Chairlift passenger falls 30-35ft unaware restraining device was lifted

Incident Investigation

Chairlift passenger falls 30-35ft unaware restraining device was lifted

February 11, 2018

Passenger Ropeways

Reference Number:

II-654915-2018 (Incident ID #5698)

Incident overview

Passengers preparing to unload a chairlift, lifted the chairs restraining device. One of the passengers then fell out of the chair (carrier), falling approximately 30-35ft.

Regulated industry sector

Passenger Ropeway - Above-surface ropeway



Investigation Conclusions

Site, system and components

Above surface passenger ropeways must have a restraining device. This restraining device, in most cases is a bar attached to the chair that can be raised or lowered by passengers. The bar in the lowered position, acts as a means to prevent passengers from falling forward out of the chair. Passengers are instructed to lower and raise the restraining device at specific locations by signage located on lift towers.

Failure scenario(s)

The passenger was unaware the other passengers had raised the restraining device. The passenger leaned forward or shifted position causing themselves to fall out the chair.

Facts and evidence

As reported by duty holder:

  • Three passengers were riding uphill on a quad chair.
  • The restraining bar was raised.
  • Passengers were preparing to unload.
  • The passenger that fell did not raise the restraining bar.
  • Fallen passenger was seated on the left side of the chair.
  • “Prepare to Unload” and “Raise Restraining Bar” sign were located on the last tower before the unload.

Causes and contributing factors

It is likely the raising of the chairs restraining device in an area of moderate to high risk from a fall is the cause of injury. Lack of attention by the passenger while on the chair was a contributing factor.


  • Injury
    • Qty injuries: 1
    • Injury description: One person sustained multiple injuries: mid back pain, bruising on chest and lungs.
    • Injury rating: Moderate
  • Damage
    • Damage description: None
    • Damage rating: None

Incident rating


124.77 KB