Heavy Rainfall Increases Washout and Landslide Risk

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
South Coast Region (Vancouver Island, northern Fraser Valley)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-11-15
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Recent heavy rainfalls have significantly increased the risk of road washouts and landslides.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Brief your crew on the risks of flooding and landslides, including the following:

  • Road washouts can occur quickly and may surprise drivers. Consider that roads may wash out behind crews, leaving them stranded.
  • Field crews often cross and work adjacent to streams and rivers. Postpone work next to water until conditions improve.
  • The soil next to bridges and culverts may be eroded by heavy rains and high stream flows. Sometimes this erosion cannot be easily seen. Be cautious and assess crossings from a safe distance before driving over them.
  • Travelling at night during flood conditions is not recommended. The limited visibility can result in not being able to spot washouts in time to stop.
  • The heavy rains can cause water saturated soils which are prone to landslides. Fast flowing streams and rivers can also erode the base of slopes causing them to slide. Avoid work in steep areas with weak soils until conditions improve.
  • Crews responsible for inspecting and repairing roads and water crossings need to be extremely careful. Don’t risk getting too close and being caught up in fast rising or fast flowing water.
  • Make sure your emergency response plans include procedures on how to respond to severe weather incidents.

The points above were taken from a Monthly Safety Alert from earlier in the year. Use this link to view the entire alert: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2964

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gerard Messier, BCFSC

messier@bcforestsafe.org

 

File attachments
Washout and Landslide Alert-BCFSC-Nov_15-2017.pdf
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