Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
January 2004
Safety and Buildings Division Inspects Wisconsinís Ski Resorts
As we look forward to another winter in Wisconsin the Department of Commerce Safety and Buildings Division is busy inspecting ski areas around the state. The department is conducting yearly inspections for compliance with the administrative rules found under Ch. Comm 33.

Some elements of a ski lift inspection include:

  • Maintenance and inspection performed by the owner/operator are reviewed. Part of the review includes verifying that a third party has inspected ski lift wire ropes in the past 12 months. Maintenance of lifts includes documentation of any structural or operational changes made since the previous season. These yearly inspections provide a history of the machineryís care and function.
  • All towers, chairs and components are inspected for structural integrity.
  • Tests are conducted to inspect all stops, brakes and deropement switches.
  • Safety gates are tested. (These gates stop a lift or tow if a passenger has not exited the lift by a certain point after the unloading area.)
  • Emergency brakes are inspected.
  • Auxiliary power for ski lifts is tested to insure that it is operational and can be used to unload a chair lift in the event of power outage or other emergency. An auxiliary power source diminishes the risk of stranding passengers above the ski hill.
  • Personnel who operate ski lifts are required to be trained on emergency evacuation procedures for chair lifts each year. These personnel must have a means of communicating from the top attendant to the bottom attendant.
  • All ropeways must be clear of trees or other obstructions.
  • Instructional and safety signs must be present and legible. Loading and/or unloading areas are inspected for layout and signage.

Through these annual inspections, the Safety and Buildings division promotes a safe ski season for Wisconsinís residents and visitors. For more information, contact Henry Kosarzycki at (262) 548-8615.

-- Tim Condon and Henry Kosarzycki

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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