10-year old falls 4-5 metres from triple seat chairlift
Passenger (10 year old) fell from carrier near the last tower of the lift line. The fall to the snow surface was about 4-5 metres.
Regulated industry sector
Passenger Ropeway, Above-Surface Ropeway
Site, system and components
Device type - Fixed grip, triple seat carrier, chairlift.
The last tower of the lift line (tower 10), approximately 30m before the unload point.
Design speed of 2m/s
The carriers are equipped with passenger restraining devices. This is a lap bar that is operated by the passenger, which pivots down over the passengers head to their lap. The passengers are also required to raise the lap bar as they approach the unloading point
The operating contractor had strategically located the raise restraining device sign as close as reasonably possible to the unload so as to encourage passengers to keep the restraint bar in the lowered position until it be deemed safe to raise.
Passenger raised the restraining device prematurely and slipped out of the seat to the ground.
Facts and evidence
Based on an onsite inspection and on statements and photographs provided by the operating contractor, the following facts and evidence can be determined:
- The passenger fell approximately 4-5m at the last tower (tower #10) of the ropeway lift line.
- The “Raise Restraining Device” and “Prepare to unload” signs are mounted to a wood post approximately 5m ahead of the unload ramp and approximately 25m past tower #10.
- The vertical carrier clearance is approximately a maximum of 2m between the “Raise Restraining Device” sign and the unload point
- The passenger raised the restraint bar at tower #10 (30 m ahead of the unload point).
Causes and contributing factors
The fall from the carrier was very likely due to the carrier restraining device being raised prior to the location of the “Raise Restraining Device” sign and that the passenger was not seated securely in the carrier seat.
- Qty injuries: 1
- Injury description: Passenger sustained temporary solar plexus syndrome (winded) and a minor laceration to the forehead.
- Injury rating: Minor
- Damage description: N/A
- Damage rating: None
- Incident rating: Minor