The commissioner shall be the administrative head of the department and shall have, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, general administrative supervision over the several divisions, boards, commissions, bureaus, and agencies thereof whether established under the provisions of this chapter or the workmen's compensation law and in connection therewith, the commissioner: 11. May issue such regulations governing any provision of this chapter as he finds necessary and proper.
SECTION 202-c. Prevention of personal injuries in the use of ski tows, other passenger tramways and downhill ski areas
The commissioner may make rules, consistent with article eighteen of the general obligations law, guarding against personal injuries to employees and the public in the use and operation of ski tows, other passenger tramways and downhill ski areas.
SECTION 867. Safety in skiing code
1. The commissioner, on advice of the passenger tramway advisory council as created pursuant to section twelve-c of this chapter, shall promulgate rules and regulations, consistent with article eighteen of the general obligations law, intended to guard against personal injuries to downhill skiers which will, in view of such intent, define the duties and responsibilities of downhill skiers and the duties and responsibilities of ski area operators. Back to top
54.2 Purpose and intent
54.4 Responsibilities of skiers and passengers
54.5 Responsibilities of ski area operators
54.6 Signs and destinations
54.7 Lift towers
Table 1 Required Signs to the Table
Historical Note Part (§§ 54.1-54.9) filed Dec. 14, 1978; amd. filed Oct. 31, 1989 eff. Nov. 15, 1989.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Part applies to all skiers and ski areas to which article 26 of the Labor Law and article 18 of the General Obligations Law apply, and to the owners and operators of such areas. Back
The purpose and intent of this Part is to promulgate a code of conduct for downhill skiers and ski area operators to minimize the risk of injury to persons engaged in the sport of downhill skiing and promote safety in the downhill ski industry. Back
(a) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Labor of the State of New York.
(b) Lift ticket means any item issued by a ski area operator to any skier which is intended to be affixed to the outerwear of the skier, or otherwise displayed by a skier, to signify lawful entry upon and use of the passenger tramways or ski slopes or trails maintained by the ski area operator.
(c) Multiple day pass means any item or instrument, the validity of which exceeds 24 consecutive hours, which is issued to any skier and utilized directly by any skier to signify lawful entry upon and use of the passenger tramways or ski slopes or trails maintained by the ski area operator without a requirement to first surrender or display or exchange such instrument for a lift ticket.
(d) Passenger means a person in or on or being transported by a tramway.
(e) Passenger tramway means a mechanical device intended to transport skiers for the purpose of providing access to ski slopes and trails as defined by the Commissioner of Labor pursuant to section two hundred two-c or eight hundred sixty-seven of the Labor Law.
(f) Peel off backing means any material present upon any lift ticket at the time of original issue by a ski area operator which must be removed by a skier before such ticket may be affixed to the outerwear of the skier, or otherwise displaced by a skier.
(g) Reverse means, when used with respect to lift tickets, the opposite side of the same material or printing stock of any lift ticket when such tickets are printed or prepared or issued by the ski area operator without peel off backing as herein defined.
(h) Skier means any person wearing a ski or skis and any person actually on a ski slope or trail located at a ski area, for the purpose of skiing.
(i) Ski area means all ski slopes, ski trails and passenger tramways administered as a single enterprise within this State.
(j) Ski slopes and trails mean those areas designated by the ski area operator for skiing.
(k) Ski area operator means a person, firm or corporation, and its agents and employees, having operational and administrative responsibility for any ski area, including any agency of the State, any political subdivision thereof, and any other governmental agency or instrumentality.
(l) Surface lift means a passenger tramway in which the passenger remains in contact with snow surface, riding on skis or other device while being transported. Back
(a) All passengers shall have the following duties:
(1) to familiarize themselves with the safe use of any tramway prior to its use;
(2) to remain in the tramway if the operation of a passenger tramway is interrupted for any reason, until instructions or aid are provided by the ski area operator;
(3) to board or disembark from passenger tramways only at points or areas designated by the ski area operator;
(4) not to eject any objects or material from a passenger tramway;
(5) to use restraint devices in accordance with posted instructions;
(6) to wear retention straps or other devices to prevent runaway skis;
(7) not to interfere with the operation of a passenger tramway;
(8) not to place or caused to be placed on the uphill track of a surface lift any object which may interfere with its normal operation; and
9) not to wear loose scarves, clothing or accessories or expose long hair which may become entangled with any part of the device.
