Wilderness risk assessment
The Yukon wilderness.
It’s equal parts beauty and hazard.
Risk assessment prepares your workers in the field for worst-case scenarios and helps ensure they can keep themselves safe.
Risk assessment is the law
As a wilderness guide or outfitter, you must ensure the safety and well-being of every worker on all your job sites, wherever they are. Your staff must be prepared for and properly trained to handle situations that could threaten the health and safety of anyone in the workplace. They must be able to communicate with and access emergency medical and rescue services at all times.
Your risk assessment obligations are laid out primarily in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 3, and in Part 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, Minimum First Aid Requirements. The full Act and the Regulations are available at yukonregs.ca.
Risk assessment is the foundation of everyone’s well-being. It’s the planning you do before the work. Basic risk assessment is a six-step process:
Identify what could go wrong.
Consider the severity of the risk and the likelihood it could occur.
Plan how to manage it if it does go wrong.
Communicate the plan to workers.
Evaluate the plan to ensure it’s working.
Monitor the workplace for changing conditions.
Risk assessment: the path to safety
Think of risk assessment as a path to safety through a potentially treacherous landscape. Come up with your own plan based on the following guideposts.
Identify what could go wrong. Team up with your workers to identify all the actual and potential hazards in the jobs they do and the environments in which they do them. Then list the risks associated with each hazard.
Consider the risks you identified. Rate the severity of each risk: What’s the worst that could happen? Estimate the likelihood of each risk if you were to do nothing to mitigate it: What are the chances it could happen?
Plan ways of eliminating the risks you’ve identified. For those you cannot eliminate, plan how to reduce them. Set up controls. Establish how to respond when something happens. Assign responsibilities to your workers. Pay special attention to first aid supplies, communications, and possible evacuation.
Communicate your plan to your workers. Make sure they’re familiar with the controls you’ve put in place. Equip and train everyone regularly so they’re ready to put plans into action when things go wrong.
Evaluate your risk assessment plan regularly. Make sure your controls and procedures are still valid. Something as seemingly minor as an incorrect phone number can mean the difference between a safe evacuation and a tragedy. Identify new hazards. Keep staff trained and equipped.
Monitor your workplace. The Yukon wilderness is not static. It is an ever-changing landscape in which weather and other factors can change suddenly. Your risk assessment plan should account for those changes.
Train to save with CHOICES
If you provide safety training to your workers, you could be eligible for a rebate on your workers’ compensation premiums through the CHOICES program.
We can help
We provide the following three forms to get you started with risk assessment:
Occupational Health and Safety officers are available for consultation and support. Call 867-667-5450 or 800-661-0443, or email [email protected].