Crystal Mountain partners with Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital for lift ops training
December 25, 2021
THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (December 25, 2021) – Imagine using your body to slow down a 300-pound piece of equipment every seven seconds for hours at a time – that’s exactly what chairlift operators do while working certain lifts at Crystal Mountain. It’s an important job that requires a lot of safety training, not only to keep those riding the chairlifts safe, but also those operating them.
“Lift operators have a very physical job,” Lift Operations Manager Dana Carnevale said. “On Buck chairlift, they’re bumping or stalling chairs that travel about 360-feet per minute. On top of that, our lift operators are shoveling and raking off the lift ramps for up to 13 hours a day.”
Crystal Mountain has more than 45 lift operators and supervisors. To stress the importance of keeping employees safe, Crystal brought in Certified Athletic Trainer Arthur Adkins and the director of Rehabilitation from Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital for special Body Mechanics Training.
“People who work in environments which require repetitive motions in high loads are at a higher risk of injury,” Physical Therapist Adrienne Jones, DPT, SCS said. “I commend Crystal Mountain for their commitment to employee safety. Our classroom and hands-on training with the lift ops focuses on body posture awareness and how to avoid injury while performing tasks efficiently.”
This is the second year Jones and Carnevale have organized the special body mechanics training. However, everyone agrees this year’s program was exceptionally beneficial because it was in-person rather than virtual.
“The classroom portion focused on proper hydration, fuel and rest to keep employees alert during their shift,” Jones said. “Then we were able to put the proper body mechanics for bumping and shoveling to the test by heading out to the Buck chairlift. Experienced lift operators helped lead the new hires until each person was proficient.”
All of the lift operators were also given an exercise program to strengthen certain muscles necessary to perform their jobs safely, including glutes, abdominals, back and shoulder muscles.
“The whole training served as a good reminder to use your legs and core, and try not to twist when shoveling, raking or bumping,” Carnevale said. “This kind of work can make for a long season, so we’re glad we could take a moment to focus on the health and wellbeing of our crew ahead of winter.”
Annual training for lift operators also includes chairlift evacuation and first aid, as well as ongoing training on what to do if there’s ever an unseated passenger.
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