COVID-19 client service update

Safety critical assessments and incident investigations are continuing, as per our mandate. More information here.

Passenger ropeways safety
Passenger ropeways safety

Data by technology: Passenger Ropeways

Passenger Ropeways

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.

Incidents

In 2020, there were 98 reported incidents. The majority of the incidents that occur on passenger ropeways or conveyors happen while loading, unloading or riding the ropeway or conveyor, and can be attributed to passenger behaviour, improper procedure, or a combination of both.

We completed 12 onsite incident investigations in 2020. An incident that resulted in severe damage to equipment but no injuries was related to the vandalism of the Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish.

Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year’s end.

Passenger Ropeways Incidents by Year (2016 - 2020)

To view a detailed breakdown of 2016 and 2017 data, see State of Safety 2019.

Injuries

While injuries in 2020 decreased by 38% compared to 2019, falls from carriers still occurred. There were only eight injuries caused by falls that were reported to us, which can be attributed to the ski season ending early in March 2020.

One fall from a carrier incident resulted in a major injury, however. The majority of injuries attributed to falls from carriers were rated as insignificant.

Passenger Ropeways Injuries by Year (2016 - 2020)

To view a detailed breakdown of 2016 and 2017 data, see State of Safety 2019.

Permits

In 2020, there was a total of 204 passenger ropeway permits issued: nine installation permits and 195 operating permits. Overall, total permits decreased by 11% compared to 2019.

Passenger Ropeways Permits by Year (2016 - 2020)

Assessments

In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 163 inspections: 131 in-person and 32 remote.
 

Assessment Ratings

Pass The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s).
Conditional Pass The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to NOT comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work may only be undertaken as directed on the certificate of inspection, while the identified non-compliances are being corrected.
Fail The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to NOT comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work on the affected system or phase of work, and/or operation of the regulated equipment must not be undertaken until the identified non-compliances have been corrected.

Passenger Ropeways In-person Inspections in 2020

Passenger Ropeways Remote Inspections in 2020

Industry partnerships

We continue to work with the BC passenger ropeways industry to improve training and knowledge for passenger ropeway maintenance personnel. This partnership with industry resulted in a recent safety order that was issued in January of 2021.

Following the incident that occurred at the Sea to Sky gondola, a security review was completed by passenger ropeway operators, security experts, passenger ropeway manufacturers, insurance agents, and Technical Safety BC. This led to the sharing of knowledge and best practices relating to vandalism, sabotage, site security, and cyber security. The initiative started in the fall of 2020 and continues into 2021.