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Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing eTool

Transportation All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs)

JSA

ATVs and UTVs are used in a number of applications in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. An ATV is an off-road, single-rider vehicle intended for transport over rough terrain. ATVs feature a handle bar steering system. A UTV is also intended for use over rough terrain, though this vehicle is sometimes known as a side-by-side because two people can sit in the cab next to each other. Both can be used to haul items, but a UTV features a truck-like bed specifically for this purpose. UTVs also feature a steering wheel similar to that in a car or truck.

Tasks and key safety and health practices for ATVs and UTVs include:

Potential Hazard:

  • Rollover.

Possible Solutions:

  • Center tires on ramps.
  • When unloading from a truck bed, use the longest loading ramps available.
  • Do not attempt to turn the ATV while on loading ramps.
  • Install roll bars where practicable.

Potential Hazard:

  • Ramps slipping when unloading from truck bed.

Possible Solutions:

  • Secure ramps with tie-downs and/or anti-slip matting.

Securing ATV to trailer

Securing UTV to trailer

Potential Hazard:

  • Vehicle becomes unsecure.

Possible Solutions:

  • Use tie-downs and straps to secure vehicle to a suitable trailer.
  • Ensure that the ATV/UTV parking brake is engaged.

Potential Hazard:

  • Trailer becomes unsecure.

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure the trailer is properly attached and secured to the pulling vehicle.
Tire pressure inspection

Tire pressure inspection

Potential Hazard:

  • Equipment failure.

Possible Solutions:

  • Perform a T-CLOC inspection (Tires and Wheels, Controls and Cables, Lights and Electrical, Oil and Fuel, Chain and Chassis).

Potential Hazard:

  • A fire on the ATV or UTV, or a personal injury can occur. In dry areas, operating an ATV/UTV can also start brush fires.

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure the equipment has a secured fire extinguisher and first aid kit.
Driver travelling down a slope

Driver traveling down a slope

Potential Hazard:

  • Rollover caused by uneven terrain and slopes.

Possible Solutions:

  • Assess steep or uneven terrain before crossing.
  • Avoid traveling across the slope. Whenever possible, travel straight up or down the slope.
  • Choose a route with the least grade.
  • If you encounter slopes and you are unsure of the machine’s capability, get off and walk the route.
  • Avoid turning sharply or at excessive speeds.
  • Apply the brake and turn at a slower speed.
  • Ensure the vehicle is equipped with a roll bar if applicable.

Potential Hazard:

  • Rollover from encountering obstacles (rocks/logs/mud/water).

Possible Solutions:

  • Assess terrain before crossing.
  • Whenever possible, remove the obstacle or go around it.
  • Slowly approach the obstacle straight on. When the tires contact the obstacle, slowly accelerate to maintain momentum until the obstacle is cleared.
  • Ensure the vehicle is equipped with a roll bar if applicable.

Potential Hazard:

  • Collision with motor vehicles.

Possible Solutions:

  • When crossing roadways, look both ways for oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid crossing roadways where visibility is restricted.
  • Operators must abide by traffic signage when traveling on pavement.
Driver assessing a creek crossing

Driver assessing a creek crossing

Potential Hazard:

  • Crossing water.

Possible Solutions:

  • Do not cross water that is deep and swift.
  • Assess the water’s bottom for rocks or other submerged obstacles.

Potential Hazard:

  • Parking on slopes.

Possible Solutions:

  • Do not park sideways on a slope.
  • Set the park brake when getting off the equipment.
  • Chock wheels.
  • Park the ATV/UTV directed away from your work area.
Driver attending an operation safety course

Driver attending an operation safety course

Potential Hazard:

  • Hauling too many people.

Possible Solutions:

  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendation for how many personnel may be hauled by the ATV/UTV. Most ATVs will be limited to one rider.
  • Use seatbelts if provided.

Potential Hazard:

  • Lack of operator training.

Possible Solution:

  • Ensure operators attend an industry-recognized and machine-specific safety course for ATV/UTV operation.
  • Periodically check drivers’ records for infractions (commercial and non-commercial).

Potential Hazard:

  • Operating a vehicle while working alone where co-workers are not available to monitor the driver’s condition and report vehicle accidents.

Possible Solutions:

  • Use a vehicle monitoring device.
  • Set up driver check-in requirements during and after each shift.
  • Provide radios to lone workers.

Potential Hazard:

  • Fatigue.

Possible Solutions:

  • Take frequent rests when traveling long distances.

Potential Hazard:

  • Operation in inclement weather.

Possible Solutions:

  • Use chains for traction in snow or ice conditions.
  • Use a cover on both ATVs and UTVs for protection from both rain/snow/ice and sun exposures.
  • To prevent cold stress, wear many layers of clothing, with fire retardant (FR) being the outermost layer when required.
  • To prevent heat stress, pack water and ice on the equipment during the warmer months. Take frequent breaks to cool down and rehydrate.

Potential Hazard:

  • Personal injury.

Possible Solutions:

  • Drivers must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Drivers should wear safety-toe shoes and eye protection.
  • Follow manufacturer's recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE).
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