(b) All skiers shall have the following duties:
(1) not to ski in any area not designated for skiing;
(2) not to ski beyond their limits or ability to overcome variations in slope, trail configuration and surface or subsurface conditions which may be caused or altered by weather, slope or trail maintenance work by the ski area operator, or skier use;
(3) to abide by the directions of the ski area operator;
(4) to remain in constant control of speed and course at all times while skiing so as to avoid contact with plainly visible or clearly marked obstacles and with other skiers and passengers on surface operating tramways;
(5) to familiarize themselves with posted information before skiing any slope or trail, including all information posted pursuant to section 54.5 of this Part;
(6) not to cross the uphill track of any surface lift, except at points clearly designated by the ski area operator;
(7) not to ski on a slope or trail or portion thereof that has been designated as "closed" by the ski area operator;
(8) not to leave the scene of any accident resulting in personal injury to another party until such times as the ski area operator arrives, except for the purpose of summoning aid;
(9) not to overtake another skier in such a manner as to cause contact with the skier being overtaken and to yield the right-of-way to the skier being overtaken;
(10) not to willfully stop on any slope or trail where such stopping is likely to cause a collision with other skiers or vehicles;
(11) to yield to other skiers when entering a trail or starting downhill;
(12) to wear retention straps or other devices to prevent runaway skis;
(13) to report any personal injury to the ski area operator before leaving the ski area; and
(14) not to willfully remove, deface, alter or otherwise damage signage, warning devices or implements, or other safety devices placed and maintained by the ski area operator.
(c) Skiers shall have the following additional duties to enable them to make informed decisions as to the advisability of their participation in the sport:
(1) to seek out, read, review and understand, in advance of skiing, a "Warning to Skiers" as specified in section 54.5(1) of this Part; and
(2) to obtain such education in the sport of skiing as the individual skier shall deem appropriate to his or her level of ability, including the familiarization with skills and duties necessary to reduce the risk of injury in such sport. Back
Ski area operators shall:
(a) Equip all trail maintenance vehicles with flashing or rotating lights which shall be in operation whenever the vehicle is located within the borders of any slope or trail and conspicuously mark all other vehicles, including snowmobiles, with a blaze orange flag on a staff at least six feet above the uppermost part of the vehicle when the vehicle is within the borders of any ski slope or trail.
(b) Post in a location likely to be seen by all skiers, signs of such size and color as will enable skiers to have knowledge of their responsibilities under this Part.
(c) Hold employee training sessions at least once before the beginning of each season as follows:
(1) for all operators of trail maintenance equipment concerning the safe operations of such vehicles in the ski area;
(2) for passenger tramway attendants concerning the safe operation of passenger tramways;
(3) for ski personnel charged with the responsibility of evacuating passengers from passenger tramways concerning proper evacuation techniques; and
(4) for all other personnel charged with on-mountain maintenance, inspection or patrol duties as to methods to be used for summoning aid in emergencies.
(d) Conspicuously mark with crossed poles or a pole topped with a marker or markers (as specified in Table I), the location of such man-made obstructions as, but not limited to, snow-making equipment, electrical outlets, timing equipment, stanchions, pipes, or storage areas that are within the borders of the designated slope or trail, when the top of such obstruction is less than six feet above snow level. Such poles shall be entirely blaze orange and shall be maintained at a minimum height of six feet above snow level.
(e) Maintain in a central location at the ski area, an information board or boards showing at a minimum the following:
(1) the location of tramways, slopes or trails;
(2) the status of each trail--open or closed;
(3) the location of emergency communications or medical equipment and sites designated by the ski area operator for receipt of notice from skiers pursuant to subdivision (j) of this section;
(4) the relative degree of difficulty of each slope or trail (easier, more difficult, most difficult); and
(5) the general surface condition of each slope and trail as most recently recorded in the log required to be maintained by subdivision (f) of this section.
(f) Inspect each open ski slope or trail that is open to the public within the ski area at least twice a day, and enter the results of such inspection in a log which shall be available for examination by the commissioner. The log shall note:
(1) the general surface conditions of such trail at the time of inspection (powder, packed powder, frozen granular, icy patches or icy surface, bare spots or other surface conditions);
(2) the time of inspection and the name of the inspector; and
(3) the existence of any obstacles or hazards other than those which may arise from:
(i) skier use;
(ii) weather variations, including freezing and thawing; or
(iii) mechanical failure of snow grooming or emergency equipment which may position such equipment within the borders of a slope or trail.
(g) Develop and maintain a written policy for situations involving the reckless conduct of skiers which shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) a definition of reckless conduct; and
(2) procedures for approaching and warning skiers of reckless conduct and procedures for dealing with such skiers which may include the revocation of the lift tickets of such skiers.
(h) Designate personnel to implement the ski area's policy on reckless conduct.
(i) Report to the commissioner by telephone within 24 hours any fatality or injury resulting in a fatality at the ski area.
(j) To, within a reasonable amount of time after the inspection required by subdivision (f) of this section, conspicuously mark with such implements as may be specified by the Commissioner of Labor or remove such obstacles or hazards which are located within the boundaries of any ski slope or trail and were noted pursuant to the paragraph (f)(3) of this section; and to also conspicuously mark with such implements or remove such obstacles or hazards when notice is given at sites designated by the ski area operator for such receipt and the locations of which are made known to skiers pursuant to paragraph (e)(3) of this section.
