B.C. Resorts Question Mandatory Helmet Use for Employees

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Publish Date

05/07/2013

SAM Magazine—Whistler, B.C., May 7, 2013—Resorts spokespersons are pushing back against a ruling by WorkSafeBC that mandates helmet use for employees at Whistler Blackcomb and Mount Seymour whenever staff are skiing or riding. The rule covers any employee who is on skis while working, such as lift operators and ski patrol, and even employees transporting food and beverages on the mountain.

Oddly, the new rule does not apply to any other winter resorts in the province.

Regardless, Whistler Blackcomb has started to apply the new law as of May 4. However, that hasn’t stopped staff from questioning the ruling.

"For the past three years, there has been mandatory helmet use for snow school, and recommended helmets for all guests and anyone on skis or snowboards, but we firmly believe wearing helmets is a personal choice," said Joel Chevalier, a spokesman for Whistler Blackcomb.

Advocates for helmets say that helmet use will protect workers while working underneath lifts and from injuries stemming from collisions. They also point out that helmet use by all employees on the slopes will set an example for guests.