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Ski Resorts Celebrate National Safety Awareness Week While Keeping Patrons in the Dark About Safety Plans
Date:1/16/2009

difficult to navigate. The response time for a request can be months and the individual must pay a fee, which could be hefty, depending on the information requested.

"If ski resorts expect patrons to be personally responsible and assume liability for any accidents, consumers should have relevant and accurate information on the risks they are assuming and ski resort accident prevention plans," added Dr. Gregorie.

Typically, ski resorts' safety plans include varying degrees of detail. There also appears to be few, if any, internal safety plan compliance programs, reporting requirements or external review processes in California, other than the requirement to report ski lift injuries and fatalities to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) provides annual death and serious injury reporting but the information is limited and unreliable for these reasons:

  • Data is only collected from NSAA member ski resorts and is inconsistent and formatted in such a way as to preclude meaningful analysis.
  • Deaths occurring outside member ski resort boundaries (e.g., patrons who accidentally or deliberately leave the resort boundaries or who die in hospitals after being evacuated from the resort) are not included in the reports.
  • The NSAA rigorously guards its accident and injury data. While limited information is available on the NSAA Web site, public access to more detailed studies (demographics, economic analysis, end-of-season survey) are available only through payment of fees ranging from $100 to $400.
  • California ski resorts have significant latitude as to when, how and whether safety and accident prevention procedures and methods are employed.
  • The NSAA does not release raw data for independent analysis or disclose the details of the collection process or the criteria us
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SOURCE California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization
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