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

Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

Fire crews were called to a building on Carrington Road Tuesday night

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read