Title: Avalanche Floatation Devices – Current Status at the Canadian Workplace
Category: Changing Nature of Work and Work Environment
Subcategory: Changing Nature of Work and Work Environment
Since the winter season of 1993/94, a total of thirteen avalanche workers have perished in snow avalanches in Canada – eleven of which occurred in B.C. The effectiveness of avalanche floatation devices (AFD) is supported by credible scientific studies, and AFDs have been promoted in Europe. This research will undertake a comprehensive overview to assess the current use of AFDs among Canadian avalanche workers and explore the benefits, challenges and barriers to their adoption within the complete context of integrated risk management at the workplace in avalanche terrain.
The study objectives include compiling a comprehensive overview of the current use of avalanche floatation devices and developing the necessary infrastructure for the collection of relevant data. It will assess the potential of AFDs for making avalanche terrain a safer workplace.
It is anticipated that the knowledge generated through this project will provide the necessary foundation for making educated choices on AFD use.
Ian Tomm (Canadian Avalanche Association)