Close Call/Serious Incident: Beware of dangers hidden under the snow

Safety Alert Type: 
near Revelstoke, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Schiller Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A log loader operator was shovelling snow for a hand faller with his machine. There was approximately 7 feet of snow covering flat ground. As the operator was digging snow, he hooked a blow-down tree that was covered by snow and inadvertently pulled against a five foot diameter cedar tree. The standing cedar had no root structure left due to being rotten and as a result, fell over top of the boom of the loader, snapping the tree in half with the top half of the cedar landing behind the loader.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Danger trees are to be recognized through a site assessment and eliminated before work commences.

Conduct regular safety meetings and/or 'tool box talks', reminding workers that hazards are hidden under the snow and that the task of snow removal can trigger hidden hazards such as this one.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Schiller Contracting Ltd.

Tracey Schiller 250-837-2644 or Chielo Pronovost 250-309-8783

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