Construction Site Using a Power BuggyConstruction work has always been strenuous manual labor, but there is no doubt that the development of power equipment over the years has lessened some of the burden on workers. By taking on some of the heaviest tasks, machines such as power buggies lower the risk of back strain, muscle injury, and disc herniation. However, the addition of these powerful machines to construction sites has also introduced new threats to worker safety, especially when they are not operated according to mandatory safety regulations.

When a construction worker is injured by a concrete buggy due to a violation of standard safety protocols, a New York construction accident lawyer can tell them if they have a viable personal injury claim against the site owner or a third party.

New York Construction Site Safety Codes for Power Buggies

Construction safety rules created by the New York Department of Labor are included in Section 23 of the New York Industrial Code. Specific statutes applying to the use of power buggies include the following subsections:

Assigned Operator: In order to operate a power buggy on a construction site, a worker must be trained and deemed competent by the employer. If an undesignated person is operating the machine when someone is injured, the employer could be held liable.

Defective Machines: Concrete buggies must be in good operating condition and must be able to meet the safety standards outlined in this section of the code.

Mechanical Requirements Power buggies must meet the design and operation requirements listed below:


Buggies must be able to make a 45-degree turn while fully loaded and at maximum speed without tilting. A fully loaded buggy must also be able to make a collision stop against wheel blockage on a level surface at 50 percent of max speed without tipping over. Finally, carrying a full load, a buggy must be able to cross a 10 percent grade at max speed without tilting.


A power buggy’s brakes and tire surfaces must allow the buggy to come to a complete stop within 25 feet on a level dry surface and be able to hold a full load stationary on a 25 percent grade.


Buggies must be equipped with starting mechanisms that are located or shielded so that they cannot be accidentally engaged under any circumstance.

Warning devices

Power buggies that carry passengers and exceed speeds of three mph must have a working horn or another warning device that can be heard above the normal noise level of the work area.

Seats and visibility

Power buggies that are designed to carry a person must have an operator’s seat or standing platform that holds the operator in place and provides maximum possible visibility.


Power buggies must not be capable of exceeding a speed of 12 mph on a flat surface.

Rules of Operation

Designated operators and their employers should be familiar with the rules for using a power buggy on a construction site. Those rules include never parking on a grade that would allow the buggy to coast if the brake became disengaged and the following prohibited operations:

  • Exceeding 12 mph
  • Carrying a heavier load than its rating allows
  • Driving on a loose or slippery surface
  • Driving on grades steeper than 25 percent
  • Driving on ramps or runways that are not in compliance with the rules listed below

Runways and Ramps

The industrial code also lists requirements for ramps, platforms, and other surfaces. These structures must be:

  1. Substantially constructed and securely supported and braced to prevent movement
  2. Designed and built to sustain at least four times their maximum load
  3. At least two feet wider than the outside width of any power buggy that will be driven on it
  4. Limited to a slope of 25 percent
  5. Designed to be level transversely

Personnel tasked with the operation of a concrete or power buggy on a construction site should be familiar with all of these regulations and requirements. If an accident involving a buggy occurs on a site and it is determined that one or more of these rules has been violated, the injured worker might have a case for damages.

Timothy F. Schweitzer
Connect with me
Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
Comments are closed.