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Springtime necessities of bear and wildlife safety

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Forestry work sites
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2020-04-22
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Spring is a time when bears are very active. Bears (and other wildlife) can pose a serious threat to workers in wilderness areas. Employers need to assess the risk and develop an emergency response plan.

Assessing and planning for the risk of wildlife encounters

Employers and workers should consider more than just bears when working in bear country. Anaphylactic shock from biting insects can be fatal, for example. People can develop allergies to bees and wasps at any time, so it’s important to have access to an epi-pen or antihistamine.

Employers and their workers need to know what types of hazardous animals may be encountered on their worksites - from large predatory mammals down to insects and rodents.

An emergency response plan begins with a risk assessment, and involves asking questions like:

  • What’s your management response if a worker has an anaphylactic shock reaction because of an insect bite?
  • If a bear attacks a worker, what’s your response plan? How are you going to neutralize the bear to try and save the person?

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Here are a few important things to keep in mind for avoiding bear and cougar encounters (from WorkSafeBC’s Wildlife & insects webpage):

  • Work in groups — bears and cougars are unlikely to attack a group
  • Keep your camp and work areas clean. Keep food away from sleep and work areas, and pack all food and garbage in scent-proof canisters
  • Make noise to alert the animals to your presence
  • Watch for signs that an animal is in the area. Leave the area if you see droppings, tracks, scratched trees, or food caches
  • Never approach bear cubs or cougar kittens.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information about wildlife safety, visit these web pages:

Beware of Bears and Be Prepared (from WorkSafeBC)

Be Bear Aware (from Energy Safety Canada)

Reducing Conflict Where We Work (from WildSafeBC)

Bear Safety Package (from BC Forest Safety Council)

File attachments
Alert-Springtime_Necessities_for_Bear_and_Wildlife_Safety-BCFSC-Apr 22-2020.pdf
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