Ohio Ski Area StatutesPosted: October 12, 2013
TITLE 41. LABOR AND INDUSTRY
CHAPTER 4169. SKI TRAMWAY BOARD
ORC Ann. 4169.10 (2007)
§ 4169.01. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(A)“Skier” means any person who is using the facilities of a ski area, including, but not limited to, the ski slopes and ski trails, for the purpose of skiing, which includes, without limitation, sliding or jumping on snow or ice on skis, a snowboard, sled, tube, snowbike, toboggan, or any other device.
(B)“Passenger” means any person who is being transported or conveyed by a passenger tramway.
(C)“Ski slopes” or “ski trails” means those sites that are reserved or maintained and are open for use, as designated by a ski area operator.
(D)“Ski area” means all the ski slopes, ski trails, and passenger tramways that are administered or operated as a single enterprise within this state.
(E)“Ski area operator” means a person or organization that is responsible for the operation of a ski area, including an agency of this state or of a political subdivision thereof.
(F)“Passenger tramway” means a device used to transport passengers uphill, whether on skis or other devices or without skis or other devices, or in cars on tracks or suspended in the air, by the use of steel cables, chains, or belts or by ropes, and that is usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans. “Passenger tramway” includes all of the following:
(1)Aerial passenger tramway, a device used to transport passengers in several open or enclosed cars attached to and suspended from a moving wire rope or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices;
(2)Skimobile, a device in which a passenger car running on steel or wooden tracks is attached to and pulled by a steel cable, or similar devices;
(3)Chair lift, a device on which passengers are carried on chairs suspended in the air and attached to a moving cable, chain, or link belt supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices. Chair lifts need not include foot-rests or passenger restraint devices.
(4)J bar, T bar, or platter pull, devices that pull skiers riding on skis or other devices by means of an attachment to a main overhead cable supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices;
(5)Rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers that pulls skiers riding on skis or other devices as they grasp a rope manually, or similar devices;
(6)Wire rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers by which skiers are pulled on skis or other devices while manually grasping a bar attached to a wire hauling cable.
(7)Conveyor, a flexible moving element, including a belt, that transports passengers on one path and returns underneath the uphill portion.
The operation of a passenger tramway shall not constitute the operation of a common carrier.
(G)“Competitor” means a skier actually engaged in competition, a special event, or training or practicing for competition or a special event in any portion of the area made available by the ski area operator.
(H)“Freestyler” means a skier utilizing freestyle terrain marked with signage approved by the national ski areas association.
(I) “Freestyle terrain” means, but is not limited to, terrain parks and terrain park features, such as jumps, rails, fun boxes, other constructed or natural features, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, and freestyle-bump terrain.
(J) “Tubing park” means a ski slope designated and maintained for the exclusive use of skiers utilizing tubes to slide to the bottom of the course and serviced by a dedicated passenger tramway.
§ 4169.02. Ski tramway board established
(A)For the purposes of regulating the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways that are associated with ski areas and of registering operators of passenger tramways in this state, there is hereby established in the division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce a ski tramway board to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. The board shall consist of three members, one of whom shall be a public member who is an experienced skier and familiar with ski areas in this state, one of whom shall be a ski area operator actively engaged in the business of recreational skiing in this state, and one of whom shall be a professional engineer who is knowledgeable in the design or operation of passenger tramways.
Of the initial appointments, one member shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years. The member appointed to the term beginning on July 1, 1996, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1997; the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1997, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1999; and the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1998, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 2001. Thereafter, each of the members shall be appointed for a term of six years. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. In the event of a vacancy, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a successor who shall hold office for the remainder of the term for which the successor’s predecessor was appointed. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member’s term until the member’s successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. The board shall elect a chairperson from its members.
The governor may remove any member of the board at any time for misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance in office after giving the member a copy of the charges against the member and an opportunity to be heard publicly in person or by counsel in the member’s defense. Any such act of removal by the governor is final. A statement of the findings of the governor, the reason for the governor’s action, and the answer, if any, of the member shall be filed by the governor with the secretary of state and shall be open to public inspection.
Members of the board shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars for each meeting that the member attends, except that no member shall be paid or receive more than seven hundred fifty dollars for attending meetings during any calendar year. Each member shall be reimbursed for the member’s actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official board duties. The chairperson shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars annually in addition to any compensation the chairperson receives under this division for attending meetings and any other compensation the chairperson receives for serving on the board.
The division shall provide the board with such offices and such clerical, professional, and other assistance as may be reasonably necessary for the board to carry on its work. The division shall maintain accurate copies of the board’s rules as promulgated in accordance with division (B) of this section and shall keep all of the board’s records, including business records, and inspection reports as well as its own records and reports. The cost of administering the board and conducting inspections shall be included in the budget of the division based on revenues generated by the registration fees established under section 4169.03 of the Revised Code.
