JACKSON (WNE) – A contractor was severely injured July 23 at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort after an accident involving the aerial tram that resulted in a “technical rope rescue” and …
JACKSON (WNE) – A contractor was severely injured July 23 at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort after an accident involving the aerial tram that resulted in a “technical rope rescue” and a helicopter flight to an Idaho hospital.
At the time of the accident, Jon Bishop, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s risk and safety director, said the man was alive but declined to provide his name. So did Robert Provenzano, the president of Tower Painters Inc., the company that was torquing bolts on the tram towers.
Both men said the employee was in “serious” condition.
“He sustained a significant back injury,” Bishop said.
Bishop said Jackson Hole Mountain Resort had hired Tower Painters Inc. to tighten bolts on the tram towers, routine work that involves tightening every bolt to specification to “ensure that they’re all holding appropriately.”
The accident happened around 3:37 p.m. July 23 when the contractor was struck by a tram car as it crossed over Tower Five, the last tower between the base and summit of Rendezvous Mountain.
The employee was standing on a catwalk adjacent to the saddles — features on the north and south of the Aerial Tram’s towers that hold track cables that guide the tram up in the air — when the accident happened. That was an “unauthorized area,” Bishop said.
The tram carriage, the arm that holds the tram onto the haul line that pulls it up the mountain, struck the worker when it passed through the area, Bishop said.
Bishop said work on the Aerial Tram stopped after the accident on July 23 and remains stopped.
It will not resume, Bishop said, until a “thorough review” of what happened takes place, as well as discussions with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which sets and enforces workplace safety standards.
The resort’s risk and safety director said the tram would not stop operating. Despite a pause in the bolt tightening work, Bishop said there is a “big window” to finish that inspection.