In Colorado, working at a ski resort is often seen as something of a dream job. You get to work outside, in the beautiful mountains, enjoying a sport that you love. You get to help other people enjoy it as much as possible, too. Your love of the outdoors is satisfied every time you clock in for the day.
Those are the plus sides, but you have to remember that outdoor work is also very dangerous. It comes with some serious risks. Working at a ski resort means you could get seriously injured or even killed in an accident.
How does it happen?
All accidents are different. They could involve snowmobiles, heavy machinery, sky lifts and much more. Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration tracks these incidents, though, we can take a look at a few of the more recent ones. They include issues like:
- Employees getting struck by avalanches
- Employees getting engulfed in the snow
- Employees getting injured going over jumps
- Employees striking trees and other fixed objects while skiing
- Employees falling off of cliffs
- Employees falling and suffering from serious head injuries
- Employees suffering from bone fractures
- Employees falling off of ski lifts
- Employees having seizures while on the job
This is just a small sampling of the issues faced, but you can see that many are the same risks guests face. While skiing, people are often on the very edge of control. Even with a lot of experience and skill, they are just a moment away from a serious accident.
Plus, it can be hard to judge the weather-related hazards. A storm that blows in suddenly could trap employees who are not ready for it out in the cold. An avalanche is something that is often impossible to avoid, even when workers see it coming.
Workers also spend a fair amount of time at heights. As noted above, there have been cliff falls and plenty of chairlift falls. Some of it is just the amount of exposure. When guests show up for a week, everything may go well. When workers see those risks every single day for an entire season, it’s only a matter of time until something goes wrong. When it does, the ramifications can be incredibly serious.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid working at a ski resort. It is a dream job for many people, and there’s a reason for that.
However, doing what you love also comes with risks. You must understand what risks you face and all of the legal options you have if you get hurt on the job.