(B)In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board shall adopt and may amend or rescind rules relating to public safety in the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways. The rules shall be in accordance with established standards in the business of ski area operation, if any, and shall not discriminate in their application to ski area operators.
No person shall violate the rules of the board.
(C)The authority of the board shall not extend to any matter relative to the operation of a ski area other than the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways.
(D)A majority of the board constitutes a quorum and may perform and exercise all the duties and powers devolving upon the board.
§ 4169.03. Registration of passenger tramway operators
(A)Before a passenger tramway operator may operate any passenger tramway in the state, the operator shall apply to the ski tramway board, on forms prepared by it, for registration by the board. The application shall contain an inventory of the passenger tramways that the applicant intends to operate and other information as the board may reasonably require and shall be accompanied by the following annual fees:
(1)Each aerial passenger tramway, five hundred dollars;
(2)Each skimobile, two hundred dollars;
(3)Each chair lift, two hundred dollars;
(4)Each J bar, T bar, or platter pull, one hundred dollars;
(5)Each rope tow, fifty dollars;
(6)Each wire rope tow, seventy-five dollars;
(7)Each conveyor, one hundred dollars.
When an operator operates an aerial passenger tramway, a skimobile, or a chair lift during both a winter and summer season, the annual fee shall be one and one-half the above amount for the respective passenger tramway.
(B)Upon payment of the appropriate annual fees in accordance with division (A) of this section, the board shall issue a registration certificate to the operator. Each certificate shall remain in force until the thirtieth day of September next ensuing. The board shall renew an operator’s certificate in accordance with the standard renewal procedure in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code upon payment of the appropriate annual fees.
(C)Money received from the registration fees and from the fines collected pursuant to section 4169.99 of the Revised Code shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the industrial compliance operating fund created in section 121.084 [121.08.4] of the Revised Code.
(D)No person shall operate a passenger tramway in this state unless the person has been registered by the board.
§ 4169.04. Inspections; report of violation
(A)The division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce shall make such inspection of the construction, maintenance, and mechanical operation of passenger tramways as the ski tramway board may reasonably require. The division may contract with other qualified engineers to make such inspection or may accept the inspection report by any qualified inspector of an insurance company authorized to insure passenger tramways in this state.
(B)If, as the result of an inspection, an employee of the division or other agent with whom the division has contracted finds that a violation of the board’s rules exists or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, the employee or agent shall make an immediate report to the board for appropriate investigation and order.
§ 4169.05. Written complaint alleging violation
Any person may make a written complaint to the ski tramway board setting forth an alleged violation of the board’s rules by a registered passenger tramway operator or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation that allegedly endangers public safety. The board shall forward a copy of the complaint to the operator named in it and may accompany it with an order that requires the operator to answer the complaint in writing within a specified period of time. The board may investigate the complaint if it determines that there are reasonable grounds for such an investigation.
§ 4169.06. Emergency order; investigation and order; suspension of certificate
(A)When facts are presented to any member of the ski tramway board that indicate that immediate danger exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, any member of the board, after such verification of the facts as is practical under the circumstances and consistent with immediate public safety, may by an emergency written order require the operator of the tramway to cease using the tramway immediately for the transportation of passengers. Any person may serve notice on the operator or the operator’s agent who is in immediate control of the tramway by delivering a true and attested copy of the order, and the operator or the operator’s agent shall furnish proof of receipt of such notice by signing an affidavit on the back of the copy of the order. The emergency order shall be effective for a period not to exceed forty-eight hours from the time of notification.
(B)Immediately after the issuance of an emergency order pursuant to this section, the board shall investigate the facts of the case. If the board finds that a violation of any of its rules exists or that a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, it shall issue a written order setting forth its findings and the corrective action to be taken and fixing a reasonable time for compliance.
(C)After an investigation pursuant to division (B) of this section, if the board determines that danger to public safety exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, it shall so state in the order, describe in detail the basis for its findings, and in the order may require the operator not to operate the tramway until the operator has taken the corrective action ordered pursuant to this section. If the operator continues to use the tramway following receipt of such order, the board may request the court of common pleas having jurisdiction in the county where the tramway is located to issue an injunction forbidding operation of the tramway.
(D)An operator of a passenger tramway may request a hearing by the board on any order issued pursuant to this chapter and may appeal the results of such a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. An operator may appeal an order suspending the operation of the operator’s tramway without first requesting a hearing.
(E)If an operator fails to comply with an order of the board issued pursuant to this chapter within the specified time, the board may suspend the registration certificate of the operator for such time as it considers necessary to gain compliance with its order.
