A man is in an Edmonton hospital after being hit by a helicopter blade while carrying out geological work north of La Loche.
On Tuesday morning the man was one of three people to arrive at an exploration site near Forrest Lake.
The helicopter, an AS-350, touched down on a soft muskeg heli-pad.
According to the Transportation Safety Board the man and one of his colleagues then exited the craft while the rotor-blades were still spinning.
The man walked to the cargo bay, and then around to the front of the helicopter where he was hit.
Teddy Clarke is the chief of the Clearwater River Dene Nation and the owner of Big Bear Contracting, the company doing the work.
He says medical help was summoned immediately and the man is now recovering in an Edmonton Hospital.
“From talking to his wife and from talking to other people who are in Edmonton.  He is actually doing pretty good considering the incident he was involved with.”
Clarke says his company emphasizes safety in the field and it’s unfortunate the incident occurred.
Chris Krepski is a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board.
He says at this point it appears the front skids of the helicopter may have sunk down into the soft ground, causing it to be lower than it normally would have been:
“The helicopter was located on a soft, muskeg, heli-pad and then yeah, because of the soft ground the front of the helicopter skids sunk a little further than the rear.”
According to Krepski this didn’t happen at the rear of the helicopter because it was outfitted with so-called “bear-paws” that are designed to prevent the back-end from sinking into the ground.
He said no investigators have been deployed to the site but they have been interviewing witnesses.
Over the next few days the TSB will gather more details and determine whether a full investigation is warranted.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety said they are also reviewing the incident.