WorkSafeBC is reminding employers, specifically in primary-resource industries, that they are required to identify, assess and mitigate avalanche risk. (Wikipedia)

Identify, assess and take action to lower risk of avalanche injuries

WorkSafeBC reminding workers to pay attention to avalanche risk

  • Feb. 5, 2018 10:35 a.m.

WorkSafeBC is reminding employers, specifically in primary-resource industries, that they are required to identify, assess and mitigate avalanche risk.

WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires all employers to ensure safe workplaces, including minimizing worker exposure to the risk of avalanches. If an avalanche risk is identified, employers must develop and implement appropriate avalanche safety plans and/or a program.

“B.C. is full of such rugged terrain, and working in it without proper precautions is dangerous, even deadly,” says Patrick Davie, WorkSafeBC manager of prevention field services, Kamloops. “Employers in these situations are required under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to ensure a well-rehearsed safety plan is in place and well understood by all workers.”

WorkSafeBC expects primary-resource industries with worksites in avalanche terrain to step up their risk awareness and prevention efforts. Employers can work with their local WorkSafeBC prevention officer to determine the appropriate compliance measures. To learn more about avalanche safety for workers and employers, visit worksafebc.com.

Primary-resource industries

Primary-resource industries include oil and gas, forestry, pipeline construction, highway maintenance and mining. Snow stability in avalanche terrain can change rapidly depending on snowpack and weather conditions. Late winter and spring can pose their own challenges, and in some areas avalanche risk can be present all year.

Workers whose jobs take them into British Columbia’s backcountry, including those who are self-employed, are at potential risk of serious injury in an already active avalanche season. Since 1998 in B.C., avalanches have caused three worker deaths and 52 accepted time-loss injury claims, including two injury claims in 2017. While ski hills and winter lodges have also seen avalanche related injuries, primary-resource industries see the next highest amount.

Visit the Canadian Avalanche Association website for more information, including avalanche safety-plan resources.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Heavy smoke throughout the region thwarted efforts of BC Wildfire Saturday, as… Continue reading

Smokey skies don’t dampen spirits at Between the Lakes Pow Wow

Annual Between the Lakes Pow Wow celebrations for the children

Residents raise concerns over Penticton Speedway zoning definition

A public information session will occur sometime in the next month

Evacuation alerts in place for south of Keremeos, Hedley and Princeton

More evacuation alerts - south of Keremeos - were issued Saturday afternoon… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Meet Your Farmer: Ambercott Acres

This week, a look at the permaculture Ambercott Acres farm, from Cawston, BC

Trans Canada Highway opened again near Sicamous

Motor vehicle incident on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Malakwa closed road after 6 p.m.

West Kelowna wildfire evacuation alert rescinded

Alert rescinded Saturday for properties near four lakes within the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Key to the SOEC 2017 winner grateful for experience

Petersen discusses what it’s like to win a year of free concerts at the SOEC

Most Read