laws of an adjacent province or territory.
15.14.3 In the event that a motor vehicle breaks down on or adjacent to a highway, advance warning devices such as flares or reflectors shall be placed in accordance with the statutes of the province or territory in which the vehicle breaks down.
15.15 First-aid Kits
15.15.1 The employer’s motor vehicles shall be equipped with Type “A” first-aid kits.
15.15.2 At the request of an employee, when any authorized government business travel involves the use of a private motor vehicle the department shall, at a minimum, provide a Type “D” first-aid kit, and the employee shall return the kit when authorized travel is completed.
15.15.3 In addition to first-aid kits in motor vehicles, the employer shall provide motor vehicle emergency kits for field operations.
15.15.4 The appropriate health and safety committee shall participate in the determination of the contents of the motor vehicle emergency kits for field operations.