Company installs safety hatches for winter road workers

Rick Prior, manager of Loch Lomond Equipment Sales in Thunder Bay, says some communities are purchasing smaller and lighter machines to begin road construction, feeling they are less likely to crack the ice. (Jeff Walters/CBC)Ice roads are the lifelines of many of Canada’s remote northern communities. Many of these communities are fly-in only for much of the year. But these winter roads provide a fast and efficient way to truck goods and supplies into these far-flung settlements. However, the work can be treacherous.

CBC News reports that in recent weeks, two men have died after falling through the ice while working on winter roads in the northern region of Canada’s province of Ontario. 

But at least one company says they are taking action by installing safety hatches in the roofs of vehicles, says the report.

The owner of the company says water pressure can make it impossible to open side doors once a vehicle has gone into the water, but that a safety hatch in the roof may provide a valuable escape.

To read more at CBC News, click here

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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