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Safety program ensures all NSW Alpine Ski Area operators know their obligations

Safety program ensures all NSW Alpine Ski Area operators know their obligations
May 27, 2021

SafeWork Inspectors have begun this year’s NSW Alpine Ski Area safety compliance program with an industry roundtable involving all snowfield operators to discuss the safe operation of passenger ropeways including chairlifts, surface ropeways and gondolas.

SafeWork Executive Director, Tony Williams, said that in the past seven years SafeWork had responded to 21 dangerous incidents related to passenger ropeways including eight serious injuries to passengers and visitors, and three serious injuries to operators.

Williams notes “following COVID restrictions on the 2020 snow season, as well as a focus on NSW tourism this year – it is expected this snow season will busier than usual in 2021.

“We held this roundtable at the start of May to ensure all NSW Alpine Ski Area operators know what their obligations are in relation to chairlifts, as well as giving the industry a report on incidents, and their causes over recent years.

“The approach to the season is the busiest part of the year for many of the operators as they undertake construction, upgrades, repairs and maintenance across their operations.

“It will see a surge of thousands of new workers in hospitality and tourism-related work arriving on the snowfields before the season begins, and we want to influence their attitudes to safety as they start their work.

Williams adds “SafeWork’s dedicated teams of construction, WHS and engineering inspectors will be across the NSW Snowfields throughout the winter and will periodically be visiting Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass.

“And while our focus will remain on the safe operation, inspection and maintenance of chairlifts and surface ropeways, we will also be ensuring compliance measures to minimise risks associated with COVID-19 and social distancing requirements.”

SafeWork NSW has a number of resources to help seasonal workers start their job safely, such as the Young Workers etoolkit

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24th May 2021 - New Zealand snow fields get border exemptions for international ski staff

8th July 2020 - Snowy Scheme Museum to receive $50,000 boost to attract tourists

4th June 2020 - Mt Hotham’s 2020 snow season focus is on keeping visitors safe

29th May 2020 - 2020 snow season for Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek to open on 24th June

25th May 2020 - Announcement of 2020 snow season welcomed by Mt Hotham

15th June 2020 - Perisher Resort to stagger online sales of lift tickets, lessons and rentals to avoid loading website

1st August 2019 - Perisher’s new Leichhardt chairlift gets official opening

8th December 2017 - Perisher to invest $4.2 million in snowmaking and new chairlift

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