WorkSafeBC is reminding employers, specifically in primary-resource industries, that they are required to identify, assess and mitigate avalanche risk. (Wikipedia)

Identify, assess and take action to lower risk of avalanche injuries

WorkSafeBC reminding workers to pay attention to avalanche risk

  • Feb. 5, 2018 10:35 a.m.

WorkSafeBC is reminding employers, specifically in primary-resource industries, that they are required to identify, assess and mitigate avalanche risk.

WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires all employers to ensure safe workplaces, including minimizing worker exposure to the risk of avalanches. If an avalanche risk is identified, employers must develop and implement appropriate avalanche safety plans and/or a program.

“B.C. is full of such rugged terrain, and working in it without proper precautions is dangerous, even deadly,” says Patrick Davie, WorkSafeBC manager of prevention field services, Kamloops. “Employers in these situations are required under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to ensure a well-rehearsed safety plan is in place and well understood by all workers.”

WorkSafeBC expects primary-resource industries with worksites in avalanche terrain to step up their risk awareness and prevention efforts. Employers can work with their local WorkSafeBC prevention officer to determine the appropriate compliance measures. To learn more about avalanche safety for workers and employers, visit worksafebc.com.

Primary-resource industries

Primary-resource industries include oil and gas, forestry, pipeline construction, highway maintenance and mining. Snow stability in avalanche terrain can change rapidly depending on snowpack and weather conditions. Late winter and spring can pose their own challenges, and in some areas avalanche risk can be present all year.

Workers whose jobs take them into British Columbia’s backcountry, including those who are self-employed, are at potential risk of serious injury in an already active avalanche season. Since 1998 in B.C., avalanches have caused three worker deaths and 52 accepted time-loss injury claims, including two injury claims in 2017. While ski hills and winter lodges have also seen avalanche related injuries, primary-resource industries see the next highest amount.

Visit the Canadian Avalanche Association website for more information, including avalanche safety-plan resources.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Statements about Trout Creek School future described as ‘reckless’

Summerland incumbent trustee Linda Van Alphen says school district’s financial situation has improved

Naramata honours Syilx culture

New community sign recognizes traditional name for area

LETTER: Candidate’s comments on ALR exclusion were disturbing

Summerland mayoral candidate has said she would vote “no” on any ALR exclusion that came forward

LETTER: Peake worked hard as chamber liaison

Summerland mayoral candidate’s commitment exceeded expectations

LETTER: Summerland council and trustee candidates supported

Linda and Martin Van Alphen receive endorsement from neighbour and friend

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Okanagan water conference builds connections

Experts gathered to discuss water and fisherie sustainability objectives

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Most Read