Loaded log truck approaches as worker unloads snow sled on mainline

Safety Alert Type: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A layout crew parked in a small pullout along the mainline to unload their snow sleds. They called on the radio to let road traffic know they would be unloading sleds (at 88km) and to slow down and watch for them.

They had to back onto road to line up a straight approach to get over the large snowbank. As they were reversing into the road, a loaded logging truck came at full speed around the corner. Worker had large gloves on due to the extreme cold and couldn’t switch the sled out of reverse.

With only a few seconds to think, the worker jumped off the sled and out of the trucks path. No impact occurred – it was a very serious near miss.

Potential Hazards:

  • Not having large enough pullouts or safe places to unload sled without being on road
  • Road traffic unaware of workers on road • Ineffective communication with other road users
  • With extreme cold weather, workers might try to reduce time spent sledding and push travelling further up plowed road to unload sleds


Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Avoid unloading sled on active mainlines unless adequate sight lines or large enough pullouts
  • Coordinate plans with road maintenance to plow out additional pullouts and access roads to allow save place to unload sleds and turn around
  • Review block access prior to pre-work to ensure time to coordinate plowing out roads
  • Field staff should have a contingency plan in the event roads/pullouts have not been plowed and access is unsafe
  • Set-up “workers in area” sign to notify drivers of potential field crews on the roads
  • Dig out snow bank on an angle to the road so you don’t have to drive sled onto road to line up straight approach over bank
  • Use truck radio to communicate with drivers and not handheld.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kori Vernier at kori.vernier@canfor.com


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