Employers use worker transport vehicles like trucks, buses, and vans to move crews around large sites, to multiple locations, and for carpooling. When an employer uses a worker transport vehicle, it needs to meet specific safety requirements and operating procedures. All transport vehicle equipment (lamps, brakes, horn, mirrors, windshields, turn signals, etc.) must be in good repair.
The passenger capacity should be listed on the exterior near the door and must not be exceeded. Trucks and buses need entrance and exit doors with an unobstructed opening 24-inches wide and 60-inches high. The passenger interior should be in good condition with the seats secured in place. Handholds, steps, and stirrups allow employees to safely mount or dismount the vehicle.
If a transport vehicle has open passenger areas, a rail or enclosure at least 46-inches high should be provided on the sides and back to prevent falls. Employees may ride in the properly enclosed back of flat-bed trucks, pickups, or dump trucks only if they sit on the truck bed with the tailgate closed and secured. Two employees may be permitted to ride on beds of trucks if they stand or sit immediately behind the cab, holding on to suitable grab irons which are rigidly fastened to the truck. Employees may never ride on the top of side rails, top of cabs, running boards, fenders, the hood, or with their legs hanging over the end or sides.
Buses used as employee transport have special requirements. They should provide a minimum of 18-inches of seat space for each passenger. The seats must have 36-inch backrests. If the bus seats face each other, the aisle way must be 24-inches wide.
Any bus or crew truck with an enclosed seating capacity of seven or more employees requires an emergency exit. Emergency exits should have a seven-square-foot opening with a width of 24 inches. Rear emergency windows must have openings of at least 16 inches by 54 inches. A sign reading “Exit” should be painted on the exterior and interior of the emergency exit. Exit signs should be in English and in the language of the employees being transported.
Emergency exits should open outward from both the interior and exterior of the vehicle with controls operable from the exterior and the interior. The exits need positive-locking devices to ensure that they stay closed, but handles should be readily opened in an emergency. Only a clear plastic protective cover should be placed over the handle.
Transport vehicles must not carry explosives, injurious pesticides, or substances with a flashpoint below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, when carrying passengers. Such substances may be carried in properly designed safe containers outside the driver or occupied passenger compartments. Tools, equipment, or materials carried in the passenger compartment must be secured. Sharp edged tools should be sheathed or covered. Tools must not be carried in the aisles.
If the transport vehicle has a separate driver’s cab, passengers should be able to communicate with the driver via buzzers, speaker horns, or other means in case of emergency. In addition, the vehicle should have three approved reflector flares and a fully charged and operable fire extinguisher.