OHS Canada Magazine

Part-time ski instructor killed in collision

January 14, 2013

Health & Safety Workplace accident -- fatality



A perfect day on the slopes turned tragic when a part-time instructor at Crabbe Mountain was killed after a crash with another skier.

David Moore was skiing down Dave’s Dream run in a “relatively flat, big, wide open space” in a slow skiing area on the morning of Jan. 8 when he collided with a member of the public, explained Jason Crawford, general manager at Crabbe Mountain. Moore was not teaching at the time of the crash, Crawford said, and both Moore and the other skier were wearing helmets. The other skier, who suffered minor injuries, was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Moore, 62, was a retired mediator and had worked at the Central Hainesville, N.B. ski hill’s snow school for the past three years, teaching skiing and disabled skiing to “hundreds and hundreds of beginners, mostly children,” a post by Crawford on the Crabbe site read.

“Dave was a fine person, always willing to help out,” Crawford said, explaining that Crabbe has contacted the RCMP to set up counselling for its workers. “We’re a really close community, like a family, and this was one of our family members that passed away. There is a lot of sympathy for the family and for all those involved.”


Investigation turned over to WorkSafeNB

The investigation was turned over to WorkSafeNB after the RCMP determined there was no criminal aspect.

“If there’s an employer/employee relationship, we will [do an investigation]. Even if the public is at these facilities, it could also be a shopping mall for that matter,” said Richard Blais, director of the chief compliance office at WorkSafeNB.

“I presume that the ski hill operators, whether it be here in New Brunswick, or anywhere in Canada, they would set out their criteria for qualifications. Because we don’t have specific regulations, if that was something we were concerned with, then we would do an analysis based on what the general duty requirements of our legislation would want to have in place,” Blais said. “For example, if the person had only been skiing for a month and then teaching others, that may be something we would have some concerns with. But I suspect that the standard for ski instructors would be very high and more than likely meet the general duty requirements.”

WorkSafeNB’s investigation will focus on trail conditions, visibility, the application of protective ski equipment and first aid responder statements, a news release from the health and safety regulator noted. An autopsy will also be performed to determine the cause of death. For his part, Crawford said it was a sunny day, visibility was good and the snow conditions were excellent.

The ski hill stopped the lifts at 2 p.m. on Saturday for a moment of silence.

Crawford said there is no plan to alter the run.



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