Skiers are being advised to stay safe on chairlifts this winter.
The B.C. Safety Authority says 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,” said David Looney, senior safety officer.
“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 the 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.
Since 2009, BCSA has put an effort into communicating chairlift safety to the skiing and snowboarding public.
“With increased awareness, we see a decline in the number of incidents,” said Looney. “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.”
For more information about lift safety, visit www.safetyauthority.ca/dos-donts-have-safe-ride