ATV roll-over in cross ditch on deactivated road

Safety Alert Type: 
Camoo Creek (near Lillooet, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Transition Forestry Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A crew was using All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) to access a work area on a de-activated resource road.

Riding the ATV through a cross-ditch, with the rear wheels in the bottom of the ditch and the front wheels at the upper lip, something caused the front wheels to spin (possibly a rock was dislodged from the lip of the cross-ditch and went under one of the front wheels).

When the spinning front wheels contacted the ground, the sudden torque caused the ATV to flip straight over backwards. The operator had no time to dismount the ATV and it landed on him, with some part of the handlebar contacting (crushing) his right arm.

The worker was transported to hospital in Lillooet by ATV and pickup. A large cut to the worker’s forearm required a dozen stitches. The worker was unable to carry out field work for a week after the incident.

Note: The crew had negotiated 10-15 similar cross-ditches with no issues before this incident.


Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Assess all cross-ditches individually for hazards before entry and exit on an ATV
  • With deactivation planning, consider the requirements for access by ATV for follow-up assessments or silviculture work. Give specific parameters for construction, communicate this and supervise machine operators when constructing cross-ditches
  • Consider after-market, bolt on, crash protection devices. These do not prevent roll-overs but can reduce the severity of injuries / machine damage in the event of a roll-over.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Simon Warhurst, RFT Transition Forestry Ltd. transition@telus.net


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