Young passenger stranded on chair lift during maintenance

Incident Investigation

Young passenger stranded on chair lift during maintenance

April 3, 2018

Passenger Ropeways

Reference Number:

II-673742-2018 ID#6608

Incident overview

Passenger loaded the chair lift during a lift maintenance event and was stranded on a chair. The lift was operating with no attendant at the bottom loading station.

Regulated industry sector

Passenger Ropeway - Above-surface ropeway



Investigation Conclusions

Site, system and components

The top unload station is the location of the power source (drive) to operate the chairlift. When chair lifts are operating for public there must be an attendant at each loading and unloading station. When operating a chair lift for maintenance only one operator is required at the drive station, in this case the top, unload station.

Failure scenario(s)

Daily operation was terminated for the day, and the bottom load station attendant had placed a fence across the loading path indicating that the lift was closed. Attendant(s) then exited the load station. Shortly after, the maintenance staff arrived at the top, unload station and began operating the chair lift for maintenance requirements. A skier noticed the lift was operating, proceeded to the bottom load station and loaded the chair lift. The passenger became stranded half the distance to the top unload station when the chair lift was shut down by the maintenance operator.

Facts and evidence

As reported by the duty holder:

  • The fencing only partially blocked access to the load area
  • Ticket gate opened when passenger scanned their lift ticket
  • Passenger was a minor
  • Ropeway was operating moments after scheduled closing
  • Staff coming down the mountain noticed the stranded passenger on chair lift

Causes and contributing factors

It is very likely that it was not clearly evident that the chair lift had ceased daily operation. Insufficient procedures for lift maintenance operation allowed passenger to load chair lift. The passenger being a minor may have been a contributing factor.


  • Injury
    • Qty injuries: None
    • Injury description: None
    • Injury rating: None
  • Damage
    • Damage description: None
    • Damage rating: None

Incident rating


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