HAZARD ALERT: Springtime flood and landslide risks are elevated

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource roads and the back country throughout BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Flooding and landslide risks are elevated as springtime rain and warmer temperatures increase snowmelt.

Brief your workers on the risks of flooding and landslides, especially those who may not have experienced flood conditions before. This includes tree planting crews, layout crews and road maintenance crews who may be working on repairing the damage caused by winter weather.

Plan work activities while considering forecasted flood levels and the potential for landslides. Avoid work near watercourses and steep areas that may be prone to slides

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Here are some of the risks to discuss:

  • Road washouts can occur quickly and may surprise drivers. Consider that roads may wash out behind crews, leaving them stranded.
  • Silviculture and field crews often cross and work adjacent to streams and rivers. Postpone work next to water until conditions improve.
  • The soil next to bridges and culverts may be eroded by heavy rains and high stream flows. Sometimes this erosion cannot be easily seen. Be cautious and assess crossings from a safe distance before driving over them.
  • Travelling at night during flood conditions is not recommended. The limited visibility can result in not being able to spot washouts in time to stop.
  • The heavy rains can cause water saturated soils which are prone to landslides. Fast flowing streams and rivers can also erode the base of slopes causing them to slide. Avoid work in steep areas with weak soils until conditions improve.
  • Industrial camps are often set up near streams so there is easy access to a water source. Camps located in these areas can be at risk for flooding and may need to be relocated.
  • Crews responsible for inspecting and repairing roads and water crossings need to be extremely careful. Don’t risk getting too close and being caught up in fast rising or fast flowing water.
  • Make sure your emergency response plans include procedures on how to respond to severe weather incidents.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Resources and Additional Information:

For river conditions check: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/

Road conditions, mudslides bulletins at: http://www.drivebc.com/mobile/pub/events/majorevents.html

Weather warnings: https://www.weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=bc

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