Passenger conveyor maintenance incidents prompt safety order

Earlier this year in Lac La Hache, BC, a maintenance worker was correcting a tracking misalignment on a tail pulley when they asked their assistant to retrieve a tool from a nearby shop. With the assistant away, the worker continued dealing with the pulley issue alone and was making observations of the rotating equipment in the tail section of the operating passenger conveyor when one hand suddenly slipped into the enclosure of the rotating equipment. The worker sustained serious arm injuries as a result of this incident. See the full incident summary.

Two months later in Golden, BC, a mechanic was performing adjustments to a conveyor in response to complaints of surging, a condition caused by a conveyor belt slipping due to snow or ice buildup in the tail pulley. The mechanic removed the cover plates at the tail unit of the conveyor while the conveyor was still running. During the work process, the mechanic fell into the moving equipment and did not survive. See the full incident summary.

These incidents, along with a previous worker injury while performing maintenance on the lower tension station of a passenger conveyer, prompted Technical Safety BC to review the nature of these incidents in an effort to prevent future occurrences. After reviewing the findings from the investigations, performing additional field research, and having discussions with conveyor manufacturers, Technical Safety BC issued Conveyor Safety Order SO-PR-2017-01. The safety order was developed from consultation with passenger conveyor operators in BC after reviewing practices for safeguarding similar types of equipment - it was sent directly to every ski hill operator in BC along with a communication about conveyor safety.

Technical Safety BC reminds all passenger ropeway contractors to follow WorkSafe BC requirements and the requirements of the CSA Z98-14 Safety Standard when maintaining and operating passenger conveyors.

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