Teck issues backcountry safety warning

Teck is asking backcountry users to be extra cautious around its exploration site near Hosmer.

  • Sep. 3, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Teck is asking backcountry users to be extra cautious around its exploration site near Hosmer, following an incident between a Teck staff member and an ATV rider.

Teck is conducting drilling and environmental baseline assessments on its private property between Marten Ridge and Wheeler Ridge in early stages of exploration for a potential new coal operation.

At present, the company is continuing to allow some public access to this private land, but is asking backcountry users to follow basic safety procedures to keep themselves and Teck’s workers 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.

Manager, Community and Governmental Affairs at Teck, Nic Milligan, said that Teck first issued this information in July and is reissuing it following a recent incident.

“In August a member of the public tried to ride his ATV down a road close to an active drilling site. “When a staff member stopped him and suggested an alternative route, pointing out that rocks were falling onto the road, the member of the public became upset and aggressive towards our staff.

“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.

“We know that access is an important issue to local backcountry users, and we want to work with the responsible majority to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy these access privileges safely. We thank everyone who uses the area responsibly.”

Check this week’s Free Press for more information.