(k) To have present at all times when skiing activity is in progress, individuals properly and appropriately trained for the safe operation of on-slope vehicles, trail maintenance equipment, tramways, tramway evacuations, implementation of the reckless skier policy, first aid and outdoor rescue, and, to have present according to a schedule posted for access by skiers, by the ski area operator, personnel appropriately trained in the instruction of skiers and passengers in methods of risk reduction while using ski slopes and passenger tramways and the instruction of skiers with respect to the risks inherent in the sport.
(l) Ski area operators shall have the following additional duties:
(1) Public notice. Ski area operators shall conspicuously post and maintain signs entitled "Warning to Skiers" at each point of sale or distribution of lift tickets whether on or off the premises of the ski area operator, upon which shall have been clearly and legibly imprinted the following: "Warning to Skiers: Downhill skiing, like many other sports, contains inherent risks including, but not limited to the risk of personal injury, including catastrophic injury, or death, or property damage, which may be caused by variations in terrain or weather conditions; or, surface or subsurface snow, ice, bare spots or areas of thin cover, moguls, ruts, bumps; or other persons using the facilities; or, rocks, forest growth, debris, branches, trees, roots, stumps; or, other natural objects or manmade objects that are incidental to the provision or maintenance of a ski facility in New York State. New York law imposes a duty on you to become apprised of, and understand, the risks inherent in the sport of skiing, which are set forth in this subdivision, so that you may make an informed decision of whether to participate in skiing notwithstanding the risks. New York law also imposes additional duties upon you, to which you must adhere, for the purpose of avoiding injury caused by any of the risks inherent in skiing. If you are not willing to assume all of these risks and abide by all of these duties, you must not participate in skiing at this ski area." In the event lift tickets are not distributed, the aforementioned "Warning to Skiers" shall be posted at the ski area's central information board or boards.
(2) Lift ticket notice. All lift tickets issued by ski area operators, except multiple day passes defined in section 54.3(c) of this Part and subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subdivision, shall have been clearly and legibly imprinted as follows:
(i) upon not less than 20 percent of the imprintable area of the face of such tickets the following: "Before affixing ticket or allowing ticket to be affixed to your person, read and understand the notice on the (ski area to select either 'peel off backing' or 'reverse') and the 'Warning to Skiers' posted where tickets like this are purchased"; and
(ii) upon not less than 50 percent of the imprintable area of the peel-off backing or reverse of such tickets the following: "Notice: Skiers and ski lift passengers are governed by the New York State Safety in Skiing Code (Article 18 of the NYS General Obligations Law). Before affixing this ticket or allowing this ticket to be affixed to your person, your attention is directed to a posted 'Warning to Skiers' which is displayed where tickets like this are purchased. New York law requires you to seek out, read, review and understand that 'Warning to Skiers' before you decide to participate in the sport of skiing."
(3) Ski area operators shall, with respect to multiple day passes, be exempt from the provisions of paragraph (1)(2) of this section, provided that on the first day of issue to each purchaser or grantee of any multiple day pass, such multiple day pass shall be issued together with a printed notice upon which shall have been clearly and legibly imprinted text identical in its entirety to that which shall appear on the peel-off backing or reverse of all lift tickets issued by such ski area operator and provided for by subparagraph (2)(ii) of this subdivision, and which notice shall be contained on a document of dimensions no less than three by five inches and which actual text of said statement on such printed notices shall be no less in size than that contained on the ski area operator's lift tickets.
(m) To post at every point of sale or distribution of lift tickets at a ski area notice to skiers and passengers that article 18 of the General Obligations Law prescribes certain duties for skiers, passengers and ski area operators, and to make copies of such article in its entirety available without charge upon request to skiers and passengers in a central location at the ski area.
(n) To make available at reasonable fees, instruction and education for skiers relative to the risks inherent in the sport and the duties prescribed for skiers, and to conspicuously post notice of the times and places of availability of such instruction and education in locations where it is likely to be seen by skiers.
(o) To post notice to skiers of the right to a refund to the purchaser in the form and amount of initial sale of any lift ticket returned to the ski area operator, intact and unused, upon declaration by such purchaser that he or she is unprepared or unwilling to ski due to the risks inherent in the sport or the duties imposed upon him or her by the law. Back
(a) Ski area operators shall conspicuously post and maintain signs, including legends and symbols, in the sizes, colors and locations required by provisions of Table I.
(b) Lift signs. At each lift line there shall be posted in a conspicuous location a sign which shall indicate the degree of difficulty of trails served by that lift in accordance with the difficulty designations in Table 1. Back
Ski area operators shall ensure that lift towers located within the boundaries of any ski slope or trail are padded or otherwise protected and that no protruding metal or wood objects, such as ladders or steps, shall be installed on the uphill or side portion of lift towers within the borders of a ski slope or trail, unless such objects are below the snow line, at least six feet above it, or covered with such devices as, but not limited to, the following:
(1) commercially available tower padding; or
(2) air or foam filled bags; or
(3) hay bales encased in a waterproof cover; or
(4) soft rope nets properly spaced from the tower. Back
If any provision of this Part or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Part which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Part are declared to be severable. Back
Table 1: Required Signs to the TableHistorical Note
§ 54.9 Back
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