Machine Tips Over During Beaver Dam Removal

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator operator was slowly dismantling a beaver dam by periodically halting work to allow water to flow at a rate that would not exceed the culvert flow capacity. At some point the road surface underneath the downhill track became too saturated with water and failed, causing the machine to slide down and tip over into the water.

Luckily the operator was able to exit the machine in time, however, the machine sustained significant damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

Elevated risk due to the following factors:

  • Working alone near water under cold weather conditions
  • Working on unstable ground saturated with water
  • Working behind a large volume of stored water energy.

Preventative Actions

Developed “Working on, near, or above water” safe work procedures that includes the following:

  • A hazard assessment must be conducted ahead of time to ensure roads are drained in advance and don’t become saturated with water while equipment is on it
  • Any worker working on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device
  • Under no circumstance are workers to work on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning while considered alone.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229



File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Beaver Dam-November 7-2016.pdf
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