Information Bulletin: Unsafe operation of winch controlled Snow-Cats in the vicinity of passenger ropeways
This information bulletin is being issued by the BC Safety Authority to warn contractors of an unsafe or potentially unsafe condition that exists at ski areas where winch controlled snow grooming equipment (winch-cats) are operated in the vicinity of passenger ropeways.
The BC Safety Authority is aware of more than one incident where the winch cable from a snow grooming machine came into contact with a passenger ropeway component while slope grooming was in process. In one case, a total deropement off of six towers on a double fixed grip chairlift occurred as a result of entanglement between the winch cable and a carrier.
Contractors who operate passenger ropeways and winch controlled snow grooming vehicles should review snow grooming procedures to ensure that contact between winch cat cables and passenger ropeway components does not occur under any grooming situation the winch-cat may operate in. Passenger ropeway equipment should be inspected for signs of winch cable contact such as scrapes on the sides of ropeway towers that are adjacent to slopes groomed with winch-cats.
Where it is determined that a potentially dangerous operational situation may occur as a result of the operation of winch controlled snow grooming equipment in the vicinity of any passenger ropeway, corrective actions should be implemented.
Provincial Safety Manager, Passenger Ropeways
B.C. Reg. 101/2004 Elevating Devices Safety Regulation