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killclimbz 10-24-2012 03:02 PM

First Avalanche fatality of the Season
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Unofficial Networks is reporting that a contractor was killed near Stewart BC. RIP.

Never too early to be using those avalanche eyes folks.

jdang307 10-24-2012 04:25 PM

It's canada. Only the US is sue happy :laugh:

killclimbz 10-24-2012 04:31 PM

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I have no idea about their training. In the US they should have training in that regard. It is also very early season and I doubt they had a ton of snow in that area. It doesn't take much though. Threat of burial is as great at this time of year, but the threat of getting beat to death in a slide is very high. Sounds like this was the case.

I would imagine there is some hand wringing going on at the corporate office...

hikeswithdogs 10-24-2012 05:24 PM

Yea need more details, I guess I didn't realize they even had enough of a base setup to break away up there yet.

Surprised these guys don't have airbags or whatever working in that kind of terrain

killclimbz 10-25-2012 08:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
More info in this article here.

Maybe not enough snow to bury him. Unfortunately the stop at the bottom of the 300 meter cliff he was swept over caused some trauma.


poutanen 10-25-2012 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by killclimbz (Post 530681)
Unofficial Networks is reporting that a contractor was killed near Stewart BC. RIP.

Never too early to be using those avalanche eyes folks.

Ouch, yeah I couldn't help but thinking the same thing while looking at Chupa's early riding pics from Revelstoke. Looks like a great time but I'd be worried about avalanches too much (hence why I don't venture into the backcountry yet)...


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 530714)
Hmmmm, Interesting case. I am thinking the company may not have trained their people about avalanche awareness and in the course of doing their jobs, they may have been totally unaware of their danger. I can smell lawyers on this one.

I thought you worked up here before? :cheeky4: No real possibility for lawyers to get involved in Canada. We gave up our right to sue to have our current workplace safety/insurance system years ago. OHS can charge supervisors/directors/etc. within the company and there can be stiff fines. Also if supervisors are suspected to have prior knowledge of the hazard, and ordered the workers into an unsafe situation anyway, there is a potential for charges under Bill C-43. If convicted it is a criminal offence and there is potential jail time and VERY stiff fines.

Families are compensated for the workers death through Worksafe BC so there are no multi-million dollar lawsuits in Canada. Now if a member of the public sustains a loss due to an employers activities, there are plenty of opportinuties to sue. (i.e. if the surveyors caused an avalanche that took out some property or members of the public down from them), but that would be a civil suit methinks...

poutanen 10-25-2012 02:58 PM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 531135)
A civil suit is exactly what I was referring to, not a criminal case. Even in Canada, if someone`s negligence causes harm to another, they can be sued. If a Canadian company is negligent and causes harm to a person they can still be sued. Not saying there was in this case and it is good that litigation law is a bit more reasonable up there. In the US, the very first thing that would be happening is Laywers for the victims families would be making allegations that the company did not do enough to protect their workers. Hence my comment about "smelling lawyers" they are for the most part shit scraping ambulance chasers even in Canada.

Yeah actually that's what I mean, generally speaking if a worker is injured on the job nobody has the right to sue. It's written right into the workplace safety insurance acts of the various provinces. The system was brought in when workers couldn't afford lawyers, so people viewed it as a more fair system.

Worker X gets his arm cut off at work, he's given X amount in compensation, plus his medical costs and time off work are paid by the board.

Worker Y dies at work, and his family receives Y amount in compensation without having to get lawyers involved.

You can forefit your right to the WCB benefits and try the lawsuit route, but that must be communicated in writing to the various boards within a relatively short period of time. And if you fail with the civil suit you can't go back and get your WCB compensation.

poutanen 10-25-2012 03:38 PM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 531152)
Sounds like a better system than we have. Down here, companies routinely injure workers because of cost savings shortcuts and if the worker can`t afford a good lawyer, he's shit out of luck. Down here, its those with the money that can afford justice.

Yeah it is a pretty good system, there's still bias in it. In Alberta the system seems biased towards the employers when they decide on cases. In Ontario it's the other way around.

The dollar amounts are also lower for payouts than you'd possibly see in the lawsuits (certainly no multi million dollar payouts). But the payout amounts are equal for everyone, solely based on the injury/loss.

The system is designed to encourage the employer to not injure anybody. We're forced to pay WCB premiums for every hour a worker works. If we have a low injury stat at the end of the year we get a premium rebate, if we have a high injury stat there can even be a surcharge.

As a safety professional I'm engrained in this stuff every day, and the system shapes the way we bid/work/etc. and I can honestly say it's not a bad system.

Can't view videos on my work computer but I'm sure there's plenty of avalanche risk in that part of the world right now!

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