We're helping make the ski season safer

Kei te hāpai mātou i te haumarutanga i te wā o te reti hukapapa
5 August 2020
2 minute read

With the Ski Areas Association of NZ, we've launched a new app for ski patrols and medical clinics to record information about snow injuries and near misses.

Last year’s ski season saw 13,819 ACC claims from skiers and snowboarders who had injured themselves on the slopes.

This year, with the ski industry we're hoping to see that number come down with the launch of the National Incident Database (NID) app.  It's a custom app designed for the ski industry to help them record, track, and respond to near misses and injuries as soon as possible after they happen.

The app allows ski patrols and medical clinics to record information about injuries and near misses, including where they’re happening and who they’re happening too. The information can then be used to help prevent future injuries. For example, if a field operator sees there have been several near misses on a particular run, all by inexperienced skiers, they can revise the rating of that run.

The NID app is the result of a collaboration between ACC and the Ski Areas Association of New Zealand (SAANZ), who represent New Zealand's commercial and club ski fields. It was launched at the start of the 2020 season.

Andy Hoyle, General Manager of Safety and Environment at Mt Ruapehu, says it's already become a critical tool for ski area managers.

"With the old database we had to manually enter data from handwritten forms, which was inefficient, and it meant there was a lag between when the data was collected and when we could use it.

"One of the biggest advances with the move to the app is around being able to get real-time data and geolocate the incident site. We can also load images to an incident file in case there is a need to look at the site to see if it can be made safer or for investigation purposes."

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We were approached by SAANZ to help fund the development of the app to replace the former database which was no longer fit for purpose.

"Being able to see where injuries are happening is a great way for ski field managers to respond and make decisions that can improve safety," says Kirsten Malpas, ACC Injury Prevention Leader.

"With the new app, operators can get precise information and see trends that might be occurring over a daily, weekly or even seasonal timeframe. This is the first time they've had access to that fine level of detail.

"Longer term there could be potential to use this type of technology in other recreation settings such as mountain bike trails."

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