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State of Safety 2019 - Passenger Ropeways

Passenger ropeways

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Overview

Technical Safety BC oversees the safety of passenger ropeways throughout British Columbia in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation. These include tramways, gondolas, chairlifts, rope tows, and passenger conveyors.

Key statistics

104

incidents reported to us

46

injuries reported to us

157

physical assessments (inspections) completed by us

Incidents

In 2019 there was an increase in 25 (32%) passenger ropeway related incidents, compared to 2018.

Of the 104 passenger ropeway incidents, 52% were due to human behaviour from passengers or operators.

There was also one incident that occurred due to vandals cutting the Sea to Sky gondola cable in August 2019. Technical Safety BC performed a thorough incident investigation.

The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year-end.

Passenger ropeway incidents in 2019

 

Injuries

Injuries in 2019 that were related to passenger ropeways increased by 12% compared to 2018.

Please note that we receive injury reporting and descriptions from operators of first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Passenger ropeway injuries in 2019

 

Permits

In 2019 there were a total of 225 passenger ropeway permits. 34 were installation permits and 191 were operating permits. Overall total permits decreased by 21% compared to 2018.

Passenger ropeway installation permits saw the most significant decrease from 69 permits in 2018, to 34 in 2019. The spike seen in 2018 was specifically for conveyor alterations in relation to a safety order that was issued.

A 13% decrease was noted for operating permits from 2018 to 2019. Passenger ropeway operating permits see fluctuation from year to year due to ski resorts not operating all their equipment, therefore not renewing their operating permit. Additionally almost all passenger ropeway operating permits expire on December 31, so if a renewal was late it would show in 2020.

Passenger ropeway permits in 2019

 

Inspections

Technical Safety BC passenger ropeway safety officers completed 157 physical assessments (inspections) in 2019, which is a 6% decrease compared to 2018.

Similar to installation permits issued in 2018, there was a spike in physical assessments due to requirements in a safety order.

Passenger ropeway inspections in 2019