Winter Operations: Poor conditions, late start emphasize importance of driver diligence

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Current State: Conditions provincially have been very challenging this fall due to wet and warm weather conditions. This has resulted in lower than normal operational activity which has increased the amount of wood in the bush and reduced the amount of wood making it to the mills.

It has also led to night shifts in many areas of the province which is unusual for this time of year.

Currently weather conditions are improving and operational activities are returning to normal levels. Night shifts in many areas have and are transitioning to normal operating hours.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The hazards:

  • Stress caused by increased pressure for deliveries
  • Fatigue as staff transition from night to day shift
  • Road and environmental change to winter conditions


  • Speed - driving too fast for conditions - remains the number one contributor to fatal motor vehicle crashes in BC. Each fall, the number of people killed or injured in a crash as a result of driving too fast for conditions spikes upwards - nearly doubling
  • What is a safe speed? It is not simply the greatest speed at which you can "keep ‘er on the road." Safe speed includes obligations to drive at a speed that does not generate undue risks, and to apply behaviours that provide a margin of error - for you and other drivers.
  • Driving decisions must accurately consider the physical environment. Drivers have to think about the road (e.g. surface materials, lane width, sighting distance, grade, etc.) and the weather. More importantly, your calculations have to account for how these factors influence visibility, traction and vehicle performance.
  • At all times, especially if you are transitioning in or out of night shift you must ensure you are at the top of your game.

Factors that support this:

  • Well-rested and alert - 6 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended.
  • Patience - Use patience with other drivers, road maintenance crews, etc.
  • Proper hydration and diet - Heathy eating is part of overall wellness.
  • Physical / mental fitness - Helps ensure you are best prepared for the job.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dustin Meierhofer, BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Careers | Contact Us | Top | Privacy Statement | Terms and Conditions |
Copyright © 2006-2018 BC Forest Safety Council. All rights reserved.