Ski Lift Safety

Ski lift safety information from Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) works hard to protect the safety of people who enjoy winter sports like downhill skiing and snowboarding. 

To do this, we licence and inspect the following ski lift equipment to ensure owners and operators are maintaining and running their equipment according to the required standards:

  • Chairlifts

  • Gondola lifts

  • T-bar and platter lifts

  • Fibre and rope tows

  • Passenger conveyors

You can stay safe on the slopes by making sure you and your family pay attention to safety guidelines and understand how to avoid injury. 

Always remember you must have the physical ability and knowledge to safely get on, ride, or get off any kind of lift. If you are unsure whether you should ride a lift, ask the lift operator.

You must never use a lift if your ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs. 

For more information on ski lift safety, visit, or review the resources below.



Children’s Activity Sheet


When you want to get on a chairlift:

  • Look: When it is your time to load, move up to the marked line and look over your shoulder to watch for an approaching chair. If you are late, do not rush and risk getting hit. Wait for the next chair.

  • Load: Load safely holding your poles in one hand. Grab onto the side or back of the chair and move your body towards the back of the seat. If you’re riding with children, you may need to help pull them up onto the chair. Small children should be seated on the side of the chair that is closest to the operator. If you think you need the chairlift slowed for loading, let the operator know. If you are snowboarding, release your rear foot from your bindings before loading.

  • Lower: Once skis or snowboards have left the snow, let the other riders on the chair know that you’re lowering the bar to avoid any head collisions.

  • On your way to the top, keep the front tips of your skis or snowboard up. 

  • Always keep long hair, hats, scarves, and bags secure so they do not get tangled in the lift. 

  • Remain seated far back in the chair. Do not bounce or swing on the chairlift. If you are alone, sit in the middle of the chair. 

  • Never throw or drop anything from the lift.

  • If the lift stops, do not jump off. 

When you want to get off the chairlift:

  • Lift: Wait until you see the “Raise the bar” sign at the top of the hill, then lift the safety bar. Make sure there is no loose clothing, long hair, or bags caught on the chair. 

  • Land: Keep your tips up. When you reach the “Unload here” sign, stand up on your skis or snowboard and slide down the ramp.

  • Leave: Leave the unloading area immediately. If you happen to fall, or you realize you’ve left something behind, keep your head down so you don’t get hit by the carrier. Clear out of the way as soon as you can. The lift operators will help you. 

  • Remember: A typical chairlift may take up to 10 seconds to stop. Be patient and be aware. Most of all, be respectful of others when you are in line, loading the chair, riding the chair, and unloading the chair.

Surface Lifts

To stay safe on surface lifts such as t-bars, platters, conveyors or rope tows: 

  • Start only at the lift’s start area. Secure all loose clothing, long hair, or bags. Remove pole straps and hold tips forward.

  • Stay straight and stay balanced. If you fall, clear the track as quickly as you can.

  • Stay standing for the entire ride. Never sit down.

  • Unload in the specified unloading area. Do not get off the lift before you reach the “Unload here” sign.