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Skiing safety

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Keep safety as much in mind when you ride the ski lifts as you do when you're skiing or snowboarding on the slopes.

Experts say some risks for skiers and snowboarders exist on the lifts. The anticipation of racing down the hill can sometimes overshadow the importance of getting up the hill safely. You have a responsibility--be aware of the safety risks involved, use common sense and follow these simple tips to ensure a fun and safe day on the slopes.

A special note for parents: take an active role in making sure that the lift is appropriate for your child. Once you've made that decision, be sure your child is aware of what behaviour is acceptable for all chair lifts, bar lifts or rope tows.

The basic rules are simple:

Get on at designated areas only,

Read the rules for each lift carefully before riding the lift,

Remove pole straps from your wrists,

Hold the poles point down before entering the loading area,

Sit down properly and hold on to safety equipment,

Lower the safety bar, and

Listen to and obey the operators' instructions at all times.

On your way to the top:

Keep the tips of your skis or snowboard up,

Always keep long hair, hats and scarves secure to avoid entanglement,

Remain seated and don't bounce or swing on the chair lift, and

Never throw or drop anything from the lift.

When you've reached the top:

Get off at designated areas only,

Clear the unloading area immediately,

Listen to and obey the operators instructions at all times,

Report any problems or concerns to the lift operator right away.

Keep in mind that the operator is in charge of and responsible for the lift. That means the lift operator has full authority to remove anyone from the lift or tow who poses a safety risk to themselves or others.

In Ontario, all sporting facilities must have a valid licence for each ski lift, bar lift and rope tow. TSSA does its part to ensure your safety by inspecting lifts to make certain they perform properly.

Aside from safety tips for your ride on the ski lift, skiers are offered this little bit of extra advice: always think twice before making that "last run of the day." Skiing and snowboarding involve lots of physical exertion, and you'll be tired toward the end of the day. That's the time when concentration starts to slip and accidents occur. Think before you head for that last run, and if you're tired, pack it in for the day. That way you can be sure that you'll be able to enjoy another day of fun on the slopes.


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