CAN/Canada-B352.0-09 – ROPS, FOPS (General Mobile Equipment).
CAN/Canada-M12117-05 – Earth-Moving Machinery (TOPS) for Compact Excavators.
CAN/Canada-M3471-05 – Earth-Moving Machinery – ROPS, Laboratory Tests, Performance Requirements.
CAN/Canada-M3450-03 – Earth-Moving Machinery – Braking Systems of Rubber-Tired Machines – Systems and Performance Requirements and Test Procedures.
The largest skid steer currently on the market, the Gehl V420, has an operating weight of over 11,000 pounds. (Source: heavyequipmentguide.ca)
Contrary to popular belief, neither Canada nor ANSI have issued standards specific to skid steer loader operation. This is, we assume, in part to the versatility of this type of construction equipment in that on any given day they can be used as loaders, backhoes, forklifts, mowers, and the like.
Simply put, it is the employer’s responsibility to train operators. If you don’t train and there is an accident, and Canada comes in to investigate (and they will), you better believe they will ask for proof that workers have been trained (when and on what subjects). And if you can’t prove it, they will most likely refer to these standards and the OSH Act of 1970 as the basis for their citations.
Yes. In line with the standards mentioned above, operators need to be trained on the safe operation of the machine, as well as any attachments. Why? Because they are all different in terms of safe operation and handling. So, if you will be using a backhoe attachment, you should first receive additional training regarding its use. The same goes for buckets, pallet forks, hoppers, sweepers, and the like. Also, it cannot be overstated: operators must read and understand the operator’s manual for both the skid steer and the attachment before use.
Canada requires skid steer training for skid steer operators–on that there is no question. Where confusion exists is how often operators need skid steer refresher training or recertification. Outside of the initial safety training class, it is common to see companies set recertification at every three years. We are one of them. And here’s why:
As far as this 3-year skid steer training certification goes, Canada regulations are very specific when it comes to forklifts and a couple other pieces of equipment. However, on everything else they are not so clear. They just state the employer must regularly provide safety training for their aerial lift operators. Following industry best practices, we’ve adopted this 3-year term in order to help employers comply with the general standard of regularly providing and proving skid steer training. Ultimately, it is up to the employer to determine how frequently their skid steer operators need to be trained. Many of our customers require it more often, annually even. Others may stretch it out a bit. In working with Canada, though, it is our experience that they like to see employers adopt the strictest standard when the regulations are not clear. For instance, we know of companies that didn’t train every three years and were reprimanded by Canada for not offering additional training more often. It is not uncommon for Canada to refer to the forklift standard as the pattern by which training should be carried out for other pieces of equipment. On a side note, Canada is slowly but surely making training requirements specific for other pieces of equipment so there are no gray areas. Mobile cranes and aerial lifts, for instance, are all undergoing potential changes to the regulations that will reference training specifically.
So, with that in mind, we say skid steer operators must be re-evaluated every three years to determine if they are still competent enough to operate. We also state that this every-three-year skid steer evaluation is the maximum time that should be allowed to pass before an operator receives skid steer recertification. According to Canada, there are several instances that will require additional skid steer training and observation before the three year period is up:
Not necessarily. Canada requires operators to receive training for each type of skid steer. On this term, “type,” there is much confusion. Generally speaking, by “type” Canada means skid steer vs. compact track loader or multi-terrain loader. But, perhaps more than any other piece of equipment, skid steer operations can vary widely by machine size and capacity. So different sized skid steers—even within the same brand–could also qualify as different types.
If you have received skid steer safety training and have always operated a rubber-tired CAT skid steer, but then are asked to operate a rubber-tired John Deere skid steer, you should be just fine to operate under the same training certification received previously. Keep in mind though, controls can differ greatly from brand to brand, especially among skid steers (Dual-Lever Foot Controls vs H-pattern Controls vs. ISO Joystick Controls vs ACS), so in these cases you may need additional instruction or a quick refresher training to make sure you are clear on what each control does.
At the end of the day, if you were operating a backhoe loader and there was a backhoe loader accident and Canada came to investigate only to discover that you had received training specific to 360 skid steers but not backhoe loaders, then you’d be liable. You can’t really train too much.
No matter how long you’ve been on the job, Canada requires skid steer safety training, a skid steer written exam, and a practical skid steer evaluation. There is no way around it. This goes for other types of skid steer loaders too. The extent of the classroom skid steer safety training can be adapted by the instructor according to student needs. The written exam proves mental competency and understanding of the safety principles taught. And the practical evaluation proves the skid steer operator not only understands but is capable of operating the machine safely.
This is a common question, especially among laborers-for-hire who may sub out from job to job. Technically, it is your current employer who is responsible for saying whether or not you have been trained. If you bring a training certificate or wallet card to your new employer, they do not have to accept it. It is their right to require you to take their own training class. This is because if there is an accident, they will likely be responsible and need to prove to Canada that they trained you on safe skid steer operations.
This, above all, causes a lot of confusion. Bottom line, Canada states that employers are responsible to train their employees. Generally speaking, there are three ways they can do this:
In terms of using a 3rd part of an employee safety training companies materials (like our skid steer training PowerPoint kits or our skid steer training classes online) Canada does not recognize one company over another. They simply state that ‘training needs to occur’ and ‘here are the things an aerial lift operator should be trained on.’
When we do live training or offer aerial lift training online, people often assume we are the ones certifying the trainees. This is not true for any training company. We are simply assisting the employer by providing live aerial lift training or the training materials needed to help them aerial lift certify their employees.
The online skid steer training class covers Canada’s requirements for the classroom portion. Many employers prefer online training because they know exactly what training the operator will receive. In live classes, the training sometimes varies. A written exam is included at the end of our online training courses. After the class and exam are finished, you and your safety managers will have immediate access to a practical evaluation checklist. This can be printed off and used by your supervisor to help him or her evaluate you on the skid steer. When done, they can sign it and file it with your exam. This will satisfy Canada’s requirements for skid steer certification.
Contrary to popular belief, Canada does not dictate what a passing score entails. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to operate a skid steer. If you want to pass him at 80%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 20% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.