Vehicle Rollover

Location: 
Peace Liard Woodlands
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-11-05
Company Name: 
Canfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On November 5, 2007 a Canfor staff member was enroute to Prince George from Fort St. John for work purposes. During travel, the employee encountered poor weather and deteriorating driving conditions (current snow fall, just below zero temperatures, slippery/snow packed road surfaces and reduced visibility) when reaching Mount Lemoray, after traveling for approximately three hours, the staff member assessed the worsening road/weather conditions and made the decision to turn around and return to Fort St. John. Once in cell phone range, the staff member notified the Fort St John office that they were returning. At approximately 1:00 p.m., while traveling on a straight stretch of Highway 97 approximately 10 kilometers east of Groundbirch, (the staff member reports driving at 70km/per hour due to road conditions) the vehicle hit a patch of ice, swerved to the right and then swerved to the left, and then began spinning in circles down the middle of the highway. The vehicle hit the ditch, rolled over once and then rolled again landing on the roof. The staff member was able to climb out of the truck through the driver side window and summon assistance from oncoming traffic. Thankfully as a result of the staff member wearing a seat belt only minor injuries (bruising and soft tissue) were sustained.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1.All employees need to continue to wear seatbelts at all times. This incident clearly reinforces why they need to be worn at all times. Seatbelts save lives and prevent serious injuries from occurring.
2.Winter driving is a tricky and can be a dangerous business. Better roads, better cars and better tires won’t take the place of careful driving practices. All employees must continually assess road and weather conditions and adjust their speed of travel. Key winter hazards to be aware of are: freezing rain, heavy/blowing snow, slippery compacted roads and poor visibility. Even once a risk assessment is performed, when driving in poor winter conditions, employees need to continuously assess adverse weather and road conditions and are reminded that sudden changes may occur and vehicle reaction time is extremely reduced in poor weather/road conditions.
3.
Make sure that vehicles are equipped with a good winter driving tires and check tire pressure prior to traveling, also make sure that your vehicle is equipped with a winter survival kit.
4.Assess your travel plans, if travel can be avoided during times of poor winter weather, make alternate arrangements. Remember that your safety requires you to exercise good judgment at all times. If you must travel give yourself plenty of extra time for getting to your destination. Speed limits are for perfect, dry conditions. On winter’s icy roadways, reducing your speed to half the speed limit may not be enough.
5.If extreme driving conditions are encountered, pulling over in a safe area and waiting for conditions to improve (plowing, sanding, snow melting and or snow fall ceasing) should also be considered.

File attachments
2007-11-05 Icy Roads to blame for Vechile Rollover.pdf
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