SAM Magazine—Lakewood, Colo., May 15, 2019—According to a report in the latest NSAA Capitol Watch, recently released 2017 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data show “skiing facilities” have the third highest incidence rate of non-fatal occupational injuries among all industries in the U.S.
The 2017 rate of 10.1 injuries per 100 employees is nearly double that of 2014, when ski areas ranked 13th with an injury rate of 5.6 injuries per 100 employees. All employers must submit workplace injury and illness data annually through OSHA 300 injury summary logs.
Working at a ski area comes with inherent risks given the rugged, outdoor environment many employees work in everyday. And ski areas make significant efforts to keep employees safe. That said, the trend of rising injury rates means OSHA will likely increase its scrutiny of ski areas, “through increased inspections, unannounced audits, and higher fines and penalties. OSHA data may also factor into higher workers compensation premiums,” said the Capitol Watch report.
As a result, ski areas should be diligent in following OSHA rules and guidelines as they pertain to resort operations. To that end, NSAA has compiled some resources about OSHA, inspections, and job hazards assessments, on its website (login required). For further reading, check out relevant past SAM articles, including “Workplace Safety,” which covers OSHA requirements, and “Control Hazardous Energy,” about safety, specifically lockout/tagout procedures, while working on electrical machinery.