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Online Services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from June 21 at 6 pm until June 24 at 8 am.  

Scheduled Maintenance for Online Services

Online Services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from June 21 at 6 pm until June 24 at 8 am.  

Passenger Ropeways

Annual State of Safety 2023

State of Safety: Passenger Ropeways

We oversee the safety of passenger ropeways throughout BC in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation. These include tramways, gondolas, chairlifts, rope tows, and passenger conveyors.

In 2023, we saw an increase in incidents and injuries which may have been due to more patrons participating in passenger ropeways activities compared to the previous years.

Deropement of Ski Haul Rope from Sheave Assembly

In December 2023, a ski haul rope fully disengaged from the sheave assembly at a BC ski hill. During the incident, a towing cord and seating platter wrapped around the haul rope. The entanglement went unnoticed as there was no lift attendant at the unloading station. The incident may have been prevented or mitigated by having a lift attendant present, per code requirements and the requirements of the operating manual.

Incidents

One hundred and twenty-one incidents related to passenger ropeways were reported to us in 2023, a 19% increase compared to 2022. Of the reported incidents, only one was ranked as “major,” while 34 were ranked “moderate,” 45 were ranked as “minor,” and 39 ranked as “insignificant.” Two incidents ranked as “under assessment” as they were still under investigation at year’s end. Most of these incidents happened while loading or unloading and falling from a carrier. Many of these incidents can be attributed to passenger actions, their skill level, operational factors, or a combination of these details.

Passenger Ropeways Incidents by Year
(2019 - 2023)

Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year’s end.

Injuries

Seventy-one injuries were reported to us in 2023, an increase of 29% compared to 2022. Of these injuries, 13 were ranked as “insignificant,” 32 were ranked as “minor,” and 26 were ranked as “moderate.” Many injuries, such as falls or misloadings from chairlift carriers, are tied to behavioural factors.

Passenger Ropeway Injuries by Year
(2019 - 2023)

Permits

In 2023, we issued 29 installation permits, six of which were to install new lifts, while the remaining were for alterations of existing equipment. We saw 192 active operating permits in the passenger ropeways technology. The number of installation permits increased by 38% while the number of operating permits increased by 8%. This increase may be attributed to alleviated supply constraints where manufacturers were challenged to meet demand in 2021 and 2022 with existing contracts and projects overflowing into 2023. At the time of reporting, 57 new ropeways are under construction in North American ski areas.

Passenger Ropeway Installation Permits by Year (2019-2023)
Passenger Ropeway Operating Permits by Year (2019-2023)

Assessments

Our safety officers completed 171 assessments in 2023, which represents a 30% increase compared to 2022. Of this total, 157 were in-person assessments while 14 were remote assessments. The increase in assessments may be due to operational assessments being booked in January rather than in October or November during the operating season.

The results of in-person assessments included: 134 “conditional pass,” nine “passed,” and 14 “failed." The results of remote assessments included: 11 “conditional pass” and three “passed."

Learn more about how we define these assessment outcomes. The most common non-compliances are related to the submission of reports, documented procedures, training and inspection information.

Passenger Ropeways Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in 2023 (Physical Assessment)
Passenger Ropeways Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in 2023 (Remote Assessment)

Data by Technology

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