As the summer time rolls around, there are many amazing things here in Western Canada we can get excited about. Longer days, warm sunshine, and great patio or campfire weather after a long day on the job. One thing that re-emerges every year though are those big cuddly looking creatures we like to call bears. As cuddly as these guys look though, they are far from the hugging type. Being bear aware in the back country is something that should be top of mine whenever working in the remote setting. Site hygiene, waste management, and proper protective equipment should be a part of any health and safety management plan. Here are a few tips:
- Keep trash and waste cleaned up and placed in appropriate bear safe containers
- Make lots of noise and go in groups when possible while travelling through remote settings
- Don’t run when surprised by a bear! This could further startle or trigger a charge
- Back away slowly and quietly when possible if you see the bear before the bear notices you
- If you are noticed, keep your arms up to make yourself larger, speak in low steady tones, and back away slowly
- Keep bear mace handy and within reach (having it buried in your backpack or truck won’t do you much good)
- When safe and from a far enough away distance, make sure to appreciate these magnificent creatures that share the forest with us!