No operator shall operate a passenger tramway while the operator’s registration certificate is under suspension by the board.
§ 4169.07. Responsibilities of ski area operator and tramway passengers
(A)A ski area operator shall be responsible for any construction that the operator actually performs or has actually performed and for the maintenance and operation of any passenger tramway in the operator’s ski area.
(B)A passenger shall be responsible for: not embarking upon or disembarking from a passenger tramway except at an area that is designated for such purpose; not throwing or expelling any object from a passenger tramway; not performing any action that interferes with the running or operation of a passenger tramway; learning how to use a passenger tramway safely before the time that the passenger desires to embark upon it; not using such a tramway unless the passenger has the ability to use it safely without any on-the-spot instruction from the ski area operator; not engaging willfully or negligently in any type of conduct that contributes to or causes injury to another person; and not embarking upon a passenger tramway without the authority of the ski area operator.
§ 4169.08. Risks assumed by skier; responsibilities of operator and skier
(A)(1) The general assembly recognizes that skiing as a recreational sport is hazardous to skiers regardless of all feasible safety measures that can be taken. It further recognizes that a skier expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for injury, death, or loss to person or property that results from the inherent risks of skiing, which include, but are not limited to, injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by changing weather conditions; surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions; hard pack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow; bare spots, rocks, trees, stumps, and other forms of forest growth or debris; lift towers or other forms of towers and their components, either above or below the snow surface; variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as the result of snowmaking, slope design, freestyle terrain, jumps, catwalks, or other terrain modifications; any other objects and structures, including, but not limited to, passenger tramways and related structures and equipment, competition equipment, utility poles, fences, posts, ski equipment, slalom poles, ropes, out-of-bounds barriers and their supports, signs, ski racks, walls, buildings, and sheds; and plainly marked or otherwise visible snowmaking and snow-grooming equipment, snowmobiles, snow cats, and over-snow vehicles.
(2)Provided that the ski area operator complies with division (B)(4) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any competitor or freestyler using a freestyle terrain, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course, venue, or area conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with a spectator, competition official, ski area personnel, or another competitor or freestyler.
(3)Provided the ski area operator complies with division (B)(5) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any skier using a tubing park, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course design or maintenance or conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with another skier.
(B)The legal responsibilities of a ski area operator to a skier with respect to any injury, death, or loss to person or property resulting in any way from an inherent risk of the sport shall not be those of the common law duty of premises owners to business invitees. A ski area operator shall have, however, the following responsibilities:
(1)To mark all trail maintenance vehicles and to furnish such vehicles with flashing or rotating lights that shall be in operation whenever the vehicles are working or are moving in the ski area;
(2)To mark with a visible sign or other warning implement the location of any hydrant or similar equipment that is used in snowmaking operations and located anywhere in the ski area;
(3)To mark, at the base of a slope or hill where skiers embark on a passenger tramway serving the slope or hill or at the top of a trail or slope, such slopes, trails, and hills with signs indicating their relative degree of difficulty. The signs must be the type that have been approved by the national ski areas association and are in current use by the industry;
(4)Prior to the use of any portion of a freestyle terrain area made available by the ski area operator, to allow each freestyler or competitor a reasonable opportunity to visually inspect the course, venue, or area of the freestyle terrain;
(5)To allow skiers using a tubing park visible access to the course.
(C)A skier shall have the following responsibilities:
(1)To know the range of the skier’s ability to negotiate any slope or trail or to use any passenger tramway that is associated with a slope or trail, to ski within the limits of the skier’s ability, to ski only on designated slopes and trails, to maintain control of speed and course at all times while skiing, to heed all posted warnings, and to not cross the track of a passenger tramway except at a designated area;
(2)To refrain from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of another person, to refrain from causing collision with any person or object while skiing, and to not place any object in a ski area that may cause another skier or a passenger to fall;
(3)When involved in a skiing accident in which another person is involved who needs medical or other assistance, to obtain assistance for the person, to notify the proper authorities, and to not depart from the scene of the accident without leaving personal identification;
(4)If the skier is a competitor, freestyler, or user of freestyle terrain, to assume the risk of all course, venue, or area conditions, including, but not limited to, weather and snow conditions; obstacles; course or feature location, construction, or layout; freestyle terrain configuration and conditions; and other courses, layouts, or configurations of the area to be used;
(5)If the skier is utilizing a tubing park, to assume the risk of collision with others on the course.
§ 4169.09. Liability of operator, tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier
A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by another’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required of another by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not entitled to recover for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter.
§ 4169.10. Operator’s liability to violators of theft statute
A ski area operator is not liable for any losses or damages suffered by a person who was in violation of section 2913.02 of the Revised Code at the time that the losses or damages occurred.
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