Increase in the Number of Passengers Falling From Fixed Grip and Detachable Grip Chairlift Carriers

Information Bulletin

Information Bulletin: Increase in the Number of Passengers Falling From Fixed Grip and Detachable Grip Chairlift Carriers

November 17, 2023

Information Bulletin
Passenger Ropeways

Reference Number:

IB-PR 2023-02

Our ongoing analysis of incident reports has revealed a concerning increase in passengers falling from chairlift carriers, during the past two winter seasons, in British Columbia. Despite the industry's proactive approach, renewed attention is required to lower this number.

Data from the last two winter seasons has shown a significant surge of incidents involving passengers under the age of 12, some of whom were accompanied by adults.

Additionally, a study on restraint bar usage conducted last year shows that improper handling of restraint bars during unloading is one of the biggest causes of falls from carriers. Operators are encouraged to reinforce proper restraint bar practices among passengers, specifically young children, and those at a beginner skill level. Restraint bars are essential for keeping passengers safe.

We would like to encourage passenger ropeway contractors to proactively review, revise, and/or develop policies and procedures to address these risks, particularly those related to the loading of passengers, restraint bar usage, and children on chairlifts.

A thorough review of the following operational aspects for above-surface passenger ropeways is recommended:

  • minimum age of unsupervised passengers
  • teaming of younger riders with responsible adult passengers
  • ski/ snowboard school instructor training regarding loading and riding with young passengers
  • lift operator training for loading of young passengers
  • seating arrangements for children
  • adequate number of operators\attendants at the load area

Additionally, an assessment of the following items is required to reduce hazards associated with falls from carriers:

  • placement of “raise restraining device” signage
  • placement of “prepare to unload” signage
  • condition of seat pads and restraining devices
  • condition\design of load ramp

Technical Safety BC is actively collaborating with industry stakeholders and the Canada West Ski Areas Association to create awareness about falls from carriers. We would like to encourage contractors to raise this issue as an area of focus in training and to share this information with lift operators and ski/snowboard school staff.


Provincial Safety Manager - Transportation



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