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

Spike in Jaffray bear calls cause for concern

In 2018 there were 38 calls about bears spotted in the Jaffray area, compared to one call in 2017.

Snow on the way for Elk Valley

Winter weather advisory issued for East Kootenay with up to 15cm of snow expected over the next week

Snow removal still an issue for mobility challenged in Fernie

Disability advocate sees little improvement in sidewalk clearing; City promises to review policy

Sparwood trails community growing

Sparwood Trails Alliance grows trail network, membership; hosting fatbike event February 2

Huge demand for youth funding in the Elk Valley

Emily Brydon Youth Foundation overwhelmed by 2018/19 winter applications from local youth

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

OPINION: Jaffray bear meeting good first step, but not enough

A large number of individuals attended the grizzly bear meeting in Jaffray… Continue reading

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Most Read