September rain creates soft shoulders, other hazards to driving on gravel

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Resource roads of British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The month of September saw higher than normal rainfall in the interior region (among others). This rainfall has saturated the roads, leaving them in rough shape with washboards, potholes, and soft shoulders all creating added risk to driving on gravel.

Gorman Bros. recorded 4 close calls with contractors in September. All the investigations are not complete but the common factors would suggest soft shoulders are a contributing cause. Vehicles are driving on the road’s edge when it gives way.

Conditions can be misleading since the driver may see tracks on the shoulder, or may have once driven on that shoulder without incident. Heavy rains and winds can cause damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Avoid driving on road edges / shoulders when the road is saturated.
  • Avoid over-steepening road shoulders with loose, unpacked material.
  • Avoid driving on shoulders of the road where there’s a natural dip in the road and water can accumulate, making the shoulders heavy saturated and unstable.
  • Heavy rains contribute to hazardous road conditions like soft shoulders, ruts and accumulations of ditch water.
  • Use RADAR as a tool to assess your surroundings and changes in worksite conditions.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Brenden Tostenson, Westbank, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. (250) 768-5131

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