At RMLA this year David Byrd of NSAA gave a motivating presentation of the safety issues facing the ski industry in the US.
Intro to David’s presentation from RMLA website:
David Byrd Director of Risk and Regulatory Affairs National Ski Areas Association
“Workplace Fatalities and OSHA With 11 deaths in 14 months, across all departments, ski resorts are directly in OSHA’s crosshairs. As an industry, there is tremendous room for improvement for workplace safety, and this session will examine recent examples of serious lift-related injuries and fatalities at ski areas, and the consequences as they relate to OSHA investigations and fines, and the resulting abatement and mitigation policies. Fatalities, amputations, fall from lifts, and even serious conveyor incidents — seven amputated arms in the last few years! — will be examined. Our employees need (and deserve) management buy-in to improve overall workplace safety, in light of the growing number of serious incidents in the industry, specifically as they relate to chairlift operations.”
The presentation was direct and did not try and dance around the issues. When something needed to be said, David said it; the facts were a bit scary. He clearly defined the economic and human consequences of ignoring or slighting the effort need to make safety top of mind.
In thinking of what to write for this newsletter, I reviewed an article from SAM, another good piece from SAM. It focuses on one safety protocol that needs to be fully embraced by all ski areas. I know to some ski areas this is preaching to the choir but as David and this article point out, practices get ignored, forgotten or are not part of the culture, and repeating messages is one of the tools to embed ideas and beliefs into a culture. Here’s the article for you to read; LOTO. Read it –practice it – it can save lives!