This Safe Work Practice (SWP) will provide YG employees with a set of guidelines or “Do’s and Don’ts” that have been developed to mitigate hazards associated with this work task, as identified through your workplace hazard identification process. All YG employees performing this work task are required to be trained, knowledgeable and competent.
Guidelines: Personnel may be required to travel to work sites where avalanche conditions exist. To prevent the risk of entrapment or injury during an avalanche, awareness and caution should be taken while working in avalanche terrain.
a) Complete training in avalanche awareness and rescue prior to working in avalanche terrain.
b) Check avalanche conditions, weather and road conditions prior to departure.
c) Carry avalanche safety and rescue equipment on your person while working in avalanche terrain. This will include and be supplied by the employer:
- Avalanche transceiver
- Collapsible probe
- Snow shovel
- Spare batteries for transceiver
d) Submit a trip plan to supervisor prior to leaving for the work site.
e) Establish periodic check-ins with supervisor and have a plan for loss of contact with employees.
f) Conduct an avalanche risk assessment prior to beginning work on-site.
g) Conduct a transceiver check prior to commencement of work on-site, and ensure all workers have transceiver set to transmit during the entire work period.
h) Spread out in avalanche areas to avoid multiple burials.
i) If caught in an avalanche:
- Work towards the top and/or side of the flow by using a swimming motion.
- When movement stops, create an air pocket in front of your face.
- Control breathing and remain calm until rescued.
a) Do not work alone while in avalanche terrain.
b) Do not work up-slope of others if slope stability unknown or questionable.
For Yukon specific terrain maps and weather information see the Yukon Avalanche Association http://www.yukonavalanche.ca/
For further information and resources see the Canadian Avalanche Association http://www.avalanche.ca/caa