Vancouver, BC (February 16th, 2022) – A recent survey from Technical Safety BC indicates that over half (60%) of British Columbian skiers and snowboarders surveyed identify as beginners. With so many beginners on the slopes and the Family Day long weekend approaching, Technical Safety BC is encouraging all British Columbians — whether they are seasoned pros or first-timers — to get “back to basics" on chairlift safety by focusing on how to load, ride, and unload from chairlifts safely.
Alarmingly, the survey also found that three-in-four (73%) British Columbians aren’t very confident they know how to ride a chairlift safely and that 67% of skiers and snowboarders who consider themselves experienced don’t put the safety bar down on the chairlift every time.
“In BC, approximately 60% of chairlift-related incidents happen because passengers don’t know or aren’t following safety protocols,” says Janice Lee, Director of Product and Market Leadership at Technical Safety BC. “Getting up to the top of the mountain is very exciting, yet it’s easy to get distracted when loading and unloading from the chairlift. We encourage both experienced and inexperienced skiers and snowboarders to familiarize themselves with how to use the chairlift safely to help make everyone's experience as safe and fun as possible.”
Technical Safety BC has some key tips that skiers and snowboarders should know to stay safe when using the chairlift this season:
- Always remove your pole straps and make sure to point your ski tips down and forward.
- Secure all loose items — make sure you don’t have anything that can catch on the lift. If you have a backpack, make sure you remove it and hold it on your lap or place it on the seat next to you.
- When loading, move up to the marked line and watch out for the approaching lift.
- It is common for people to fall while loading and unloading from ski lifts. If you fall while loading, ensure you stay down until the operator instructs you to get up.
On the chairlift
- Make sure you always lower the bar if the lift has one. Don’t forget to let other riders know before you lower it.
- Always sit as far back as possible so that you are fully supported by the back of the chair.
- Be aware of your surroundings by putting your mobile phone away and removing your earphones.
- Do not swing or bounce on the chair, lean forward or adjust your boots, skis, or snowboard, or make any attempts to touch trees or towers.
- Watch for and follow all warning and instruction signs.
- Before unloading, make certain nothing is caught on the chair.
- Never lift the bar before you reach the “raise the bar sign”.
- Keep the tips of your skis or snowboard up as you approach the “unload here” sign, stand up, slide down the ramp and clear the unload area.
- If you leave something behind, clear the unload point and let the lift operator know.
- If you fail to unload and cannot do so safely, stay on the chair. The operator or the safety gate will stop the lift, and then the lift operator will assist you in unloading.
Additional information on chairlift safety can be found on Technical Safety BC’s website. Skiers and snowboarders should also refer to the safety guidance listed at their local resort, regardless of their skill level.
About Technical Safety BC
Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority) is an independent, self-funded organization that oversees the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.
Technical Safety BC