Alert of the Month October 2009 "Boats, Planes and Automobiles" Transporting your workers by land

Safety Alert Type: 
Province of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It’s the most dangerous part of a forest worker’s job

This alert of the month covers transporting workers by land and is the third in a series. The first two, on water and air transport, are online at www.bcforestsafe.org.

British Columbia is a vast province with varied resource road systems. Their surfaces range from solid rock to frozen muskeg, with just about everything in between. But despite the differences, all resource roads have one thing in common: they can be extremely dangerous.

Ask about the most dangerous part of earning a living in forestry, and the typical worker talks about “getting to work and back.”

Driver Training and Supervision

A WorkSafeBC report released in July 2009 titled Resource Road Demonstration Project has several major findings and recommendations, including standardized resource road driver training. These proposed training and supervision requirements would include drivers of haul trucks, service vehicles, crew transport vehicles and personal vehicles.

Current Regulatory requirements

Although there is currently no standardized resource road driver training program available, under WorkSafeBC regulation employers are still obligated to adequately train drivers for their duties. For workers with valid B.C. driver’s licenses for the types of vehicles they will operate, driver training can be done by an accredited agency or in-house by the employer. Any in-house driver training must satisfy Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations, which can be found at www.worksafebc.com.

Whether training is in-house or not, an employer must ensure each operator is competent under OHS Regulation 16.4 and authorized to operate machinery according to OHS Regulation 4.10.

These training requirements definitely apply to driving a crew transport vehicle, now defined as “a motor vehicle provided by or arranged by an employer to transport 3 or more workers…” For more on crew transport vehicles, OHS Part 17 Transportation of workers.

SAFE Companies requirements

Being a SAFE Company includes training and qualification of drivers. Employers must periodically assess and document the competence of workers for their assigned duties, even drivers with previous experience. Employers also need to identify specific hazards related to crew travel routes and then communicate those hazards and appropriate control measures to drivers.

Drivers of crew transport vehicles are responsible for conducting vehicle pre-trip vehicle inspections and to ensure that all passengers wear seatbelts. Drivers also need to understand and follow the “rules of the road” for the resource road they are driving on, including radio-calling procedures and safe locations to pull over for loaded logging trucks.

Click here for a variety of safety program forms, tools and information available on the Council’s website to assist in meeting specific obligations of SAFE Companies. Click here to access tools for resource road users on the Forestry TruckSafe webpage.

For more information on this submitted alert: 


File attachments
October 2009-10-01 Transport by land.pdf
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