Ski resorts often think that accidents are bad for business, but we are here to tell you that it’s not all bad, in can be a win situation for the customer and the resort. There are a number of issues we see in resorts that are preventing them from improving the situation or managing the marketing aspect of safety. After all, without keeping people safe and ensuring they come back for more, the industry we work in won’t last. So here are the 7 ski resort safety mistakes we know can make a difference if acted upon.

Using paper forms

Many resorts use paper reporting to collect ski accident information. Doing so means that the data is subject to many problems, poor handwriting and lack of time are both significant issues. Many resorts have patrollers carry around their forms in their uniform for convenience, but they sometimes never make it back to management, and rot away over summer in the back of a cupboard. Paper has a way of being distributed too, so that leaves some poor soul the job of tracking it all down and pulling all of the various forms together from different people into a report file.

Paper also burns. One resort we work with had a fire and a significant number of their information was burned, no backups no copies, nothing. This is a big problem if one of those incidents escalates to litigation or an insurance claim.

Missing out on insights from the data

A knock on effect of the paper form is not being able to mine the data. This is critical for a number of reasons. First, the resort should be looking at trends in the data. It could be a certain location, or a particular time of day. Maybe a combination of weather and type of skier combines to create accidents. Secondly the resort insurance broker will operate on data and insights see this article from AON’s CIO on how much they spend on data analysis to assess risk.

Getting witness statements after the fact

Time is a big killer for memory of events, especially those that occur under duress or a time of stress.  People will change their story or present an altered version with in a few minutes of it happening. This effect is enhanced multiple times when the person affected is related or close to the casualty, or its a particularly severe event. Legal counsel can make good use of the time elapsed from an event to a statement.

Missing photos from the scene

The adage goes ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. Taking a photo during an accident in progress with the patient on scene is far better than taking a photo during an investigation even an hour later. Putting a stand in on the photo instead of the patient can introduce legal doubt, especially when the defence is the resort, and the photos and investigation were undertaken by resort employees.

Not using insurance to the resorts advantage

Sure a ski insurance, like any business, will hold professional and public indemnity. In many jurisdictions resorts are fortunate enough to have the law on their side too. As noted above they could do better at presenting the knowledge of incidents to the insurance companies, to reduce premiums. There are also many people who travel without insurance, or in countries with no base level of state care riding with no personal medical insurance. There is an opportunity here to partner with an insurance provider for retail upsells.

Not creating a great safety message

Because the resort’s don’t have evidence it is very hard to state that the resort is ‘safe’. Also when issues und up in the press, resorts will tend to give very general statements or ignore it all until it goes away. It’s definitely not good for the industry to have this stuff in the press, but a resort can do a better job of managing it with better data.

Thinking incidents are bad for business

Well they are, no doubt. Medic52 is starting to help change that attitude. By doing more about safety and being more proactive with data, a resort can not only appeal to the safety conscious, keep their customer’s safe and influence the outcomes much more effectively.

To learn how Medic52 can help your ski resort please drop us a line at hello@medic52.com 

Duncan Isaksen-Loxton