This year’s NSAA Winter Trade Shows, East, and West, had an excellent session of looking at the future of lift maintenance. For those who have read previous Steep Newsletters know that I have advocated for some form of discussion relating to certification of lift mechanics in the USA. These sessions labeled, “Lift Maintenance Programs- Introducing Quality While Keeping Flexibility.” Both sessions were presented by Mark Petrozzi, Principal of AlpenRisk Safety Advisors, LLC. Supporting Mark was Sid Roslund, Director of Technical Services for NSAA.
Hats off to Mark and Sid for putting together an excellent presentation. I found the attendee’s participation stimulating and encouraging. The acceptance of a coming together of lift maintenance personnel within the industry to begin exploring the necessity of collecting complete and consistent data on the care and maintenance of ski lifts was personally encouraging. A sub-committee within the ANSI (ASC) B77 committee has been formed to take this effort to the next level.
B77 positively and clearly states the responsibility of a ski area/resort in the area of maintenance, Section 1.5.4 Operation and Maintenance
- The owner’s QA program for all ropeways shall include verification and documentation that the ropeway is operated and maintained by the design criteria, including the performance of in-use periodic testing by qualified personnel.
As Mark so ably pointed out the existence of a well written “Quality Assurance,” QA, program is essential to the genesis of a sound maintenance program. The fact is that the owner of the ski area/resort under B77 is the responsible party. I am willing to wager that there are some if not many owners who are not aware of their responsibility. It reinforces my notion that good maintenance programs start from the top. The owner’s responsibility to maintenance, which is mentioned in several sections of B77 is very definitively spelled out in 184.108.40.206:
- Aerial tramways shall be maintained by trained and competent personnel. The owners shall be responsible their supervision and training, and such training shall be documented.
I applaud Sid Roslund for being willing to push this training need forward. He has been doing so for many years even though rebuffed at times; he has been consistent in addressing the subject and has the vision to see the significant advantage of the ski industry taking leadership now rather than waiting till the outsiders come in and tell the ski industry how to train and maintain ski lifts. I encourage all in the lift maintenance world to support the efforts of this B77 sub-committee. Through my work, I have seen both ends of the spectrum, there is work to be done for sure, but there are some outstanding examples both large and small on how to do it right with training, documentation, and workmanship.