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Recommended Best Management Practices

The following section summarizes the recommended best management practices for safety issues on karst terrain. Be sure to check out more detailed information in the Karst Management Handbook for British Columbia.

Worker Safety

The following best management practices are recommended:

  • All potential safety hazards (e.g., cave entrances, sinkholes, grikes, swallets) should be clearly identified on the ground with flagging or signs.
  • Forest workers should be informed of the hazards and safety concerns associated with karst prior to beginning operations (e.g., tailgate sessions).
  • Forest workers should avoid working alone, or carry radios and institute a worker-check system.
  • Discourage forest workers from entering caves or surface features on the work site.
  • Crews should receive extra training on specialized blasting techniques in limestone.
  • Forest workers should take extra precautions when blasting in limestone and avoid taking cover near surface features with connections to the subsurface.
  • Rubber mats should be used to contain flying rock.
  • Use caution when driving on roads through karst terrain, particularly in areas where roads are susceptible to subsidence or sudden collapse due to sinkhole formation.
  • Be aware of dangerous surface openings (e.g., shafts, grikes) that may be hidden by forest litter or logging slash.
  • Maintain flags and other markers around surface karst features to identify potential hazards during post-harvest treatments, such as planting, spacing or pruning.

Public Safety

The following best management practices are recommended:

  • Where public recreation sites and trails are maintained on karst landscapes, post warning signs at parking areas and hazardous sites where appropriate.
  • Where possible, restrict public access to maps indicating the locations of hazardous surface karst features or caves.
  • Consider removing access to extremely hazardous surface karst features or caves.
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