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State of Safety 2017 - Passenger Ropeways


Safety Manager's Discussion

In 2017, the number of passenger ropeway incidents decreased slightly. During the 2016/2017 operating season, two separate and serious incidents occurred which involved workers. These workers were performing maintenance on passenger conveyors and in both cases the workers were exposed to moving, rotating equipment while conducting maintenance tasks. One of these incidents resulted in a fatality.

As a result, we consulted with industry, manufacturers, and contractors to formulate a strategy to mitigate these types of incidents. A safety order was issued in June 2017 which outlined requirements around safety procedures, equipment access, inspection control, inspections, and guarding. This safety order applies to all new and existing conveyors in the province. All existing conveyors in the province are required to meet the requirements of this safety order by October 15, 2018. We are also working with the CSA Z98 - Safety Standard for passenger ropeways and passenger conveyors on potential changes to the standard that would align to this safety order.  

We also continue to monitor the issue of aging ropeways (such as above-surface lifts built prior to 1992). In 2016, we gathered data to understand the nature and magnitude of the risk and in 2017 we presented our findings to the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA). Based on the increased number of alteration requests, there does appear to be a movement towards older equipment being upgraded with newer components.

As part of our ongoing safety oversight, we perform auditing, assessment, and inspection of passenger ropeways and passenger conveyors. In 2017, we introduced pre-operation inspection declaration for contractors. This pre-operation inspection declaration is to ensure that passenger ropeway contractors are performing the required inspections and tests prior to the start the season. This declaration was completed on a voluntary basis in the 2017 operating season.

In 2018 we will be working with Selkirk College and CWSAA to update and revise the Lift 151-153 ropeway mechanic courses. We also continue to play an active role in industry, attending the Spring and Fall CWSAA conferences and continuing to build strong relationships with the ski industry in Western Canada to promote practices that improve safety for workers and the public.


Nav Chahal
Elevating Devices, Passenger Ropeways and Amusement Devices Safety Manager


The following summarizes incidents reported to Technical Safety BC involving passenger ropeway equipment. There was one conveyor incident rated as Severe, and two rated as Major. 

Note: In 2016 we changed the rating scale, hence the change from three to five categories.


Injuries reported as a result of passenger ropeway incidents in 2017 are summarized below. There was one fatality and one major injury related to workers involved in two separate conveyor entrapments.

Note: Technical Safety BC receives injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to Technical Safety BC and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Note: In 2016 we changed the rating scale, hence the change from three to five categories.

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Assessments of Regulated Work




Stakeholder Engagement

The Stakeholder Engagement team works to enhance connections between stakeholders and Technical Safety BC via standing committees, advisory bodies and issue-specific consultations. Learn more in the Stakeholder Engagement section

Media Relations and Communications

In 2017 Technical Safety BC undertook 11 media relations-related actions (media releases, responses to media requests, and/or interviews) and produced one technical client newsletters regarding passenger ropeways safety. We also shared general passenger ropeways safety information via social media (Facebook and Twitter). Learn more in the Media Relations and Communications section.

Licensing and Certification

Technical Safety BC issued one new license and one new Certificate of Qualification in 2017. Technical Safety BC regularly issues renewal certificates for existing certificate holders. Learn more in the Licensing and Certification section.


Compliance and Enforcement Actions

Compliance and enforcement undertook one compliance order actions taken in the passenger ropeways sector in 2017. Learn more in the Compliance and Enforcement section.

Regulatory Instruments and Amendments

In 2017, Technical Safety BC issued one safety order and three information bulletins related to Passenger Ropeways. A full listing of all regulatory instruments pertaining to the Passenger Ropeways technology is available here. Learn more in the Regulatory Instruments and Amendments section.