On November 17th, a log truck driver was fatally injured when his log truck was caught in a landslide and carried down a steep slope. This incident occurred in an area north of the town of Hope. WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service are investigating the incident and the results will be released as soon as possible.
Although the details of this incident are still unknown, review the following general safety information:
- Proper planning is essential for logging and road construction on both moderate and steep slopes. Terrain stability and steep slope harvesting assessments are tools that can be used to manage the risks.
- Identify the high risk areas and the safe zones at your worksite. Communicate to everyone on site about potential hazards such as unstable terrain, steep slopes, drainage areas and road washouts.
- Develop and implement shut down procedures for storms and extreme weather. High winds, significant rainfall events or snow and cold temperatures can create hazardous work conditions. Watch out for unstable terrain, flooding, road washouts and blowdown.
- Establish and follow rainfall shutdown procedures. Typically, these procedures involve measuring rainfall amounts with a rain gauge and if the maximum is reached in a 24 hour period, logging operations are shut down. Moisture from snowmelt should also be considered.
- After storm events, thorough inspections of worksites and infrastructure like roads and bridges are needed to make sure work can start up safely. These should be done by qualified professionals where appropriate.
- Customize your Emergency Response Plan to your site. Plan and practice evacuating workers from remote areas of the block and workers trapped in vehicles or equipment.
- When a block or road is in a potential avalanche area, a risk assessment must be done by a qualified person. This assessment will determine if an avalanche safety plan or additional safety gear is required.