OVERhang and its contractors, based out of Prince George, BC, have the expertise to provide site and task specific safety services to industrial clients across the North.
This includes three phases:
Pre-work assessments and development of safety plans and emergency response plans,
Standby services to respond in the case of an emergency and rescue your personnel, and/or
Operational safety services: our technicians work in high risk environments that they are trained for, so that your employees do not have to.
Lauren Phillips, one of OVERhang's Ice Rescue Technicians, was hired by McElhanney for her ice safety services on Williston Lake on the Peace Arm, near the WAC Bennet Dam. Prior to the field date, Lauren examined the sampling plan to determine areas of concern from an ice safety perspective, liaised with the project manager about specific concerns and mitigation measures, then created a safety and emergency response plan.
On the field date, Lauren briefed the survey team about the hazards and mitigation measures, provided them each with some PPE, and brought emergency survival, first aid, and communication equipment.
Once in the air, Lauren would visually assess the ice before advising where the helicopter should land, then get out cautiously and conduct a physical assessment. At the sampling locations that she deemed safe enough, the surveyors would exit the helicopter and they would all work together to auger holes in the ice and take a number of measurements. She got right in there operating the manual auger and was also prepared to rescue the team members in the case of a sudden cold water immersion or other emergency. Had it been a river environment, she would have insisted on a second Ice Rescue Technician.
A team of three OVERhang Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and one Rope specialist were contracted by Focus Group to gather river profile information at 6 cross sections above and below Cheslatta Falls, south of Vanderhoof, BC, to inform a project designed to dredge a back channel and put in a new bridge crossing.
Two of the Technicians visited the site two weeks in advance of the field date, where they conducted a hazard assessment, looked at anchor options, gathered water level information, and made a plan to collect the desired data. They communicated their plan and recommendations to the client, then formalized a safety and emergency response plan. As part of this pre-planning, the Technicians contacted the hydro authority operating the upstream dam to ensure open communication about any planned or sudden releases. They also determined nearby helicopter access options, as well as a base for any emergency response that would require outside assistance.
A week before the field days, the team met at a small river in the Prince George area to conduct a mock operation, simulating the planned operation in a quiet, low-risk environment. Through this the team worked out all the details of skills, equipment, and communication protocols to be followed when working on the Cheslatta at a series of high risk locations.
During the field days, the team leader conducted a thorough assessment of any changes of water levels and other hazards, then briefed the entire team at great length, including the client's surveyor. When they were ready to move into operations, the Rope Specialist drilled anchors on the rocky banks and the team established a tensioned rope highline across the river at each of the planned profile locations. To this highline they added a formal rope and pulley setup so that a swiftwater boat could be pulled from one side of the river to the other, then back. When all was ready, one of the Technicians was pulled across the river, stopping at one or two meter intervals to hold a 10 foot long piece of rebar with a reflector on the top into the current, so the surveyor could shoot his survey points from a safe location while situated well back on the cliff banks. Through this approach, only qualified and experienced OVERhang personnel were in the "hot zone", ensuring that the client's employee could work from a safe distance.
Environmental Dynamics Inc (EDI) hired one of OVERhang's Ice Rescue Technicians to ensure their biologists’ safety while taking water quality samples on the Murray River, and to provide them with ice safety PPE. The Technician's role was to conduct hazard assessments at each site, brief the biologists, and help them develop a plan to allow them to sample the middle of the river. At many sites this meant the Technician set up 3:1 anchored mechanical advantage systems to belay the EDI staff out onto the ice, and ensured their safety while they conducted their sampling.
Want us to train your staff instead? OVERhang is available for custom designed training packages including the following: