Q&A - Riding on the Tailgate

Q&A ImageAm I able to sit on the tailgate of a truck to move 20 meters get out, throw something in the truck, then sit on tailgate again to move the next 20 meters? If not, is there a way do do this legally?



I asked for a bit of clarification and found that this person works in highway construction zones setting up traffic control. He wants to ride the tailgate, get off and pick up a traffic cone, toss it in the truck and then repeat until the zone is set up or taken down.

WorkSafeBC is probably the authority here. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation covers this situation and is referenced on the WorkSafeBC site.

The guidelines are as follows:

G17.4 Riding restrictions

Issued September 1999; Editorial Revision January 1, 2009

Section 17.4(a) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

    A worker must not ride in a vehicle

    (a) in a standing position, unless protected from being thrown off balance.

Section 17.2.3 of the Regulation states:

    An exemption under Division 32, and an exception under Division 39, of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations apply to the operation of a worker transportation vehicle both on and off a highway.

Generally, standing will be allowed in large capacity crew transportation vehicles not required by motor vehicle legislation to have seat belts. This applies, for example, to a city or transit type of bus, manufactured and equipped for this type of use. Even in such vehicles, standing should only be permitted in a controlled environment where speed, travel distance and transit time are low, for example at a pulp mill construction site or on urban streets. Standing should not be permitted where highway speeds, long distances, or lengthy travel time are factors, for example, transport to a distant logging site on an industrial road.

Section 17.4(b) of the Regulation states:

    A worker must not ride in a vehicle

    (b) with any part of the body outside the vehicle unless essential to the work process, and then only if the worker is adequately restrained.

This means the operator or any other worker riding in the vehicle may not put his or her head (or other body part) out through a window or any other opening while the vehicle is moving, unless it is essential to do so for a specific work process. This requirement is not intended to prevent a worker riding in a passenger vehicle with an open cab, such as a convertible-style automobile.

It would appear to me that this would not be allowed unless you were safely restrained in some way while you were on the pickup tailgate.

WorkSafeBC contact information for information about workplace health and safety issues.

sitting on tailgate retrieving cones

Hmmm. My interpretation of the WCB regs seemed to me that the action of the person on the tailgate IS permitted. He is not standing, and he is not inside the vehicle. I guess the rubber hits the road if/when there is an accident and the tailgate sitter is injured. Still, it seems like an arguable defense to me. 

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