Avalanche airbags are a relatively new avalanche safety device with great promise to save lives, but scientific evidence on their effectiveness was limited. The objective of this research was to better understand the effectiveness of airbags in the Canadian context and shed light on the existing experiences and concerns about the use of avalanche airbags among mechanized skiing operations in Canada.
Since the limited size of the Canadian dataset of avalanche incidents involving airbags prevented the statistical analysis to provide meaningful insight, the accident analysis component of the study was expanded to an international collaboration. This collaboration produced Haegeli et al. (2014), which is the most comprehensive evaluation of avalanche airbags to-date.
Haegeli, P., Falk, M., Procter, E., Zweifel, B., Jarry, F., Logan, S., et al. (2014). The effectiveness of avalanche airbags. Resuscitation, 85(9), 1197-1203.
Haegeli, P. (2012) On the effectiveness of avalanche balloon packs in Canadian avalanche incidents. Report prepared for WorkSafeBC, Avisualanche Consulting.
Haegeli, P. (2012) Overview of existing concerns and operational experience with avalanche balloon packs within the Canadian professional avalanche community. Report prepared for WorkSafeBC, Avisualanche Consulting.
Haegeli, P. (2012) Examination of avalanche incidents resulting in worker fatalities with respect to possible impacts of avalanche balloon packs. Report prepared for WorkSafeBC, Avisualanche Consulting.
Canadian Avalanche Association
WorkSafeBC – Innovation at Work (Canadian study)
Self-funded (international collaboration)