The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) is advising British Columbians to have fun and stay safe on chairlifts as the ski season opens this winter. Every year, accidents and injuries involving lift equipment can be prevented if skiers and riders follow safety rules and pay attention to signage.
“Chairlifts are large, complex pieces of machinery that move at fast speeds. Depending on the type of chairlift, the loading speed can be as fast as 2.5 meters per second,” says David Looney, Senior Safety Officer at BCSA. “When approaching the load of a chairlift, you should be aware of your surroundings. If you feel the chairlift is moving too fast for you to load safely, ask the lift attendant to slow it down. If you are unsure about how to load, ask the lift attendant for instructions. Remember, small children should load next to the lift attendant.”
Keep your ski lift experience safe by:
• Reading safety and instructional signs and following the directions provided before riding any ski lift.
• Not bouncing, turning around, reaching out or trying to make equipment adjustments while riding chairlifts.
• Keeping your chairlift restraining bar down until instructed to lift it by safety signage or lift operators.
• Staying in the track on all surface lifts such as T-Bars.
Passenger behavior is by far the major source of lift-related injury in our province with 50 per cent of incidents resulting from inappropriate or unruly passenger activity. Injuries can occur if lift equipment is not used safely and these injuries can be serious, but they are preventable.
David mentions that since 2009, BCSA has put a concerted effort into communicating chairlift safety to the skiing and snowboarding public.
“With increased awareness, we see a decline in the number of incidents,” he says.
“We strongly encourage parents to review ski lift safety with their children before heading out to the slopes this winter. Be sure to obey the instructions on all warning signs. Following these requirements goes a long way towards preventing incidents and keeping your experience on the slopes safe and fun,” says David.
For more information about lift safety,visit: http://www.safetyauthority.ca/dos-donts-have-safe-ride
The BCSA is mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment in BC, including passenger ropeways such as ski lifts, gondolas, tramways, rope tows and passenger conveyors.
BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.