“Safe Driving on Forest Roads" e-course for workers and recreational users of forest roads
Concerned with the safety of those accessing Ontario forests, an e-training program is now available from Workplace Safety North (WSN) as of July 1, 2020.
The “Safe Driving on Forest Roads”self-paced e-learning course addresses the health and safety hazards associated with forest roads, with the goal of promoting prevention and reducing the number of incidents.
“Working with industry and the Central Canada Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee allowed us to develop a full program," says Kelly Ann Smith, WSN Program Training Specialist and lead developer on the project. "The perspectives of all forest road users are included, whether they travel on them for work or for play.
“There are a number of hazards that you could find on a forest road, including washboarding, dust and snow, and the biggest one – distracted driving, which is the top health and safety risk for the Ontario logging sector.
“We’ve included not only an identification of the hazards, but practical and safe ways to prepare yourself for travel on forest roads, and when the inevitable happens, you can handle the situation appropriately.”
Course preview YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jXHvD0PZeE
The e-course includes information on what to pack in a safety kit – for work, for your ATV or your snowmobile, for summer or winter. You can also find out what to do when you come across pooled water, or a washed-out culvert, or how to change a tire when you are too far away to call CAA. There are videos, photographs, graphics, and resource material you can use back at your workplace.
The course, which is available in two formats, classroom and online, can be customized for the audience.
“All training shares the same introduction to forest access roads to help build awareness of how these are a very different type of road than what they might be used to," says Smith.
It features a common introduction module, describing the uniqueness of forest roads, and from there, the instructor or the participant can choose a module that focuses on professional commercial drivers, or those who use forest roads for work – forestry, mining, utilities, or the government.
There is a separate module for recreational users, both in the classroom and online, that takes about an hour to complete. Perfect for groups.
“Lots of people who use forest roads just don’t know about their distinct hazards. We’ve created a one-hour online workshop for community members, so they can be better prepared when they are using forest roads to get to their fun stuff – like fishing, camping, or hunting,” adds Smith.