Working in extreme environments means more than just weather. Wildlife encounters have the potential to be massively dangerous. Often, we work in areas with no cell service that are frequented by different types of wildlife. Grizzly bears, black bears, and cougars are among these animals.
How do we mitigate this risk? Some companies have policies enacted that allow us to carry firearms in remote areas. In these situations, a trained team member will carry a firearm. Thankfully, we have never had to discharge a firearm while at work.
All workers are trained in wildlife awareness, and we use this training extensively in the field. The main tactic is to simply make lots of noise while working. In remote areas, this is extremely important. The last thing you want to do is startle a bear or a cougar.
Leave No Trace
We also avoid carrying excessive amounts of food, and what we do carry is in smell proof bags or containers. Pack out what you pack in, LEAVE NO TRACE.
In order to keep in contact with the office, we always bring cell phones and a SPOT GPS unit. The SPOT GPS unit allows the worker to ‘ping’ their locations and alert emergency services if need be.
Wildlife encounters are just one aspect of the tough environmental conditions we face. Risk mitigation is something that is discussed at safety meetings and every field-level hazard assessment. Lineriders ensure that every team member is readily prepared for the environmental risk of the day. No matter the obstacle, we will complete the job.