Teck is issuing a backcountry safety warning following a recent incident between an ATV rider and a Teck employee.
Manager, Community and Governmental Affairs at Teck, Nic Milligan, explained a member of the public was attempting to drive his ATV down a road near an active drilling site. A Teck staff member stopped the man and suggested he take an alternative route because of rocks on the road. Milligan said the member of the public became upset and aggressive towards the Teck personnel.
“Our staff member stopped the situation escalating and the member of the public eventually took a safe route out, but we want to make it clear that our priority is the safety of the public and of our workers,” Milligan commented.
The incident took place on privately owned property where Teck is currently drilling and conducting environmental baseline assessments between Marten Ridge and Wheeler Ridge. The site is in the beginning stages of exploration for a possible new coal operation.
Teck is now reissuing backcountry safety guidelines to remind the public what they should be doing to keep themselves and Teck employees safe:
– Let the field supervisor know you are in the area by calling the cell number on signs at the boundary of the active work area, or approaching a field team member. Find out where work sites are and where is safe for you to travel.
– Follow safety instructions given by Teck staff, which may include avoiding local areas where activities may put you or Teck workers at risk. Failure to follow instructions may result in loss of access privileges to everyone.
– Expect to see increased traffic, slow down on blind corners and when passing workers.
– Do not travel past heavy machinery at drill sites; be aware there may be loose rocks or debris.
– There will be up to 50 people working, including up to 20 people carrying out environmental baseline testing on foot and in dense vegetation. Drive slowly past workers. Hunters, be aware of workers’ relative location to you and point guns or bows away.
“We really want to work with responsible backcountry users to help facilitate access in the area, access that they can perform safely and that doesn’t jeopardize our personnel working in the area,” said Milligan. “If there are persistent issues we’ll be forced to close the site, which we really don’t want to do. We very much respect the history of backcountry in the area and we’re happy to work with them if they’re happy to work with us.”