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Lift Inspection Guidelines


The Vermont Department of Labor’s (VDOL) Tramway Division is committed to working closely with all ski operators regarding tramway safety issues. It is the aim of the VDOL Tramway Division to provide safety support, information and excellent service to ski operators within the state.

Due to the increasing demands on the Tramway Division staff’s time, and to conduct annual inspections efficiently, we have established safety guidelines for the annual inspections. The Tramway Division believes these guidelines will be beneficial to both the ski operators and the tramway safety inspection program.

The following recommendations are expected to be completed by the ski operators prior to the VDOL’s annual inspection. The Tramway Inspector may suspend an annual inspection until such time as the ski lift is properly prepared. We believe these guidelines will result in efficient and timely inspections.

The manager of the ski operation shall provide a signed document to the Tramway Inspector stating that all required maintenance per the manufacturer guidelines has been completed.

All line work must be performed and documented per the manufacturer’s service manual. This includes grip and hanger service, minimum of 20% NDT inspection of all grips and hangers and cable inspection and line service (i.e. sheave liners, bearings and alignment). All maintenance documentation must be provided to the Tramway Inspector at the time of the inspection.

All electrical safety switches must be tested and verified for their proper operation prior to the tramway inspection.

All RPD/CPS must be tested annually and documentation of this testing must be provided to the Tramway Inspector. If the manufacturer requires additional testing throughout the year, documentation showing the additional testing must be provided to the Tramway Inspector.

All terminals must have lanyard switches installed which are properly labeled.

All load and unload ramps shall be properly maintained. All broken and/or missing boards are to be replaced. All cracked or broken windows are to be replaced.

All signage is to be properly installed and clearly legible.

All seats and seat pads are to be free from defects and properly installed.

All fire extinguishers are to have an inspection tag affixed to the fire extinguisher per NFPA and the monthly inspections required are to be signed off by appropriate staff.

All lift structures that use fuel for heating shall have a CO detector system installed and tested.

All lift terminals that are not clearly visible from an operator’s station, must have an operational fire alarm system installed and tested. The system must be able to notify the operator in the event of a fire.

All lifts must have a brake torque test log that is posted in the brakes area. The log must have the proper brake test values, last date tested, value found and what, if any, corrective actions were taken and by whom.

All lifts must have an evacuation /stand by APU run log posted in the engine area. The log must indicate run time and connected line operation time for each APU and stand by engine.

All brake torque testing devices and dynamometers must be calibrated annually and documentation supplied to the Tramway Inspector.

The current lift evacuation plan, documentation of monthly employee training and documentation of the evacuation equipment that has been inspected must be provided.

If the lift is required to have an EWRT inspection every 3 years or 3,000 hours, whichever is greater, documentation must be provided which shows when the last scheduled EWRT was completed.

At the time of the tramway inspection, the ski operation must be prepared to do the following:

1. Torque test all brakes and check all rollback devices for functionality.

2. Test the following circuits: motor tach loss, cable tach loss, field loss, overspeed controls and low voltage loss.

3. Start and run the lift under electric power, allowing time for an uphill and downhill line check by the Tramway Inspector.

4. Start and run the lift under APU power.

5. Demonstrate a successful rope evacuation from fixed and/or detachable carriers at a location of the Tramway Inspector’s discretion.

At the time of the inspection, the Tramway Inspector must be furnished copies of the following documents: NDT inspection report, cable inspection report, relocation and slip test documentation and a copy of the NDT certifications.

For those ski operations completing their own NDT inspections, you must provide the Tramway Inspector with the following:

1. Documentation that annual eye exams have been done.

2. Three year NDT re-certification documents.

3. Name of your level 3 Program Administrator.

4. Proof of your five year external operational audit conducted by an independent NDT Level III Technician.

Thank you for cooperating with the Vermont Department of Labor on these important tramway safety issues.

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